🌿 Budding noteworthy

Toshiba T5100

planted on in: DOS and Vintage Computing.
~526 words, about a 3 min read.

My personal computing history began in 1988/9 with my dad’s VIC20, I was three or four at the time and remember typing in BASIC and playing a lander game from a cartridge. Then in the early 90s (93 or 94) we got an Amiga 600 and it was around 1996 when I was donated my very own computer in the form of a Toshiba T5100 clam-shell “luggable”.

Top-down view of a Toshiba T5100, its a grey square computer with many ventsOpened view of a Toshiba T5100, you can see the keyboard and screen. It's not powered on
The first computer that was mine

The computer came from a father of one of my sisters friends who I believe worked in computer recycling. He had seen how keen I was to use a computer and cobbled together a working Toshiba T5100 from parts to give to me.

When it arrived all I had was the Toshiba DOS disk and nothing else. My dad provided three floppy disks: a copy of QuickBASIC, Battle Chess and PGA Tour Golf.

It wasn’t until over a decade later that I would learn these programs actually had colour, the Toshiba T5100 itself had a orange plasma screen.

Over the years I obtained a number of BASIC books and unbeknownst to me at the time this computer was the seed that would grow into the career in programming I enjoy today!

In 1998 we got our first home PC in the form of a 400Mhz Pentium powered computer running Windows98. It’s around this time that I gradually stopped using the Toshiba and it eventually made its way to my parents attic where it remained until 2017 when I recovered it and brought it home with me.

Rear view of the Toshiba T5100, you can see rust on the interface card
My heart sunk the first time I saw the rust

Unfortunately it appears the years in storage have not been kind to this machine. When I picked it up in 2017 there was some kind of oily residue around where it’s rusted. I’m unsure what caused that or the rust and haven’t found the time in the years since to open the machine up to take a look.

The last time I remember this machine working was around 2012 and I’m resolved to the idea that it’s dead. I’ve kept it and the few floppy disks I found stored with it as more of a sentimental keepsake than anything else.

I might one day pull it apart and see if it’s fixable but until then it’s correctly stored. I have a working Toshiba T1200 to tinker with in the meantime.

Page History

This page was first added to the repository on January 2, 2024 in commit 347bdc21 and has since been amended twice. View the source on GitHub.

  1. feat: big batch of new bookmarks
  2. chore: add description
  3. publish: Toshiba T5100