Awakening the beauty

What you can see on this photo is the very first startup of the most advanced OQO computer ever.

OQO model 02 is a very interesting high-tech device and a valuable item for handheld collectors. According to the spec sheet, there were three modifications of OQO model 02: good, better and best.

Any modification of the device is quite rare. It’s hard to find one in good working condition, with full package content. And the high-end model with 1.6Ghz CPU, 64Gb SSD and Sunlight Optimized display is especially rare. Not just because of the insane original price of $3000, but also because the 1.6Ghz models are prone to failure due to the well-known CPU overheating problem.

I was recently very lucky to acquire a new old stock version of the "best" modification (also known as OQO model e2) with full set of accessories. According to the item description, this device has never been booted to Windows. And it does look brand new. I was dared to make a power-on test. Now it’s one of the most valuable items in my collection.

GPD MicroPC arrived

Overall impression

MicroPC looks very robust. The build quality is quite impressive. Chinese companies definitely improve their skills. The keyboard is one of the most comfortable handheld keyboards I’ve ever used. The size of the device is significantly smaller than size of similar devices from UMPC era (see comparison photos below).

In general I really like the device. I can’t mention any disadvantages so far.

I did’t like the original GPD case, because it’s designed to fit much larger devices (GPD Pocket, probably). So I ended up using the FlipStart bag instead, because I have an extra one and the MicroPC fits perfectly.

Benchmarks

The performance of MicroPC is significantly higher than the performance of Microsoft Surface 3.

DOOM 3 benchmark (1280×720, graphic quality set to high, timedemo demo1)

Device FPS (1st run) FPS (2nd run) FPS (3rd run) Average FSB
GPD MicroPC 10W 39.5 44.6 47.0 43,7
Microsoft Surface 3 30.5 31.7 34.1 32,1

It’s also worth mentioning that Surface 3 is unable to sustain this perofrmance during long period of time. Without active cooling Surface 3 starts throttling and the performance decreases to 23-24 FPS.

Recovering antenna covers of OQO Model 01

The case of OQO Model 01 is made of metal, it’s quite sturdy. However, the antenna covers are made of transparent plastic, which is prone to cracking.

In order to recover the cracked antenna covers I made a 3D model of the original antenna cover (antenna_cover.stl) and printed it on a photopolymer printer. I didn’t like the result, because the wall covering the antenna was too thin and fragile. So I decided to thicken the wall and sightly modified the original model. You can download the final model for 3D printing here: antenna_cover_fat.stl.

Running SimCity on Psion 5MX

Classic city-building computer game SimCity was also released for EPOC32 operating system. I recently opened a new box and tried to run it the game a Psion 5MX. 20+ year old floppy was successfully read by Libretto 70CT floppy drive. The game runs flawlessly. And the save files are compatible with the DOS version of the game.

Handhelds in Computer History Museum

Computer History Museum in Mountainview, CA is the largetst computer museum in the world. It contains very interesting exhibition of mobile computers, including handhelds.
Here is a small gallery of extraordinary items, like PalmPilot prototypes.

Lots of other remarkable photos from this museum, which are not related to handheld computers are presented in the Computer History Museum gallery.

You can take a virtual visit to CHM here: Computer History Museum, Mountain View, United States — Google Arts & Culture or CHM Revolution Tour – Mobile Computing: PalmPilot.