Subject: Re: [linux-audio-user] laptop advice needed
From: Geoff Kuenning (geoff_AT_cs.hmc.edu)
Date: Mon May 20 2002 - 21:47:29 EEST
On Sun, May 19, 2002 at 05:20:40 +0200, Frank Barknecht wrote:
> Weren't notebooks invented to fit nicly into small japanese flats in
> the first place and then the western world misunderstood this invention
> as being a portable computer instead of one that is easily stowed away
> into a corner?
Well, this is seriously off-topic for this list (CYHIST being the
right place), but I can't resist clearing up a couple of
No. The concept of a notebook goes back to Alan Kay's research at
PARC on the Dynabook, in the early 70's. The Dynabook was to have
been (basically) an oversized Apple Newton.
As Steve points out, the first luggable (or one of the first) was the
Compaq. IIRC, that's how the company got named. The screen was
excruciatingly tiny, though the keyboard was full-sized. The primary
market was service technicians who could use it as a component of a
diagnostic system; it was also somewhat popular with software
salespeople who could use it for demos. Some people also dragged it
back and forth between work and home, primarily to work on
spreadsheets (remember that Visicalc was the "killer app" for personal
computers). This was all in the late 80's.
Laptops came out of the continuing drive to make computers more
convenient. Once the PC became an indispensable office tool, many
manufacturers saw the advantages of portability. I think Apple made
the first true laptop (or one of the first). Other early players made
PC-compatibles; the IBM Thinkpad was one. I recall evaluating a Sun
Sparc and rejecting it because it was vastly heavier than the x86
ones. At UCLA, our first lab laptops were Dells, which we bought in
'94 or '95 when the IBM salesman foolishly tried to strongarm us on
our Thinkpad order.
-- Geoff Kuenning geoff_AT_cs.hmc.edu http://www.cs.hmc.edu/~geoff/
In any large population, there are some people who aren't very bright. That's not their fault, it's just in their genes. As an engineer, I have a responsibility to design things that won't kill off the slower ones, just as I have a responsibility to design things that won't harm my neighbor's dog.
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