UltraLite usage

Fri, 1 Aug 1997 11:00:57 -0400 (EDT)


My experience has been similar to Greg's--my UL is on ice right now while
I consider other options. One of them is a Packard Bell 386 notebook.
Picked it up cheap since it has backlight problems. If anyone knows where
I can get a 5-inch cold-cathode fluorescent lamp (slimmer than a pencil,
with one wire lead coming out each end)....

I did build a D-cell battery pack and it will run the machine a long
time. I just wasn't using it enough to warrant lugging it around all the
time. Also used one of Radio Shack's 8-AA-cell holders as a backup, and
would slip that into my briefcase along with the UL if I knew I was just
going to be doing something quick. Still also have the 7-cell internal
pack that I made up. Never really used that, though, since I never put in
an interal switch to completely disconnect the power from the internal
pack. Parasitic loads will run the battery down even when not using the
UL unless it is completely, mechanically, disconnected. Did do a couple
of long projects on the machine away from the outlet--with the big
external pack you can go a lot longer than any 286/386/486 notebook.

My machine of choice, though, unless there are long files involved (which
there usually aren't for me--ASCII word processing on short files is my
main need) is a Tandy WP-2. It will go 20 hours on a set of 4 AA's. Will
do Internet access up to 9600 baud with an external modem (but the small
screen makes that speed kind of useless--it won't stop to wait while you
read it!). Can't run any other software, though--just the built-in word
processing and communications (there were supposed to be plug-in software
cards like the UL, but none were ever made). You can use one of the Tandy
floppies for their early notebooks, but the format is nonstandard.

There are some other full-DOS subnotebooks out there that will run a long
time on 4 AA's--just never got my hands on one! That, and there is this
group with support for the UL.

Mark Shields

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