A great story about a long-forgotten computer, but...
...somehow I doubt they managed to get 40 lines of text on a 128-pixel-high screen!
It is 1984 and Bernard Terry, a civil servant, has devised a 'portable text processor' to make his fellow civil servants more productive in the office and out. Electronics giant Thorn EMI has agreed to manufacturer the machine, which will eventually be called the Liberator and become Britain's first laptop computer. Thorn has …
...developments in computing since I got a ZX81 in, er, 1981, and I've never heard of the Liberator before. Smashing stuff.
And I say this as someone with both an Epson PX-8 (the HX-20s younger sibling) and an Atari Portfolio (also British)...
Perhaps you can follow this up with a story on Cambridge Computers Z88, another favourite 80s portable.
fellow civil servants more productive in the office and out. Electronics giant Thorn EMI has agreed to manufacturer the machine, which will eventually be called the Liberator and become Britain's first laptop computer. Thorn has
You must be kidding work and civil servant do not go in the same sentence unless used in the negative sense!
What a shame about the demise of the word 'kneetop'. It sounds so much nicer than laptop. But as one of the model numbers was LPTP101, I guess kneetop was a Civil Service thing, rather than coming from Thorn EMI.
Well I say it sounds nicer. I'm not sure if "for my stag night I'm going to a knee-dancing club" quite works...
"Using rechargeables created all sorts of design problems," says Wojna, "because of the very wide variation in output voltage that you'd get from a batter pack when it was fully charged and the curve that you got as it discharged,"...
Has this lost something in the editing? NiCds have a nice flat discharge characteristic. Alkaline cells tend to be exponential. I've lost my own original research (circa 1984) on the subject but this will do to illustrate:
...it actually looks pretty nice. The keyboard, in particular, looks excellent. Those calculator-style LCD screens with the big square pixels are very old-fashioned but I've always found them very easy to read and easy on the eyes; I'm particularly fond of my NC200's silver-on-dark-blue screen.
Of course, the actual computer inside can be outperformed by a 50p PIC, but that's not the point.
And the battery life was excellent; I own a super-lightweight ARM notebook, and like it a lot, but even that only gets six to seven hours!
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