old computer/new software - what options

i have recently been given a texas instruments 486 notebook running win 3.1, with only 16 ram and 200 hard drive... my objective is to use filemaker pro 4, which of course needs win 95 - is this machine completely useless to my needs, or are there peripheries that could make up the difference.

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I imagine you could wipe the drive, add some memory, and install windows9X................... but I don't think you would stand for the slowness, nor in my mind would it make sense to invest in the memory, since it would not be something you could move to another machine

To me the 16Mb ram seems bearably fine, it's the disk space that is direly short for win 95, 200Mb will take Win 95 and one good application, and that is it, nothing much left for virtual mem or user files or any of them toys that one needs to keep from actually having to do work when the 'pooter is on.

 You can get 1 gig drives for around $50 for it, look at www.netseller.com 
or there is some choice here at ..
http://www.compgeeks.com/cgi-bin/prod_disp.asp?cat=Drives#IDE 2.5-Inch Hard Drives
they have also a 3.5 to 2.5 adapter which is well worth having, then you could install software from cd rom to the 2.5 drive with the aid of your desktop before installing it in the laptop. WARNING your machine might not like large drives, it might also only have a limited number of drive types and no user configurable types in bios. Check then double check.

Kind of depends on the processor too, if it is SX 33Mhz or less, maybe you should think twice about throwing money at it. Dx4 120s are definitely still useful.

Upgrading the memory may be a problem if it has already been upgraded, a lot of 486 notebooks only had 4mb or 8mb standard Ram, so if you already have an upgrade in the slot, it may mean taking it out and buying a bigger upgrade than you thought you would need.


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hmmmm that link had a space in and got broke, try....
"http://www.compgeeks.com/cgi-bin/prod_disp.asp?cat=Drives#IDE 2.5-Inch Hard Drives?cat=Drives"

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<a href="http://www.compgeeks.com/cgi-bin/prod_disp.asp?cat=Drives#IDE 2.5-Inch Hard Drives?cat=Drives">or this? </a>
cursing_circeAuthor Commented:
thank you for your clarity and references... another friend has just offered me an old mac (but just before the i series), that may end up providing what i need, more than any modified notebook...  circe
If you sell the laptop by auction at e-bay, (www.ebay.com) you may get up to $200 for it, (describe it well, provide a pic) that would buy you a reasonable spec refurbished desktop with a short guarantee from either www.netseller.com www.pcliquidator.com or www.compgeeks.com
it would probably get you a Pentium 100 - 133 with 32 Mb ram and around a 1gig hard drive. That might be upgradeable later.

The Mac may do well, they aren't so resource hungry as PCs, I mean you can do more with a lower than PC average spec.


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