TitleOdysseys in Technology - Pioneering the laptop: GRiD Compass
DescriptionIntroduced in 1982, the GRiD Compass 1100 was likely the first commercial computer created in a laptop format and one of the first truly portable machines. With its rugged magnesium clamshell case (the screen folds flat over the keyboard), switching power supply, electro-luminescent display, non-volatile bubble memory, and built-in modem, the hardware design incorporated many features that we take for granted today. Software innovations included a graphical operating system, an integrated productivity suite including word processor, spreadsheet, graphics and e-mail. GRiD Systems Corporation, founded in 1979 by John Ellenby and his co-founders Glenn Edens and David Paulsen, pioneered many portable devices including the laptop, pen-based and tablet PC form factors.
Key members of the original GRiD engineering team -- Glenn Edens, Carol Hankins, Craig Mathias and Dave Paulsen -- share engineering stories from the Wild West of the laptop computer. Moderated by New York Times journalist John Markoff.