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Portables Hardware

The Laptop, Circa 1968 120

Posted by timothy
from the some-turtles-have-nice-shells dept.
Harry writes "In 1968, computers tended to occupy entire rooms, and were therefore hard to take with you. But Computerworld reports on Anderson Jacobson's 75-pound Teletype-terminal-in-a-case, an early attempt to let folks compute from anywhere. (Well, anywhere they had power and access to a telephone for the Teletype's acoustic coupler.) Wheels were optional."
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The Laptop, Circa 1968

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  • Aristotle (Score:5, Funny)

    by flyingfsck (986395) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @04:37PM (#28582399)
    Even Aristotle commented 2300 years ago, about how men and things were always purported to be bigger and better in the distant past. It really seems that geeks must have been much bigger and stronger in 1968.
    • Re:Aristotle (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Darkness404 (1287218) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @04:41PM (#28582435)
      ...Or they didn't move as much. I don't think this was carried around in the way that a laptop was but rather this was (for the time) a lighter alternative to a desktop, similar to the mini-PCs today like the Mac Mini.
      • by Jurily (900488)

        this was (for the time) a lighter alternative to a desktop

        Yeah, you actually had a door big enough to fit this through.

      • by Culture20 (968837)
        My dad carried his luggable IBM PC compatable home every night in the 80's. It was the only way to do computer work at home. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_computer [wikipedia.org]
      • Re:Aristotle (Score:5, Insightful)

        by cstacy (534252) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @07:44PM (#28583301)

        ...Or they didn't move as much. I don't think this was carried around in the way that a laptop was but rather this was (for the time) a lighter alternative to a desktop, similar to the mini-PCs today like the Mac Mini.

        Why do people wildly speculate like this when it comes to vintage computing? The people from back then are still around, and you can just ask them.

        Yes, we did carry these around like a laptop. Not from room to room during the day, but commuting between home and office and to other offices/sites.

        • It can hardly be called a laptop, or a "desktop replacement". Look at the weight, those things are absolute monsters! It's a bit like carrying around a mid-size tower PC to a LAN party.

          • About 12 years ago heaps of people did this... I remember going to many LAN parties with my mid-sized tower PC and 15" CRT monitor, way back when. I even remember one guy rocking up with a full size tower PC, that was at least 4 foot tall.

            Ahhh the memories... team games, winning competitions on dial-up pings, then totally kicking butt at LAN parties. SO MUCH FUN!
        • by Capsaicin (412918)

          Why do people wildly speculate like this when it comes to vintage computing? The people from back then are still around, and you can just ask them.

          I remember my maths teacher (a woman) bringing something pretty much like this into the classroom. When it opened up it had a large rest for your traditional phone handset which you clipped down with two thick rubber/metal hook contraptions. When then logged into the machine at the Menai Nuclear Research facility (nowadays called ANSTO) where her husband work

    • In 100bc the greeks had a laptop size computer,  that did bigger and better things than my computer, posting on slashdot.
  • Once upon a time (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @04:41PM (#28582427) Journal
    Once I was talking to my grandpa about old computers, and I mentioned that my C64 had a slow 300 baud modem. He used to work on these mainframes, and he came right back and said, "the first modem I had was 9 baud." The article doesn't say how fast their modem is, but from the picture 9 baud is about right.

    Just for comparison, 300 baud is so slow that you can read the text faster than it downloads. That teletype is honestly not the most convenient device.
    • Re:Once upon a time (Score:5, Interesting)

      by a2wflc (705508) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @05:20PM (#28582637)

      I'd trade my current 6MB connection and today's web sites, email, blogs, etc for the 300 baud modem I had in the 70s/80s and the BBSs, news groups, talk/chat, and useful information on the other end.

      People knew how to put lots of information in a few sentences or at most a couple of paragraphs. I may have seen the info show up slowly, 1 character at a time, but after 30-60 seconds I had what I want. Now I have megabytes show up in seconds, but it may take minutes to find the useful information (if useful information is even there)

      • by warlock (14079) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @05:27PM (#28582681) Homepage

        No thanks. I'll take youtube, flickr and wikipedia instead, and I was in the BBS scene back in the late '80s early '90s.

        • Agreed. I was a heavy BBS user in the 90s, and what we have now is utterly amazing. I definitely wouldn't go back.

      • by ZiakII (829432) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @05:38PM (#28582743)

        Think about what could porn could you look at back then, then tell me if you would still make the trade.

      • Hah (Score:5, Insightful)

        by coryking (104614) * on Saturday July 04, 2009 @05:58PM (#28582845) Homepage Journal

        What is funny is I was contemplating how to make a statement like yours and get it +5 funny! You aren't insightul, you are forgetful.

        BBS's didn't have wikipedia. 99% of your BBS buddies were local. You couldn't order books on your BBS. You couldn't book a vacation to some far off land online--you'd have to use a travel agent. You couldn't play any kind of game with 10,000 other users at the same time. You couldn't be on a bus, a coffee shop, a library, or a park and instantly connect to any BBS in the world all at the same time. Elections weren't won or lost in part because of the effectiveness of a candidates BBS strategy. You didn't have entire political revolutions organized using BBSes either. If Iran was in the midst of a revolution during the BBS era, the US government wouldn't be telling some random BBS not to perform system maintenance because so many iranians were relying on it for communication!

        Information? Forget it! You couldn't "google" a BBS and pull up schematics for some random IC. Which BBS did you dial into when you wanted to get a corporations SEC filings? Which BBS had information about the number of legs on a centipede? Which BBS contained streaming, real-time video coming from the olympics and for that matter, which BBS had the scores for every olympic game updated by the second? Which BBS had the wiring digram for a vintage VW bug?

        I'm sure right now, some dillegent Slashdotter is going to post some BBS who did those things, but let me ask them this--how did you know of that BBS's existance? There was no Google, Bing or Yahoo for BBSes, and if there was, you'd have to know its phone number (which would probably be non-local).

        No sir, you aren't insightful. You are my "+5 Funny" comment only serious. I had fun with BBSes too--but we have moved on. The amount of information available *instantly* at my fingertips is many, many orders of magnitude higher than the sum of all information found on all BBS systems that ever existed.

        It is okay to be nostalgic about ANSI art, ACID draw, renegade BBSes, and 16 color gifs of madona in her swimsuit, but don't fool yourself into thinking you are feeling anything else.

        • by a2wflc (705508)

          I wanted information to write operating systems and compilers and that's about it (and still is). If I wanted the schematics for some random IC it didn't take long to find a friend who knew how to get in touch with someone who worked on the IC - email/ftp/phone worked really well once you know who to talk to (still does but harder to find that person and have them trust you and spend time with you). I didn't care much for games, video, and other things you mentioned and still don't.

          I admit there's A LOT m

          • Because we haven't figured out how to make it take less. We even have a name for what you describe--"information overload". We've got access to limitless amounts of information now days. Your brain can't handle it. Our technology can barely handle it.

            If you could somehow take all the information we have on the internet and "BBS-ize" it, I promise you it would take a hurculean effort for you to find anything.

            I gave examples like "IC schematics" and "wiring diagrams" because I'm posting on slashdot. You

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by atraintocry (1183485)

              Information overloaded happened as soon as the first libraries were constructed. We only don't feel it when we're in a library because we already know the system (wing > aisle > shelf, fiction by author, non-fiction by topic, etc).

              FWIW I think the various social bookmarking sites, although not always super useful, move the work of filtering information from an algorithm to a groups of people with similar tastes who you can link up with. Not quite the same as a BBS but when combine that with forums, it

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by osu-neko (2604)

          All true, but to be fair, the GP was mostly focused on 80's style "social media", and the kind of posts you would find, or chats you would have. YMMV, but really good, quality posting and discussion that's extremely rare on today's discussion boards and tweets and such were the norm back then.

          On the other hand, I don't believe there's less of it today than there was then. I think, in fact, there's a lot more. But that's kinda hard to see or keep in mind sometimes when back in the day, it was >50% of t

        • by schon (31600)

          I'd trade my current 6MB connection and today's web sites, email, blogs, etc for the 300 baud modem I had in the 70s/80s and the BBSs, news groups, talk/chat, and useful information on the other end.

          People knew how to put lots of information in a few sentences or at most a couple of paragraphs.

          You aren't insightul, you are forgetful.

          BBS's didn't have wikipedia. 99% of your BBS buddies were local.

          I think you just proved his point for him. :)

          • Look at why facebook is popular. I wager almost your entire friends list is people you know (or knew) in person.

            If I were a betting man, my hunch would be that we'll figure out people dont really like socializing with random people on in the internet and what we really want is ways to better communicate with the people geographically and socially close to us. In otherwords, we'll go from "random people scattered across the globe talk about Linux" (slashdot) to "random people scattered across my city talk

        • by mopower70 (250015)
          Well crap. I have mod points but for some reason +1 "Ever so much this" is missing from my menu.
        • There used to be different shareware BBS's around; connected through Fidonet [fidonet.org] and alike; as well BBS's with a sh*tload of electronic schematics ready to be used towards real world applications. There were shared filelists inbetween BBS's, multinodes, chats and gatewaying to other systems ...

          We used to know which BBS to call to get which information. Sysops were almost 24/7 ready to chat with their users. There used to be RIP [geocities.com], Ansi [geocities.com], Ascii [geocities.com] ready to entertain the user. Internet e-mail was not a problem and was

      • *nods* The bigger the net gets, the bigger the (exponential) increase in signal to noise. :-p
      • This post should have ended with "and get off my lawn". Don't get me wrong BBSs were great and it did seem much easier to control your own machine though this was likely due to the fact that given the lower level access you had to learn more just to use the thing. All that said anyone who honestly in their heart believes there was better access to info (regardless of your definition for better) back then is suffering from nostalgia with curmudgeonly delusions.

        The amount of data/info/knowledge currently
      • by jamesh (87723)

        People knew how to put lots of information in a few sentences or at most a couple of paragraphs

        Kids these days are good at doing that too aren't they? I'm not sure that it's considered a good thing by the rest of the population. Unless of course you meant real 'information' and not mindless drivel :)

        KTHX BYE

      • by syousef (465911)

        Well if you're complaining about the quality of information, stop reading rubbish. There's still plenty of good information out there AND a lot more which takes advantage of the bandwidth. You've just got to be selective. Use specialist sites to look up what you're interested in and specialist boards for discussion.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by TapeCutter (624760) *
        My eldsest son ran his own BBS in the 80's but I prefer the new fangled online search to find information these days.

        OTOH I love nostalgia; the older I get the better I was.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      An ASR-33 is 110 baud.

    • by Fishchip (1203964)
      9 baud...?

      I have a teletype machine on my ship that we still use when things go south. Its minimum setting, if I remember correctly, is 30 baud. We usually use it at 75. Yes, there are still some current applications of 75 baud.
    • Just for comparison, 300 baud is so slow that you can read the text faster than it downloads.

      Bullshit. That's 300 characters per second, or more than three 80-column lines per second.

      • Oh crap, I'm an idiot, that's 300 bits per second, or about 30 characters per second. Ugh, has it been that long that I've forgotten modem terminology? Bleah.
    • 1968 is well before my use of a computer, but the first teletype-type terminal I used (1976) had a 110 baud modem.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by lpress (707742)
      > The article doesn't say how fast their modem is

      It was 10 characters or 110 bits per second. You could read a lot faster than it could print and it only did upper case.

      The Teletype was fully mechanical, so you could really understand how it worked and even repair it yourself. They sold cool, reasonably priced tool kits and parts were available.

      Anderson Jacobson just packaged a standard Teletype with an accoustical coupler in a huge fiberglass case with casters. I had one of those and got four f

    • Once I was talking to my grandpa about old computers, and I mentioned that my C64 had a slow 300 baud modem. He used to work on these mainframes, and he came right back and said, "the first modem I had was 9 baud."

      I reckon your Grandpa was pulling your leg ... 50 baud modems have been around since before WW II. This was used by/for real teletype machines. (like creed, or Model 45 teletype machines) That certainly predates any computer usage.

    • Except this beast was 110baud. But time sharing systems in those days weren't much faster (IBM 1401 series, Honeywell 200 series, early IBM360). It was a TTY33 in a case with wheels and an acoustic coupler (connecting wires to AT&T's network in those days was strictly verboten). It weighed about 90 pounds (or at least felt like 90 #).

      The first 300baud units were lugable but used thermal paper on a roll.

    • by rasper99 (247555)

      The ASR 33 terminal in the article was 110 baud. If it's all you have you at the time you deal with it. I just hit the preview button. Considering the number of characters I had typed and the time it took to preview that was about 110 baud. So what has all this new stuff gained for us?

  • Aren't they stretching things calling this a laptop? Certainly its portable but it can't be easy to port this. I've had Sun monitors that weighed less than this. No way I'd be putting this on my lap. It isn't battery powered either. Some additional information is at this site with some additional information and pictures - http://www.pdp8.net/asr33/asr33.shtml [pdp8.net]
    • yeah if you put this on your lap it might skwish yer grapes!
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by maxume (22995)

      They don't really call it a laptop, they use 'laptop' to draw a comparison between the somewhat portable teletype and modern portable computers.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rts008 (812749)

        *sheesh!* Kids now days![Ryiah (1324299) that you replied to, not you]

        Hell, compared to the first computers I experienced at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in 1975 and 1976, these 'laptops' would almost be considered 'handhelds' since you did not need a forklift and 20 engineers to move them around.

        • by maxume (22995)

          Don't let me off too easy, 1976 is prior to my birth.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by rts008 (812749)

            LOL!
            That was the year I graduated from High School.
            I was actually a subcontractor employee with Bendix Field Engineering Corp., working at Goddard's NTTF facility in the Logistics Department, on the graveyard shift then.
            No more than a 'parts man' with a security clearance for the Computer Science Corporation's tech's and engineers that had to be on duty 'just in case'.
            I was playing a text-based baseball game, and blackjack on those behemoths, not actually 'doing work' on them...much less understanding them!

    • by hedwards (940851)
      Well, technically, any man that uses a laptop on their lap is going to have issues with future fertility.
  • by coolgeek (140561) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @04:57PM (#28582541) Homepage

    "Can't wait till they come out with the 300 baud version"

  • by alewar (784204) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @05:19PM (#28582629)
    For me anything bigger than 13' isn't portable, but "transportable".
    • by Korin43 (881732) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @05:47PM (#28582791) Homepage
      Based on my experience with LAN parties, anything that isn't bolted to the ground is "portable".
    • For me anything bigger than 13' isn't portable, but "transportable".

      Thirteen feet?! Sheesh, for me anything bigger than 13 feet isn't "transportable" but bloody enormous.

      Incidentally, the fact about 2009 that might have most surprised by short-trousered self circa 1968 is the ubiquity of inches. It's not just the Burmese, the Liberians aind the Youessians who're talking about "13 inch screens", "1200 dpi" and so forth these days. it's (for example) Yodobashi Camera hawking consumer durables to people in Tokyo. Can we please go back to the 1968 future of SI?

  • by biduxe (541904)

    Have anyone installed gentoo on it? I would like which CFLAGS to use whit it so to have lightning fast system.

    BTW Anyone had compiz running on it?

    • Re:CFLAGS (Score:4, Funny)

      by Culture20 (968837) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @06:32PM (#28583009)

      Have anyone installed gentoo on it? I would like which CFLAGS to use whit it so to have lightning fast system.

      Still compiling the kernel. I'll let you know in 2014.

      BTW Anyone had compiz running on it?

      Now you're pulling my leg.

    • by ls671 (1122017) *

      I used:

      export CFLAGS="-O2 -march=circa -pipe"
      export CXXFLAGS="-O2 -march=circa -pipe"
      export CHOST="Teletype-circa"
      export MAKEOPTS="-j0.01"

  • by theodp (442580) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @05:35PM (#28582721)

    TI Silent 700 Ad [computerhistory.org]: See how much progress was made in 8 years? :-)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by michaelmalak (91262)
      Um, yeah, that "progress" was called the microchip.
      • by Gordonjcp (186804) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @06:21PM (#28582947) Homepage

        Um, yeah, that "progress" was called the microchip.

        Yes, what I think a lot of people may have failed to realise with the ASR-33 is that it's all mechanical. The only electrical part is the solenoid that flips some pins sticking out of the shifter drum back and forwards.

        When you press a key, the keypress is turned into a stream of data by a mechanical shifter. When you receive a character, the serial data is unshifted and printed by a mechanical shifter. No electronics to be found at all.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by michaelmalak (91262)

          No electronics to be found at all

          Let's not go overboard. The modem is electronic. It is almost certainly also digital. It would just be discrete parts, such as the 7400 series invented in 1964 -- with no microprocessors or any other chip with more than a handful of gates.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Animats (122034)

            Let's not go overboard. The modem is electronic. It is almost certainly also digital.

            Early FSK modems, below 1200 baud, were analog devices. The output side was just an oscillator switched between two frequencies, and the input side was a pair of filters. This was a version of the technology used for radioteletype (RTTY), where it had often been implemented with tubes. (There are some very retro radio hams still using all-tube demodulators with mechanical teletypes.)

            At 1200 baud and above, modem tech

            • What was the output of this analog modem? Was the interface between the modem and the teletype some sort of analog -- like a rotary dial telephone or something?
              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by Anne Thwacks (531696)
                Was the interface between the modem and the teletype some sort of analog -- like a rotary dial telephone or something?

                Yes - the excact same mecahnism, actually: It was a current-loop - if current flowed it was a 0, if it stopped, it was a 1! (In some cases, it was +/- current, and in other cases it was 15mA for 1 and 4mA for 0. There were probably several other "standards" as well.)

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      I'm not certain, but the Silent 700 may have been a terminal my dad brought home from work once or twice a week for about a year. At 300 baud, it was a good deal faster than the 110 baud "ticker tape" terminal we had been using previously.
      The silent 700 was very light, comparatively fast, and extremely quiet. For comparison, todays inkjet printers are just about as quiet. I was greatly impressed.
      To set the stage:
      As a 12 year old, I was used to working on model 33 teletypes as a member of a boy scout e
    • by hazydave (96747)

      Actually, that's the down-sized model... the original came out in 1970 or so, and while it wasn't any 70lbs monster, it was pretty substantial, at least 25-30lbs. I learned programming on one of these; it was some years before my Dad started bringing home the smaller version for my weekend hacking.

  • by galaad2 (847861) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @05:46PM (#28582783) Homepage Journal

    However, the true* first portable computer began its early development in 1956, got approved in 1958 and entered active service in 1962: (*=The one that melts your face off)

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/05/tob_minuteman_1/print.html [theregister.co.uk]

    quote from TFA:

    the American government was already rocking a line of cutting-edge portable computers that -- had they only been more widely released -- would have melted any tech lover's heart. And their face. And probably most everything within a mile radius.

    We're speaking, of course, of the first-ever guidance system baked into the US Minuteman 1 nuclear missile. Maximum portability: about 9,700 km (6,000 mi). Target demographic: Commies.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Sanat (702)

      I cut my teeth back in 1962 on the D17-C computer used by Autonetics in the Minuteman I missile system.

      My task was to optically aim the missile by using the North star (Polaris) to transfer azimuths to a collimated light beam... and also to program the computer both to operate in flight and to indicate where the different targets were located in the world. The on board computer would then figure out the shortest path from the launch tube to the target.

    • by Animats (122034) on Sunday July 05, 2009 @01:26AM (#28584605) Homepage

      From the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s, the USAF put a huge amount of effort into making electronics more reliable, with considerable success. One of their more interesting efforts involved marking a few percent of the Air Force's inventory of electronics boxes with a sticker instructing users that the unit was part of the USAF's Reliability Program, and if it broke, it was to be replaced as a unit, not fixed in the field. The broken unit was to be sent back to a lab (at Wright-Patterson AFB, I think) for analysis.

      At the lab, the unit was tested and the failing component(s) found. The, the failing component was disassembled and analyzed. This involved opening up transistor cans and looking at the component under a microscope, and if necessary, an electron microscope. The USAF was trying to understand why components failed in the field. Did a "hermetic" seal leak? Was a bonding wire badly soldered to a pad? Was something mispositioned? Was the transistor substrate damaged?

      Results were published in Aviation Week. With enlarged pictures of the defect. Part numbers and names of vendors were given. The USAF deliberately did this to apply pain to vendors.

      Over time, parts got much better. By the 1980s, though, the USAF wasn't buying a big enough fraction of the output of the electronics industry to get much attention, much to the annoyance of senior USAF types.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by NixieBunny (859050)
      Tee hee. My dad used one of these for astronomy computations - they gave a bunch of them to universities in the early seventies, as they were hopelessly obsolete by then. And he used a teletype. Here's a photo [nixiebunny.com] of another common computer he used, the Nova.
  • by veryoldgeek (1591389) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @05:55PM (#28582825)
    ...or something very similar. I got my start in computing 40 years ago on a "portable" Teletype with an acoustic coupler, dialed into a GE timesharing system from home. The teletype had a tape punch/reader, so I could write programs off-line. I believe the modem ran at about 110 baud. I programmed in BASIC--the real Kemeny and Kurtz variety, not the stripped-down variety that showed up 10 years later on the first personal computers. (Yes, I'm a bit above the median age for slashdot readers.)
  • No display (Score:3, Insightful)

    by michaelmalak (91262) <michael@michaelmalak.com> on Saturday July 04, 2009 @06:12PM (#28582897) Homepage
    For everyone out there who learned to use a computer after the late 1970's or so, a "Teletype", as this device is called, does not have a display. All output is to a printer -- a character printer. I am slightly amused at the stated despair over the need for a power plug and a landline. How about that ream of paper you have to lug around? (And if it's confidential information, I suppose also a trash bag.)
  • Dynabook (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jipn4 (1367823) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @06:33PM (#28583015)

    Alan Kay imagined the Dynabook in 1968. Have a look here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynabook [wikipedia.org]

    It was to be programmed in Smalltalk, which Kay created over the next few years.

    Smalltalk what Objective-C and Cocoa were modeled on. However, even Smalltalk-80 (as in 1980) was more advanced in many ways than Objective-C and Cocoa are in 2009.

  • I used one of those (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Animats (122034) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @06:54PM (#28583077) Homepage

    We had one of those at Sperry Vickers (Troy, Michigan) in 1971, with the acoustic coupler in the wooden case. Even then, it was on the way out; we were moving to Uniscope CRT terminals and UNIVAC DCT 300 printers, connected to a UNIVAC 1108 computer.

    Power was supplied to the modem as 120 VAC over otherwise-unused pins in the DB-25 connector from the Teletype Model 33 ASR.

    Things were really clunky back then. We still had a full set of mechanical Remington Rand 90-column card gear, programmed by wiring up "connection boxes", mechanical plugboards which used flexible cables like bike brake cables to transmit data from input to output. That, too, was on the way out, but it was still used for a few jobs.

  • This section of the scanned Computerworld page was interesting:
    "The new CC-310 Videoprinter is a CRT display printer for use with the..."

    I had not heard that terminology before: CRT display printer. Welcome to the paperless society O_o

    The suit and hair are classic too.

    • by dickens (31040)

      In my earliest years at DEC, I saw quite a few VT55 terminals, which featured a thermal CRT printer. I only saw one work once, though.

      In fact the giant bulk of a the VT50/VT52 case seemed to have been designed to hold this kind of thing. I think there was another variant that actually had a processor and storage in there but I don't remember what it was called.

  • by snikulin (889460) on Saturday July 04, 2009 @08:14PM (#28583455)

    Shame on you, astroturfers.

  • I rented one of these in 1973 while I was in the Navy so I could access the ARPA network via the TIP at fleet weather central on the baser at NAS NORVA.
  • Sounds to me like cloud computing.

    History does repeat itself hehe...

    • by thethibs (882667)

      It was cloud computing in its purest form, with the dumbest terminal possible.

      I schlepped one of these and a 40-pound modem all over North America, doing time-sharing demos. Not fun, but I have some stories...

      • by V!NCENT (1105021)

        Not fun, but I have some stories...

        1. Put them in a blog
        2. Submit to /.
        3. ????
        4. Profit!

  • The cool thing about it is that except for the modem, the device is mechanical, not electronic. You could connect a RS-232 (serial) cable and send/receive 110 baud data. And the teletype would encode/decode the signals purely mechanically, using rotating wheels. Amazing!

    This also included the paper tape punch/reader. You could write your entire program off-line to a paper tape. The you would connect and run the tape through the reader. This would allow you to enter the entire program fast, minimizing your e

  • Don't forget the IBM 5100 portable computer in 1975. Or the Apollo guidance computer - surely a contender for the most travelled computer of the 1960's. Or the Voyager computer - surely the most travelled computer ever.
  • Either that case is empty or the guy in the picture is ripped.
    He looks way to comfortable lugging that thing around.
  • I taught myself to program on a machine of practically the same vintage. Starting in about '73, my Dad used to lug home a TI Silent 700, and a couple of rolls of thermal paper, for my computing needs every weekend (with timesharing on a CDC machine at Bell Labs, where he was a Department Head). I don't know about 70lbs, but it was a pretty substantial suitcase, probably a good 25-30 lbs or more. And it hooked right into a phone, but of course, you had to have a Bell Standard handset, not a touchtone... they

"Gotcha, you snot-necked weenies!" -- Post Bros. Comics

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