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Friday, June 25, 2004

The Notetaker, a portable personal computer

From "Inside the PARC"...

The Notetaker, a portable personal computer built at PARC in 1978, is rumored to have been the inspiration for the Osborne 1.

The Notetaker ended up as an 8086-based computer that could fit under an airplane seat. It was battery-powered, ran Smalltalk, and had a touch-sensitive screen designed by Thornburg. "We had a custom monitor, we had error-corrected memory, a lot of custom engineering that we would normally only do for a real product," said Fairbairn, the Notetaker's chief hardware designer. "The last year before l left PARC," Tesler said, "I spent flying around the country talking to Xerox executives, carrying Notetaker with me. It was the first portable computer run in an airport. Xerox executives made all sorts of promises: we'll buy 20 000, just talk to this executive in Virginia, then talk to this executive in Connecticut. The company was so pread out, they never got the meeting together. After a year I WaS ready to give up. " While Xerox may not have been ready to run Witll a portable computer, others were. The Osborne I was introduced in 1981 about nine months after Adam Osborne reportedly toured PARC, where pictures of the Notetaker were prominently displayed .

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Portland, Oregon, United States
I'm usually writing from my favorite location on the planet, the pacific northwest of the u.s. I write for myself only and unless otherwise specified my posts here should not be taken as representing an official position of my employer. Contact me at my gee mail account, username patrickdlogan.