1. If you clear the bios, then that enables you to change the settings in the bios. Just doing this will not affect the default (intended) use of the machine. But, if you install jailbait or win98 or something else over top (i.e. on to the internal sandisk) of the msn companion OS, then naturally it will be lost. So if you would want to revert to its default state, then you would want to back up the original OS, and save the copy, or just download it from someone. Then if you wanted to cover up that you had access to the bios, you would want to select the bios option that says "silent boot" which disables the compaq key press - thus you would have to clear the bios again to make any changes. So don't enable that (as I learned the hard way) unless you really want it that way.
2. Yes, I have win98 using winamp to play files over the lan. But you can also play them from whatever else you have connected to your IA-1. A USB hard drive works very well too. And playing them from whatever storage card you have in the CF slot also works well. Yeah, it is just one speaker and it sounds okay - not great - and probably not as good as the sound on my audreys. I also tested the units audio out, which when connected to your stereo system will naturally produce far better sound, but I did notice some hiss and distortion at higher than just low volume settings - limitation of the sound card, eh?
3. If you are going to use win98, who cares what adapter you use as long as it works with win98 - which includes probably every adapter made. As for jailbait, I do not know, but my linksys 10bt adapters work fine.
4. I don't have DSL anymore, so viewing webpages over a 56k connection appears even slower. I would imagine that with a DSL/cable or other type of fast connection, the IA-1 would seem faster.
5. Yup, I have an IA-1 and some audreys. The audrey is nice with its touchscreen, but the IA-1 is far better for MY uses (bigger screen, better keyboard, faster processor and all the other things). Now if the IA-1 just had a touch screen, then it would be perfect. The only other thing I would have liked would have been a header to add a fan for the processor.
The audrey might be better suited for hand/lap held use as it has the touchscreen (and with the on-screen keyboard) thus you can use it in less space. With the ia-1 you need to have the keyboard out in front of it to work.