Latest Crush: The Compaq IA-1 Internet Appliance

December 19th, 2005 by Benj Edwards

IA-1I got my Compaq IA-1 today. It’s a spiffy little Internet machine from the peak of dot-com optimism (read: circa 2000). Unfortunately, it only runs a dumbed down version of Windows CE, was designed to use only Microsoft’s MSN ISP service, doesn’t have an Ethernet card built-in, and won’t do anything unless you’re connected to the Internet. So why get it? Because it was absurdly cheap and really neat-looking — and you can put Linux on it! That’s right, folks…these days, someone could find a way to put Linux on my toilet if they tried hard enough, and I wouldn’t be surprised if there is already a guide somewhere out there to do just that.

Some of the unit’s virtues are thus: a 266MHz AMD K6 CPU, 32MB SDRam, internal 16MB Flash RAM, integrated 800×600 color LCD display, four USB ports, a 56K modem, built-in microphone and speaker, a compact flash slot, wireless IR keyboard, and it’s tiny! Supposedly, the best form of Linux for the IA-1 is a variant called Midori, so I’ll try that out and let you know how it goes. With any luck, I’ll have an underpowered web-browsin’ machine in a few days. What’s the point? I have no idea. It’s the hack that counts.

2 Responses to “Latest Crush: The Compaq IA-1 Internet Appliance”

  1. Alex Says:

    I’m looking for one of this Compaq Ia-1 but can’t find it yet !!
    Are you selling one, please ?

  2. Tomy Hall Says:

    Hello Alex,
    I actually have one of these IPAq’s and I have not been able to get it connected to broadband yet—and seeking help seems virtually impossible. Are you looking to purchased one recently? As in July 2007? If so, drop me an e-mail and let me know.
    Thanks Tomy Hall.

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