I got from eBay a FSC Futro S210 thin client, which can support up to 512MB RAM, 32GB CompactFlash card and works well with Windows 98SE. The design has a nice plastic case, with 2 USB ports, a headphone port, a microphone port and a card reader slot at the front:
At the back there is a parallel port, a serial port, an Ethernet port, a VGA port and 2 PS2 ports for mouse and keyboard:
With the case opened you will see the CompactFlash (CF) slot, a RAM slot and an IDE socket. The optional PCI card is connected via the daughter board. The switch mode power supply is nicely positioned to the left of the RAM slot:
The thin client boots up nicely to the Fujitsu Siemens Computer logo:
The BIOS is by Insyde Software and the CPU is shown as 800MHz Transmeta TM-5800. According to notebookcheck.net, this CPU is a 128-Bit VILV (Very Large Instruction Word) processor which is much simpler than a x86 CPU. Due to code morphing, the TM-5800 is able to emulate x86+MMX in hardware.
The Components menu allows you to configure the COM/LPT ports, enable/disable the PS/2 mouse port as well as configure keyboard and USB legacy support settings:
There is even an option to separately disable/enable the integrated USB 1.1 or 2.0 ports:
Of note is the IDE settings which allow you to configure various options such as Standard, Fast PIO, Multiword DMA, Ultra ATA-33/66/100. I bet your motherboard does not have such sophisticated option:
During my tests, legacy USB emulation, particularly for USB floppy drives, is not well implemented on this board. If the floppy drive is still plugged in after the machine has been powered off (but still connected to power), the drive motor will vibrate constantly until powered is removed. If USB floppy emulation is used with EMM386 enabled, then occasionally there will be corrupted floppy directory listing. If you write to the floppy drive, floppy data will be corrupted and the floppy disk will have to be reformatted. To use USB floppy emulation on this board, you must boot from a clean MS-DOS floppy.
If you are using a USB keyboard in USB legacy mode, pressing any key within 5 seconds after bootup (for example to enter BIOS) will hang the machine 50% of the time. The BIOS does not support emulation for a USB mouse. Because of this, I will just use PS2 keyboard and mouse for maximum compatibility.
Legacy USB support for hard drives only works well if the computer starts from a USB floppy drive. Otherwise, the machine will attempt to boot from the USB drive, even if it does not have a boot sector, and often hangs, regardless of the boot order set in BIOS. If the USB drive is plugged in before booting up, command chainload+1 in Grub4DOS will hang whereas Windows 98 will boot but hang later. There will be no such issues if the USB device is plugged in after boot-up.
USB CD/DVD drives are supported, but only for floppy emulation booting. Installing Linux using a USB CD-ROM drive will be fine whereas loading Hiren Boot CD or installing Windows will fail. This is because the BIOS does not present the USB CD/DVD on any IDE channels, causing Hiren/Windows to fail loading when it can’t find the IDE controller.
To install Windows 98 on this board, copy Windows setup files to a CF card, boot Windows 98 from the USB floppy drive, run SYS C: and then reboot from the CF card to start Windows setup. Windows setup should finish without issues, except for missing drivers for the following hardware:
- Display adapter (SIS315E)
- Sound card (VIA AC97 Enhanced Audio Controller)
- Network Adapter (VIA VT6102 Fast Ethernet Adapter Driver) – VEN_1106&DEV_3065
The SuperIO chip is VIA VT1211, the mainboard model string is TECO Electric and Machinery Co., Ltd. TR5670, and the mainboard chipset string is Transmeta Crusoe Integrated. BIOS Date is 13 Oct 2004 as identified by HWinfo V6.2.2 for DOS:
It took a lot of efforts but eventually I was able to get all the Windows 98 drivers required for this PC. USB drives also work natively on Windows 98SE using NUSB33E.EXE I shared in my other article. A packet driver also exists for this network card, so I was able to get MTCP to acquire an IP address from my router’s DHCP server in real DOS mode:
An NDIS2 driver exists too, allowing me to access my home network shared drive using Microsoft Network Client:
With MS-DOS 6.22 as well as Windows 98 installed, the S210 is now quite a good machine for my vintage computer hobby. To note, for sound to work perfectly, you should be using the VIA AC’97 driver which provides perfect sound in Windows apps as well as in a MS-DOS prompt running from Windows. If you use Realtek AC97 driver, audio from Windows apps will be good but DOS audio will be poor. Although the integrated PC speaker for this motherboard is loud, audio quality is poor (except for beeping). The motherboard does not have a PC speaker connector.
The DOSUSB project as well as various other DOS USB drivers (nj32disk.sys, usbaspi1.sys, etc.) also work well on this motherboard, allowing me to access thumb drives from real-mode DOS without using USB legacy settings.
Puppy Linux 5.25 also works well on this machine, although I do not see how it could be useful for me.
I could not find any real-mode MS-DOS drivers for this sound card. I tried VIAAUDIO.COM which complained about missing BIOS settings and did not work under pure DOS. I also tried Windows 3.1 which did not work. On the other hand, video can be set to 1024×768 using the Windows 3.1 SVGA driver in Windows 3.1, which is good enough.
You can find the drivers for this thin client here (fujitsu_S210_drivers.zip). In the archive, folder 6103v2_7 is the Ethernet driver, SiS315e is the VGA driver, and Vinyl_V700b is the AC97 driver. The rest are various drivers which I have tried but did not work – these are included just in case.