The Idea Is Born The idea of a portable, technically complete computer system was first conceived of as early as the sass. While the technology of the laptop would not be feasible until the next decade, researchers at Xerox were experimenting with a type of portable computer, called the Donnybrook, In the late sass and early 1 sass (Wrester 2001). The Donnybrook was Intended to be a type of tablet computer (with a screen that did not fold down as the screens of most modern laptop computers do) that could run on nearly eternal battery life. Unfortunately, technology in the 1 sass was not advanced enough to support this idea, and the concept of the Donnybrook was never developed into an operational unit. Earliest Laptops Portable computers first became commercially available In 1 981 with the Osborne 1 system (Wilson 2006). This computer was about the size of a portable sewing machine, featured a tiny monitor, and could not be run on battery power.
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However, It revolutionized the business world, allowing business professionals to carry their computer data with them for the first time, even on airplanes. But due to the unwieldy size of the Osborne I and its inability to run on battery power, the system ever really took off in the commercial market, though it would remain a vanguard of technological advances to come. The first true laptop computer, which featured a flat display screen that could fold down on the keyboard, was introduced in 1982.
Termed the GRID Compass, the computer featured the clamshell design that is still used for most modern laptops and could be run on battery power (Wilson 2006). However, Its incredibly high price and IBM Incompatibility limited its attractiveness In the commercial market, and It was used primarily by only the U. S. Military and NASA. Two other portable computers, introduced in 1983, would prove to be slightly more featured revolutionary changes that would make them much more viable for business use.
While the Compact system required AC power, it was the first portable computer to be compatible with the MS-DOS operating system and IBM software, allowing for ease in data transfer from desktop computers. The Epsom HEX-20, while fairly simple in its programming, was relatively inexpensive and could be run on rechargeable batteries. By late 1983, the market for laptop computers was wide open, and traveling business people were hungry for improved technology. Correspondingly, this year saw the launch of one of the most popular early laptops, the Crockery Isotropic 85 (Wilson 2006).
This product was first introduced in Japan and experienced relatively slow sales, but American computer engineers quickly saw its potential and began marketing it in the United States with substantially increased commercial success. The laptop featured an internal modem and several programs designed by Microsoft. It was also capable of running on regular AAA batteries. Although it did not feature the lameness design most common in today’s laptops, it was about the size of a standard paper notebook.
The computer’s low price (as little as $300) and convenient portability made it a bestseller among Journalists and correspondents. IBM-Compatible Laptops Despite the relative success of some early laptops and the clamor by business people for more portable computers, laptop producers encountered some difficulty gaining overall popularity for their systems that were not IBM compatible. Because IBM was the major platform for most desktop computers, it became essential that laptop amputees were IBM compatible in order to promote the transfer of data from one computer to another.
To fulfill this need, two IBM-compatible laptops were launched in 1986 and 1987 to moderate success (Wilson 2006). Produced by IBM and Toshiba, the units were fairly limited in their operating capabilities but they were light enough to be carried in a backpack, could be run on batteries, and included a pause feature that allowed users to resume work between sessions without restarting. While the IBM-compatible systems were useful, they were still limited in their viability and did to experience large-scale commercial success.
Laptops Experience True Success By 1987, several laptop manufacturers had emerged on the market, and competition was fierce to produce the first, truly successful laptop computer. In that year, a contract from the United States Air Force for the purchase of 200, 000 laptops was up for grabs, and computer manufacturers competed heavily to win the contract. Each company rushed to develop prototypes that would secure the deal, with Zenith Data Systems (ZEDS) eventually emerging as the victor.
On the strength of the contract from he Air Force, ZEDS became the largest manufacturer of laptop computers in the late sass (Wilson 2006). Equipment supplier that would speed the design and manufacturing process of its laptop computers. Soon, other laptop manufacturers followed suit and began working with Japanese equipment suppliers. However, as Japanese currency became stronger in the early sass, the profit margin of U. S. Companies decreased, and many manufacturers began to turn to Taiwan as the major source of equipment (Wrester 2001).
Companies that formed partnerships with Taiwanese suppliers (including Dell, Gateway, and Micron) quickly began to rise to leadership positions in the laptop market. By this time, laptop computers had become quite popular among business people, and suppliers rushed to furnish the growing market with lighter, faster, and more viable machines. Apple Enters the Market Apple Inc. , while quite prominent in the desktop computer market during the sass, was relatively slow entering the market of laptop computers.
It was not until 1989 that the company released its first portable computer, the Macintosh Portable (Wilson 2006). The computer was praised for its incredibly clear display and long battery life, UT it was too bulky and heavy to be truly competitive with other available laptop computers. Because Apple had not yet provided a truly successful Macintosh laptop, several other suppliers began producing compatible machines; however, copyright law required that the user of one of these laptops must also purchase a new or used Macintosh computer to supply the necessary Mac ROOM images.
While Apple was slow to enter the market and was unable to provide a truly successful laptop model on its first attempt, the company’s 1991 Powerboat series revolutionized laptop technology. Computers in the series were the vanguard of overall standard features in today’s laptop computers, including the placement of the keyboard, the touched mouse, and built-in network adapters. Microsoft Standardizes the Laptop Perhaps the most significant event in the history of laptop computers was the release of the Windows 95 operating system by Microsoft in 1995 (Wrester 2001).
Prior to this, operating systems for laptops varied widely, and suppliers experienced a great amount of flexibility in the design of their computers. The introduction of Windows 95 as the most prominent operating system served to standardize and stabilize most aspects of laptop design. It was also during this year that CD-ROOM drives, Intel Pentium processors, and floppy disk drives became standard features on nearly all laptops. Leading laptop suppliers like Dell, Gateway, and Toshiba quickly released models that complied with the expected features of a standard laptop computer.
As technology has developed since 1995, the popularity and viability of laptop computers have greatly increased. Improved battery life, displays, processors, and Today, the average laptop computer is a far cry from the heavy, bulky portable computers of the early sass. Indeed, there is no telling how the laptop will continue to develop in future years as computing technology advances. Posted May 5, 2007 References Wilson, James E. 2006. Vintage Laptop Computers: First Decade: 1980-89. Outskirts Press, Inc. Wrester, Christian. 2001. Computers: An Illustrated History. Teaches. Http://www. Randomization. Mom/l-50/potato. HTML The Complete Laptop Computer History By: Dacha Carrey Laptop computer history is a rich and intriguing subject. While not every technological advance made it to today’s laptops, the history of laptop computers is lull of great ideas and discarded efforts that created the machines we know and love. The Laptop Computer History Timeline 1981: Osborn 1 system created. The Osborn 1 wasn’t tiny; it was similar in size too sewing machine and required a power outlet to run. Early business adapters were intrigued, but ultimately it failed due to unwieldy size and an inability to run on battery power. 982: GRID Compass debuted. The first real laptop, the GRID Compass was truly portable, with the folding design we know today and the ability to operate on battery alone. The GRID Compass was expensive and incompatible with MM, so it was Hereford used almost solely by NASA. Nevertheless, it was pivotal in the history of the laptop computer. 1983: Compact Portable and Epsom HEX-20 introduced. The Compact Portable was the first laptop compatible with the IBM operating system and MS-DOS, making it easy to switch data back and forth between laptops and desktop computers.
However, the Epsom HEX-20 had an edge in that it operated on rechargeable batteries, whereas the Compact Portable required a power outlet. These were the first commercially successful laptops. 1983: Crockery Isotropic 85 released. One of the most wildly popular early laptops, he Crockery Isotropic 85 was small and inexpensive, running on AAA batteries and Microsoft programs and an internal modem, the Isotropic set the tone for laptops to come, although it lacked the traditional laptop clamshell case. 1986: IBM launches its first laptop.
IBM was the standard for desktop computers, so laptops had to be IBM compatible to be viable in the marketplace. IBM launched the IBM PC Convertible in 1986 to moderate success. 1987: Toshiba laptop introduced. Like the IBM portable, the Toshiba T 1000 and T 1200 included IBM compatibility and MS-DOS. These laptops were lightweight and small, UT still not commercially successful. 1987: Zenith Data Systems won an important US Air Force contract. ZEDS won a bid to produce 200, 000 laptops for the US Air Force in 1987.
This was a noteworthy development because ZEDS partnered with Japanese manufacturers to produce hardware and reduce costs. 1988: Compact SLOT/286 introduced VGA graphics. Compact was the first laptop manufacturer to produce a machine that could display VGA graphics. It was lightweight and battery-powered with an internal hard drive. 1989: Macintosh Portable was the first Apple laptop. The first Apple laptops were rage and bulky and not particularly successful, but marked Apple’s foray into the laptop market. 991 : Apple Powerboat brought Apple into the laptop age. Unlike the Macintosh Portable, the Powerboat was truly portable. The Powerboat also included a palm rest and a pointing device, which became the standard for future laptop designs. 1995: Microsoft released Windows 95. Because of its power-management functionality, Windows 95 became the default operating system for non-Apple laptops. The release of Windows 95 stabilized several features of laptop design, and brought about the reaction of the style of laptops we know today. Http://www. Eifel 23. Com/technology/computer-hardware/laptop/laptop-computer- history. SHTML History of Laptops The first laptop computer, although portable, did not resemble the popular notebook book-sized and folding laptops that are a familiar sight today. The concept of a portable computer was developed by Alan Kay of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center. In the sass, he envisioned a notebook-sized, portable computer called the Donnybrook that could handle all of the user’s informational needs in a manner similar to the existent desktop computers.
Debatable, the first laptop computer was designed in 1979 by William Mongering of Grid Systems Corporation. Known as the Grid Compass, it was one-fifth the weight of memory, a die-cast magnesium case, and a folding electroluminescent graphics display screen. The Grid Compass was used by NASA on the space shuttle program in the early sass’s. Most historians consider Osborne 1 as the first true portable computer. Released in 1981 by Osborne Computer Corporation, it was sold for $1795 and weighed kegs (23. 4 pounds). Features of Osborne 1 included: 5-inch (CACM) screen Modem port