Atari Portfolio/Toshiba Mega-Laptop
A new record in the category 'smallest PC of the world' was established by Atari: the Portfolio was smaller that a DIN A4 piece of paper and faster than the first IBM-PC. Every key had multiple functions to offer the same functionality as standard keyboards. The LCD was able to display 8 lines with 40 chars.
Toshiba went the opposite way: they presented the largest laptop at the CeBIT - five meters high! Typing was a bit difficult though because you had to step on every key.
Major virus attack
Robert Morris Jr. prooved the weak points of security systems: his virus which he programmed as an experiment shut down 6000 computers. Because of a typing error, the virus copied itself as long as there were still free system ressources. Even NASA computers, the US marines and departments which were responsible for the SDI and Atom programs were infected. The Arpanet was shut down because of the virus. Maybe some companies were more careful after this incident because it would have been easy to make the virus more dangerous. Although today's systems are more secure hackers still find their ways through firewalls and passwords. It is a mystery how companies still ignore warnings made by hackers like the famous Chaos Computer Club.
Atari's first portable Atari ST was technically a MegaST and became quite popular with musicians. There is also a love story about this computer. As it was presented at a fair in the USA, an American fell in love with the computer. He tried to convince the Atari employees to sell him the computer. Although they initially resisted, he finally convinced them after a while (and he paid twice as much as the machine would cost in stores) and he later carried out the first sold STacy after the fair.
After years of development and rumours Steve Jobs came back with his new computer. His new company NeXT presented their first computer the NeXT Cube. The design was excellent with computer and peripherals all in black and the computer itself was - as the name suggests - in a cube. The CPU was a 68030 accompanied by a math co-processor and a DSP. The DSP (Digital Signal Processor) could be used for almost everything although it's main task was the excellent NeXT sound. Later it was also used as a software modem! The first Cube couldn't display color graphics, the monochrome resolution was 1120*832 with 68 Hz. A magneto-optical disk was used for storage and stored up to 256 MB. The disk delivered with the first NeXT contained an entire encyclopedia and Shakespear's complete works. Nearly everything on the NeXT was new. Even the programming language was revolutionary as it was a fully visual language where you constructed your programs by combining symbols.
The first Macintosh clone was presented by a small company from Cologne, Germany. The Jonathan was MacSE compatible and required the original ROMs. The advertising was fun to read because the company avoided to say the name "Apple" - they replaced it with the word "Tomato". Therefore the Jonathan was advertised as a 100% tomato compatible computer.
Chronology1979 1980 1981
1982 1983 1984
1985 1986 1987
1988 1989 1990
1991 1992 1993
1994 1995 1996