Archive Post: My NEC MobilePro 770 Page

Back in the early 2000s, I owned an NEC MobilePro 770 and managed to get NetBSD running on it. During that time, I posted the following page about it. This is the most recent iteration that the Wayback Machine was able to fetch. Note that several links are probably broken. I have made a few edits so that it fits this page better.

I hope to publish archives of my old sites and blogs again in the future. I have often considered including them on my personal webpage again but this would be a herculean undertaking.

NEC MobilePro 770

I recently ordered a MobilePro 770 in order to have a more compact mobile platform. Other items I looked at were the Toshiba Libretto 50C, and the MobilePro 780. While the Libretto has the F# keys, I went for the 770 for its processor. I'm not a big fan of x86 hardware. I also liked the idea of a touch screen vs. an eraser mouse. The 770 is faster than the Libretto 50C, clocking in at 131MHz. The 780 is just slightly faster than the 770, but I got 'stuck' with the 770. I plan to install NetBSD on the machine almost as soon as I get it.


Why did I decide to go off and buy one of these? Well, the “gee-whiz” factor does play a part, but I was looking for a mobile computing platform that wouldn't be a burden to have around. I don't need much, so I went by the following criteria:

Must run some form of BSD, would preferably not be x86 based, must have capabilities of a PIM (calendar/address book/todo list), ability to read ebooks, must be capable of Python or C development, should run X with vTWM, should handle a couple of small games (xboard, xothello, netris, robots), decent interface and display, network capabilities and removable storage are preferred.

With the exception of being able to use my USB flash drive, the 770 does everything I need it to. It has a 131MHz MIPS processor, its capable of running NetBSD, supports PCMCIA type II, and CF type II among other things. It appeared to be the best bargain too.

System Specifications

In its time, the 770 was a pretty high end machine. Its pretty slow compared to today's standards, but I really didn't need much of a machine. Any HPC/mobile platform worth recognition today generally cost in the upper thousands. I didn't have any need for that much processing power. Here is a general overview of the 770's specifications:



Current Inventory

All I currently own is a MobilePro 770, an AC adaptor, serial cable, and vga monitor cable. I am using a FujiFilm 128M CF card for the NetBSD filesystem and storage, and a 3COM 3CCE589ET 10Mbps PCMCIA card for the NIC.

Laundry List

These are just a few things that I would like to get up and running on my 770. If you have any information as to how to achieve these things, please contact me!


05.22.04 I've put together a short installation HOWTO. Check the Resources section. I'm also still trying to find my camera, so there will be a slight delay on pictures. If you happen to go through the install, a manual install may be a better idea, as installation using the CF card is a bit slow.

05.22.04 As of 02:19CDT, I am up and running with NetBSDon my MobilePro 770. I am writing this post sitting beside my bed with the nice little HPC in my lap. I'm very excited. Tomorrow I will work up a full installation guide using sysinstall, then I will attempt a manual installation in the next few weeks. I will also have pictures up whenever I can manage to find the camera. My next missions are to get the modem working, get my fav. apps installed, get screen (or F# keys), and to get a bigger card to work from. Right now I'm running with just kern+base+etc on a 128M Fuji CF card. Enough of this, its bedtime!!!

05.21.04 I borrowed the CF reader/writer from work and bought a 128MB CF card that was on sale at Wal-Mart for $30 today. I'm going to try to get NetBSD installed today, and If I succeed, I'll get a bigger card. I've been able to read and write to it from my FreeBSD laptop “copper” and from the 770 itself, so all is well. I couldn't find the camera, but I promise I'll get pics up ASAP (even if I have to take pictures with my phone!).

05.18.04 Wow, that was quick! I got the 770 today sometime around 2pm. I'm logged into sdf using teraterm pocket, unfortunately it only supports telnet, but I'll just change my password later. I am accessing the internet via the built in modem and my tenex dailup account. I need to get a CF card and reader so I can get NetBSD up and running on this thing. Pictures and more info soon!

05.17.04 I just called, and the letter the sent me regarding my credit card was just a glitch in the system. I should be getting my 770 in the next couple of days. I'll post my progress here as I go. Hopefully I'll have a bit of an ad-hoc how-to install guide posted here by the time its all over.


$Id: 770.html,v 1.4 2004/10/03 23:47:29 hobbsc Exp $