Price: $399, $837 in 2020
The ATARI Portfolio was also used in the Terminator 2 movie when John Connor is hacking the ATM.
Atari’s compact clam-shell ran an MS-DOS compatible operating system – DIP-DOS, from Guildford-based Distributed Information Processing (DIP) Systems – on a 4.92MHz Intel 80C88 processor. The Portfolio has 128KB of memory on board, 32KB of which was reserved for data storage, exposed as the C: drive and backed up by the three AA batteries the Portfolio ran from. A built-in long-life cell protected the memory when the batteries needed changing.
The Portfolio’s display was a 40-character by eight-line job with a 240 x 64-pixel graphics mode, mounted next to the unit’s speaker and above the calculator-style QWERTY keypad. A slot on the side took a range of device-specific memory cards running from 32KB to 128KB.
Anticipating Palm’s own Pilot – which shipped in April 1996, seven years after Atari first showed its palmtop – the Portfolio had diary and address book applications, along with a basic word processor and a spreadsheet package. The apps and the OS resided in 256KB of ROM. Plenty of space, you might think, for programming tools, but the Portfolio had none, not even a Basic language interpreter. To be fair, this wasn’t a machine aimed at coders but at the growing number of folk who wanted a computer for information storage and retrieval, a feature Palm was later to major on with the Pilot. In any case, programming tools were later offered as add-ons.
|80C88, 4.9152 MHz Clock Speed|
|Memory 128KB internal RAM|
|Includes internal configurable RAM disk (C:)|
|256KB ROM contains applications software|
|Length 200 mm|
|Width 100 mm|
|Depth 28 mm|
|Weighs less than 1lb (454g) excluding batteries|
|High contrast Liquid Crystal Display (LCD)|
|240 x 64 graphics screen or 40 characters X 8 lines|
|Monochrome (MDA) emulation|
|Keyboard 63 keys, QWERTY layout|
|Hot-key access to built-in applications|
|Memory card slot with optional PCMCIA adaptor|
|60-pin expansion BUS for optional peripherals|
|Built-in speaker with tone dialling (DTMF)|
|3 x AA size removable alkaline batteries|
|Memory preserved during battery changes|
|Optional AC mains adaptor|
|DIP DOS 2.11 (MS-DOS & PC BIOS compatible)|
|Software runs from ROM, leaving RAM free|
|Comprehensive, easy to use text and memo editor|
|Wordwrap, line and column count, search 8 replace|
|Handles printer and word processor control codes|
|Address And Phone Book|
|Card index with phone list and detailed records|
|Automatic tone dialling of telephone numbers|
|Entries are sorted and can be selected by category|
|Accommodates spreadsheet of 255 rows x 127 cols|
|Reads and writes Lotus 1-2-3 files (.WKS)|
|Built-in 1-2-3 functions eg @SUM, @IF, @NPV|
|Comprehensive calendar and diary to the year 2049|
|Wake-up alarms even when the Pocket PC is off|
|Entries can be repeated each day/week/month/year|
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