Computer Lab

Chunky, dark grey laptop. The screen hinge is offset to the right, the keyboard is full-height with beige and gray keys.

Amstrad ALT 386SX "Metal Mickey"

Named for the 80's British sitcom starring a robot.

I got this circa 2016. My brother found it at a Goodwill. The original hard disk contents had records for a small business that had addresses in the UK and in Florida, not necessarily at the same time. Since it's a UK-only product as far as I can tell, I assume the owner moved and brought it with them. The power-supply is universal with a standard IEC cable.

The clock battery was a soldered-on rechargeable that leaked. I cleaned and resoldered the affected components. The internal speaker is silent. The speaker works on it's own, but the motherboard seems to have been damaged. I checked the wires for a short, as another owner has seen them short on the case, but that didn't solve it. The hard disk failed after a while, but I was able to XModem the main manufacturer-provided files off before that happened. The floppy drive also doesn't work. I removed both drives and put a CF card adapter in the floppy bay. It boots using an OnTrack drive overlay program from Phil's Computer Lab. I attached a 3x NiMH AAA pack for the clock battery. I also rebuilt the main battery pack with some LiFePO cells and a protection circuit. That worked for a while, but now the protection circuit shuts down every time.

Detailed information I've collected about this computer. HTML5

Driver and utility files I recovered from the original hard disk.

Year 1988
OS Windows 3.1, DOS 6.22
CPU 386SX 16MHz (switchable to 8MHz)
RAM 1MB on removable proprietary modules
Internal Storage Non-LBA IDE, 4GB CF
Expansion 1 short ISA

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