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42 votes

Were there ever any dumb terminals in a portable form factor?

if there was ever a case of a company making some sort of serial ASCII terminal, but in a portable factor Well, it all depends on the definition of dumb, portable and terminal. Let's go with the most ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
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27 votes
Accepted

First computer with LCD screen

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 ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 224k
18 votes
Accepted

Which pointing devices were used by early laptop computers?

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 ...
Ken Gober's user avatar
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17 votes

Were there ever any dumb terminals in a portable form factor?

The Termiflex was a handheld terminal that was introduced in 1979. It was very cumbersome to operate as it had a very limited keyboard and could only display a few characters at a time. It looks like ...
Kevin White's user avatar
15 votes

Identify early portable computer

Found this while browsing one of the links on the "laptops with mini-diskette drives" question: It appears to be a generic 80186-based IBM PC AT clone, distributed as "Tava Flyer". ...
Treehugger's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

Were single-sided floppy drives really more tolerant of rough handling?

In a double-sided drive, there are two heads which are necessarily closely spaced, facing both sides of the thin magnetic-coated disc once it is inserted. The concern would have been that the heads ...
Chromatix's user avatar
  • 16.8k
13 votes

Compaq Portable vs IBM 5155 Portable PC

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 ...
Brian H's user avatar
  • 60.8k
13 votes
Accepted

Compaq Portable vs IBM 5155 Portable PC

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 ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 224k
12 votes

Can anyone help me identify this computer?

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 ...
Maury Markowitz's user avatar
11 votes

Which pointing devices were used by early laptop computers?

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 ...
Tim Locke's user avatar
  • 4,811
11 votes
Accepted

Grid Compass - why such a small display?

I just came across a possible answer on this page: "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 ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 61.2k
8 votes

Dealing with old laptop batteries?

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 ...
tofro's user avatar
  • 35k
8 votes

How early could plasma screens be used in laptops?

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: ...
misha256's user avatar
  • 181
8 votes

Were there ever any dumb terminals in a portable form factor?

To complement the answer by "henros": the French Minitel had various versions. The Minitel 5 build by Matra was a portable terminal. See https://sites.google.com/site/collectionminitel/...
Dubbs777's user avatar
  • 181
7 votes

Identify early portable computer

We distributed TAVA Flyers as part of an integrated package that included our SalesMaker software by Daedalus Technology and Proquest Technology of Texas. They were brought in by our French software ...
DWIGHT DEBACKER's user avatar
7 votes

Can anyone help me identify this computer?

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 ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 224k
7 votes

Which pointing devices were used by early laptop computers?

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 ...
Raffzahn's user avatar
  • 224k
6 votes

Which pointing devices were used by early laptop computers?

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 ...
RedGrittyBrick's user avatar
6 votes

Dealing with old laptop batteries?

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 ...
redsPL's user avatar
  • 1,017
5 votes

Building a Sega Genesis Classic Portable - What kind of display?

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 ...
Kaz's user avatar
  • 8,146
5 votes

Compaq Portable vs IBM 5155 Portable PC

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 ...
mschaef's user avatar
  • 4,836
5 votes

Compaq Portable vs IBM 5155 Portable PC

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 ...
john_e's user avatar
  • 7,748
5 votes

Were there ever any dumb terminals in a portable form factor?

Unix On page 44 of his book Unix: A History and a Memoir, in the context of a photo showing Thompson and Ritchie next to a PDP-11 around 1972, Brian Kernighan briefly mentions an experimental portable ...
Paolo Amoroso's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

How early could plasma screens be used in laptops?

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 ...
snips-n-snails's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Dealing with old laptop batteries?

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 ...
John's user avatar
  • 56
4 votes

Were there ever any dumb terminals in a portable form factor?

The RCA VP 330x series were keyboard-only terminals intended specifically to be plugged in on-site to existing televisions. They were generally advertised with the unit shown inside a briefcase to ...
Maury Markowitz's user avatar
4 votes

Were there ever any dumb terminals in a portable form factor?

ADDS Envoy 1972 Luggable, suitcase form-factor, CRT display, fold-down keyboard and integrated acoustic coupler modem. Very 1970s colour scheme; orange keyboard and yellows. https://terminals-wiki.org/...
Tim Williscroft's user avatar
3 votes

Were there ever any dumb terminals in a portable form factor?

Minitel. Dumb, connected and portable. Most models had a handle on top. Google picture searche
Patrick Schlüter's user avatar
3 votes

Were there ever any dumb terminals in a portable form factor?

I have a Brother EP-44 electronic typewriter in my collection - it doesn't have its own built-in modem, but it can be connected to one using serial cable. It can also be connected directly to a ...
moonwalker's user avatar
  • 1,620
2 votes

Which pointing devices were used by early laptop computers?

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 ...
Tommy's user avatar
  • 37.2k

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