Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Linux on a Compaq Contura Aero!

Left: HP 200LX

There have been many greats in the palmtop/subnotebook/ultralight world. The Toshiba Libretto, with its videocassette footprint, was one. The HP 200LX was another, with its extensive DOS compatibility and twenty-plus hour lifespan on two double AA batteries. The IBM Thinkpad X series, with their tiny size yet superior power, and, of course, OpenBSD compatibility, as the machines most compatible with this
operating system, was another. The svelte NEC Ultralite, the first of the "notebooks", also was one, as it was on the first of these tiny laptops. However, like the NEC, one of the first "notebooks," perhaps on of the first inexpensive, color, Windows ones, was the Compaq Contura Aero. Though a 25-33 MHz 486 :P, the Aero is very thin and light for a notebook. It has a teeny VGA screen that is usually color but may be grayscale. And, even better, it will run Linux! Slackware, Debian, and (early?) versions of RedHat, apparently. Also early versions of NetBSD (1.5.2, etc.) may work. I don't know exactly what the compatibility is, but I think NetBSD would likely run it. Here are some sites with more information:

FAQ on Aero Linux (Slackware)

More stuff on installing Linux (Debian) on the Aero. Also some basic facts on the Contura Aero.
Here is a picture from the site comparing a Thinkpad 600, JetBook, and a Contura Aero:

An experience of installing RedHat on an Aero.

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