HISTORY OF LAPTOP:
A laptop computer, or simply laptop (also notebook computer or notebook), is a small mobile computer, which usually weighs1-6 kilograms (2.2-12 pounds), depending on size, materials and other factors. While the terms laptop and notebook are often used interchangeably, "laptop" is the older term, introduced in 1983 with the Gavilan SC. "Notebook computer" is a later coinage, which was used to differentiate smaller devices such as those of the NEC UltraLite and Compaq LTE series in 1989, which were, in contrast to previous laptops, the approximate size of an A4 paper sheet. The terms are imprecise: due to heat and other issues, many laptops are inappropriate for use on one's lap, and most notebooks are not the size of typical A4 paper notebook. Although some older portable computers, such as the Macintosh Portable and certain Zenith TurbosPort models, were sometimes described as "laptops", their size and weight were too great for this category.
The first commercially available portable computer was the Osborne 1 in 1981, which used the CP/M operating system. Although it was large and heavy compared to today's laptops, with a tiny CRT monitor, it had a near-revolutionary impact on business, as professionals were able to take their computer and data with them for the first time. This and other "luggable" were inspired by what was probably the first portable computer, the Xerox Note Taker, again developed at Xerox PARC, in 1976; however, only ten prototypes were built. The Osborne was about the size of a portable sewing machine, and importantly could be carried on a commercial aircraft. However, it was not possible to run the Osborne on batteries; it had to be plugged in. A more enduring success was the Compaq Portable, the first product from Compaq, introduced in 1983, by which time the IBM Personal Computer had become the standard platform. Although scarcely more portable than the Osborne machines and also requiring AC power to run, it ran MS-DOS and was the first true IBM clone (IBM's own later Portable Computer, which arrived in 1984, was notably less IBM PC-compatible than the Compaq. Another significant machine announced in 1981, although first sold widely in 1983, was the Epson HX-20. A simple handheld computer, it featured a full-transit 68-key keyboard, rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries, a small (120 x 32-pixel) dot-matrix LCD display with 4 lines of text, 20 characters per line text mode, a 24 column dot matrix printer, a Microsoft BASIC interpreter, and 16 kB of RAM (expandable to 32 kB) However, arguably the first true laptop was the Grid Compass 1101, designed by Bill Moggridge in 1979-1980, and released in 1982. Enclosed in a magnesium case, it introduced the now familiar clamshell design, in which the flat display folded shut against the keyboard. The computer could be run from batteries, and was equipped with a 320×200-pixel plasma display and 384 kilobyte bubble memory. It was not IBM-compatible, and its high price (US$ 8-10,000) limited it to specialized applications. However, it was used heavily by the U.S. military, and by NASA on the Space Shuttle during the 1980s. The Grid’s manufacturer subsequently earned significant returns on its patent rights as its innovations became commonplace. Grids Systems Corp. was later bought by Tandy (RadioShack).
Two other noteworthy early laptops were the Sharp PC-5000 and the Gavilan SC, announced in 1983 but first sold in 1984. The Gavilan was notably the first computer to be marketed as a "laptop". It was also equipped with a pioneering touchpad-like pointing device, installed on a panel above the keyboard. Like the Grid Compass, the Gavilan and the Sharp were housed in clamshell cases, but they were partly IBM-compatible, although primarily running their own system software. Both had LCD displays, and could connect to optional external printers. The summer of 1995 was a significant turning point in the...
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