24

As the question is unclear about what is to be considered a laptop and what screen size is sufficient, we will have multiple possible winners: (I will only include mass-market machines, as special solutions like terminals had LCD in various sizes quite a long time before) One-line portable computers have been around since the Sharp PC-1210 with its 24x1 ...


15

One alternative to the trackpoint was a trackball, either below the screen (as in the Macintosh Portable), or next to the screen (as in the Compaq LTE Lite). When the trackball was next to the screen the mouse buttons were typically on the back (you would roll the ball with your thumb, and press the buttons on the back of the screen using index and middle ...


13

The main reason for Compaq's longer-term success in the PC market, in comparison to IBM, is what is commonly referred to as the "First-mover advantage". In the beginning of the PC market, IBM actually held a monopoly position. As we know, in a couple of years, Compaq and others would challenge this by creating legal PC BIOS clones and bringing compatible ...


13

I personally have never seen the attraction of a 'portable' that weighs more than many desktop machines, but my feelings on the matter are immaterial; the fact is that the market at the time was hungry for such machines, and the Compaq sold very well. They were the solution for people without a fixed office, or moving locations. Not the constant moving ones ...


10

This is one of dozens (hundreds?) of luggable designs that came out of Taiwan and other far east nations in the late 80s/early 90s before everything reverted back to the AT case style. The case was generic and you could put in any compatibly sized mobo, which were also widely available. The "Tri Data" might be a local company or computer shop, anyone could ...


8

One uncommon pointing device was the J Mouse. Zenith had it on some of their laptops. I remember seeing a laptop with this back in the early 90's. Another uncommon pointing device was the mouse on the HP Omnibook 300. My work gave me an AST PowerExec laptop which had a trackball that clipped on the front edge. The ball was so small it constantly got gummed ...


8

Ni-Cd cells like the ones used in the last century have one strong advantage over the Li-based battery cells we use today: They simply die silently. As long as they are not leaking and contaminate the inwards of your computer, I see no reason why you shouldn't just go on using that computer. Other than that, quite a lot of Ni-Cd battery packs have been ...


7

There is a fascinating publication called Flat Panel Displays in Perspective, put out by the (now closed) Office of Technology Assessment, United States Congress. The key quote from the publication: ...the first direct current (DC) plasma displays were segmented displays developed in the 1970s to replace the Nixie tube. Later in the decade, dot-matrix ...


6

Trackballs in various shapes and designs - if there was a build in pointing device at all. Early laptops, from Grid and Sharp PC5000 to all the early Toshiba (T1000ff) didn't have any such device. If the OS and/or application did support one, the user was expeced to attatch an external mouse, trackball or pad (pen operated pads where already available before ...


6

The battery probably isn't a part of the power-filtering system. If you aren't sure if you'll be able to use the laptop without it, just disassemble the laptop, remove the battery and power on the computer. If it works, then there's nothing to be worried about. If it doesn't, firstly check if you have connected everything properly; If everything seems OK, ...


6

I just came across a possible answer at http://www.indiana.edu/~hightech/fpd/papers/ELDs.html "The most important problem that had to be solved before mass production of ELDs could begin was increasing the reliability of the EL thin film stack. Since the devices operated at very high field levels -- about 1.5 MV/cm -- there was a high probability that they ...


5

Which makes it surprising that the IBM portable PC flopped; it looks to me like essentially the same product, only with the IBM nameplate; I would expect this to be an attractive proposition for the business computing market in the eighties. Rod Canion (Founding CEO of Compaq) did an interview with Guy Raz a couple years ago, and this is one of the key ...


5

One definite advantage of the Compaq Portable over the IBM 5155 is that it had a video card and display that could render text at MDA resolution, with 14 pixel rows per character, and still support CGA graphics modes. The 5155 used a stock CGA with 8 pixel rows per character in all modes. This meant that for someone working in text mode with the built-in ...


5

This looks like a generic, Compaq style schlepable build from standard components with the Elitegroup HM386SX as a typical generic Heatland 386SX chipset based motherboard. I would date it as early to mid 1990s. BIOS should be an AMI one. TriData is probably the name and label the involved PC confectioner did slap on after fitting the components ... usually ...


5

what pointing devices were used by early laptop computers? None at all. Windows 1.0 dates from 1985 but Windows started to become really well established around the time of Windows 3 in 1990 Here is a laptop I bought in 1991 This came with drivers for Windows 3.0. I think Windows 3.0 was an optional extra, the default OS was MS-DOS 5.0.


5

The Plato IV computer terminal introduced in 1972 had a 512×512 pixel plasma display. The reason why plasma displays were never popular in battery-powered laptops is because they use a lot of power compared to LCD displays, especially when not all laptops were backlit.


4

I have 3 of these laptops, and can assure you that they will run OK without the NiCd battery installed, although you may need to replace the lithium CMOS battery if that hasn't been replaced. You can get a matching CMOS battery from Amazon, but you'll need to swap the connectors. Search for ER6C 3.6v Lithium. You should find a few AA size that say they're ...


3

In the video you linked (at 01:12), I notice that this device has the standard yellow and white connectors for composite video and audio. Many cheap portable LCD TVs support this kind of input, and are often battery powered, too.


2

The original Macintosh Portable, from 1989, is fairly typical in using a trackball; also in the '80s you could have had an early touchpad (e.g. on 1983's Gavilan SC) and GRID had experimented with a rolling bar — vertical motion was achieved by rolling, and horizontal by pushing the whole thing to the left or right.


1

The Outbound was a Mac clone in a laptop form factor. It used a unique pointing device consisting of a small rolling cylinder that controlled the up-and-down motion and could be forced sideways against springs on either side to provide side-to-side motion. It was in some ways a combination of a one-axis trackball and a one-axis TrackPoint. I am on a Lenovo ...


1

My first laptop circa mid 1990's was, I think, one of these It has a very small track ball and two buttons, one on either side. I don't remember the track ball being particularly good, but at the time nipples and trackpads were unknown. Even the mice were completely mechanical.


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