IBM 730T ThinkPad O/S & Technical Information Page

Recovered by Louis Ohland, edited by Major Tom. Original archived HERE.

Timeless Tech offers the following information for our IBM 730T Thinkpad customers from our researches:

The following information is provided by Timeless Tech as an aid to using the IBM 730T ThinkPad tablet computer. We'll keep this as up-to-date as we can. As soon as we learn anything new, we'll upload it to this page. Customer comments are shown lower on the page - some are very interesting! Bidders and customers questions and answers near the bottom of the page.

What OS's we hear will run on this machine:

(We will be testing as many of these as we can and reporting confirmed results.)

  1. PenPoint, by IBM - this is what was on the systems when they were in service with their previous happy owners, but was wiped off the HD's before we came across them. We may be able to ship the unit with this on it on a "demonstration/must be wiped off by the user" basis.
  2. Microsoft Pen Computing on Windows 3.1 - we put in a call to Microsoft and they do not support this any longer. We're still talking to them to see if we can somehow get a copy.

  3. 10/1/99 -- found this is available from Annasoft Systems.
  4. PenDOS 2.2
  5. PC DOS 6.3
  6. IBM Pen for OS/2 1.0 - OS/2 2.11
  7. Win95 will load as long as you click the laptop or notebook option - should take up 66MB on your HD. There is pen support in there somewhere, with a file name like penwin.dll, or something like that. Best site with tips for loading Win95 is Dan Basterfield's:
  8. Windows for Pen Computing 1.0 or later
  9. There is a Microsoft package called Pen Services for Windows 95 that is available from Annasoft Systems. You can read about it at their web site, but Annasoft, however, will only sell the software in a package of 10 at a time :-( !
  10. Downloadable OS's on the 'net - we're checking into this since we have heard rumors of their existence, but haven't found 'em yet. We will post the link on this page as soon as we find it.
  11. PenRight! from PenRight Corp. 1.0 or later

10/1/99 -- We just hit the motherlode in the search for information about currently available OS's for these pen computers:

  1. A "must read" article in Pen Computing Magazine #7, December, 1995 on WinPen 2.0
  2. Annasoft Systems sells Pen Services for Windows '95.
  3. Later 10/1/99: Regarding products from Annasoft: we found out today that they are bound by contract with the evil empire from Redmond to only sell these software licenses in packages of 10. They should be complete with manuals, etc. We will consider buying these 10 packs and selling singles. Is there interest in this? Selling price would be in the range of $75.00. E-mail us if you want this package -- it will make any interfacing with your regular home or office PC's a lot easier. If we get interest in 6-7 OS's (with a commitment to buy - don't fake us out now, OK?), we'll go ahead and buy the 10-pack from Annasoft on spec.

Our bidders and customers have been most helpful

... with information that they have been able to find, OS's they've been able to test and comments they have provided:

10/11/99 - One bidder writes:
"P.S. In my surfing I did happen to run into digitizer drivers for the 360P/750P (distributed by IBM). I have no idea if they work on the 730T, but they might be worth a try. It would be nice to have cross system compatability. I may have to wait till I get my own 730T to test it.

 "Digitizer drivers, 360P, 750P v 1.10 " 

10/13/99 - A customer writes:
"NOW For Something Interesting About the OS... In IBM PC DOS 7 there is an option In SETUP Called PENDos... according to the IBM manual you should be able to install this thing called PENDOS. I think you will have to do a little VooDoo with the Emm386. I will keep you advised of my findings with this black magic Operating System..."

 and on 10/25/99 - same guy says:
"After reading in the manual for IBM PC DOS 7, the complete operating system is in there. Looks like it's not going to be too hard to load.  Do a standard install, then do a RamBoost and go back with a switch to install PEN DOS." [he makes it sound so easy!} 

10/15/99 - A customer writes:
"For loading the OS, I was planning on putting the hard drive in another ThinkPad I have, then install the base portion of PC-DOS 6.3 with PCMCIA and PenDOS support that way. And I was going to also add a network cardand Windows for Workgroups to the system." 
10/15/99 - someone writes to us:
"Pen Services for Win95 are at:

 "Frankly, however, I think that Pen Services 1.0 for Windows 3.11 (won't run under W95) is much better. The drivers for IBM are at:

 "You will still need the other Windows for Pen files which can be had at: " 

10/16/99 - one customer says:
"I am very interested in getting PenPoint O/S on to the 730T. I use it daily on 6 TP 710T tablets at work but have not been able to to get it installed on my TP 730Ts, TP 360P/PEs or TP 750Ps. I think there is a special driver (?..tdtp2524.exe..?) which I don't have and have not been able to find anywhere. I have attempted the installation with the original installation disks for PenPoint for the 710T, as well as, several TPF flash cards with PenPoint embedded. Please advise if you can help me get PenPoint installation diskette or the specific driver for the 730T tablet."

 Timeless note: "We're looking for all of this, too. We'll post answers to this page as soon as we know where to buy these." 

10/17/99 - a customer writes to us:
"I saw that you were looking for info regarding the 730T machines... Well, I'm in the process of expanding my site to include 730T info, and started with a "howto" on installing OS/2 with support for the pen:

 "Also, I've got files up for setting up the machine with Windows '95 as well:

 "You'll find my specially-adapted PCMCIA driver there along with the Pen Services extensions. I've also just put together a little package that will soon be available on my site. It's an old application from Microsoft called "Winpad" that's designed for pen tablets and runs pretty nicely on the 730T...

 "Also, I've just put up pictures of my (what I believe to be complete) 730T playing an MPEG video stream off a PCMCIA CDROM drive. The system is setup with Windows '95 OSR2. The pen, mouse, and trackpoint all work simultaneously! Feel free to link to it for your auctions if you like...

 "One last thing...

 "Here's a shot of my 730T surfing eBay using a DSL line connected via a 3COM PCMCIA 100mbit ethernet card:

 "This is Windows '95 with Internet Explorer 4.00 running on the 105MB PCMCIA hard drive... surf from bed!"

 and on 10/18: "Check back to the site periodically for updates. I'm a software developer, and am contemplating writing a special version of the Internet Explorer browser so that it supports the pen better... I think that would really make the 730T a great surfing unit." 

10/17/99 - a customer writes to us:
"I got your note on the OS & penpoint. It is ok if penpoint can't be installed. I will be looking into other resources anyway including Linux, Win 95, or finding a copy of Win 3.1 for pen computing.

 "I am actually thinking a lot about Linux because I like the idea of "open computing" and the ability to download all utilities with source code (rather than Microsoft's idea of charging for every little thing that actually should have been a standard option)."

 Timeless note: "Yeah, let us know what you come up with in the Linux area -- that would be very useful!" 

10/18/99 - one bidder says:
"Fujitsu has downloadable pen driver software including handwriting systems for their Stylistic 1000. When I get my 730T I'll test the software." 
We found Pen & Mobile Computing
10/21/99 - a customer writes:
"Excellent news - looks like I got the mouse part of the machine working with Win95... I'm waiting for the hardware detection process to finish, then see what else happens. Now it's detecting new hardware, such as the communications ports, etc... Now it's rebooting, and things seem to be a success...

 "Whenever I upgrade the RAM and after I get the replicator, I can try doing some screen shots, and send out any files anyone needs in getting setup.

 "And if you'd like, you can put as my email address for anyone having questions about my installation.

 "PS. I'm sending this about 30 minutes after I originally started composing this message - Windows 95 OSR2 works great, no problems so far."

 Timeless: "Thanks, Paul, I'm sure your offer is greatly appreciated by all." 

later on 10/21/99, Paul writes:
"To subscribe to the ThinkPad List (an informative email based list for all kinds of ThinkPad owners), click here (Ed.: dead, removed). You will recieve an email shortly thereafter confirming your subscription.

 "If this does not work, please send me email so I can fix my handwritten HTML code. You should enjoy this list - my 730T is my 5th ThinkPad I own now, and I know it's a great resource for me."

 Timeless: "This sounds like it will be a great resource for everyone!" 

10/22/99 - a customer tells us:
"I have just found a really neat web site that I plan to use with my 730T as soon as it comes. It is a keyboard that you click on the keys, then it is typed in a text box. Then just use copy paste it or drag it into the address window. Here is the url:


 "Hope this is helpful to others." 

10/28/99 - One customer writes:
"The fact that the Thinkpad 730 has a cordless, batteryless pen leads me to believe that it has a Wacom digitizer of some sort, and XFree86 will support this as a mouse if so.  A search for "Wacom" or "pen driver" on should turn something up there.  If it works out that far, then there are programs for Linux that will put a keyboard on the screen, one of which is called, I believe, "xkeycaps".  I did a little dabbling in this area with a Toshiba T200 and it worked pretty darn well.  It should be fairly easy to install Linux on this with another laptop and the PCMCIA drive in it, or possibly via a PC card reader." 
10/28/99 - Now, here's an interesting history lesson from a customer:
"I really appreciate your making available the 730T's.  I used one for a couple of months back in 1994 and found it to be quite rugged and reasonably responsive for PenPoint 1.01.  Well, I was in the GO trenches as a ISV starting in 1992 and perserved, even past the bitter end.  Fujitsu Personal Systems of Santa Clara, one of eight of the former GO Corp. hardware alliances, still produces the Stylistic for a company called MobilePoint that still uses PenPoint under AT&T license.  AT&T punished GO back in 1994 since its AT&T Microelectronics division that manufactured the Hobbit CPU (92010) that was core for the former spin-off manufacturer EO Inc.  They lost about $200 million on the poorly marketed PDA chip, when in fact it really was an excellent 32-bit embedded processor.  PenPoint 1.01 ran apps on both Intel and Hobbit without any visual differences to the end user.  EO produced a handful of pen tablets in two model: the 440 and 880.  I've got one the 880's, of which only 400 were ever produced which left the VAR market starving for hardware. IBM PC Co. would only produce 730T upon special order in medium quantities at a premium price. Almost like crying over spilt milk.

 "The greatest "crime" perpetrated by AT&T was blowing off the deal with NEC of Japan. NEC built a Japanese specific hardware pen tablet based on the 980X PC architecture. GO followed-on with a Unicode version of PenPoint 2.0J. The 2.0J SDK was really cool with an excellent Kanji-Kana recognition engine. Along with early development of PenPoint 3.0, the oriental visual language user interfaces for Chinese, etc., were only a few months away from realization when AT&T nuked GO. Perhaps the COMDEX 95 would have featured an EO tablet second-sourced by Olivetti and NEC that would have had pluggable language engines, i.e., we heard that you could have switched the UI between English, Japanese and French with a PenPoint Settings Notebook field for language preference; with a tap gesture voila! Menu button labels, titles, menu dialogs, and all text strings (within PenPoint all text were objects) would be updated with specific language selected by the user.

 "The object was to build and market a truly global platform. Hard to believe that conglomerate politics destroyed their achievable vision that GO's founders had in mind to prove to the marketplace. I think the personal computer marketplace was set back several years by Microsoft and AT&T (Incahoots?) hanky-panky.  We'll probably never know the details know by those respective boards of directors, maybe a calculated techno-infanticide? [Guess Andrew Grove was correct in claiming "Only the paranoid survive"]" 

11/1/99 - and, of course, everything does not always go perfectly well:
"I'm hoping you can help me. This is what happened:
  1. Successfully installed Dos 5.1
  2. Successfully installed Doc 6.22
  3. Successfully installed win 3.1
  4. Successfully installed Window for pen
  5. Successfully installed pcmcia cdrom
  6. Successfully installed win 3.11
  7. Successfully installed Window for pen
  8. Tried to install LAN card
"After installing the LAN card...all hell broke loose.

 "When I power the sytem it:

  1. passes POST
  2. detects memory
  3. hangs.
"I then attempted to re-install Dos 6.22.  It forced me to fdisk and format the drive.

 "The install as successful, but if I remove the floppy and try to boot from power-on it still hangs."

 "Any suggestions...This is ssssoooooo frustrating."

 11/3/99 - A happy user writes back:
"I finally fixed it.

 "The bottomline was that some installation utility ended up trashing the MBR(master boot record).  I used fdisk /mbr to write a new record and we were golden.

 "Pass my thanx on to Terry." 

11/3/99 - A "master computer crafter" writes:
"Using parts from the case I managed to make a mini port replicator. Took me and a friend 6 hrs but I cut the ribbon cable and re-soldered the ps2 kbd, serial and parallel port onto the docking connector making the mini port replicator about 4.5" x 2" x 1.5" in size.

 "I've the pinout for the serial, parallel and kbd port if anyone is interested. However, the pitch of the docking connector is very small. I believe the contacts are about 1mm apart and there are 4 rows of contacts. Sodering the middle rows was a big pain.

 [Good luck with the following diagram, you may have to re-format it a little for readability, Timeless]
Pinout for IBM730T docking station connector
(PS2 kbd/serial/parallel)

          |                          |
        /        Ribbon cable          \
      /                                  \
    +-----------------------------/ /------+
    | x x x x                          x x | Row A
    | x x x x                          x x | Row B
    | x x x x                          x x | Row C
    | x x x x                          x x | Row D
    +--+--------------------------/ /---+--+
       |            to 730T             |
       +--------------------------/ /---+
  col 5 4 4 4
      0 9 8 7  ...                     2 1

     -1  -3                           -49
     -2  -4                           -50

To make counting easier when counting right to left, the pins are numbered 1-50, when counting left to right they are numbered -1 to -50.

| a b c d | Too lazy to find out how a ps2 kbd is labeled.
| e     f |

 ps2 kbd         730T
a 2a
b 3a
c 3b
d 1a
e 4a
f 4b

Serial port   730T
1 -11b
2 -10b
3 - 9b
4 - 8b
5 -11a
6 -12a
7 -10a
8 - 9a
9 - 8a

 Parallel port  730T
1 -12b
2 -13b
3 -14b
4 -15b
5 -16b
6 -17b
7 -18b
8 -19b
9 -20b
10 -17a
11 -18a
12 -19a
13 -20a
14 -13a
15 -14a
16 -15a
17 -16a
18-25 gnd

 "The 730T is loaded with Street Atlas and I am using it as a map display for a GPS. A 9.5" map is so much better than the 2.8" map on the GPS.

 "Also I've recieved the batteries, thanks again. But the life of the batteries are pretty bad ~1.5hr for both of them. Oh well they are used.

 "Don't worry about the memory, I just got a 8mb mem card that I know will fit the 730T. The 730T uses the same memory as the ThinkPad 360." 

11/6/99 - A customer writes that he was able to obtain Pen Point from IBM:
"The IBM FRU No. 39H6022 is a 260MB PCMCIA HD preloaded with PenPoint."

 [He also said it was very pricey!] 

11/8/99 - A new customer says:
"Re: the Thinkpad you shipped me, everything works great... I got win95 on there with the correct pen extensions and it seems to work very well. I tried very hard to find Win for Pen but I think it's pretty much gone.. :) If you guys happen to come across a drive on one of those 730T's that doesn't have that wiped yet.. you might want to extract and zip it up along with the drivers for people like me.. :)"

 [Timeless: Pen Point has been very unfriendly and we have been as of yet unable to make a runnable copy, and also, we have since found it is still an existing product -- we thought it was dead. We have every reason to try to make you guys happy, but we'll be happier out of jail!] 

11/9/99 - A happy customer says:
"By the way, I had no problems setting the 730T up. I just popped the PCMCIA hard drive into another laptop and copied over a setup of Windows 3.1 for Pen. Everything worked the first time. Can't ask for much more than that... except maybe this docking station! I left some positive feedback for you on eBay." 
11/9/99 - Another happy customer writes:

 "I received this thinkpad tablet friday, and its working great, thanks.

 "Thanks, and its been a pleasure doing business with you." 

11/10/99 - ...and regarding the portable modems we're selling to go with the 730T's:
"Yeah, I got it yesterday :)  It works fine, both on my laptop and connected to my Palm PDA.  I'll submit positive feedback as soon as possible." 
11/10/99 - A longtime Pen Point user says:
"I have used PenPoint since 1993 in my medical practice. All my patient records were pen'd in to a 710T Thinkpad and converted to a *.rtf file for transfer by PCMCIA card monthly to another computer so I can search and retrieve documents anywhere, anytime on any patient (via MSOffice Word).

 "I have the original installation disks for PenPoint and several PenPoint based applications both for Intel and EO tablets (e.g spreadsheet; DataBase; Visio-like drafting program; Fax; Calculator; Money Exchange; Handwriting Recognition programs; etc). I have only been able to get PenPoint to run on the 700t and the 710t tablets.

 "All PenPoint applications are installed by a "Quick Installer." I believe that PenPoint utilizes the drivers in PenDos in order to interface with the 710T (model 2523) tablet (e.g. tdtp2523exe; dfe2523.exe, ibm2523.ini and The model number for the 730T is "2524" so I suspect that the drivers are in the C: drive or [PENDOS] directory and have "2524" somewhere in their filename.

 "The architecture of PenPoint is very different that DOS. It is hierarchal and utilizes an outline format to organize their files.  Each "doc" file is made up of two subordinate files (doc.res and docstate.res).

 "On a 25 MHz 486 tablet, this makes it slow as mollases if you store more than 60 files under one directory. I was hoping that if I could get it on a faster tablet (a whopping 33 MHz 486 730T) and that it may make the file transfers faster. I personally had to adjust my file storage methodology to avoid exceeding 60 files per directory and have had no problem.

 "Frankly, the only reason I have stuck with this obsolete operating system on obsolete low end platforms is that it is the most phenomenal pen-centric system I have ever used. I have tried Newton, EO, win for Pen (win 31) and pen for win95 and none of them can touch this OS.

 "Unfortunately, EO developed PenPoint for IBM and EO platforms was bought out by ATT and quickly killed. A Taiwan company reportedly bought PenPoint but that was over 5 years ago and nothing has been heard of it since. I know this from chatting in forum with previous PenPoint developers and the rapidly dwindling number of PenPoint end-users. I had heard from one person that it could run on a 730T several years ago.

 "Well, that is the long and the short of it. I suspect that the company you got these tablets from used Numero! (a spreadsheet program) to develop a proprietary application. Again, I am simply an end-user and not a hacker or software developer. I simply want to put Penpoint on a 730T. I know of no other tablet or notebook that used Penpoint prior to its demise in 1994.

 "Hope this is helpful."

 [Timeless: Yes, this is great info. Where is the PenPoint forum you mentioned? I'll post that for all to see if you have it handy.]

11/13/99 - A customer informs us:
"Here's some information you might want to pass along:

 "There is a pen-friendly text viewer/e-book reader (for generic text files such as are found on Gutenberg) available at: The software is free, so be sure to thank the author." 

11/13/99 - A customer writes:
"Hey Guys...

 "Just a little heads up - check out eBay auction Item #202406430 - not only is the guy over priced, but he's stealing your pictures!

 "Thanks again for your great service - got my 730T running Windows 95 just fine (though 3.1 actually handles pen input better)...

 "your faithful customer,..." 

11/18/99 - Here's a good tip from a customer:
"I found a neat little thing that can be useful to other 730T owners.  I run drivespace on my laptop.  The drivespace that came with my laptop got me about 150mb from my 105mb drive.  I took the drivespace utility off a windows98 disk and it gets me over 170mb.  Big jump!" 
11/18/99 - a similar GRiD machine:
"The 2260 is a 386SL with up to 8MB of RAM.  1 PCMCIA type II slot has parallel, serial, VGA out, and a modem 2400 or 14.4, PEN used in windows and DOS. for more information go to and follow the leads from there. just look for GRiD  there is a GRiD spec page that has data on about 90% of all GRiD laptops built. including the 2260.

 "hope that helps, 'Joe Customer'

 "PS - the 2260 is a convertible unit it has a keyboard under the screen which flips up to show the keyboard otherwise it looks like a PEN tablet which it is." 

11/18/99 - A customer writes regarding power supplies:
"I received the package today in good shape. Everything works fine. By the way for reference a power supply for the Libretto laptop works great, same voltage more current reserve same size connector." 
11/21/99 - A customer writes regarding his OS and other things:
"I have it up and running on win95b. I need to try to adjust the press sensitivity of the screen and I am trying to find a portrait video driver if I can find out what video chip was used."

 [Timeless: "Someone mentioned the portrait video driver to us - whoever it was, if you're reading this please email us and we'll post that to this page. Thanks"] 

11/23/99 - A happy customer writes - we love it when this happens!:
"I received the 730t in good working order. I have installed win31 and pen extensions, with no great!
"I'll leave positive feedback." 
11/24/99 - A customer gives us an inside tip on his 700T, Type 2521, which "only runs Pen Point" (he found out this info by actually calling IBM in Boca Raton, FL):
"Hold down the 2 contrast buttons and the brightness buttons when you turn it on, and it will boot to DOS." 
11/26/99 - A customer took matters into his own hands:
"I looked for days to find MS pen extensions. I'm not sure if they are "Public Domain" or not.... I found these files on an old GRiD site....... sorry my NTserver crashed and I lost the bookmark  ALSO!!!!! there are specific instructions included for the 730t. It took me about 10 minutes to load these and make the changes to the system.ini file. There are other files you may need." 
12/5/99 - Our most knowlegeable PenPoint user/customer writes:
"I would be very pleased to talk to "anyone" who is currently using PenPoint. Please give my name to them or give me their email addresses and I would be only too happy to share my "experience" with PenPoint."

 Timeless: Just to keep this guy from being swamped with queries, we didn't publish his email address. Plus, we'd love to publish the questions and answers. Just email us if you want to be put in touch with this very experienced user.

12/6/99 - Some good news about the floppy drives that will work:
"I use an external floppy, from my Thinkpad 701CS, for my 730T. Only change needed is a cable that has the same size connector (centronics?) on both ends.(same size as connector on floppy) Don't remember where I got my cable, but appears aftermarket.

 "Hope this helps." 

12/8/99 - A serious board level researcher writes us:
"I want to let you know about a site in Japan that has pictures of the inside of the computer. Maybe you can get somebody to translate it.

 "Also, did you know that this computer was manufactured by Panasonic in Japan?

 "Check it out at:

"I am working to overclock the CPU to 40 MHz. I will let you know if it is possible." 

12/14/99 - A start-up question:
"I am trying to install Pendos on the 730T.

   "I am missing 1 file that you may have or know who has it.

   "It is probably in IBM PC DOS 6.3.

   "The file is DFE2523.exe.

   "This is the Digitizer front end for the 710T.

   "The 710T and 730T have the same digitizer.

   "Let me know if you can find it and I will write how to setup Pendos for your Web Page."

 12/15/99 - Later, this customer found what he was looking for on an IBM site:

 "Here is the link for the file:

 " ftp//

"Put a copy on your site in case IBM decides to erase it." 

12/16/99 - A computer hot-rodder writes:

 "I was working on my 730TE recently, ripping it apart when I realized something about the processor.  A while back I ripped up one of my Compaq LTE Elites (486 DX4@75) and the processors have the exact same connector as far as I can remember.  I though it might be possible to throw an lte elite cx/75 processor into the 730T and effectively (except for the little "730T" logo on the front) make your own 730TE.  If this works, it means that anyone with 20 bucks can buy a dead cx/75, gut it for the processor, swap the processor on their 730T and have a 75 MHz unit.  I would like to know if anyone can get this to work.  It would be a wonderfuly cheap way to hot-rod your 730.  Of course I already have a 75 MHz unit, so this would be of no advantage to me... Let me know if it works." 

1/1/99 - A happy and helpful 730T user writes:

 "Subject: Pen Services for Windows95 "http// "The above link will take you to the file ps20.exe "It will extract the Pen Services for windows95 program into a folder "You can then got to the add/remove program icon in the control panel in windows95 click on Windows Setup  click have disk and specify the folder where the ps20.exe files extracted to.  "It will then pull up the Pen Services options.  Click on this option and restart computer.  Voila, you now have a pen based system that will work with any program you install in windows95." 

1/5/2000 - A quizzical user writes (then answers his own question):

 "I have downloaded the ps20.exe file from your link but it seems to be lacking a setup file. Do you have this for download or what? If not how do I get pen services working???? Any help will be deeply appreciated.

 1/5/2000 -
"Please disregard previous E-Mail, I was overcome with stupidity. Trying to install pen as device and software. Brain stuck in neutral. Have since come to my senses.... everything installed and performing optimally." 

1/6/2000 - Another user -- another approach:

 "OK, I'll check out your web page for the technical info. It came today and everything checks out OK. I can mount the ATA drive on my notebook under Linux, so it will be trivial to build a boot disk for the 730T even without the port replicator/floppy." 

1/18/2000 - A happy customer writes (sorry, no new technical info here, just pats on the back - we love it!!):

 "I got my 730T Today. Other than normal wear it's in great shape. Setup was a snap thanks to your web page (it helps to have a 360 Thinkpad, too) Happy Days Are Here Again!!!!  Had a Toshiba T200 so I was in a hurry to replace it. Plenty thanks to you and your crew!"
[Aw, shucks...blush]

 "I use Mine for G.P.S. On a service truck. Had to tweek the software. This Pen Computer is one tuff If all goes right I will be in the market for more. (still have some toshiba's in other trucks but they are on there last legs)." 

1/18/2000 - Another customer says:

 "Well, after some fiddling around, I managed to get W95 up and running on it. It fits with no problem on the 105 megabyte hard drive. The hardest thing was getting the 32bit PCMCIA access working. The first time I installed, BTW, it was via a parallel port ethernet adapter, networked to my wife's powerbook, running Virtual PC, sharing it's CDROM.

 "The bigest thing I've been doing with it is that I purchased one of those surplus IBM wireless LAN access points and now I can get on the net and/or access my local documents from bed, or the can, or sitting on the couch with the family watching TV.

 "I found a batch of 8 megabyte credit card memory upgrades and have been auctioning them off bit by bit (no pun intended) - used one in my 730.

 "I purchased another 730T (not from you guys, sorry) strictly to get the small port replicator and a 16 megabyte memory card and a 360 megabyte hard drive (but mainly for the port replicator). My intent was to turn it around and auction it off sans the parts I wanted, but the one I bought from you guys died while the other one was in transit. I did a drive transplant when the second one one arrived and found that the data was intact. Then I learned that the dead one would boot when supplied with charged batteries, but would not from the power supply, nor would it charge the batteries."

 [Methinks the problem in the last paragraph was that the old batteries had had it. They form internal shorts as they age, and his shorts were too much! One customer told us how he "shocks" these batteries back to life with a car battery (burns the shorts out)! I hope he will write in with his procedure and we'll post it here.] 

2/7/2000 - A creative tinkerer says:

 "Just thought some of your other 730t customers might be interested in what I did with the field kit.

 "The docking station/stand uses only the parts from the field kit except for about 12 pop rivets, 6 screws and 2 tie wraps. The power supply for the filed kit is mounted under the 730t and seems to run very kool. If anyone wants more detailed information on doing this or more pics they can contact me at"

 "Basically I cut the internal mount from the field kit in half to build a clone of the desktop docking station.

 [some pictures of Kate's work at this link]: Kate's pictures "I'm going to add more to the site and some more pics later this week showing better the construction."

 [P.S. Kate gives a step-by-step procedure to loading the OS & starting up the system. Hooray, Kate!] 

2/7/2000 - A great tip from a user:

 "I just installed WFW 311 on it!  What an advantage in speed over 3.1 For some reason, the notebook application does not run when the hard drive spins down.  Wierd.  If this is the case for other machines, there should be a HUGE warning telling people to not set their machines to spin down the HD.

 "By the way, I've found that both batteries together last 140 minutes on average with the hard drive running and the backlight on full." 

2/9/2000 - A skilled user tells us how to get a system up from a blank HD:

 "For No OS on PCMCIA HD the IBM370T. The minimum system you need is:

 1) Notebook or Desktop with PCMCIA that supports CompactFlash Memory with PCMCIA Adapter.
2) CompactFlash + PCMCIA Adapter. I confirm Simply Technologies and Kingston.

1) Format your compact flash from existed PC with /s (bootable)
2) copy all in 730T system diskette + any installation (DOS,WIN...etc)to CF.
3) put CF into slot 1 in 730T and ATA (105M or more) into slot3
4) power on 730T. and install 730T system program (you will see new CONFIG.SYS)
5) reboot, then you will get Drive E
7) power off and put ATA to slot1. so you can do many things now.
have fun" 

2/15/2000 - Another approach:

 "Got my 730T working by using a PCMCIA/ISA adapter in a PC.  Long story, but it is running Windows 3.1 and Pen Services 1.0 and works perfectly."

 [Can I publish this to our web page for others to see?]

 "Sure.  The key is that you have to use PCCINIT to initialize the hard disk. Then, you can copy files to it under DOS - **NOT** NT; 95/98 I'm not sure." 

2/18/2000 - Glad to hear it!:

 "The computer runs great.  I got pen for windows running on windows 3.1.  I ordered a ThinkPad keyboard that has the TrackPoint on the keyboard.  I got the portrait drivers working, also." 

2/24/2000 - A downloadable OS!:

"I don't own one of your systems that you're have on auction, however, you may want to investigate using NewDeal Office on your machines.  NDO requires only DOS 3.3 or better, and only 1MB of memory or better.  It is a FULL OS, with applications to do everything that MS Pen does.  AND IT SUPPORTS PC CARDS.

 "There is a way that you can even use a floating keyboard within the applications, as well as email and webbrowsing. The package installs from a set of floppies or from a CD...which is the only downside.  The way I would get around it, if I bought one of your machines, was to use a ZIP Drive to install the floppies or CD from, and install it from the ZIP drive.

 "Third party applications are available as well...not a whole lot, but enough to make it work.

 "You know, you're making me curious enough to see if it'll work on your machines....

 "http// is where you can get a FREE 30 day eval version of the complete package (less email and browser).

 "Hope this helps out your must be doing something really great to get that much feedback!"

 [Aw, shucks .... blush.....] 

3/3/2000 - Wow! Linux info ahead!:

 "Well when I got the unit the hard drive had only on it, so with no floppy I had no way to transfer files to it.  It would help a lot if you included intersvr.exe and interlnk.exe (which come with DOS) for transferring stuff over a serial cable.

 "I then tried to mount the PCMCIA hard drive on a coworker's Thinkpad running NT4.  It didn't have a driver available.  So I tried to find a floppy drive but the official floppies are hard to find.  I have one on order from an ebay seller that is meant for a ThinkPad 760 but uses the same size connector so I'm hoping that will work.  Meanwhile I also bought a CallunaCard 520M PCMCIA hard drive.  I asked the seller to put a full copy of DOS on it, and specifically mentioned I needed intersvr.exe, but he also put only on the drive.  Geez.  Anyway that one I was able to mount on my coworker's laptop.  So I guess not all PCMCIA hard drives are the same.

 "Then I installed intersvr.exe on the drive, brought it home and used a serial link to install the drivers for my parallel port zip drive, and hooked up the zip to the docking station.  That works great.

 "Then I downloaded one of the Linux distributions that allows booting from a DOS partition (loop-linux) onto a zip disk, and installed that.  It uses kernels from the latest Slackware.  It boots fine from the ramdisk but I get hard drive errors when the kernel tries to do its partition check.  Oddly enough it is detected as hdc, not hda.  After all the errors and timeouts it detects the partition hdc1.  Similarly running fdisk causes more errors and timeouts and eventually I can see the partition.  Maybe this is just CallunaCard oddness; but so far I cannot put both drives into the system at the same time and see them both, so I still have no way to put Linux onto the IBM 105 meg drive and try that one.  I saw the pointer from the guy that booted from a compact flash card... maybe I need to install drivers to make the second hard drive show up in DOS.

 "I also have a Windows for Pen distribution that came with my Dauphin DTR-1 so I may try that eventually.

 "Feel free to list my email address; I want to get in touch with anyone else who is trying to get Linux installed."


3/3/2000 - Some PenPoint copyright info from a customer:

 "You know I've got installation disks for PenPoint now.  The ones I'm using are doctored 710T diskettes (they work), but I just got disk images of the originals yesterday.  I think there's a good argument that the PenPoint license was sold with the PCMCIA harddrives.  After all, they've got the PenPoint trademark printed on them and the Part Numbers for the drive with PenPoint preinstalled from IBM.  So if you want them, you might get away shipping them with the PenPoint OS.  Some of the other surplus traders are shipping the units with PenPoint installs.  I got one that way and so got an idea of what it was.

   "There's no way the application software can be put on without copyright violation.  At any rate, there will be a site with much of the application software, I imagine in a week or so.  There's a wordprocessor, spreadsheet, a program like the MacIntosh hypercard program, a vector drawing program, a notetaking application, that I've found so far.

 "The website will take a little longer, but you can give my email address to people who request PenPoint information."

 Here goes!: [I hope he's serious, because I know you readers are going to write this guy!] Note: address expired, as of attempt on 16Nov2000. 

3/17/2000 - Happy customer tells how he did it - "what's the link, Kenneth"?:

 "Just wanted to advise you that the IBM Thinkpad 730T with accessories arrived yesterday. I just wanted to test the unit out before sending you this note. The unit arrived in excellent condition, I just charged up the batteries, installed the Windows95 from another PCMCIA enabled laptop, then inserted the newly loaded Hard Drive in the TP-730T. All that had to be done was install the Pen for Windows95, downloaded from the internet. [Everyone would love to know the link - can you send that to us for upload to this page?] I will be leaving positive feedback for you with Ebay. It's been a pleasure doing business with you." 

3/20/2000 - How to direct link?:

 "Got the 730 up and running with Win 95 but have you heard where anyone has had problems connecting to other computers thru the serial or parallel ports??

 "I have tried with direct cable connection to connect to either of 2 other computers, both of which will cable connect to each other with no problem, then I've also installed windows ce services and tried to connect my Velo to it. no luck there either. Keep getting messages that ports not available, used by another resource, or just can't be installed, and the ports are working.

 "Any help would be appreciated."

 [Anybody out there have a clue what the problem is here?] 

3/22/2000 - Get this guy a modem!

 "I actually upgraded my 730t to a 340 meg and I still have the 105. Until I can figure out how to get a PCMCIA modem working in it, I can't really do a lot with it. It is fun to draw on it, but you either need the field kit or a PCMCIA modem to have real mobile computing portability or you are tied to that darn dock. The PCMCIA hard drive somehow interferes with the 32-bit PCMCIA program. I went back through my old literature and some of your other clients have had the same problem. One solved it by putting in drivers from another computer that uses a PC HDD, but I had never heard of it."

 3/24/2000 - A little help from a friend!

 "All the following comments are in regard to the attached post to your site, if you could forward this message to him I think it might help. One thing to look at when selecting a modem for the 730T is whether or not it is a 32-bit modem (the 730T has no 32-bit ports). Also some PCMCIA modems that I have tried require a 32-bit OS. If you are using Win for Pen 1.0 (i.e.. Win 3.XX) and need a simple Dial-Up connection for Win 3.XX download a copy of Internet Explorer ver 3.02 as it contains a Internet dialer that works wonderfully with earlier versions of windows. If on the other hand you are running Win 95 then the problem might be related to a conflict arising when windows tries to gain access to the PCMCIA ports that the 730T system disk has already setup to work.

 "I would suggest dropping a note to or check out his page at: .

"Ben "Customer"

 "P.S. the Win 95 Pen services drivers can be obtained at:   refer to: for info on how to install them" 

3/24/2000 - Processor board replacement?

 "As an FYI for the web site, I tried to use the Compaq LTE Lite 486/75 processor board with the 730T. It WOULD NOT work. The Compaq board has the same style connector, but different spacings and sexes. I did notice that the IBM 486/33 board had the label PANASONIC, so there might be some hope there. The board also only housed the chip and a few resistors and caps, so it might be able to simply desolder and resolder the faster chip on (assuming you have access to a hot air desoldering station).

 "On another note, I've had a helluva time getting Win95 to NOT run MS-DOS compatibility mode on the PCMCIA drive I'm using. I'm using 730T PCMCIA drivers and a Calluna card drive (no drivers needed?). Win95 won't even install a hard disk driver or tag for it in the Device Manager. Any info?" 

3/29/2000 - Flash card question?

 "I can read files loaded on flash cards (e.g.Intel series 2) but I can't get the 730T to load files via the File Manager.  I always get an error message saying "Access denied". Should I initialize the cards somehow? I've tried to format the cards but the File Manager can't get access. Any suggestions?"

 [Can anybody help out here?] 

3/31/2000 - Y2K, screen buffing, OS's and more!

 "The trinkets I have to share with you today--

 "1) The BIOS IS Y2K compliant.  All a user has to do is remove both batteries, AND the BIOS rechargable battery- it's under the internal pen slot, and let the system sit for about 5 minutes.  Reinstall all three batteries, WITHOUT the PCMCIA hard drive installed, and you should come up to the system BIOS screen.  In it, you can change the time and date, and run system diagnostics.  And, if you change the date accordingly, you will see that dates after Y2K are acceptable.

 "However, those users with Windows 3.11 for Pen will find that the date doesn't mean a thing, as if the OS clock goes over Y2K, it will revert to sometime like mid 91 or somesuch.

 "2) For all those users who happen to have a system with a scuffed screen, such as mine, the owner can use automotive wax, mainly Meguiar's Cleaner wax or similar to buff the scratches out of the plastic surface.  I suggest taking the unit's case apart for doing this, as it can get very messy (I masked mine off before doing this, but would still suggest taking the case off).  But, using said product, the owner can get a much better idea of how clean the screen can be- I found that about 95 percent of the scuffs on my screen were eliminated the first application once I removed it from the box at home.

 "Hopefully, with some things going on this week, I may be able to assist in answering some more questions related to OS install and such.

 "Also, as a sidenote, here is a place with Windows 3.11 and multiple versions of DOS downloadable for anyone that could use them-

 " http// "

 4/3/2000 - Kenneth gets it together!

 "Turns out that Win 3.11 can accept dates after 2000.  For some reason, after the date switch on Jan 1st, it reverted to the early nineties.  But I guess I just forgot to reset the BIOS date and time after I bought the unit.  Well, it had been in pieces for the last couple of days (I've been stripping the case to paint it), and after I entered the BIOS and reset the date and time, voila! Windows accepted the date and time like it was nothing.  Rather embarrassing, I just didn't realize at the time.

 "Oh well- proper update for Y2K for these I guess would be

 "1)Pull batteries as mentioned previously

 "2)Enter BIOS as mentioned previously

 "3)Check time and date in Windows OS.

 "Whatever works with these little gadgets, I guess!"

 [Thanks, Kenneth] 

4/3/2000 - Rotate the view - here's how!

 "I managed to find files for portrait video drivers that will work on the TP-730T unit. They are from a site for GRiD Pen Tablet units. It was the only location I could find the rotate.drv file required to rotate the tablets display from the landscape to the portrait mode.

 "The address for the site the files are located on is http// the two files required are and These are the installation disks for the Pen for Windows Ver. 1, they also contain the rotate.drv file.

 "Please note the system you run the install on will have all the various files required to run Windows with Pen Extensions copied to various WIN.INI, SYSTEM.INI, Windows Registry, CONFIG.SYS, AUTOEXEC.BAT and start-up files. The system, if a non-pen type will stop functioning after the installation. Either create a copy of these files in a safe location. Or use a utility such as Config Safe to back-date the above files to a previous version after the install has been run, but before the system has been restarted.

 "You can install these files directly to the 730T using the "install" command, or if you are running Pen extensions ver 2.0 you will want to extract these files onto a different system, then copy the rotate.drv file to the C\Windows\System folder.  Then go into the system.ini file through the sysedit command, ";" out the existing display.drv=. You then type in display.drv=rotate.drv, save the file. Remember if you restart at this point the display will be portrait mode but the digitizer will still be in Landscape mode.  To switch the digitizer to Portrait mode download the Driver available on this site address http//, follow the detailed instructions on the downloading and applying of the digitizer drivers. After the digitizer has been updated there will be a 730T (Portrait) option in the Pen Services in the control panel, General Tab, Pen Options. You can now re-start the system and both portrait drivers will take effect.

 "I do not know if the total installation of the two diskettes and the Pen for Windows ver. 1.0 will work with the TP-730T, since I already had Ver. 2.0 installed on my system."

 [Thanks, Ronald] 

4/29/2000 - PCMCIA info on all varieties!

 I think I've finally gotten the pcmcia problem sorted out on my 730T. I installed DISKDRV.SYS (the IBM driver available from the usual sources) and M-Systems driver (emailed to me by M-Systems) and, as a result, can work with the following cards:

 SRAM, ATA/HARD DRIVE CARDS. The diskdrv.sys software allows both read, write and formatting operations.

 LINEAR CARDS. M-Systems drivers will allow read/write operations as long as you format the card first with the utility TFORMAT.EXE which comes with the driver package. Linear cards can only be read by diskdrv.sys.

 TRUE-FFS CARDS. M-Systems drivers will allow read/write and formatting.

 The diskdrv.sys and M-Systems drivers cover all of different types of cards I've encountered. Unfortunately, they can't be loaded simultaneously -- at least not yet, and I have to "REM" out one or other depending on the type of card I'm using.

 I'd be happy to share the information with anyone having trouble with flash cards in their 730T's. Email Jim at: for his tips.

5/23/2000 - Some details from Mr. ThinkPad!

 Just had some updates for your page - it appears the 32MB DRAM card for the 360/750/etc. doesn't work with my 730T, but I'm getting a 730TE next week, so maybe that'll work.

 Also, I managed to track down what looks like the PenPoint installation disks, and got it to the point where the pen works, and tells me my 10MB test flash card is too small.

 Just thought you'd like these updates.

 So now I have 24MB of RAM on my machine, an el-cheapo network card, and Win95 A (from floppies), and it works like a charm. 

02/07/2001 - OS and Application availability!

 I have floppy images for PenPoint, the PenPoint SDK, and a number of PenPoint apps (inkWriter, Numero, etc). I think I also have a PenPoint installation set that'll work on the 730TE, but I don't have one so can't test. I'd be willing to provide copies to anyone interested. Thanks, Eric Dorman 

If you find any more OS or other technical information in your searches, we sure would appreciate it if you would send it to us, and we'll post it here for all to see. email us!
Some questions that our bidders and customers may know the answers to!
... even when we don't. If you know the answers email Timeless and we'll post them here!


Question: 2/23/2000, a bidder asks: "Your technical pages do not say if it is Y2K compliant.  I would like to would I find out?  If it is not, there may be a BIOS upgrade available.?"

 Answer: 3/31/2000, a customer writes: "The BIOS IS Y2K compliant.  All a user has to do is remove both batteries, AND the BIOS rechargable battery- it's under the internal pen slot, and let the system sit for about 5 minutes.  Reinstall all three batteries, WITHOUT the PCMCIA hard drive installed, and you should come up to the system BIOS screen.  In it, you can change the time and date, and run system diagnostics.  And, if you change the date accordingly, you will see that dates after Y2K are acceptable.

 "However, those users with Windows 3.11 for Pen will find that the date doesn't mean a thing, as if the OS clock goes over Y2K, it will revert to sometime like mid 91 or somesuch."

 Another answer: 4/8/2000, a customer writes: "a customer asked a question about y2k compatibility:

 go into the BIOS,
click on date,
change year to 2000,
that's all there is to it." 

On external (Floppy, CDRom, Zip) Drives:

Question: 10/19/99, a bidder asks: " final question- is it possible to connect a floppy drive to the docking station without it being one of the IBM drives made for the 730T?"
Answer: do you know the answer? Help me out here -- thanks! email me if you know. Thanks!

 Question: 11/26/99, a bidder asks: "BTW, have you all ever heard of a Zip drive being used on the system with the docking bay?  I would think it would be possible, for those users without a external CD-ROM to get the Win95 OS onto the system."
Answer: "Haven't heard of it, but our technical head says it should be possible through the parallel port." email me if you know. Thanks!

 Here's a great tip!: 3/17/2000, floppy compatibility: "Just wanted to advise that some of the newer Thinkpad's External Floppy Drives will function with the 730T. I was using the External floppy from my 765D system, FRU# 66G5069 P/N 66G3696. The floppy drive is also used in the following Thinkpad units, the 360, 355, 370, 701, 755, & 760. This drive unit should be easier and less expensive to obtain than the original unit" [Thanks, Ronald]

On Batteries:

Question: 10/24/99, one bidder asks us : "...the batteries for 700 series THINKPAD IBM on ebay -- DO you know if these will fit the 755C THINKPAD IBM?"
Answer from a multi-Thinkpad user: 11/21/99: "Jack, on your page, someone asked if batteries for the 755 would work in the 730.
"Memory, yes.
"Batteries, NO WAY."
"The battery is about half the size of the screen.
"I wish I could put my 750's battery in there, though.
"I get about 3.5-5.0 hours off of it, and I use my 750 for a fileserver."

 Question: 11/23/99, a ThinkPad fan asks: "Out of interest - what price are you asking for a battery quick charger? I need to recondition my 730 batteries, and I know that with other models the quick chargers do a great job of rejuvenating tired batteries."

 One user says: "I've found that both batteries together last 140 minutes on average with the hard drive running and the backlight on full." 

On hard drives:

Question: 10/28/99, one bidder asks us : "you guys don't know offhand how big a pcmcia HD these units can handle eh?  I saw anywhere from 300MB to 1 Gig drives on ebay... I'm thinking I want to buy something a touch bigger than 100"
Answer: 11/18/99, one customer/user: "In answer to the question about the max hard drive size, I am using a 520meg HD without any problems." 

On the connectors and ports:

Question: 11/29/99, one bidder asks us : "Is the included port replicator a standard small replicator for TP 730 (the one that can be taken out of the case and attached to the side of the computer), or is it some custom device which is meaningful only as part of the field kit ? How is it connected to the docking station in the left part of the case ? Does it have its own jack to connect directly to the 730 ?"
Answer: "The tablet has the one big docking connector, useless without some external dock, etc. We presently sell the field kit, which has a docking station built into the suitcase and cabling (flex circuit) over to a small complement of connectors. We also sell the tilting docking station, which has all the ports you need. We did not get any of the small port replicators (which IBM does make), but everyone wants these!" 

On Linux:

Question: 1/18/2000, one bidder asks us : "Have you or any of your customers run linux on these? I'm mainly worried about the pen digitizer. Thanks!"

 email me if you know. Thanks! 

Other technical information can be found through the following links:

  • Searching IBM for information:
  • A customer/researcher: "I think I found the main page for the 730 Info:" . Hint: "Increment the 4-digit file name in the URL to go to other pages. Apparently the whole set of IBM documentation for this product is in there. There just aren't links to the pages."
  • IBM tech info on the system board:
  • Picked up somewhere:
  • From one of our customers: Thinkpad Assistant
  • From another Thinkpad fan - THIS ONE IS BEAUTIFUL!: Dan's IBM ThinkPad 730 pages

Timeless Tech's home page coming soon! (Somebody beat us to, so we'll think of some other slick name soon.)

Timeless Tech's "730T items for sale" page (archived).
Another seller of 730T items is Computers for People (dead).

Write Jack to say HI if you're an old (or a new) customer!

Content created and/or collected by:
Louis F. Ohland, Peter H. Wendt, David L. Beem, William R. Walsh, Tatsuo Sunagawa, Tomáš Slavotínek, Jim Shorney, Tim N. Clarke, Kevin Bowling, and many others.

Ardent Tool of Capitalism is maintained by Tomáš Slavotínek.
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