Feeds

Great and Good honour the designer of world's first laptop

The GRiD Compass. A snip at $8150

Business security measures using SSL

Forgotten Tech The British designer of the world's first laptop has pipped Vivienne Westwood to win the 2010 Prince Philip Designer prize.

Bill Moggridge was commissioned by John Ellenby, the founder of a Silicon Valley start-up called GRiD, to design a powerful computer with an electronic display.

Moggridge came up with a physical prototype that had a clamshell case, opening to reveal screen on top and a keyboard below. Sound familiar? Here is a pic of the prototype:

Grid Compass prototype

Ellenby raised some venture capital, while Moggridge assembled a design team and completed the design of what became the GRiD Compass.

Released in 1982 and sold for a whopping $8150, the laptop weighed in at 10lb, 2oz (4.6 kilos). So it was more luggable than portable.

Grid Compass production version

Grid Compass - the first laptop

The spec included an Intel 8086 CPU, 256K of DRAM, a flat 6inlectroluminescent display, 384K bubble RAM as internal storage, an external floppy drive, and its very own operating system, Grid OS.

The Compass was a hit. NASA astronauts even took their GRiDs to space.

Astronaut with Grid Compass For Moggridge, the impact "lay not in the physical design achievements", the Design Council citation reads, "but in the way that the user interacted with the hardware and software."

This fascination with the interface between the software and its users led Moggridge to "develop and pioneer the discipline of interaction design". ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
DARPA-backed jetpack prototype built to make soldiers run faster
4 Minute Mile project hatched to speed up tired troops
Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK
What vast digital media repository could possibly need 64 TERABYTES?
Apple's Watch is basically electric perfume
It isn't just me-too Apple that's lost its lustre: Gadget mania is over
In a spin: Samsung accuses LG exec of washing machine SABOTAGE
Rival electronic giant tries to iron out allegations
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.