Remember When a 29-pound Portable Computer was Light?

The staff at Wired remembers 1983 and produced a YouTube video showing how useful the “lightweight” computer was in those days:

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Osbourne, KayPro, and Compaq all with 5 inch screens.

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Ran my business from a Compaq Portable by day. Then took it home and used it to work on genealogy after dinner, including some lively discussions on the old mailing lists. There was a list concentrating on New England with several wonderful people who seemed to live at either NEHGS or the Essex Peabody Museum. In any event they knew these places so well they could tell you what shelf the item you needed was to be found. The Nova Scotia list was full of people with invaluable knowledge of the local history and family lore of all the tight knit small towns and rural areas who knew which Smith belonged to which Smith family in which village and how they related to the other Smiths elsewhere (or not). I was just thinking about them all the other day and realizing how lucky I was to have been mentored by so many good teachers. Gee, I must be getting old.

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Ahh, those were the days. I had an Osborne and Kaypro, both CP/M systems. I lugged the Osborne on many plane trips; it was a behemoth compared to today’s laptops, Chromebooks, and smart phones.

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