foone Profile picture
24 Feb, 34 tweets, 10 min read
I got my MDT9100-386 out again.
This is a terminal for police cars.
It's a lovely little machine.
It's got little lights to let you type in the dark, but one of them is burnt out. One of the things I need to do while I've got it out is to figure out what that bulb is so I can order a replacement.
Working up.
This image loads from the bottom up, which is a big hint to anyone who anyone who remembers the early 90s...
Because YEP, it's Windows 3.1!
Then it's got to load the TX Application. This thing talks to the wireless radio (removed on mine, it was damaged before I got it) to let it talk to the police HQ
And here's the software. It's basically a simple text & form based thing. The idea is apparently that you'd type up stuff like "we arrested this guy, his license number was blah, we saw him at 7:30pm stabbing a nun", and send it back to the home server.
Here's the side buttons. I don't remember what the red button does, but the other ones are just F-keys, despite the labels.
It's also got some similar buttons above the keyboard, which have confusing labels. There's 6 buttons and 5 sections for labels!
The keyboard layout is a tad weird.
I haven't cleaned it yet, and it really needs it.
Here's an example of one of the forms.
The keycaps look similar to Cherry but they are not exactly the same size, so they're not interchangable with my cherry mx keyboard
The date on this TX program is suprisingly late. 1998? for a monochrome 386 running Windows 3.1?
But yeah... I think they started this thing a lot earlier, and just kept updating it over the years.
It's got a surprisingly complicated update procedure. See, the thing has a flash disk and a RAM disk, but it doesn't run out of the flash disk, it runs out of the RAM disk.
And it can refresh itself, but only from DOS, if booted properly.
and that's one of the main reasons I've been scared to do too much hacking with it: if I accidentally wedge it into a case where the flash reflashing can't run properly, I've basically bricked it.
I'd have to desolder some flash chips off the motherboard and manually reflash them to fix it. Not fun.
I have imaged the hard drive before (at a file level, not a block level), and it's been archived:…
and here's the very long thread from back then, when I was first fixing it:
the tl;dr is: I took it apart to get it working, and without really doing anything it started working. I had to clean the keyboard membrane to get it working consistently, and remove the scratched CRT protector.
I then spent entirely too long trying to boot strap some serial software onto it, and finally got it working enough to fastlynx the files off.
also this device makes a lot of people quote the Blues Brothers about SCMODS.
That's an earlier model from Motorola:…
The other thing people suggest is a pip-boy.
First of all, no, this thing is WAY TOO HEAVY.
Secondly, @qrs already did it.
currently transferring a uuencoded copy of pkunzip at 2400 baud

why, how are you spending your 2021?
well the good news is that it copied
the bad news is that it is corrupted
dang it. the stupid ramdisk is putting the system too low on RAM to run doom!
I resized the RAM drive.
and now it's loading
oh right this is a slow 386. this is not a good framerate
let me shrink down the screen size.
a tad
yeah that's a little more playable.
a little.
lemme copy over FastDOOM and see if that does much better
bit better
I'm using some options to speed up the game at the cost of quality.
And by some I mean all

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More from @Foone

25 Feb
I accidentally extracted the VGA palette of Wolfenstein 3D because it turns out you can access all 256 colors from the text engine Image
you can also apparently insert arbitrary sprites into it, and the text engine automatically wraps around it.
Advanced! Image
I wonder what random bit of memory that is Image
Read 4 tweets
25 Feb
damn it I want to access the Forbidden Layers Image
I found a site that will sell you DXF vector graphics for 2.50$ each Image
it kinda looks like it hasn't been updated since 2005 but actually it has been updated this year. Image
Read 6 tweets
24 Feb
So @stopskeletons has done a other video on the N64 mouse and it's making me wonder about DIY solutions for this thing.
Like, a controller pass thru that basically lets you hook up two controllers to the same port, one mouse and one Gamepad.
You would just take the analog values from the mouse, and buttons from the other controller.
That'd let you use the mouse with basically all of the remaining games.
Read 16 tweets
24 Feb
Another day, another restaurant trying to find an order for some guy named "Boone"
Could be worse. Panda Express once brought me an order for Daniel, which I think just means they realized they couldn't hear me and picked a random white guy name.
My name is a lot of a things but it is not at all Daniel
Read 12 tweets
24 Feb
In memoriam of Frys, here's my pictures of times I went there and it was empty for no reason
Like the aisle of One Mouse Image
The two power strips Image
how about that time in 2019 where I found a PC game on the shelves that advertised running on windows 95?
Read 19 tweets
24 Feb
sometimes there's a thing in a dream that's not just "happening", you internally know it's like a TV show or a movie or something, right?
and then you're disappointed when you wake up and it's not real and you can't watch more.
Last night that was "Winnie the Pooh Vs. Evil"
the episode I watched had the inhabitants of the 100 acre wood fighting against the grim reaper, who had weird tar-monster powers, and was trying to drag them down into hell.
he finally did by tricking them into tarring a lake, and turning the 100 acre wood into a part of hell itself.
they split up to fight their way out, with the main fighters Rabbit and Pooh going after Satan and The Grim Reaper, respectively.
Read 5 tweets

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