Apple Macintosh Freestyle Tablet

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by LimeiBook86, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. LimeiBook86 macrumors 604

    LimeiBook86

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    #1
    I got this in a trade from a friend. I didn't think it would work, but I was able to get it to boot up! :) It's running Mac OS System 7.6. It's a Macintosh clone tablet made by Assistive Technology.

    Basically it seems to be a PowerBook 5300 with a touch screen, no floppy drive, and some other ports. These ports look like they are audio jacks, but they seem to be a way to input buttons.

    Ports on the machine:
    -AC Power Port (Uses PowerBook 5300 AC adapter)
    -ADB Port
    -Serial Port
    -SCSI Port (PowerBook SCSI)
    -Video Out (PowerBook Video Out)
    -Audio Out
    -Audio In
    -Multiple switch/button input ports
    -Floppy Drive Port (The same used on the Duo Docks)
    -Built-in CD-ROM drive
    -Built-in stereo speakers (they sound great!)
    -Built-in Mirophone

    System Specs:
    Machine: PowerBook 5300 Series, Machine ID: 128
    PowerPC 603e @ 100 Mhz
    32 MB of Memory Installed

    The Mac OS seems modified to accept a touch screen. First thing you'll notice is the top menu bar is much larger. Also the Control Strip is on the right corner, this allows the On-Screen keyboard (when minimized) to sit on the lower left corner.

    Here's a YouTube video to show the on-screen keyboard. Also attached is a photo. I'll be taking more photos later. The only place I could find information about this was at Everymac.com - here's a link to their article. :)

    I'll add more photos upon request and if you have any questions I'll try to answer them. :D
     

    Attached Files:

  2. im_to_hyper macrumors 65816

    im_to_hyper

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    #2
    Whoa, wait. That is a color screen? And finger touch at that? Neat! That would make a great internet machine... wonder how much its worth in the end? Did the drivers get recognized right away, or did it need any more work?

    And to think, I traded this for a 500MHz iceBook. :p
     
  3. LimeiBook86 thread starter macrumors 604

    LimeiBook86

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    #3
    All the software was already on there luckily. It's only 100mhz and it would need an old network PC card to get any sort of internet connectivity. Even with that I don't think older versions of Netscape or Internet Explorer would play nice with today's modern pages.

    So the iBook is better for your situation. ;)
     
  4. macEfan macrumors 65816

    macEfan

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    #4

    Where did you happen to ever get such an item? Seems quite unusual! I've only seen a few other touch screen macs....and none made by clones!

    Yeah MacRumors took 30 seconds to load on my Powerbook 5300 with 16mb ram and IE 3.01 or whatever version that was...networked with the ever- so -slow phone-net hehe
     
  5. LimeiBook86 thread starter macrumors 604

    LimeiBook86

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    #6
    im_to_hyper got it on eBay. The seller had a few of them, but after the first one sold he rose the prices higher. Still it's a cool machine, I think I have an old ethernet Mac-compatible PC card I'll try out when I can. :)

    I'm going to save all of the Hard Drive data to another disk just in case something happens. Because it didn't come with any discs the chance of finding the custom software is very low. ;) Then maybe I'll try to update it to Mac OS 8.1 which I believe is the highest "officially supported" on the machine.
     
  6. im_to_hyper macrumors 65816

    im_to_hyper

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    #7
    Awww, for what reason would you want to go to 8.1? Netscape Communicator 4 isn't THE GREATEST for today's pages, but would for sure get you by, which I think is the highest supported by 7.6.1.... not to mention the ever-important AIM!

    If you are going to make it slow by going with 8.1, why not just do 8.6, so you can run programs like Netscape 7 or even iCab to make your browsing experience a bit better. Everymac.com states that this can handle up to 9.0... which I know the 5300s did as well. Use OS 9 Helper to hack up to 9.2.2 onto it, and then you can run iTunes!!!

    Now *that* is my challenge to you! And be sure to post some pics/more videos! :)
     
  7. macEfan macrumors 65816

    macEfan

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    #8
    Actually OS 9.2.2 would most likely make the system REALLY slow..100mhz to begin with is tough on OS 9....

    I've run iCab on Mac OS 7.5.5 and it runs decently..I think it is faster than IE...

    If I remember correctly Apple put out a version of itunes that worked with OS 8.6 as well...if not than there are certainly other alternative programs that would work too...
     
  8. im_to_hyper macrumors 65816

    im_to_hyper

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    #9
    Oh most definately. It was just a challange being issued. Not to mention I think the 5300s don't have any L2 cache, which slowed them down a lot the way it was anyway. Would be *horrendously* slow under 9. 8.6 probably wouldn't be too bad, but System 7 all the way, baby.
     
  9. mBurns macrumors 6502

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    #10
    For anyone who is interested, I believe this is the company that made the iBook Clamshell touchscreen as well. They are both very similar. I know the iBook touchscreen was extremely expensive at the time and they do come up from time to time on eBay.
     
  10. im_to_hyper macrumors 65816

    im_to_hyper

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    #11
    How did the quest to install a later OS go? Get a WiFi card to work yet? Have any pics? :)

    Also, lets all be on the lookout for these clamshell touchscreens! I hadn't heard of them till checking out the website after you mentioned it here.
     
  11. LimeiBook86 thread starter macrumors 604

    LimeiBook86

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    #12
    I backed up the whole Hard Drive to a Zip disk, but I was surprised to find when I copied the files from Mac OS 7.6 the file sizes changed. For example the System Folder was reported to be 66 MB in System 7, but when I copied them to Leopard it reported it as 60.6 MB in size. Is this normal? Is information being cut off? :confused:

    I don't have any networking cards for the item right now, I may have one someplace, but I need to get it. I'll post some more pics soon, they're just on the camera.

    Update: It also seems if you plug in two ADB devices (a mouse connected to a keyboard) the tablet literally freaks out. It starts making noises and the screen displays lines all over. If you remove the mouse it's fine. So if you have a keyboard with a mouse plugged in it does this. but if you have the same keyboard alone or the same mouse alone it works fine. Weird huh? :confused: I've contacted another user with the same machine to find out if he has a similar problem.

    This stinks since if you boot up from an a Mac CD (like an OS 8 CD-ROM) you need to use the keyboard to boot, then switch to the mouse to install. I'm not sure if any of the 7.6 extensions for the touchscreen are compatible, and I'm not going to try until I make sure everything is backed up correctly. Which is why I'm concerned about the file size changes. I saw a complete Freestyle on eBay with CDs and books and everything - too bad it's starting bid is $2,000. (Auction link here.)
     
  12. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

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    #13
    Cool find.

    Total file sizes will be different due to different file systems and different harddrive sizes.

    I would NOT just copy the files.

    I would
    - use Disk Utility to make a disk image of the original drive.
    - make a copy of the drive using Carbon Copy Cloner.
    - try to copy system, erase, and restore on another Mac with system 7 first before attempting to update, you can probably find an old mac on craigslist for peanuts.

    Ouch, the $2000 price on the other one is ridiculous. iPhone has a faster processor and additional features and won't cost $2000. However looks like he has a CD, maybe you can get him to make you a copy (probably for a small fee, you might want to wait until the auction is over and there are no buyers at that high price).

    That seller is crazy, $100 for US Postal Service Parcel Post on a something with starting bid of $2000? For $100, I would expect next day ship and next day delivery within the US...
     
  13. LimeiBook86 thread starter macrumors 604

    LimeiBook86

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    #14
    For the steps listed above I need to take apart the machine, so maybe I can do that a bit later. I have a PowerBook 5300 (what the tablet uses the same logic board), so if I copy the data off I'll try to boot into it. The copy I used on the Zip disk was unable to be used to boot up, even thought the System Folder was blessed. But I will try my best to continue to work with it. I have contacted the seller of the tablet already about a copy so we'll see if he replies. :)
     
  14. LimeiBook86 thread starter macrumors 604

    LimeiBook86

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    #15
    Ugh! I opened it up and connected the drive. Mac OS X locked up and Disk Utility crashed. When I put the drive back in the tablet it wouldn't boot up, if I boot from a System 7 CD it thinks it's blank. Disk First Aid says there are problems but, it can't repair it. Grrr...:mad:
     
  15. im_to_hyper macrumors 65816

    im_to_hyper

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    #16
    Oh no!

    Have you had any luck yet? Now you're really going to need that disc from that seller.
     
  16. LimeiBook86 thread starter macrumors 604

    LimeiBook86

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    #17
    Disk Warrior looked like it was doing fine, but now it's replacing the directory and the application looks like it's frozen. I'll leave it and hope for the best. :(
     

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  17. macEfan macrumors 65816

    macEfan

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    #18
    Oh no! Best of luck fixing it.... did you make a backup of the extensions on a floppy or something before transferring the hard drive?
     
  18. LimeiBook86 thread starter macrumors 604

    LimeiBook86

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    #19
    I have a backup of all the data, but the file sizes are different (I think like Consultant said it's due to the file systems) but still I don't want to just rely on that. Disk Warrior is letting me preview the drive before it writes to it, so I'm making a .DMG of that - just in case it can not repair it.
     
  19. im_to_hyper macrumors 65816

    im_to_hyper

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    #20
    Hmm... I wonder what could have caused the corruption in the first place?

    EDIT: Wow this post was essentially useless, nevermind it! I hope you get everything sorted out... What version of Disk Warrior are you using? Updated for Leopard? I also have a keyboard with built-in trackpad maybe you should get from me.
     
  20. LimeiBook86 thread starter macrumors 604

    LimeiBook86

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    #21
    Well I have the drive copied, I think. Now the logic board is playing dead. Won't even budge, the power port seemed loose so I soldered it. Still nothing. This machine is so much trouble, I wish I never opened the dumb thing. Grr. :mad:

    Update: Finally got it working again. Here are some photos, mostly of the insides.

    There are two main boards added to the PowerBook 5300 motherboard. One adds a floppy drive port and some added ports - while the other adapts the Floppy Drive port to a bridge which connects the CD-ROM, IR board, and TouchStar board. It's all pretty poorly added. It's really difficult to take apart. If the CD-ROM ribbon cable was only 1 centimeter longer it would of helped a lot. I'm trying to install OS 8 on it now, my disc is scratched, but hopefully it should work ok. Then I'll see if any of the extensions work. :)

    Edit: Seems like it won't install OS 8 since it can't copy one file and it won't read my CD-R copy. Damn. :(
     
  21. im_to_hyper macrumors 65816

    im_to_hyper

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    #22
    Just for the sake of it, do you have an OS 9.0 or 9.1 install you can try putting on there, and using the extensions from the other install for the touch drivers? I know that is a long haul... but maybe, just maybe it would work?

    At least some pics of it booting into 9 would be fun :p
     
  22. LimeiBook86 thread starter macrumors 604

    LimeiBook86

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    #23
    Hah, I tried my OS 9 CD, I believe it was 9.0.4 - it just spit out the disc and refused to boot. The only other versions I have are 9.1 and 9.2, so I doubt those would work with the machine.

    I also think the original HD is experiencing issues, it's very slow reading and writing. My plan is to use a different hard drive. Unfortunately my newer 4GB IDE drive doesn't seem to work with the machine. I have a plan to reinstall the software. Basically I use the PowerBook 5300 I have to boot from a Network Access 7.5 floppy, then mount a Zip 100 disk (using a Mt. Everything control panel located on the floppy - yes it will fit). The Zip 100 disk will have an installer for Mac OS 7 or Mac OS 8 on it.

    I've done the same with a Macintosh IIcx in the past and it worked fine, so let's hope it works. :) I'm going to lay off playing with it for a while just because I have other things to do. But I'll keep you all updated.
     
  23. silverbirdy macrumors newbie

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    #24
    Great Computer The Free Style

    I got one of these for my son back in the nineties I saw on a website on a google search they are going for about $8,600 new. Great find if you got as a trade but this is no toy.
     
  24. LimeiBook86 thread starter macrumors 604

    LimeiBook86

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    #25
    That's cool. I can't imagine why you'd spend so much an older system now for that price. :p I mean if you had a more modern computer with a touch screen I'd think it would be much more user friendly for a person to use it. Not to mention more compatible and faster.

    It's fun to tinker with, I still have to work on it during a rainy day, or maybe a rainy weekend. :)
     

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