Wednesday, April 15, 2020

the atari portfolio

I ran into this video on the first "Palmtop PC", the Atari Portfolio - sort of a precursor to the "netbook" that came out, or maybe a bit smaller than that...

It even ran a version of MS-DOS... I was an early adopter of "taking notes in class on a laptop" (pretty rare in the early 90s) and had this beauty, the Tandy 1100FD

it didn't even have a hard drive - but the text editor was hardwired in and worked pretty well. But a Palmtop might have been even cooler.

By the end of college, I was getting into PDAs as well... someone sold me this skinny beauty, the Texas Instruments PS-9500 TimeRunner:

I got one with a neat "Clip-in Frame" that secured it in a 3-ring Binder.

That PDA was what I first started collecting thoughts and notes in - a "Commonplace Book" that eventually moved to the PalmPilot, and then morphed into my going-on-2-decades daily blog.

Getting back to the Atari Portfolio - I would love a PDA with an "Atari" button (kind of a precursor to the Windows button... isn't it weird how a software company got every hardware maker to put in a special key?) The Atari button makes me of the alternate reality in the Atari Force comic books, set in that far-off, post-apocalyptic time of 2005, where the Atari Technology and Research Institute is one of the few surviving institutions after the "Five-Day War":

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