The Portfolio measure 20 x 10 x 2.8cm, so it wasn't much smaller than the hefty ring-bound manual it and other computers of its era came with. The manual, like the on-board software and even the hardware itself, was created by DIP, which launched the Portfolio as the DIP Pocket PC not long before Atari licensed the technology and released it under the Atari brand, primarily in the US but in the UK too, where DIP continued to sell its own version.
Palm's Foleo: palmtop de nos jours
DIP would go on to offer three versions of the Pocket PC: the unit on its own; an Executive version bundled with an AC adaptor and a 64KB memory card; and the Professional, which packaged the Pocket PC, a 128KB memory card, a serial adaptor and cable, and the AC adaptor in a custom-made briefcase.
DIP was co-founded by three ex-Psion employees, David Frodsham, Ian Cullimore and Peter Baldwin - their first-name initials providing the firm's name, though it got a more appropriate, business-friendly full name soon after.
Incidentally, the lid of the Foleo sports a dark grey ribbed look decidedly reminiscent of Psion Series 3 palmtop... Another nod by Jeff Hawkins to his new toy's ancestry?
The Poqet PC: palmtop circa 1989
Cullimore, who had worked on Psion's original Organiser, would later go on to co-found Poqet, which produced the Poqet PC and shipped it in the US in September 1989, five months after Atari first showed off the Portfolio. Slightly larger than the Portfolio, the Poqet had a more PC-like keyboard, a 7MHz 80C88 processor and a full 640KB of memory. It ran MS-DOS 3.3. Poqet was acquired by Fujitsu in 1994, shortly after which the machine was killed off.
How long the Portfolio and Pocket PC lasted is less clear. Certainly it was doing a good trade in 1992 - DIP cut its prices, for instance - but with the launch of the Apple Newton MessagePad 100 in August 1993, the arrival of the Palm Pilot in April 1996 and Windows CE in September 1996, its days were numbered at that point.
More Forgotten Tech...
• 15 years ago: the first mass-produced GSM phone
• Compact Disc: 25 years old today
• From 1981: the World's first UMPC
• The IBM ThinkPad: 15 years old today
• Apple's first handheld: the Newton MessagePad
• 'Timna' - Intel's first system-on-a-chip
• BeOS: the Mac OS X might-have-been
• Sony's first Mylo
Atari's Portfolio: the world's first palmtop
Re: Hmm? Graham Dawson
Linux itself is an problem, it is old and dated, not terribly efficient, and that proved the case in performance testing. But maybe it has been vastly improved int he last ten or so years, since I last visited it. The PC of the OS world, with an number of forgotten better alternative OS's out there, sacrificed in the "free" for all ;) . Start on an bad basis, build on it, and how are you going to get rid of it. Linux2?
People seem to think HP and Psion were the first, Ir ember those Tandy, Sharp ad nausea pocket computers. Hmm, how I would have liked one of those one line, 16 character display devices (really wanted the four line ones). But before this was the Cambridge Technology UniBrain machine by Sir Clive I think (or was that Video Brain or something or other). Before that, I forget.
What about Psion's MCs
About at the same time (1989/1990) Psion produced is addition to it's Organiser range of product the MC200, MC400 and MC600. The first two were Epoc based computer while the latter one was a full notebook PC. These were more closer to the Foleo concept, I think, as it was device for the move with the 'same' featre as you desktop device.
Far from the first
Radio Shack made a pocker computer in 1980.
"Linux people, the bane of an free and democratic society",
"continue to hog the alternative better stream by making people think that Linux on PC is the way to go."
That would be why Linux and its paraphenalia run on just about every architecture available for purchase, plus a few that aren't. Wouldn't surprise me if there's a linux distro that runs on a sinclair spectrum out there somewhere... it'd be crap though.
The PC is ubiquitous. It is everywhere, You can't move without tripping over an x86 processor these days, and I agree that this is not an ideal situation. The linux people are catering to the existing x86 market but they aren't limited to it, unlike certain other providers. An ideal solution would be to see some sort of Power-powered alternative to the PC, or some other decent architecture becoming ubiquitous. If the majority OS was architecture agnostic then you could easilly see alternative architectures coming to the fore, opening up the market to greater competition. That ain't going to happen while people are locked in to x86, and they're locked in to x86 for a reason I shall not argue about here. All I shall say is that the reason for this ubiquity isn't Linux.
The real original?
The Psion I was released in 1984 and the II in '86 n'est pas?