Feeds

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

The GRiD Compass. A snip at $8150

Security for virtualized datacentres

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". ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the HUMAN WRIST
It's not just a thumb war, it's total digit war
Tim Cook: The classic iPod HAD to DIE, and this is WHY
Apple, er, couldn’t get the parts for HDD models
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Caterham Seven 160 review: The Raspberry Pi of motoring
Back to driving's basics with a joyously legal high
Back to the ... drawing board: 'Hoverboard' will disappoint Marty McFly wannabes
Buzzing board (and some future apps) leave a lot to be desired
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.