Feeds

A history of personal computing in 20 objects part 2

The 1980s to the Present

Top three mobile application threats

Into - and out of - the Office...

Osborne 1

Osborne 1
Reg Hardware retro numbers

Any microcomputer might be considered portable - just pick it up and move it, then go back for all the other bits - but the Osborne 1 was the first machine to be designed specifically with portability in mind. Weighing in at 10.7kg, it was no easy carry, but within its casing it packed all the components of a desktop machine: keyboard, display - a 5in CRT - ports, power transformer - but no battery - and a pair of floppy disk drives. This was a machine you could take from place to place, plug in and use, rather than a device to be used while travelling. To make the 1 more appealing, Osborne bundled word processing, spreadsheet, Basic and, later, database software with the machine.

IBM 5150 'PC'

IBM 5150

Source: Marcin Wichary

Built on the quiet at a time when IBM was keener to sell mainframe and minicomputer systems, the PC - originally dubbed the IBM 5150 - by necessity used off-the-shelf parts. After the computer’s launch, on 12 August 1981, it became a huge success, appealing to the growing number of businesses who wanted to adopt computer technology but needed the reassurance of a major brand like IBM to do so. Its success spurred rivals to buy in the same third-party components - most notably the Intel CPU and Microsoft’s DOS - and figure out how to make their systems run software designed for the IBM. The clone market was born and the IBM PC became the desktop computer standard on the back of it.

Epson HX-20

Epson HX-20

Source: Bruce Damer/DigiBarn Computer Museum

Epson’s HX-20 was the world’s first mobile computer. Unlike the Osborne 1 - which launched seven months before the Epson’s November 1981 introduction - the HX-20 had an on-board battery allowing it to be used on the move. The A4-sized unit featured a full keyboard; a 120 x 32 pixel, 120-character by four-line LCD display; a calculator-style integrated printer for hardcopy output and, on some models, a built-in microcassette player for data and program storage. It had 16KB of Ram, kept powered as long as the battery had charge.

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Next page: Power computing...

More from The Register

next story
Samsung Galaxy S5 fingerprint scanner hacked in just 4 DAYS
Sammy's newbie cooked slower than iPhone, also costs more to build
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.