Gateway Handbook 486

Handbook and Radium

246 × 150 × 41, 1.4 kg

This was the first notebook computer under 2 Kg that could run OpenBSD, as far as I know. I used it from 1996 to 1999. I stopped using it when pc-card support stopped working in OpenBSD 2.3. It started working again in 2.5, if you change the list of available irqs, but since you can't turn pc-card power off or on without rebooting the machine it's not very useful to me. I now travel with my Palmpilot.

You can replace the 120 MB disk drive with a larger one, up to 4 GB, if you follow these instructions. Jeff Blum also has some great info on opening the Handbook and replacing the batteries, the cmos/ram backup battery, and the disk drive.

OpenBSD 2.6 works pretty well but my Wavelan card fails. A 3c589 works fine in this machine.

pcic0 at isa0 port 0x3e0/2 iomem 0xd0000/16384
pcic0 controller 0:  has sockets A and B
pcmcia0 at pcic0 controller 0 socket 0
pcmcia0: CIS version PC Card Standard 5.0
pcmcia0: CIS info: Lucent Technologies, WaveLAN/IEEE, Version 01.01, 
pcmcia0: Manufacturer code 0x156, product 0x2
pcmcia0: function 0: network adapter, ccr addr 3e0 mask 1
pcmcia0: function 0, config table entry 1: I/O card; irq mask ffff; iomask 6, iospace 0-3f; rdybsy_active wp_active bvd_active io16 irqpulse irqlevel
wi0 at pcmcia0 function 0 "Lucent Technologies, WaveLAN/IEEE, Version 01.01": address 00:60:1d:f0:92:42
 irq 3wi0: tx buffer allocation failed
wi0: mgmt. buffer allocation failed
pcmcia1 at pcic0 controller 0 socket 1
pcic0: irq 9
biomask 4040 netmask 4048 ttymask 52ca
dkcsum: wd0 matched BIOS disk 80
root on wd0a
rootdev=0x0 rrootdev=0x300 rawdev=0x302
wi0: tx buffer allocation failed
wi0: mgmt. buffer allocation failed
wi0: xmit failed
wi0: device timeout

OpenBSD ramdisk kernels later than 2.2 do not work for me. They run for a few seconds then panic with a kernel page fault. Custom built non-ramdisk kernels work fine. I installed 2.4 by using Norton diskedit and the 2.1 boot floppy.

OpenBSD 2.6 Patches

Always use 10 second timeout in wdcwait(). Try this if your disk fails to work after having been spun down.

OpenBSD 2.5 Patches

The list of available irqs doesn't work on any computer I know of. This patch fixes the list so that the 3c589 ethernet will work on several different machines. I haven't tried any modems.

OpenBSD 2.2 Patches

Don't update time-of-day register on halt. Try this if your Handbook hangs on halt or reboot.

Don't "clear pending interrupt" if no atapi bus is configured. Try this if you your disk refuses to spin down, immediately spins back up, or gets a disk error just after spinup. Also compute block numbers correctly on a restarted transfer. Make kernel compile if we have IDE controller but no wd drive.

Don't trust what the BIOS gives for %fs and %gs.

I removed the hlt instruction from the idle loop to suppress an annoying speaker buzz. This was suggested to me by Todd Williamson <>.

OpenBSD 2.6 Configuration Files

kernel config

Jim Rees