The Toshiba T4400C
320 Mb. HDD
36 Mb. RAM
9.5" TFT 256-colour screen
40 Wh NiCd battery
Internal V32.bis modem
Logitech Trackman portable mouse
In 1990 Toshiba introduced its first A4 sized series notebook computers, consisting of the i386SX based T2200SX, the i386SL based T3300SL and the i486 based T4400SX. The T4400C was the last model in the T4400 series that consisted of a 16 grayscale LCD model, a 64 grayscale plasma model and a 256 colour TFT model. That last model, the T4400SXC (introduced in 1991), was the world's first TFT 486 battery powered notebook. A remarkable feat that required some highly integrated electronics.
At the end of its life-cycle, just before a new series - the ugly T4500 - was introduced, Toshiba upgraded the T4400SXC with a larger (9.5") screen (the first screen made by the joint venture of Toshiba and IBM, called DTI), a larger HDD (200 Mb.) and a 486DX instead of a 486SX (though still running at 25 MHz.) and the T4400C was born.
I regard the T4400C still to be one of the best notebooks Toshiba ever made. Yes it is heavy, it only runs around 1.5 hrs. on a battery and it has no PCMCIA slots (a shame since its 386SL sibling - the T3300SL - had the world premiere of featuring a PCMCIA like slot), but it is a workhorse and for a technical person it still allows some electronics 'hacking'. Most modern notebooks really have no servicable parts inside. The T4400C got a rave review in Wired magazine (issue 1.2).
Since I now also own a Powerbook 165, I feel no need whatsoever to use Windows 95 on my Toshiba. Whenever I am frustrated with Windows and feel the urge to use a superior operating system I switch the Powerbook on.
If you own a T4400C and have tips you want to share, let me know. Here are mine:
Some of the files mentioned are available here.
- do treat your battery well; it is very expensive (it has rare square cells) so it pays
click here for some battery maintenance tips
- never connect anything to the mouse port with the T4400C turned on; you might fry a fuse on the mother board
- if your machine has a BIOS > version 3.2 (run BIOSVER.EXE to find out) you can upgrade the HDD to 528 Mb.
- never leave a diskette in the drive while travelling
- be gentle with the carbon-fibre case; it is hard but is easily cracked
- the processor can be upgraded to a 486DX2 with a battery life penalty (some 20%)
- note that to use the special Toshiba functions like AutoResume and the Fn-PopUp menu you will need the Toshiba version of EMM386.EXE
- to enable AutoResume under Windows 3.x you need WRESUME.386 in your SYSTEM.INI file
- there is a clever trick to use the Fn-PopUp functionality under Windows 3.x; it uses a small program FNPOPUP that allows any program to be started when you press Fn-PopUp and Gerald Fuchs's Windows 3.x program WPOPUP.EXE that gives you all the functionality under Windows 3.x that Fn-PopUp gives you under DOS.
I created the following hacks for the T4400C:
BIOSRW.COM - enables you to patch the BIOS
SETUP.COM - calls the setup menu from the BIOS
PW.COM - prompts for the password when one has been specified
MODEM [ON/OFF] - turns the internal modem on or off
DRVTYPE.COM - tells you what harddisk you have
DS4.COM - sets errorlevel=1 when DeskStation IV is connected
If you want a copy of these let me know.
Click here for various tips and tricks about upgrading the T4400 series.
I currently (May 3th, 1998) have the following spare parts available:
2 486SX/25 CPU's
3 BIOS's 3.20
1 PA2408U AC Adapter 100-240V 50/60 Hz. (T4400 family only)
1 320 Mb. HDD (Toshiba MK2326FC - requires BIOS 3.50)
1 80 Mb. HDD (Conner CP2084 - fits all T4400 models)
1 4 Mb. memory card
1 9.5" TFT backlight module
3 2400/9600 Bd. data/fax internal data/fax modem
1 AutoResume battery
1 RTC battery
1 I/O port cover
1 Expansion port cover
If you want any of these make me an offer. I am looking myself for a CPU upgrade faster than DX2/50, an 28K8 modem and a harddisk of around 500 Mb.
In case you wonder whether your T4400C will function after December 31st, 1999 rest assured. It will. The clock chip in the machine does not advance properly from 1999 to 2000 but the BIOS will advance the century byte in CMOS so that when you reboot after the millennium change all will be fine. Also the system correctly handles leap years in the 21st century.
If you need some information, no matter what, on the T4400C then e-mail me!
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