Installing OS/2 Version 4 onto 
the IBM PalmTop PC110


Why install OS/2 on a palmtop? Why not! After playing with various versions of Windows 3 and 95, particularly OSR2, everything seemed a little too easy. It plugged, it played, it made noises, it even connected to my NT RAS server at work and administered the domain there for a while, but it just felt too ordinary. I felt I was missing out on the fun somewhere. Windows runs on pretty much any machine, right?

Next thing I know, there I am with my OS/2 disks and CDs in my hands, chanting the OS/2 warcry of "No pain, no fun". Oooh, goody - a challenge!

A fair few hours later, I'd got OS/2 Version 4, Merlin, booting from the PCMCIA hard disk, and was (slowly) surfing the net using Netscape with the built-in modem. Here's what I did and how I did it, but first, I'll list what's running on the PC110, and what remains to be sorted out.

Since the first build, I've used what I learnt then, plus many tips from Adam Lambert, and have reinstalled the machine much more easily.

Now, even I surprised myself. OS/2 is actually the best operating system I've used on the PC110, because you can configure the machine to run as you want it. The only drawback I can see is that there is no hard drive spin-down mechanism within OS/2 itself. I still get nearly two hours of life, though, so I'm happy.

Current status

Software installed or configured

Outstanding issues

OS/2 Warp v4 on 260MB PCMCIA hard disk, HPFS 256 colour drivers dont support seamless WinOS/2
IBM Internet Connection for OS/2 No hard drive spin-down mechanism
Netscape Communicator 4.04 for OS/2
Audio support
256 colour display support
Power management support
Infra-red support
Modem configured
Zip drive supported on parallel port
Floppy driver always loads, even if the drive is absent

Installation guidance

Since the procedure is fairly involved, I've broken it down into more manageable chunks:

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Written by Daniel Basterfield. Images found on the internet. Enjoy!