Bought an IA-1 on ebay and turns out it is one of the unhackable ones. After scouring this forum and everything else I could find on the IA-1 on the Internet, I thought that the unhackables and the blue Clippers probably share the same BIOS. In this forum, user ekempen on 11/18/04 posted that he was able to get into the Clipper BIOS with a certain sequence of pinning steps and keyboard strokes. I reproduced what he had done all the way through getting the block cursor on the right-hand side of the screen. But I was unable to reproduce getting into the BIOS by hitting the Compaq key as he suggests. Believe me, I tried variations for HOURS with no success.
Reading up on older Compaq BIOSes of that vintage, apparently Compaq allowed F1 as well as F10 for getting into the BIOS. So I tried F1 which I believe is the far most left grey key
with the newspaper symbol (although I saw another post saying that F1 is the "person" key in the lower middle). The F1 (newspaper) key didn't work either. Well I thought I would try some permutations of F1 by combining it with the Shift key, Ctrl key, Alt key, and through some stroke of luck, I got into the BIOS!
I came right into the language selection screen, chose English, and was off into the other sections of the BIOS. Under "IDE Devices" I enabled the secondary IDE to enable the CF slot. The only thing that was strange was that under "Boot Order" I saw 2 blank lines that I could select the order (first, second, third, ...) but these being blank I could not tell which line was which IDE device. In retrospect, I think those 2 lines were for the primary and secondary devices on the Primary IDE channel. I did boot with a bootable image on the CF device in the slot, but because the Secondary channel was not enabled when I booted, I believe the CF device could not be seen and after saving and rebooting it would require a second entry into the BIOS to see the CF slot and make it first in the boot order.
Well here is the BAD news. I have been UNABLE to reproduce getting back into the BIOS. I firmly believe Compaq set up a keystroke to get into the BIOS but I now am not sure if it is F1, Ctrl F1, or possibly CTRL 1 which I might have accidently hit in my endless attempts to hit the right keystrokes. The other thing I'm pretty confident in is that the timing of the keystroke is critical. This was also mentioned by the other person who was able to get into the Clipper BIOS. Now I wish I had turned off the display of the Compaq logo in the "Advanced" BIOS settings as the BIOS probably tells you on bootup when to hit the proper key to get in.
I have run out of time for the evening because I need to get up early to go to work tomorrow. I am also very frustrated at this point so I may not even touch this device for a few days. I hope this spurs others on to continue trying to break the "unhackables."