History of laptops

The entire top of computer, including keyboard and monitor, lift up like a car hood. Side view compared with Averatec. It was actually more complicated since I had to cut away part of metal around the end that the keyboard was going into. It was equipped with a central 64K byte Ram, a keyboard with 58 alpha numeric keys and 11 numeric keys separate blocks , a character screen, a floppy disk: My PowerBook was a generous donation to the museum in September

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It's pretty cool that inside the door where the plug is there is a tag with punchouts of the exact year, month and day the computer was made. It did not turn on at all. I then noticed the fuse by the plug was missing.

I put in the fuse from the other machine. The B drive light briefly comes on and then nothing happens. My guess is someone took the fuse out because the machine was not working.

The more yellowed machine has two floppy disks. That computer is serial no. NA made It started to try to read one disk, but then I could not get it to do anything else. This machine also has the optional modem that fits into one of the floppy disk storage compartments in the front of the machine. It appears to be missing the cable from the modem to the front of machine. That's over 80, times faster.

The Internet as we know it did not exist in and the World Wide Web did not exist at all. As of the Summer of there are perhaps over million Web sites world wide. This machine also has an adapter in the video port in front that allows you to attach an external monitor with an RCA plug - a good idea when the built-in monitor is only 5 inches! The base model came with only 16 kilobytes of RAM, but could be expanded to k using the expansion slots.

It has only 64k of RAM. It is in generally good working and cosmetic condition, except the trim around the monitor is cracked. It has one floppy drive and a hard drive which currently does not work. My computer is apparently the post April version. While the Alto was not commercially produced, its ideas were incorporated in the Xerox Star system introduced in Wikipedia - Xerox Star.

It was therefore quite expensive. In addition to its cost, the hardware at the time often had trouble keeping pace with the software. This therefore could lead to mediocre performance. Therefore, while innovative, the Star was not a large commercial success. The successor to the Xerox Star was the Xerox It was the last model in the Alto, Star, trilogy.

It was a large tower about 21 inches high, 14 inches deep and 9. The floppy drive which fits perfectly on top of the tower adds another 2. Mine comes with a 19 inch monochrome monitor, itself very large with a face of approximately 19 inches by 19 inches and extending about 16 inches deep. It had an 80 mb hard drive. The operating system and graphical user interface was called Viewpoint and was written in a language called Mesa.

See DigiBarn Computer Museum. This was much more expensive than a typical PC at the time, but the Xerox was also very advanced at the time. It had a two button optical mouse - years before most optical mice. The mouse also plugs into the keyboard like in later Apple computers. Tens of thousands were sold, but it was still not a huge commercial success since lower priced PCs dominated the market. I acquired my Xerox for free from an ad on Craigslist on The seller lived in the Sorrento Valley area of San Diego.

He worked in computer networking and was moving. It sounded like he had the machine for about ten years. It comes with several manuals and disks.

He indicated it is working. I still need to try it out. It is in good cosmetic condition. It is a very interesting and historical addition to the museum. This design of iMac continued until when the very stylish flat panel monitor with half sphere base iMac came out.

The original iMac design continued in the larger eMac introduced in with a 17 inch monitor and a white on white motif. The eMac was originally designed for educational use - hence the "e. Tandy Radio Shack already had an established system of small electronics stores which are still common today in shopping areas. The computer was in the keyboard. Initially, only cassette recorders were available for long term storage. When floppy disk drives became available they were more expensive than the computer.

The entire computer - keyboard, monitor and drives were all in one unit. In October a transportable Model 4 was also released having a suitcase type design like a Kaypro, Osborne or original Compaq.

Great information, including a historical timeline and links, is available at oldcomputers. TRS 80 Homepage is also excellent. TRS 80 Model Series: Bearing the same family name, but an entirely different computer than the Model 1 - 4 series, was the TRS 80 Model , made by Kyocera. This is called by some the first laptop with software develped by Bill Gates. With a great keyboard it has been used by journalists for years. More information about the model is contained below. The basic premise of the machine is still carried on today in small, rugged laptops used primarily for word processing like the Alpha Smarts, marketed primarily to the educational community.

The Model was followed by the Model and Model Starting with the Tandy in designed for small businesses and the Tandy in designed primarily for home users, Tandy produced IBM compatible computers. The Tandy was a well designed computer but only semi IBM compatible. Lien, copyright , First Edition, Second Printing This manual itself was a great success and is a very cool part of early personal computer history.

This Web site started out as a project for an introductory Web design class I took at Grossmont College. I have also taken a Computer Networking class there. That was a pretty decent price since the keyboards are fairly rare and tend to be pricey. They had originally been used by the Bisbee, Arizona School District. One of them was sold in working condition and one for parts. The one in working condition indeed does work. That machine has K RAM and two 5.

The parts machine has K RAM. It had two loose floppy drives. I took the machine apart and hooked up the drives. While the machine powers on, it comes up with the message to insert system disk. The drives do not appear to be reading the disks.

The drives do not light up and I don't hear them. Finally, I tried my original machine with the 5. A very complete article with links to many original sources. See also MOS Technology The original PET had a "Chiclets" keyboard and a built-in cassette recorder for secondary storage.

It had a 4 kilobytes of memory. A moderately priced, modern desktop computer might have 4 gigabytes of memory - 1 million times more than the original PET! The "Chiclets" keyboard generated a lot of complaints. Therefore, by Commodore introduced a version of the PET with a full sized keyboard and a numeric keypad.

The built-in cassette recorder was eliminated. The Commodore PET was unique in several ways. The monitor looks like a separate monitor, but is attached to the top of case. The entire top of computer, including keyboard and monitor, lift up like a car hood. Image with hood up. Like many car hoods, it remains it place with a rod you swing into place. Mine has a 9 inch diagonally measured green monochrome monitor. When mine boots, however, it shows 32K RAM available.

A complete computer system in therefore cost about 20 times more than a system today in constant dollars. The speed, RAM and secondary storage are also orders of magnitude greater today.

The uses, capabilities and impact of a computer today were difficult to image thirty years earlier. Mine came with a Commodore PET single floppy drive , serial no. It also came with two books, Abrey B. The first computer he used was a Commodore PET when he was 8 years old.

Mine is in decent condition. There is some rust coming through the metal case. It turns on and boots to the command line. Only a few keys presently work. The seller thought it may just be oxidation on the keys. Removing the keyboard and cleaning the contacts might therefore fix the problem.

While it didn't make a sound in seller's office, when I got it home and tried it I got a continuing buzzing sound. This computer has an added internal Archer Radio Shack speaker. VisiCalc was the first spreadsheet program, initially made for the Apple II. While initially I thought the VisiCalc ROM was the program itself, it likely is simply required to run the program from a floppy drive as an extra measure of copy protection.

VisiCalc on tape or disc may still be needed. If it is the program, you may type VC at the command line to access the program. The computer itself was made in Hong Kong. This computer has a metal case. Another version of the D apparently had a plastic case. It is in good cosmetic condition and comes with the original box. Unfortunately, it didn't come with a keyboard so I can't check it out further until I locate a keyboard that works with it. The following day I went back to the estate sale looking for the keyboard.

A discussion at The Vintage Computer discusses modifying other keyboards to work on a D. Commodore Alive also discusses the possibility of using a built-in keyboard from an original Commodore on a Commodore D. The box has the price tag. The monitor was extra. The side of the box lists the features, available enhancements and what's included in the box. I was runner-up on a D keyboard on eBay being outbid at the last moment.

My thinking was that at the garage sale where I got the D, I also got a power supply for a At least I assume so - it is beige Commodore power supply and has the right connector. Therefore, with that power supply there was a decent chance one of the computers would work.

Also, I could try and use one of the keyboards to fashion a keyboard for the D. I can't get the computers to power up. It might be the machines or it might be my power supply. My power supply feels really light compared to a Commodore 64 power supply. I took off the case to make sure it was all there. I opened up a computer. The keyboard attaches to a 25 pin connector - one row of 13 and one row of 12 just like parallel connectors. The connector on the keyboard is female as is the connector on the d computer.

It seemed like I probably just needed to attach the two. I had a converter with two male ends. I joined one end to the keyboard and one to the D computer. It was actually more complicated since I had to cut away part of metal around the end that the keyboard was going into.

I hit a key and got a response on the monitor! Unfortunately, it's not the right response! For example, you hit the "h" key and you get a six. Not all the keys gave a response, but many did.

Unfortunately, no key gave the correct response. Therefore, apparently you cannot simply convert a keyboard to a d keyboard even though they both have 25 pins or receptors and even though they both look pretty much the same. If anyone has other ideas, please let me know! I'll keep looking for D keyboards. Patience is a virtue. I looked for two years off and on for a Tandy keyboard and eventually got two. My dilemma points out that standardization is a great thing. That's with no monitor and no storage devices.

The and were Atari's first computers, although Atari created the first commercial video game, Pong, back in I remember playing Pong when I was in high school at my cousins.

My Atari was one of a lot of 8 computers purchased on eBay in December It is in good operating condition. Behind this you can remove two screws to lift off the top revealing the slots for RAM. Mine is fully populated with three 16k RAM cards. Photo showing RAM slots and cartridge slots. Included with the computer were 13 cartridges: Obsolete Technology Website has excellent information about the Atari including the accessories available and a timeline of Atari Computers.

It has 64 kilobytes of RAM and uses solid state cartridges for programs. I have two XLs. I believe both work, but one does not have the power supply. I have one Atari disk drive which powers up, but I do not have disks to test it. The capacity of the dirve is apparently kilobytes. I have two programs; Star Raiders and recently purchased Atari Logo.

Nevertheless it maintains a following even today. A cassette tape program recorder could be added to store data. A large expansion system box with a floppy drive could also be added.

It is in like new working and cosmetic condition with the manuals still in their shrink wrap. I do not have a data recorder. My beige model, in good cosmetic and working condition, was purchased as one of a lot of 8 computers in December All but the last two have a copyright date of are in in cardboard containers. The last two are in red and clear plastic containers and have a copyright date.

It has 2 kilobytes of RAM and hooks up to a television. It has a very small membrane keyboard making typing difficult. Excellent information is contained at Obsolete Technology.

Mine was purchased on eBay in December as part of a lot of eight computers. It is in excellent cosmetic condition with the box and support material. Mine strangely has two power supplies which are hooked together.

I have not been able to get it to work yet, but I may be doing something wrong. There is not a lot you could do with it anyway except write basic programs which is much easier to do on a computer with a regular size keyboard. Daisy wheel printers at the time were at least that much. The computer also had respectable specifications for including a Z processor with 80kb of RAM 64kb usable.

It had a built in word processing program. It also could run all of the existing ColecoVision games. While it did not come with a floppy drive it did have a high speed cassette tape storage system with a capacity of kb which was more than many floppy drives at the time. A floppy drive is, of course, much more convenient and an optional floppy drive was available.

The computer supported color graphics. The user supplied a television to use a the monitor. While it appeared to have everything a family would want including word processing and games, the Adam system was unsuccessful and partially the cause of Coleco's Chapter 11 reorganization bankruptcy in After the initial shipment in October further shipments were stopped until early because of printer problems and data cassette issues.

The computer stopped shipping in January The computer had several quirks. You could not turn the computer on or off with a data pack in it. You could also not keep the tapes near the printer. That might destroy the data.

The power supply was in the printer. You could therefore not use the computer without the printer. Daisy wheel printers sounded like a machine gun.

That was the only way at the time to get letter quality printing, however. I remember reading about the Adam in and seriously considered getting one to type a master's thesis on. I luckily decided not to, however. I was mainly concerned with the inconvenience of using a cassette tape system as well as the readability of a television monitor.

It would have also been disastrous to set a tape on the printer and have my writing disappear. I instead rented a Kaypro 4 in early The Coleco Adam Technical Manual is at drushel. The Adam still has quite a following. The setup manual and dozens of other manuals are available at theadamresource. I actually got three systems. Two of the consoles do not have a game port. This type of console is called the Memory Console 3.

You could purchase a less expensive system with this console if you already had a ColecoVision game console. The third console is the standard with the game port. The cassette device for this one was loose. I have three keyboards. I only have two printers, however. One of the printers has a key lock installed by a prior owner to turn it on and off. I have one SmartBasic cassette. I have not yet tried any of the machines.

I purchased the machines as a lot of several computers which also included an Apple IIe Platinum with two floppy drives, a Monitor III and two file boxes full of educational software, a Kaypro II without software, a Commodore 64C with a floppy drive and color Commodore model monitor, two Commodore Amiga computers, one Commodore Amiga computer, two Amiga keyboards, one Amiga monitor and an older Magnavox monitor.

The seller had been an avid collector of ColecoVision games. Then and Now, Kaypro v. Kaypro 4, I rented one of these to type my page master's thesis in The thesis was stored on five disks. For that you got 64 kilobytes of RAM, two double-sided disk drives each having a capacitiy of kilobytes, and a 9 inch monochrome monitor. The Compaq Portable folded up into a luggable case the size of a portable sewing machine.

The third model of this development, Compaq Portable II, featured high resolution graphics on its tube display. It was the first portable computer ready to be used on the shop floor, and for CAD and diagram display. It established Compaq as a major brand on the market. Another significant machine announced in , although first sold widely in , was the Epson HX Through at least the late s Epson continued to release laptops such as the L3s.

The first laptop in the modern form was the Grid Compass , designed by Bill Moggridge in —80, and released in Enclosed in a magnesium case, it introduced the now familiar clamshell design, in which the flat display folded shut against the keyboard. However, it was used heavily by the U. The GRiD's manufacturer subsequently earned significant returns on its patent rights as its innovations became commonplace.

A separate expansion box provided dual 5. Dulmont was eventually taken over by Time Office Computers, who marketed the Magnum internationally in 16 and 25 line LCD versions, and also introduced the brandname Kookaburra to emphasize its Australian origins.

The Ampere , [1] a laptop with a sleek clamshell design by Ryu Oosake, was made in It was released as the Ampere WS The TRS Model was an early portable computer introduced in It was one of the first notebook-style computers, featuring a keyboard and LCD, battery-powered, in a package roughly the size and shape of a notepad or a large book.

It was made by Kyocera, and originally sold in Japan as the Kyotronic Although a slow seller for Kyocera, the rights to the machine were purchased by Tandy Corporation, and the computer was sold through Radio Shack stores in the United States and Canada as well as affiliated dealers in other countries, becoming one of the company's most popular models, with over 6,, units sold worldwide.

Two other noteworthy early laptops were the Sharp PC and the Gavilan SC , announced in but first sold in The Gavilan was notably the first computer to be marketed as a "laptop". It was also equipped with a pioneering touchpad -like pointing device , installed on a panel above the keyboard.

Like the GRiD Compass, the Gavilan and the Sharp were housed in clamshell cases, but they were partly IBM-compatible, although primarily running their own system software. Both had LCDs, and could connect to optional external printers. The Dulmont Magnum , launched internationally in , was an Australian portable similar in layout to the Gavilan, which used the Intel processor.

The year also saw the launch of what was probably the biggest-selling early laptop, the Kyocera Kyotronic The Tandy's built-in programs, including a BASIC interpreter, a text editor, and a terminal program, were supplied by Microsoft , and was written in part by Bill Gates himself. With its internal modem , it was a highly portable communications terminal. The machine was in fact about the size of a paper notebook, but the term had yet to come into use and it was generally described as a "portable" computer.

The Commodore SX , also known as the Executive 64, or VIP in Europe, was a portable , briefcase or suitcase-size "luggable" version of the popular Commodore 64 home computer, and was the first full-color portable computer. The SX featured a built-in five-inch composite monitor and a built-in floppy drive. It weighed 20 pounds. The machine was carried by its sturdy handle, which doubled as an adjustable stand. Possibly the first commercial IBM-compatible laptop was the Kaypro , introduced in With its brushed aluminum clamshell case, it was remarkably similar in design to modern laptops.

It weighed 13 pounds 5. Toshiba launched the Toshiba T in , and has subsequently described it as " the world's first mass-market laptop computer ". The CPU was a 4. It was followed in by the T and T With stylish bars, classy restaurants and fantastic entertainment; a trip to a Grosvenor Casino is a whole night out. Visit your local Grosvenor Casino and experience it for yourself.

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