New project, an Epson PX-8 Laptop

While browsing the ebay store of you-tuber Resale Rabbit, I found this laptop, an Epson PX-8 “Geneva” while the not the first laptop, is still one of the early examples of a laptop computer. The Epson HX-20 is regarded as the first laptop is close relative of this laptop. This laptop was listed in non working condition, described as:

Turns on wont type or respond

Which to me indicates it is not completely dead, only partially dead, and it will need some work to get working again. Hopefully it is something that can be fixed. But I will have to wait until I receive it to begin that process. But this should be fun project to complete while under a stay at home order. Look for future blog and video posts on this system.

This being an older system there are detailed technical/service manuals available. In addition to manuals included with system a collection of scanned manuals are available online at

Resale Rabbit talks about the laptop while getting it ready for shipping

This system has Z80 and runs the CP/M operating system from ROM. One of the more unique features of these early Epson laptops is the microcassette drive for storing data and programs. The tape deck can also be set to output sound to the built in speaker, and external line out jack, which can be used for making sure data is recorded on the tape, but it may also be possible to programmatically output voice and/or music stored on the tape. Additionally there are sockets for 2 ROM modules which can contain application software. These are standard ROM ICs in a custom carrier, and are designed to be swapped by the user. Application software was sold on these ROM chips for users to install. Interfaces are provided for connecting floppy drives, serial printers, an acoustic coupler modem, barcode scanner, audio output, and a single analog input.

What am I going to do with this anyway…

  • Get the hardware working
  • Clean up the case, if wanted and/or needed retrobrite the case
  • Burn some custom eproms with software
  • Build a compact linux or other embedded system to serve as a modem and floppy disk emulator.
  • Call up a BBS
  • Take it to Vintage Computer Federation event
  • Use as a cyberpunk hacker deck, possibly in conjunction with Kali Linux.
  • Take it and use it at the local coffee shop.