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Portables

Portable Windows 98 Handheld Computer

In May of 2020 I built a portable Windows 98 Handheld Computer using an AMD Geode LX TR2350 motherboard.

I got the idea when I was reading a post about a mini x86 compatible motherboard on toughdev.com, here is the Link: http://www.toughdev.com/content/2015/03/exploring-amd-geode-lx-tr2350-mini-x86-compatible-motherboard/

The board is only 13cm by 17cm big, which is a good size for portablizing. I went to ebay.com and ordered one. It worked great with Windows 98, all my games that didn’t require DirectX worked straight out of the box. Unfortunately, it has no dedicated 3D graphics card integrated, and there is no PCI slot to add one, so I was out of luck with 3D games.

For the monitor I chose a 5 inch 640×480 display I found on aliexpress. It works fine with retro games, but the colors are weird in 320×200 VGA mode, but at least that mode is supported somewhat.

At first I wanted to build a keyboard myself, just like Ben Heck did in his Portable Raspberry Pi Zero did: https://youtu.be/Ko7eNx0zAuI?t=303 Another possibility I wanted to check out was to use a DreamGear Mini Keyboard (https://bitbuilt.net/forums/index.php?threads/mini-keyboards.952/) but ultimately I decided to use an RT-MWK02 wireless USB keyboard. It works fine with Windows 98 as the OS sees it as just a normal USB Keyboard.

Internals of the Handheld
Internals of the Handheld Computer

Here is a full list of the Handheld’s features:

  • TR2350 motherboard (500MHz CPU, 256 MB RAM)
  • 5 inch 4:3 640×480 screen
  • external VGA, Ethernet, Serial, USB and Audio ports
  • PC Speaker as well as stereo speakers
  • power led and low battery indicator led
  • CF hard disk (4GB installed)
  • 36mm total thickness
  • 3000mah @ 7.4V lipo battery (4h battery life)
  • 1A interal lipo charger with charge&play feature

I also made a post about it on sudomod.com: https://sudomod.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9850

If you like the project, please leave a comment below and also check out my other articles as well!

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