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History of Laptops

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Before laptop/notebook computers were technically feasible, similar ideas had been proposed, most notably Alan Kay’s Dynabook concept,  developed at Xerox PARC in the early 1970s. What was probably the first portable computer was the Xerox NoteTaker, again developed at Xerox PARC, in 1976. However, only 10 prototypes were built.

Osborne 1

An opened Osborne 1 computer, ready for use. The keyboard sits on the inside of the lid.
The first commercially available portable computer was the Osborne 1 in 1981, which used the CP/M operating system. Although it was large and heavy compared to today’s laptops, with a tiny 5″ CRT monitor, it had a near-revolutionary impact on business, as professionals were able to take their computer and data with them for the first time. This and other “luggables” were inspired by what was probably the first portable computer, the Xerox NoteTaker. The Osborne was about the size of a portable sewing machine, and more importantly, could be carried on commercial aircraft. However, it was not possible to run the Osborne on batteries.[citation needed]
Bondwell 2

Although it wasn’t released until 1985, well after the decline of CP/M as a major operating system, the Bondwell 2 is one of only a handful of CP/M laptops. It used a Z-80 CPU running at 4 MHz, had 64 K RAM and, unusual for a CP/M machine, a 3.5″ floppy disk drive built in. It had a 80×25 character-based LCD mounted on a hinge similar to modern laptops, one of the first computers to use this form factor.

Other CP/M laptops

The other CP/M laptops were the Epson PX-4 (or HX-40) and PX-8 (Geneva), The NEC PC-8401A, and the NEC PC-8500. These four units, however, utilized modified CP/M systems in ROM, and did not come standard with any floppy or hard disks.

Compaq Portable

A more enduring success was the Compaq Portable, the first product from Compaq, introduced in 1983, by which time the IBM Personal Computer had become the standard platform. Although scarcely more portable than the Osborne machines, and also requiring AC power to run, it ran MS-DOS and was the first true legal IBM clone (IBM’s own later Portable Computer, which arrived in 1984, was notably less IBM PC-compatible than the Compaq[citation needed]

Epson HX-20

Another significant machine announced in 1981, although first sold widely in 1983, was the Epson HX-20. A simple handheld computer, it featured a full-transit 68-key keyboard, rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries, a small (120×32-pixel) dot-matrix LCD display with 4 lines of text, 20 characters per line text mode, a 24 column dot matrix printer, a Microsoft BASIC interpreter, and 16 KB of RAM (expandable to 32 KB).

GRiD Compass

However, arguably the first true laptop was the GRiD Compass 1101, designed by Bill Moggridge in 1979-1980, and released in 1982. Enclosed in a magnesium case, it introduced the now familiar clamshell design, in which the flat display folded shut against the keyboard. The computer could be run from batteries, and was equipped with a 320×200-pixel electroluminescent display and 384 kilobyte bubble memory. It was not IBM-compatible, and its high price (US$8,000–10,000) limited it to specialized applications. However, it was used heavily by the U.S. military, and by NASA on the Space Shuttle during the 1980s. The GRiD’s manufacturer subsequently earned significant returns on its patent rights as its innovations became commonplace. GRiD Systems Corp. was later bought by the Tandy (now RadioShack) Corporation.

Courtesy: Wikipedia

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Buy Used Laptops with Confidence

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With Technology evolving at such an enormous rate, a laptop’s cycle doesn’t last long for some people and companies in need of constant latest technology. Many people benefit from a used laptop in different ways, you may want it for your own personal use, whereas a computer geek would like to see and investigate the inner workings. Nobody will strip or open up a brand new computer with a warranty, but with a used laptop it is possible. Upgrading is often possible and upgrading of some of these components allows for the ideal opportunity in teaching yourself.
A laptop, notebook or computer is usually not sold because something is wrong with it, but someone wanting to upgrade to the latest technology. It is a fact that everyone always look after their computers and laptops, even companies using laptops as no employee will mess up an employer’s equipment. Thus for you to purchase a used laptop stays a bargain as long as you know what to look for.
If you need a used laptop for general tasks, web surfing and emailing then a 700 MHz laptop is sufficient. It doesn’t have to have a large storage capacity and anything from 10GB – 20GB will be sufficient. Look out for any signs of impact on the used laptop before making a selection. Being dropped is a common injury a laptop sustain and although often isn’t seriously damaged. An uneven brightness or flickering screen is something you should never accept when looking at second hand laptops and used notebooks.
Testing the battery and the AC adaptors connector and the power jack is another must-do and the light shouldn’t flicker when you wiggle the connection. You must also test to ensure the cooling system is functioning properly by testing the laptop for heat and noise from the fan. Testing the keyboard keys, playing a cd and listen for hard drive sounds that may sound strange. Make sure wireless and networking interfaces work properly so that you are able to connect to the internet.
Different models and brands to be on the lookout for are IBM, which is very durable; Panasonic, Toshiba and Fujitsu also build solid laptops. Apple is another very durable quality and the cheaper brands such as Sony Vaio and Dell unfortunately are cheap laptops and for a little more you can buy it brand new. A durable used laptop is what you investigate so stick to purchasing a durable brand.