Old School Libretto Mods

Somehow, [acidx] knew that I coveted a libretto for years. He sent in his writeup on modding his Libretto 50ct to be a bit more useful. The mods are pretty basic, he overclocked it to 133Mhz and added a ps/2 port. The tweaks keep the well aged libretto a usable platform.

Pssst. wanna see your hack on Hack-A-Day? Use the tips line!

15 thoughts on “Old School Libretto Mods

  1. If you like the Libretto, you should look into a Fujitsu Lifebook… I have a P1120, 800Mhz, 256ram, touch screen, internal wifi, and the same size as the Libretto.

  2. I honestly had no clue these things existed – certainly a hacker’s toy if I ever saw one.

    Linux Installation:

    Hacking the libretto 100 – overclock to 266Mhz:

    A little digging through google and the web archive got me this gem (site is now defunct; no idea how stale any of those links are):


    Ebay and other e-tailors seem to be awash with cheap complete sets, extra batteries, etc. Happy hacking!

  3. I recently got a 100CT (in the link to Flickr) as a hold-me-over for UMPC prices to come down. I’m planning on O/Cing it from 166 to 233MHz, installing Win 98 on a 20GB HD and upping the RAM to 64MB (the official max)to make it a bit more capable.

  4. Ditto on the lifebook. I have a p1510d, and it is fantastic for it’s size. 1.2 GHz pentium mobile, 512 Ram, 30 GB harddrive, CF and SD slot, wireless, 2 USB, VGA, and audio out. Plus the screen swivels into tablet form with a touch screen and finger print scanner. An amazing laptop no bigger than a portable DVD player.

    For extended use though, I recommend a separate monitor, usb keyboard, usb mouse.

  5. hey i have one of these. looks like i’m going to have to overclock this tonight. i have found that some harddrives gererate enough heat to trip the heat sensor in to shuting the system down. now we just need a hack to add more then 32mb of ram ;)

  6. Yeah, Librettos are sweet. There’s also a mailing list which is still fairly active (archive is my url), even though most discussion is about the US-marketed Libs (almost ~10 years later!). I’ve got FreeBSD on my 100CT now, planning to intsall OpenBSD very soon. Some other good sites include Xin’s site (linked to in the post); it is king of the libretto hacks. Also, http://www.silverace.com/libretto/ is definitely not defunct, and has lots of good technical manuals and drivers.

    I’m looking to repack/rebuild the extended battery for my Lib–any one else tried this?

  7. I wonder what happened to silverace’s site, it was fully working less than a week ago, with lots of up-to-date links for the Libretto series.

    Over the next week, I’ll likely put Windows 98 on my 100CT, so I can get USB and Wifi going. I’ve also picked up a ~$12 card that is a hardware MPEG/MPEG II/DVD decoder so I can play DVDs (see link in name for it) on the Libretto.

    My Libretto has enhanced my wants for a beefier platform in this size,. So, it might end up hanging off my KVM as a retro DOS box if I find a suitable replacement for cheap (i.e. not a p1510d).

  8. I’ve got a 100CT with a dead battery. I found the old style camcorder batteries happen to run at 12 volts. A little snipping of power cords and a little soldering and I have a massive external battery. Followed by a 6gb hard drive and shoehorning XP in. Yeah, it takes a little bit to boot but it is great on the airplane. I can comfortably use it even when the bloke in front leans back for a shave.

  9. after diggin out my old CT100 and needing to replace the HD. I was shocked to find that a Hitachi(40gb)HD
    and an IBM(40gb)HD, could be placed into the Libretto body and it would recognize and access them no problems! especially after reading Here that I would need a disk manager for anything over 8.4gb due to a bios limitation. (I must say I found no such limitation, and only used a 40gb drive because it was the only one I could find around my desk which fit (size wise) into the unit.) I did have to cut a few pieces of plastic off the HD near the pins to make sure it would slide all the way into place. but all in all I was Happy with the results! next thing to do is find a way to add more memory then the 64mb Cap.

    my Goal is to beef it up as much as possible and use it for a combo “on board Diagnostics reader” for my truck ( so I could monitor the engine stats in real time as I drive) and also to be able to use it for a navigation unit with a PCMCIA gps unit ( or maybe I would have to get a PCMCIA USB card to hook it up ) and last but not least to output Media player audio to my Stereo for entertainment, you know MP3’s and whatever I want to watch or listen too. esentialy this would bcome a Sort of Entertainment Brain for my Truck! now I have a DVD/CD/TV indash unit already, but this would have the ability to download from my wireless network in the house without ever coming out of the truck! bottom line is I got a couple of these units that were expensive 10 years ago, and then sat around for years, so i will try and give them a new life, and get some of that value back from them.

    Mod On!

  10. My little Labretto….( don’t ask why, cuz you shouldn’t even read if the first question is Why)

    We have success! I’ve taken my old Pocket size Toshiba libretto laptop and tweaked her out to modern level.

    The libretto itself is the perfect packet/Pocket Pc, however it lacks most of the modern technologies we need for fun.

    First steps are basic old school jump the solder point jumpers on the mother board to get a little more juice 266mhz, max out the ram 64mg. I know it doesn’t sound like a power house, but for this project we just need a small Linux install, so we can map wireless, and capture keys, Internet and other fun.

    Parts to start

    IDE to CF card $2.89 (http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.19494)

    CFR card 8 gig 100X $24.00 (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00065ANY2?tag=articlemakemoney-20)

    USB2 pcmcia, with power option $10.21 (http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.24875) I bought 2 the surface mount solder is a bitch and I toasted the first one

    USB mini hubs $4.99 (http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.7980) 2 inch foot print,

    I’m currently using $6.16(http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.787) ½ inch to 2.5 inch foot print plus power

    Ongoing Project

    Bluetooth 3.82 (http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.27366)

    Wireless 16.99 (http://www.data-alliance.net/-strse-117/RealTek-USB-400mW-WiFi/Detail.bok) board is small comes with rp-sma female connector we will move that, and supports Ralink RT2070 packet injection(the important part)

    GPS antenna 30.95 (http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.26349)

    10/100/1000 internal Nic $5.55(http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.2797)

    Draw back on the libretto, the support in the bios is limited, to overcome this I’m using old multi boot diskette tech to load a systems management partition for boot. This way we can boot to a USB cd-rom, floppy, dvd, hard-drive, and nic or local disk. I could add the on track boot manger, but no need with my configuration.

    I’m working on write up and Pictures, still working on the mini Linux install to capture all devices. The item is the hard drive replacement for a CF card, this is where we claim most the space needed. For the record I tried a sd card but the IDE interface slowed it waaaayyyyy down. So I opted for CF, seems stable on boot up and detection.

    Power is important for the USB to work right with all the devices added, I tapped into the power via (http://members.iinet.net.au/~sheh/Raybotlab/libbyps2/index.html)

    If it wasn’t for all the hacking on the ps2 port back in the day this hack would have been limited or taken a lot longer, the central power was key.

    post pic links adn write up soon….

  11. I added a MIC/Line In to the 50CT. Removed the system board then found the OPL audio chip. Checked the datasheet and found where the analog inputs go. Toshiba tied them all together and ran a trace to a test point right by pin 95. I soldered a wire to that and the other wire to ground, ran the connect out through the hard drive door. I had to install the official Toshiba driver and turn on the SoftSynth feature in the control panel applet.

    I now have MIC/Line in depending on which I select on the recording mixer. I plan to use this for sound card packet radio.

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