Portable x86 device with MS-DOS

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This is not for me, but for a friend of mine. He'd like to have something little like a pocket x86 PC that runs MS-DOS and maybe Windows 95. I wonder if such thing is already made. By a pocket PC, I mean that it's gotta have a display, keyboard, etc. like a tablet. He's been showing me how he's been trying to put Windows 95 on his Android device, but has trouble in doing so.

 

Is there something like x86 on an FPGA chip so that I can maybe buy a FPGA dev board, connect it to a display or a VGA to STxxxx converter chip that's on its own board and somehow make this device for him?

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 I have an HP Stream 7 that runs 32 bit windows (8.1), and it seems to run MCU command-line apps just fine & also USB programmers/debuggers.

 Does he really need MS-DOS, or does he want to run command line apps ?

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http://androidforums.com/threads/is-there-a-such-thing-as-an-i386-emulator-for-android.914229/

It would be cheaper using a x86 chip rather than trying to implement it in an fpga and less power i'd expect. I think there is an AMD board with one of their embedded x86 cores on it.

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Perhaps your friend could just look at a Netbook type mini laptop with an Atom processor. They are not as popular as they were a few years ago, but it would be a nicely package turnkey solution with the display, power supply, usb, and wifi and Bluetooth already integrated and working.

JC

Last Edited: Thu. Jan 14, 2016 - 01:57 AM
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I was just looking for something to run Windows before Christmas. The cheapest devices I found were sub £50 (About $80):

 

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/7...

 

but you can get refurbished full laptops for £100+ and brand new Windows laptops from £150 so there didn't seem much point in settling for anything less than a full laptop.

 

Of course it depends what you mean by "portable". Does that really mean "fits in my pocket"?

 

As Doc JC says, do you remember a few years back there was a whole flurry over "Netbooks"? This was led by the Asus EEE PC 701. I bought one at the time. It ran Linux but had the potential to run Windows too. In the end it sits in a cupboard not doing very much because a tiny screen and a tiny keyboard simply aren't practical in reality!

 

PS just typed "netbook" into Google to see what was currently available and amongst other things hit this:

 

http://www.dealsmachine.com/best...

 

That certainly counts as "cheap" ! Sadly being dual A9 processors it seems unlikely it could run Windows though.

 

Last Edited: Thu. Jan 14, 2016 - 09:27 AM
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"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."

"Wisdom is always wont to arrive late, and to be a little approximate on first possession."

"When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not unicorns."

"Fast.  Cheap.  Good.  Pick two."

"We see a lot of arses on handlebars around here." - [J Ekdahl]

 

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Philips Velo 1 WinCE Pocket PC

 

Be warned that a device like that running Windows CE almost certainly has a NEC VR4000 series processor and will not run x86 code (if that is the intent here).

 

I flew to Las Vegas for the launch of Windows CE in The Mirage after a really excellent performance by Cirque de Soleil then a lively presentation by Bill Gates (needless to say the "live" demonstration failed!) and I then later flew up to Seattle to do some workshops on WinCE - I'm afraid we were a little under-whelmed by the offering (and especially the cost!).

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Yeah, there's an HP iPAQ collecting dust in a drawer around here somewhere.  I may bust it open one day for the display ;-)

 

I always thought WinCE was aptly named, though.

"Experience is what enables you to recognise a mistake the second time you make it."

"Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."

"Wisdom is always wont to arrive late, and to be a little approximate on first possession."

"When you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not unicorns."

"Fast.  Cheap.  Good.  Pick two."

"We see a lot of arses on handlebars around here." - [J Ekdahl]

 

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@Clawson https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandora_(console) I'm looking for something like this. That's what I think my friend would like. But Pandora failed because of not being able to produce enough. Everyone loved it. I loved it too. Unfortunately, it was also expensive!

 

I'm looking for a x86 machine. Now, as x86 is physically large and cannot and wouldn't fit into a nice portable device like Pandora, I guess I'll have to use FPGA. Now, that would be a totally hard hobbyist project. I'm thinking that the FPGA chip will have all the hardware connected to it. The FPGA will be like a microcontroller. Having a x86 core, an internally connected keyboard, mouse, speakers and a primitive VGA graphics card. The keyboard I/O peripheral will use pins for charlieplexing through the buttons on the board. The mouse I/O peripheral will use analog pins for the touchpad or joystick. It's such a dream, but... there's no money to be made out of that because of how primitive it would be. It's also not on my priority list. I'm still struggling with getting elements for my XMEGA game console project. Other than that, I have life and other things. There would need to be two me-s to do this.

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What do you mean x86 is large? A x86 chip is going to be smaller, faster, cheaper and less power than implementing it on a fpga! Even running an emulation on an ARM A series would work out more economical.

http://www.amd.com/en-us/products/embedded/processors

Last Edited: Fri. Jan 15, 2016 - 12:18 AM
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What kind of a development board would you recommend that contains what you've mentioned.

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I can't recommend as i don't use these devices. I'd suggest you google.
There's things like the intel edison and compute stick.

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Foxcat385 wrote:
I'm looking for something like this. That's what I think my friend would like.

Then I'm confused - that device has an OMAP (so Cortex A) processor and runs Angstrom Linux. Nothing to do with x86, nothing to do with MS-DOS.

 

As it happens I have a device in my pocket right now that has a Cortex A processor (4 of them in fact) and runs a variant of Linux (that popular one they call Android) and it's VERY good at playing portable games:

 

http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk/FCKEditorFiles//Moto-G-02.jpg

 

(That's a Moto G by the way ;-). If you want an Intel variant of that:

 

http://www.techradar.com/reviews...

 

The processor in that is:

 

http://ark.intel.com/products/70...

 

As for x86 development systems. I've used both ones that look like this:

 

http://www.cheshirepccentre.co.uk/images/products/100/M007377.jpg

 

and ones that look like this:

 

http://ll-us-i5.wal.co/dfw/4ff9c6c9-97cd/k2-_5ad45170-9f21-4f74-80c6-c4016605b1e0.v1.jpg-8f4fa8c05abbd8bee7da8bdf4868aa2ab7b7c667-optim-450x450.jpg

 

Both seem to work equally well for developing x86 software. cheeky

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Technically not x86 and also not a total system (monitor, keyboard, mouse, power supply etc.) but what about:

 

http://www.mouser.com/ds/2/634/M...