Internal WIFI Thinkpad T22

My current passion is IBM Thinkpad computers. My current project is adding internal WIFI to a T22. For now this is my main computer until my T60P arrives. I bought the T22 on eBay. I paid way too much for it since it didn't have a hard drive or hard drive caddy or a power supply. What it did have is a 1GHz Pentium III and an SXGA (1400x1050) display. I had a 40GB drive but had to buy the caddy and a power supply. I used a PCMCIA WIFI card for a while and restored the original software (Win 2000). I'm not much of a windows fan and after playing with it for a while decided to reformat and install my favorite OS (Linux). I've always used slackware but have tried most of the other distributions. So slackware is what I installed. The WIFI (Netgear MA401 802.11B) installed without any additional configuration or tweaking. The T22 came with a 10/100BASE-T/Modem combo card which uses the Mini-PCI slot. I wanted an internal WIFI and had an athros 5005 in my spares. I had allready hacked an internal WIFI into my 600X and was less then impressed with the limited range. After some research I discovered that some T23s came with an internal WIFI. This was the first Thinkpad to have the internal WIFI. I also learned that the lid where the WIFI antenna is installed on the T23 can be used on a T22. I also realized a lot of people wanted the T23 WIFI lid and the price was driven up because of this demand. Sometimes you can find an eBay seller that my not know much about what they are selling. So, after searching eBay for T23 parts machines I finally found such a seller. I got the whole T23 with the coveted WIFI option cheap. After arriving I was a little upset that there was hardly a usable part in the t23. It appears it was made up of defective parts from several machines. The lid had a big chunk broken off and was unusable. It did have the antennas. After taking it all apart I discovered the lid on the WIFI T23s is thicker than the lid on the T22 and the antennas wouldn't fit in the t22 lid. In addition there are plastic windows on the side of the lid on the T23 to improve reception. So, the project languished for a while while I worked on other projects. Eventually I came back to the T22 and studied the problem of getting the T23 antennas into the T22 lid. I realized there would be some signal loss by not having the plastic windows. Since the lid on the T22 is supposedly Titanium composite it would probably have more signal loss than a pure plastic lid. I reasoned that it would probably still be way better than mounting it under the keyboard as I had on my 600X. After a session with my bench grinder I was able to trim the antenna enough to fit in the T22 lid. The antenna actually even uses the same screw holes and mounts identical to the way it mounted in the T23 lid. I studied the Hardware Maintenance Manual (HMM) for the T23 and routed the wires in the lid identically to the way they're routed in the T23. The routing to the Mini-PCI port was different because of the motherboard on the T22 doesn't have a hole that the T23 uses to pass the antenna wires through to the Mini-PCI slot. I routed the wires under the fan and through to the Mini-PCI. After putting it all back together and installing the Athros card it was time for the moment of truth. Of course, it wasn't going to be that easy.. The Athros card wasn't recognised by Linux and Slackware didn't have MADWIFI drivers in the installation. After downloading, compiling and installing the MADWIFI driver DMESG detected the card and lsmod appears to have loaded the athros drivers. However, I had to manually configure ifconfig and run dhcpcd before the card worked. I reconfigured rc.inet1.conf and rebooted. This time the Athros card worked. I run my router without any security other than a firewall so anyone within range can connect to the internet. Nice guy or a fool, you decide. So, I didn't have WEP or WPA to contend with. I was truely impressed. My 600X can't connect to my router unless I'm within 10 feet. My T22 gets an excellent signal from my front porch, where I like to sit and enjoy the day. I doubt I would have gotten better reception had I used an actual T23 lid.

Flash Drive LC475

First off The LC475 uses SCSI devices and CF Flash cards are IDE devices. The first order of business is to find a SCSI to IDE converter. There are a few of these but not all of them will work. It has to be bootable. Next you need an IDE to CF Flash card adapter. You'll also need a CDROM for the LC475 to install MacOS or in my case NetBSD and MacOS. In addition the LC475 SCSI cable only supports one device so you will need a SCSI ribbon cable for at least two devices and at least one power "Y" cable to connect power to two drives. Last you need a CF card. I have an additional problem in that my LC475 has been hacked to 33MHz. The problem is the machine ID doesn't match anything that the MacOS recognizes and wont install an OS in an unrecognized machine. I'm getting ahead of myself here since I still haven't been able to get the LC475 to recognize the SCSI/IDE converter. The SCSI/IDE converter came without instructions and googling hasn't discovered the mystery of all those shorting pins. Rather then trying to install the CF memory and the SCSI/IDE converter and figure out if I have a SCSI/IDE or CF adapter problem. I am trying to install a regular IDE drive to the SCSI/IDE converter first. Once I get the IDE drive working I'll tackle getting the CF Adapter (also no instructions) working. In parallel I'm also trying to get the CF adapter to work in an IDE based computer. Stay tuned for the continuing saga. Well Yestermac is now Diskless. Here's a pic of the SCSI CF memory card running this system.

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Super PowerMAC 8500

I've always been in love with the looks of the Q800 style cases used on The PowerMAC 8100 and 8500 as well. I've never been in love with disassembling them and much has been written about the horrors of getting inside these cases so I wont repeat it here. I wanted my 8500 to have all the features of a modern computer so I've added a USB card, ATI Video card and a G4 500MHZ processor upgrade. I've added a CDRW/DVD ComboDrive and hardware Decoder. I've Upgraded it to Mac OSX 10.2/MacOS 9.22. The big issue in getting DVD playback is the bus speed of the 8500 is too slow. Even the DVD hardware decoder requires a 66MHz bus to work properly.

Mac Plus to the Max

Pushing the Mac Plus to the limit. My poor little Mac Plus was feeling neglected. I tried to sell it on eBay for a mere $100.00. I had a lot of offers for this part or that part but no takers for the entire system. So, I decided to upgrade! [Yeah!!), First I found an eBay seller offering a brand new in the box Brainstorm Mac Plus accelerator. It replaces the original CPU with a 16MHz CMOS replacement. That is easier said then done since it involved soldering a CPU minus 1 pin to the top of the existing CPU and replacing an IC (Whose name escapes me right now; Some kind of PAL) adding a resistor and replacing the EPROMs (unless you happen to have the latest Mac Plus EPROMS, I didn't.) I also have an HD 20 hard drive. The hard drive uses the floppy port on the Mac Plus. According to the Brainstorm documentaion this drive wont work after the upgrade. It didn't. I bought a SC80 hard drive to replace the HD20. After spending a not so fun couple of hours breathing in the fumes from all the soldering came the moment of truth... Yippee.. Worked first time. Move over Classic-II this Mac Plus will blow you away! Not just an increase in CPU speed but the hard drive flies.. I maxed the RAM (Whopping 4MB) and added an Asante EN/SC ethernet adapter. This system is pretty much what I was offering on eBay minus the CPU upgrade and the HD20 instead of the SC80. Today on eBay you'd be lucky to get a working Mac Plus for that. My big plan was to make the Mac Plus a web server. There are a couple minimalist Mac Plus web servers but other then serving up a "look at me" webpage they don't do much. My plans have changed since I prefer NetBSD and apache over the MacOS and MacHTTP. So, my poor Mac Plus is now sitting in its orginal box inside a box with all upgrades. Suppose I could try eBay again or just let it yellow gracefully.

IBM PC XT W/attitude

Several years ago I picked up an IBM XT clone case. The case flipped open like the hood on a car and made adding cards and upgrading a snap. I never used the case and it was still sitting in the original box when I rediscovered it. I wanted to do something with it. I decided it would be fun to make a really modern computer that had all the outward appearance of a 1980's computer. Problem was that all modern PCs use ATX motherboards and ATX power supplies. I wanted to preserve that big red switch and didn't want to hack up the case to make an ATX motherboard fit. After a lot of investigation I discovered the very last AT motherboard was a PC-CHIPS 820LMR. It could take an AMD Athlon XP processor up to 1.2MHz or an AMD Duron. I also found out I wasn't the only one that knew this and the price of these motherboards were really way more than they were worth and that is if you could even find one. I bought one eventually and started my retro project. Armed with the PC-Chips motherboard 512MB Ram and an Athlon XP 1.2GHz CPU I started to put the system together. My Clone case came with a 130 Watt power supply which wouldn't be enough to support all the options I was planning. I had a 230 Watt Power supply from a mid-tower case and managed to gut the XT power supply and use the bigger 230 Watt. I had to build standoffs and replace the switch with the big red switch. It ended up looking just like the original XT power supply but 230 Watts of power.. I added a 1.2MB 5.25 floppy drive and a 3.5 1.44MB floppy (Black of course). A 100GB Hard drive and a Black DVRW/CDRW drive. The PC-Chips motherboard came with Ethernet/video/USB/parallel/Serial/audio all on the motherboard but no adapters to mount them in the expansion slots on the back of the case. ARGH! It took several weeks to track down all the missing adapters. The results were spectacular. The case, remember, was brand new so the entire computer looked brand new circa 1983. I still want to install an LCD or VGA CRT in my defective 5150 monitor to complete "the look" but that's a future project. It has an IBM PS/2 "Clicky" keyboard which also looks like a keyboard from this era. It's running linux (slackware Disto). I may sell this system as it doesn't get much use since I prefer using a laptop over a desktop these days.

Last thoughts

What proceeds is an overview of projects I have or am undertaking. I plan to have detailed descriptions and howto's for anyone interested in the FTP area.


To my wife (Dianne) for 33+ years of love and understanding.