the lab’s latest addition: Compaq Portable III “laptop”

Thanks to a very generous donation by Wade Peterson, the Archeological Media Lab is now the proud owner of a Compaq Portable III “laptop” from, I believe, 1987 – a year which was heralded “the year of the laptop.” This early version of a portable computer weighs in at a mere 20 pounds and, as Wade rightly notes in an email to me, it is also remarkable for its orange gas-plasma screen pictured below. The computer uses DOS and, with a built-in 20 megabyte hard-drive, no floppy disks are required to run it. In 1988, it sold for nearly $5000.

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Categories: history of computing, media archaeology lab

Author:Lori Emerson

I am an Associate Professor of English and Intermedia Arts, Writing, and Performance at the University of Colorado Boulder. I'm the author of Reading Writing Interfaces: From the Digital to the Bookbound and co-editor of the Johns Hopkins Guide to Digital Media.

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