Computer History

1983: My first portable computer, (you'll notice I don't say it was a laptop, and you can see why when you look at it), was my very first computer. It was called a Seequa Chameleon, weighed 28lbs, and I bought it in 1983 for the MSRP of 1995$, (because I couldn't afford the 3000$ of a Compaq Portable, which was a much nicer luggable.) But it was my first one, I bought it myself, and I've been hooked every since. I remember buying Microsoft Word 1.0 for it, and in 1984 buying a 300 baud Anchor Volksmodem for it, and getting hooked on BBSes, even though it took forever to download huge files, like 200k. I finally sold it around 1985 for around 800$.

The Commodore 64 is often credited with starting the computer subculture known as the demoscene. The C64 lost its top position among demo coders when the 16-bit Atari ST and Commodore Amiga were released in 1985.

1985: Toshiba launch their first notebook, the T1100. It featured a 4.77 MHz Intel 80C88 processor, MS-DOS 2.11 operating system, one 720KB 3.5-inch floppy disk drive (the first in a mass-marketed PC) for storage, and 512 KB RAM. The screen was a black-and-white 9.1- by 4.7-inch LCD with a resolution of 640x200 pixels, and optional 14.4kbps modem. The unit cost more than US$4,000 in 1985 (Toshiba sells 11'000 pieces of them).

1989: a prerelease version of the NeXTcube running beta NeXTstep is made available to educators and students at US$6'500. A few months laters, NeXT releases the final version of the NeXTcube, which retails for US$10'000.

1993: My current laptop is a Gateway Handbook, about the size of a handbook - ten by six inches and weighing less than three pounds. It was probably the earliest Linux-compatible subnotebook released.

1995: Apple PowerBook 190 / PowerBook 5300; Toshiba "Butterfly" ThinkPad 701, the top-selling notebook PC of 1995. I use it to run PC DOS 6.3 , Windows 95 and NetBSD.

1996: PowerBook 1400

1997: I work on two laptops, a Toshiba Libretto 50 and a PowerBook 3400 ("the fastest portable computer in the world"), running Mac OS 8.0, and Rhapsody 5.1.
November: Apple releases the first G3 PowerBook (250 MHz), codenamed "Kanga" (which remains on the market for less than 5 months, being Apple's fastest depreciating Powerbook).

1998: March: Apple introduces its second generation of PowerBook G3s (Mainstreet/Wallstreet).

1999: I take my ThinkPad 701 out of daily service and buy a Toshiba Portege 3010CT. At 2.8 pounds, the 3010 is great for travel. But over the years it lost the ability to charge its batteries and eventually died.
May: Apple introduces the third generation G3 PowerBook, "Lombard" (400 MHz).

2000: February: The fourth generation of PowerBook G3 ("Pismo") is introduced (400 or 500 MHz). The last of the G3 line, it was succeeded by the PowerBook G4 Titanium models.

2005: I get a Toshiba R200. It comes with a SD card reader and fingerprint scanner for enhanced security.

2006: The G4 PowerBook is discontinued.

Operating Systems

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Page last modified on Thursday 13 of March, 2008 19:04:19 CET by 1.0.