Friday, February 22, 2013

The First Laptop E-V-E-R: the GRID Compass

Today it seems everything is portable, from mobile phones, laptops, video games and tablets... and with the rising popularity of Tablets, some speculate that the computer laptop is gonna go the way of the dodo bird...
The above image is of the first computer laptop called the GRID Compass designed by Bill Moggridge back in 1979 and later publicly released in 1982. This was back before the term 'laptop' or 'clamshell' was ever conceived! 

...and the crazy part of the whole thing is that 28 years later it still looks AWESOME to say the least. 
[GRiD CEO John] Ellenby's idea was to create a computer with an electronic display that would be small enough to carry around, but powerful enough to complete work tasks away from the office. Moggridge began to visualise a design for this device in order to help people understand what the product would look like and to convince venture capitalists and potential employees of its viability and appeal.
...The impact of the Compass Computer in the world of computing is obvious: it was the world's first laptop. Its geometry, layout and clamshell mechanism have been imitated time and again on all manner of portable computing and communications devices. Many of Moggridge's ideas for the physical design of the Compass Computer were unique at the time, but have since become commonplace: the flat electroluminescent graphic display, the low profile keyboard and the die-cast magnesium enclosure, for example.
The [GRID Compass] computer featured an Intel 8086 processor, a 320 × 240-pixel electroluminescent display, 340-kilobytemagnetic bubble memory, and a 1,200 bit/s modem. Devices such as hard drives and floppy drives could be connected via the IEEE-488 I/O (also known as the GPIB or General Purpose Instrumentation Bus). This port made it possible to connect multiple devices to the addressable device bus. It weighed 5 kg (11 lb). The power input is ~110/220 V AC, 47–66 Hz, 75 W.

via core77 wikipedia

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