Artifact Details


EO Personal Communicator 880 (Personal Digital Assistant) Radio Modem

Catalog Number



Physical object


The EO 880 Personal Communicator was an early PDA introduced by AT&T in 1992. It allowed for complete mobile operation and came bundled with address book, telephone, and appointment calendar software. It could record voice notes and came with an integral cellular telephone for remote computer access. The EO sold poorly, probably due to its $3,300 price tag. Three parts: A: CPU + stylus B: Radio modem C: AC adaptor D: Slipcover/carrying case Statitstics (via o) EO Personal Communicator EO880 Weight: 18 kg (4 lbs) CPU: AT&T Hobbitt RISC chip EO880 claims 20MIPs Display: 640 x 480 85dpi 7.6" x 5.7" Batteries: 6V NiCd 4 to 7 hours, cellular only on standby 30 hours, 90 minute recharge Memory: 4MB or 8MB Software: GO Penpoint OS, fax, mail, MiniNote, Pensoft Personal Perspective (address book, calendar, to-do, notetaker), Sitka PenTops PenCentral file transfer and network software, EO Phone, EO Sound, EO Calc, and EO Lock (security software) I/O: Serial port with cable, parallel port, PS/2 keyboard port, VGA and SCSI-II ports on EO880, 20MB and 64MB hard drives optional, cellular phone (OKI910 innards), floppy drive, seven hour battery pack. Datacom port for cellular phones can wake up the EO. Built in microphone and tiny speaker for voice annotation (not connected to phone circuitry) PC Card: Type 2 PCMCIA Price: US$3300 (1992) Len Shustek writes: GO/EO facts Jerry Kaplan (PhD, Computer & Information Science, 1979) founded GO in 1987, after having been at Lotus and Teknowledge. They wanted to "change the world" with a handheld pen-operated computer that had a PIM, email, PC connection, fax, voice annotation. They had a hot team, a driven hyperkinetic founder, and funding from Lotus founder Mitch Kapor and VCs (Kleiner, Perkins) eventually to the tune of $75M. But it failed. It bumbled along for seven years trying to develop the product and the market, partnering with IBM and AT&T ("EO" ? "go" in Greek). Success was always "just around the corner". In the end, AT&T bought GO, merged it in with it's own EO subsidiary which made the hardware platform, and promptly shut down the whole enterprise. Why? It was too slow, had handwriting recognition that was marginal, too bulky (might as well have a keyboard), too expensive ($3K), went head-to-head with Microsoft by writing their own OS ("PenPoint"), and lost out to the Windows/Intel laptops. Alumni went on to be founder of OnSale (Kaplan), CEO of Intuit (Bill Campbell), VP Mktg of Netscape (Mike Homer), CTO of Autodesk (Robert Carr), CEO of VeriSign (Stratton Sclavos). Kaplan has said his "one prediction that never came true" was that pen computing would be a billion dollar market by 1990. Only his timing was wrong: there have been a billion dollars of Palm Pilots sold by early 1999. Technical specs: 2.2-4 pounds 20-30 Mhz AT&T Hobbit microprocessor 4-12 MB RAM, 8 MB ROM 20-64 MB hard disk 14,400 baud modem 4-7 hours of battery use




EO, Inc.

Place Manufactured


Identifying Numbers

Model number 880
Serial number 323BZ01374831


1 1/2 x 7 1/4 x 1 1 /4 in.




Gift of Donna Dubinsky

Lot Number