Times Have Changed #2

Today's episode: the Multimedia Notebook.

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(from the November 1993 issue of Popular Science)
     Posted By: Salamander Sam - Fri May 08, 2009
     Category: Products | Computers | 1990s | Yesterday’s Tomorrows





Comments
Aw Dude!! I USED one of those many a moon ago, in my first job out of college. It was called a "luggable". Exceptions for the CD-ROM parts though. I don't think CD's were invented in that era. It did, I beleive, have the most up-to-date technology with the 3.5" floppy. The printer we had was about the same size. And if memory serves me, it was a monochrome screen, in orange or something like that (not green).

And look at the prices back then. Just think what power you could get today for $7700 on one machine.
Posted by Paul in Athens GA on 05/08/09 at 04:59 PM
Because of my obsession with everything old, I actually own several vintage Apple PowerBooks from around that time, they are wonderful writing computers and people's reactions when they realize I use a 1992 PowerBook Duo (great grandfather of the MacBook Air) to take notes in college classes are priceless.

To me the most bizarre thing about this article is the fact that by 1993 "notebook" computers were already in the form factor we use now. Sure, they could be 2 inches thick, weigh 8 pounds and have a 9 inch passive-matrix grayscale screen, but they were light and fit in a backpack. This thing is literally the size and weight of a suitcase. Why they would call it a "notebook" is beyond my understanding, as is why they chose to use the term "multimedia" (personal computers couldn't really handle digital video, there were no digital audio formats besides MIDI that were small enough for the hard drives, and digital cameras still cost several thousand dollars and produced very poor results).

I saw one of these suitcase sized "laptops" on eBay about 5 years ago, and ever since I wish that I had bought it.
Posted by Salamander Sam in Chicago on 05/08/09 at 07:13 PM
Multimedia is still a buzz word. Ever heard of a media center PC? They even sell new "multimedia notebooks," but at least now that term is justified because they have 17 inch high resolution screens, DVD or Blu-Ray drives, iTunes, and plenty of internet video streaming sites. All this one has is dual speakers (they don't even mention if they are stereo), a color screen, and a CD-ROM drive (which, I must admit, would have been a very cool feature for a portable computer back then)
Posted by Salamander Sam in Chicago on 05/08/09 at 09:06 PM
a reminder of how far the technology has come in a relatively short period of time. df technological improvements rather than failure to function as intended is the main reason most computers become 'obsolete'. if it still does the job and one doesn't have to buy new that is great. the only real problem becomes repairs when needed as the companies like to discontinue making parts so as to 'encourage' everyone to buy new. (planned obsolesence)
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 05/08/09 at 10:29 PM
good luck with that df! 😉
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 12/02/09 at 07:21 PM
if you put it to the spammers you will definitely become my personal hero sweetie!
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 12/02/09 at 07:45 PM
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