Mar 8, 2021

Thin Client: Neoware CA10 (BL-Q2-JD & BK-00-00) (Updated: 03/17/2021)

Rear view of opened ca10

 NOTE: Updates appear at the bottom of this article.

 I bought this version of the CA10 because, well, it was blue. I hadn't seen a blue version before. Turns out that the reason it is blue is that COMVoice had them painted that color. I bought it "as is" for about $10USD.


CPU - VIA C3 800MHz / 1Ghz

GPU - Apollo CLE266 (VIA UniChrome) (shared memory up to 64 MB)

RJ45 - VT6103 Built in PLUS a PCI 3COM NIC

Sound - VT8235M/VT1612A AC97 (Selectable MIDI port addressing and IRQ)

Storage - 256MB DOM (44-pin IDE PATA)

RAM - 1x256MB PC2100 (2 DIMM slots total, 1 available)

USB Ports - 4 Total (@ on back, 2 on front)

Video Ports - VGA / DVI

Power Requirements - 12v 4A, though I was able to use 12V 3.5A

Other Ports - PS2 Keyboard, PS2 Mouse, Line in, Mic out, Two 9-pin serial, 25-pin parallel (printer), PCI

BIOS/CMOS - Phoenix AwardBIOS P640 V:5.03.20F-110205, Ver 6.00 PG, 11/02/2005

Installed OS - Just enough FreeBSD to boot, then system hangs.

The BIOS in this thing allows you to boot from just about anything - HDD0/HDD1, floppy, LS120, SCSI, CD, a slew of USB devices, and more. I could *NOT* use a USB keyboard. However, the BIOS has an option to enable USB keyboard support and that was disabled. I enabled it and was instantly able to use the USB keyboard while still in BIOS. Whoa. The BIOS allows the user to set memory speed timings, theoretically opening the door for some overclocking.

Crystal sound card shown along with ide-to-sata cable and 768mb RAM.


The unit I got had high corrosion and would only post every so often. I swapped DOM cards and tried IDE/SD Readers, but the system always corrupted the drive data. Instead, I created a bootable microsd with DOS 6.22 and tried with that plugged into the USB port in the back. That, too, eventually quit working at random intervals.

Below is what I could make work for short periods of time:

Operating Systems:

DOS 6.22 PARTIAL (256MB RAM, 2GB DOM) -  DOS installs. None of the sound drivers I downloaded would allow the audio to play in DOS games. Sound only worked via PC Speaker. However, I installed a Sound Blaster Live! PCI card and the DOS driver. It works very well! Games like Wolf3d, Duke3d, Doom, Ultima Underworld 1, etc had digital sound and music.

WFW 3.11 PARTIAL (256MB RAM, 2GB DOM) - Installed fine, but again no sound drivers.

Windows 95 PARTIAL (256Mb RAM, 256MB DOM) - I had to delete everything except just enough to boot DOS with HIMEM.SYS after copying the Win95 installation folder to the drive. I also deleted AOL*.*, MSN*.*, CHL*.CAB, and possibly a few other files from the Win95 setup directory. I chose the "Compact" installation. I chose to select options not to install, but the only options were Disk Defrag and Disk Compression. So, I deselected them. Setup asked for the now-deleted AOL files, but I told it to just Skip them. When Windows installed, it wanted to set up active channel. ctrl-alt-del to bring up task manager. Kill IE4Setup then kill the Active Setup. You are now at the desktop! At the end of the install, I had 82 MB free. No sound, etc since sound is HD. (Though could install the SBLive and use Win95 drivers).

Windows 98SE WORKS (768MB RAM, 2GB DOM) - This took a bit of creative problem solving. When you boot from a USB stick, the computer treats it as a hard drive (C:), so installing Windows would mean installing to the USB. So, I booted to a DOS-ready USB, FDISK and formatted the 2gb DOM. I then copied the Windows 98 setup files to the DOM. After that, I rebooted with a Win98 CD. Because the setup does not recognize USB drives, the CD defaulted to A: which allowed me to switch to the C: drive (DOM) and run the setup from there. I installed the Vinyl-7b sound drivers and the UniChrome VGA drivers.

Windows XP WORKS (768MB RAM, 120GB SATA) - I installed a DOM-to-SATA adapter then plugged in a 120GB 2.5 SATA HDD. I booted from a WinXP setup disc. This is a SLOW process. I don't think I have ever seen every single pre-loaded driver's name on the screen before. Usually those whip by. Not with this device. The network card was detected during setup. I disabled everything but TCPIP when prompted, as I had encountered blue screening during certain phases of the installation. After installation, I installed Vinyl7b ( drivers for sound. For video, use the UniChromeIGP driver. Video supports DX7, DX8, and DX9. I did not test anything beyond DX9. Research shows that XPEmbedded was the OS of choice for this, so it makes sense that XP does moderately well once installed.

Windows 7 WORKS (768MB RAM, 120GB SATA) - I installed a DOM-to-SATA adapter then plugged in a 120GB 2.5 SATA HDD. I booted from a Win7 setup DVD. This was *NOT* fast!  It took nearly 10 minutes to get to the partitioning screens.  Once setup finally finished, I was able to install Crystal CS4281 drivers to go along with the PCI sound card I had installed using the riser adapter. Unfortunately, the system always reported "not enough resources." I thought this was an IRQ/DMA issue, but after disabling a bunch of built-in devices, I believe the issue is simply that no Windows 7 driver exists (that I could find) for the card. The system functions, but is much too slow to serve as anything other than novelty.

TBD: Windows 8.1

TBD: Windows 10


03/17/2021 - I installed a SBLive (CT4830) using the PCI slot and a 90-degree adapter. I installed the DOS drivers for it and after a reboot, I had Sound Blaster emulation running for DOS games! 

03/16/2021 -  I received a replacement unit that was a slight "upgrade" from my original board. This one has the "BK" designation, indicating it had the DVI connector on the back in addition to VGA and the processor is bumped to 1Ghz. Everything else, so far as I could tell, was the same.

03/12/2021 - Unfortunately, after the initial Win95 install, the unit would no longer POST. I think the corrosion on the motherboard finally caused the thing to bite the dust. 

I do plan to get a replacement motherboard, though. I just can't help myself. I love this blue case and the form factor will make for a fun little retro machine.

I received a new board on 3/11/2021, but it was DOA - it would show a red light when plugged in and I could press power, but it would never boot. The company I bought it from is doing a cross-shipped RMA, which is very nice of them!

The original board went through some more testing. I was able to get it to boot so long as it was out of the case AND the power button panel was no longer screwed into the case. I surmised we had a grounding problem. This was confirmed by experimenting with various configurations on the system inside the case and out. I eventually laid a piece of anti-static bag under the system board. This works intermittently, but more often than not working.

Mar 5, 2021

Thin Client: Wyse WT1200Le (Updated: 03/15/2021)


Picked up this thin client hoping to make a fun little DOS machine out of it. Turns out, that's a bit of an issue. The device will not boot to USB. There is also no accessible BIOS/CMOS that anyone has discovered so far as my research goes. 

Let's look at specs and such.

CPU - AMD Geode GX

GPU - Geode GX CS5530A

RAM - 32MB (Soldered onto motherboard)

Sound - LM4546AVH (AC97)

Storage - 512kb SoC (System on Chip)

RJ45 - Pulse PE-68515L 10/100

USB Ports - 2 on back

Video Port -  VGA

Power Requirements -  12v 3.33a

Other Ports - Headphone, Mic

OS - Wyse ThinOS

BIOS - Winbond; not accessible by keyboard so far as I have been able to determine.


System booted and within seconds, presented a desktop that appears to be some kind of no-frills Windows 98 or XP, but is more likely some version of Linux. 

A "System Information" window opened up for a few minutes as the system grabbed an IP address. That screen disappeared and a "Connect Manager" screen popped up, trying to connect to "jtc-gp." Of course, that failed.

System Information shows Memory (32MB) and ROM (512k). There is a NAND Size option, but it shows zero, as there is not storage device on the unit. The 32MB RAM is soldered onto the motherboard but there are no means for expansion without soldering a SODIMM socket to the thing.





The "Start" button says "Desktop," and leads to a variety of applications to examine. System Setup provides options for setting preferences, configuring network and display, and setting serial/parallel ports (even though the unit doesn't actually have any).

System Preferences cover naming the device, time zone, DST, and other options.


The Network Setup allows for assigned or DHCP addressing.

There is a wireless setup screen, but there is no wireless adapter in the unit. There is a header for a micro-wifi card, but there is no socket soldered in the spot.


The Display setup auto-selects the resolution and color depth based on the monitor the system detects, but the user can override this, changing the resolution and/or the refresh rate.

The Serial Setup must be a holdover from an earlier version of the device, since there is no serial port nor is there a dial-up modem port.
Like the serial settings, there is a Printer Setup. The default is LPT1, however later versions of the software allow for various USB printers to be used.
We looked at the System Information earlier, so next we have Applications - which is empty by default.

 As you can see, there are a few more tools - PPOE Manager, Dialup Manager, and PPTP Manager for handling different types of connectivity. The Network Test section has Ping, Trace Route, and Print Queues.

Inside the Connection Settings, we can create new items to connect via ICA, which is a Citrix-based server, or via RDP, which is how most people connect remotely to servers.

I do not have a Citrix server on site, but I do have various Windows servers, so I created an RDP connection to a local server.


I did not provide a username/password combination when I set up the connection, and the server promptly provided the login screen for me to enter my credentials.


 All in all, this is a very simple device for folks who want to provide no-frills access to network resources. Parkytowers has a cool write-up about this thin client and addresses the limitations of not being able to access BIOS. 

I think if someone were capable, they could devise a way to sneak DOS into a firmware build and replace the built-in TOS with it. The main problem is the 512k "storage." One would basically have to keep the OS inside a 512k "drive." Not sure how feasible that is.

I think it would great if someone could hack the wt1200le to drop a DOS loader package. Basically, you would have enough OS to boot, then it would create a ramdrive that the OS in unpacked into with whatever games/apps you were going to run in DOS. The main issue I see with the 512kb boot space is that it would have to house the "MBR" etc PLUS the compressed disk image. The issue with the 32MB RAM is that the ramdrive would be limited to roughly 20-25MB. That's a 20MB hard drive. Not a lot to say the least. The other problem you have is that none of the data can be saved back out again. So, if you were playing a game, you could save the game as long as the unit was powered on, but once you turned it off, the ramdrive is gone and so is whatever save games you had.

Still, it would be a cool project if it were possible.

*Update 03/15/2021 - I found someone who provided the 4.4.079i firmware image and I setup my desktop as a FileZille FTP server. In the 1200LE, I configured the network settings to point to my desktop and it upgraded to the original OS. The person also provided 5.2_035 firmware, which I then tried on the device.  The updated OS runs VERY quickly, but the mouse wouldn't CLICK. I could move it around the screen, but the system would not register any mouse clicks. Weird.I reverted back to 4.4.079i and everything seems fine.

*Note: My unit was running v 4.4.079i when I got it. I found a firmware "update" that turned out to be a downgrade to 4.4.010i. That downgrade killed the USB mouse. Well, technically, a USB mouse kills the OS, causing it to throw up a "divide by zero" error. I am still looking for the firmware to upgrade back to where I was.

*Note: If you are presented with a login screen, turn off the device. Turn it back on. While it is booting, keep spamming the G key on your keyboard. The unit will force itself into a "Factory Reset" mode which will eliminate the login screen.

Mar 4, 2021

Thin Client: HP T5710 (Died during testing)


I bought an HP t5710 off eBay recently. I had seen a couple of videos and read multiple forum posts about the t5710's ability to serve as a cool, compact DOS gaming rig. In addition to DOS, I thought I'd see what else we could throw at it. First up, the specs for the one I bought:

CPU -  Transmeta Crusoe 800MHz

GPU - Radeon 7000M


Sound - Via AC97 Compatible (Use VIASBCFG for sound, see below)

Storage - 44-pin DOM (Disk on Module) 2.5-inch 44-pin IDE PATA Interface

RJ45 - 10/100 VIA Rhine Family Networking

USB Ports - 4x USB 2.0 (all located on back)

Video Port - VGA Connector

Power Requirements - 12V, 3.33A AC Adapter

Other Ports - Internal PCI slot (requires 90-degree angle adapter), Audio Out (Headphone), Mic in, PS/2 Keyboard, Parallel, 9-pin Serial, Kensington

OS - Windows XP Embedded (WinXPE) with various programs, VERY limited access rights

BIOS - F10 to enter BIOS. Phoenix AwardBIOS installed (Version 786R1 v1.04) - Options included just about everything you would expect from a computer built circa 2004 (as this one was). You can set time/date, boot device, passwords, enable/disable various onboard devices, etc. You can also enable USB mouse in BIOS so that it works in DOS!

You can boot from USB flash drives, USB CD drive, or USB Floppy.

- There are two screws on the back of the unit. Once removed, the cover comes off after a bit of manipulation. There are a couple of plastic clips that keep the cover in place. I clipped them off to make future removal much easier. Once the outside cover is removed, there is a metal shield with two screws that must be removed. Once done, the metal cover lifts off easily. There is a speaker screwed into the metal lid, so USE CAUTION when lifting the cover, as the lead wires from the speaker plug into the motherboard. The connector for the speak is easily removed for unabated access to the system.

NOTE: You can replace the DOM with a ribbon/sd card adapter to provide more storage/flexibility. Or, you can buy larger capacity DOMs. I suggest at least a 4GB, though I have seen them as large as 32GB.

OPERATING SYSTEMS ([works] [partial] [failed])

DOS 6.22 PARTIAL (512MB RAM, 256MB DOM) [works] - Booted from a DOS USB stick that had various games, VIASBCFG, MOSLO, and other software installers. I then installed from USB without issue. Ran FDISK, formatted drive, copied relevant files. Set the AUTOEXEC.BAT with the following Sound Blaster environment: SET BLASTER=A220 I7 D1 P330 J0 then added VIASBCFG /v50 (to set volume at 50%) and VIAFMTSR (for FM synth). I had to use MoSlo in order to install games like Duke3d and Wolf3d, but once installed, the games ran fine without MoSlo. Some games would not run at all (Monkey Island Demo, for example), so be aware of that.

NOTE: The Network Adapter uses IRQ 5, which will conflict with VIASBCFG Sound drivers for DOS. Be sure to set the sound IRQ to 7.

Windows for Workgroups WORKS (WFW 3.11) (512MB RAM, 256 DOM) [works] - During my DOS install, I had copied the WFW installation files to the USB stick then copied those to the DOM after DOS was installed. The WFW setup ran without issue. I did NOT install network drivers during install. After reboot, added Sound Blaster 1.5 from the Control Panel. Selected A220 and IRQ 7. After Windows restarted, I had sound. I found Rhine-II drivers for the VT6102 networking and installed those.

Windows 95 PARTIAL (512MB RAM, 256 DOM) [limited] - This was a bit more involved. I created a VirtualBox MSDOS installation and converted that to an IMG file (Details in footnotes below).  I then Copied the Win95 install files to a Win95 folder on the SD card. Be sure to deleted the CONTENT folder if there is one. Booted the t5710 with the SD card. I formatted the D drive (which is the DOM card). Copied DOS and Win95 setup to D drive. Shut down device, removed SD card, rebooted. Delete CHL*.* and AOL*.* from the Win95 directory. Start Win95 setup. Chose Minimal (just above Custom). Install asked for several files we had deleted but let me just SKIP those during the "Copying files" section. PC rebooted with "Getting ready to run Win95..." Setup finished and rebooted the PC. After reboot, Win95 found the monitor and presented the desktop! Windows showed 75MB free on drive while installing the stupid IE Active Desktop junk. Java Error (since we deleted java). System booted fine. Grabbed the USBSUPP.EXE file, saved it to the DOS Flash Drive, booted with the DOS Flash Drive and copied the USBSUPP to the DOM. Rebooted into Win95 and ran USBSUPP. System rebooted. Went into Device Manager and updated any USB devices. Installer complained about uhcd.sys, but I was able to browse to Windows\System to find it. Unfortunately, the system locked up after an "Unknown Device" wizard popped up. The USB driver could no longer see the keyboard and mouse attached. Of course, I have no PS/2 keyboards or adapters. Contacted a friend of mine at a local school and he had an adapter! Got the adapter to work with a USB ball mouse (optical would not work). I could not find a keyboard that would work with the USB add-on. So, I removed the USB support. Once I did that, the keyboard and mouse worked as usual. Go figure. I even tried the XUSBSUPP, but that did not work either. Specifically, the drivers in stalled, but the keyboard no longer worked and I eventually had a BSOD. I gave up on this part of the project.

Windows 98SE PARTIAL (512MB RAM, 256MB DOM) [limited] - I followed the steps outlined at RMPrepUSB for installing Win98 via Easy2Boot. I used UltraISO to edit the Win98SE.iso file. In retrospect, I should have not only deleted the files mentioned, but also ALL of the folders under the Win98 folder, as I do not believe they are needed and the copy process is SLOW on the t5710. The DOM had already been partitioned from the Win95 install above, so I skipped those steps and jumped to formatting the DOM. Once the format was done, I created the B:\TEMP folder. NOTE: You MUST delete all the files under the WIN98\OLS folder, otherwise setup complains about drive space on B. Run SETUP /T:b:\temp to start the install. My install complained about a Windows NT format. I chose COMPACT install. Skip the startup disk. When prompted to remove disks, unplug the USB and hit Enter. System will reboot. Continue installation. My system booted with 70MB free on the DOM. I restarted the system and booted from a DOS USB then copied the USB drivers from PhilsComputerLab to the system. I figured this would open up the door to grab other drivers directly from a USB stick. Rebooted to Win98 and ran setup for the first set of drivers. No luck. I grabbed NUSB32E.exe and copied it from a DOS boot-up USB to the Win98 and ran it. After a couple reboots, it detected my USB flash drive! At this point, trying to install various drivers was fruitless due to storage constraints.


Windows XP Embedded WORKS (Factory Reset) - (512MB RAM, 256MB DOM) [working] - Downloaded the SP29705.EXE file that contains the SuperPAQ factory image from HP. I tried to run their flash utility, but it never worked. So, I chose the option to create an ISO then burned the ISO to a cd. I booted the device with a USB CD drive and started the restore process. It is not fast. Removed boot media, restarted. XP continued setup. Was presented with locked PC with arrow on screen. Manually rebooted. After a few moments, the factory-restored XPe appeared and finished setting up devices, software, etc. This also takes a LONG time (10 minutes or more). Asked to restart device, restarted. After a few moments, presented with desktop. VERY limited access. Cannot access My Computer, drives, etc. Limited Control Panel access. An HP Sys Info app shows 57MB free on the DOM along with some other info about installed software, hardware, etc.

Windows XP (256MB RAM, 4GB - UNTESTED*

Windows 7 - UNTESTED*

Windows 10 - UNTESTED*

*NOTE - I inserted a USB stick in order to try to install Win98SE with the 4GB DOM. When I did, the system would no longer boot. I swapped DOM, RAM, etc and unplugged everything except power and VGA, but the system would never POST again. Pretty sure the USB stick shorted the system somehow.

– To Create DOS SD Card - From "Dustin" on Create a virtual drive with the same specs as your SD/CF card. (I don’t think the size actually matters, but just in case) – Install DOS on to the virtual drive via VirtualBox and the DOS floppy images. – Open powershell or cmd and navigate to the VirtualBox install directory – Run .\vboxmanage internalcommands converttoraw "C:\PATH\TO\YOUR\VIRTUALDRIVE.vdi" "C:\PATH\TO\YOUR\VIRTUALDRIVE\NameOfImage.img" – Plug in your CF/SD card. – Open Rufus ( – Select your CF/SD card, and browse to find the image you created above.