Here's a scan of the 1983 Byte review of the Compaq, the first "portable" PC clone. I think I still have a rotator cuff injury from carrying one of these around.
Ultimate Compatibility When a company advertises a computer as being “IBM PC-compatible,” the best way to test its claim is to try to load an IBM release of PC-DOS, CP/M-86, or the UCSD p-system. I didn’t have the p-system, but I did have both PC-DOS and CP/M-86 and was able to try both of them on a prototype of the Compaq computer. The systems loaded and executed perfectly, with the exception of the BASIC on PC-DOS, which wouldn’t execute because the Compaq doesn’t have ROM BASIC. The BASICA provided on disk and all of the IBM PC sample BASIC programs found on the PC-DOS disk ran without incident. I also tried some CP/M-86 assembler-level software that I had written, and it worked without a hitch as well. I spent about an hour loading and running a number of game programs and some professional packages such as Wordstar and Supercalc. With one exception, they all worked correctly. The one that didn’t was a game program that ran perfectly but died when I tried to terminate the game. One of the programmers told me that the problem was probably a result of not initializing the hardware correctly when the system was powered up. The company assured me that the problem would be solved before any machines were shipped.
Behold, the Blue Marlin, a “semi-submersible heavy lift ship” that is capable of hoisting and transplanting other, full-sized ships (that is ships as big or bigger than a US Destroyer-class vessel) all around the oceans.
Mister Alphabet is an action-figure designed to cleverly bend and contort into every letter of the Latin alphabet; the website is long on trademark warnings and arty Instagram photos, but short on details, like, “Is this an object of commerce?” and “If so, where does one buy it?” (via Kottke)
Phone chargers usually only deliver a few volts of juice at a feeble amperage, but they’ll deliver a lot more if you give them the chance. The BBC writes that a UK man died in the bathtub after being shocked by a charger connected to an extension cord. Richard Bull, 32, died when his iPhone […]
You know the drill. You go to the dentist and they ask you how often you floss. You lie through your teeth and say, “every day!” (Bonus points if you have some cilantro or chives stuck in your gums from lunch). You don’t want to keep up the charade any longer, but rubbing that tiny strand […]
The Raspberry Pi Foundation has done outstanding work packing a fully capable desktop computer into a package the size of a deck cards—especially one that only costs $35. But if you already have a working laptop, why should you care? Oh, how much you have to learn. Besides operating well as a compact digital media hub, […]
Custom coffee vessels are the perfect piece of office flair, but it’s just a matter of time before your VOTE FOR PEDRO mug will start to lose its relevant wit. Why not have a new one every day, with whatever silly nonsense you want sticking off the sides? You can save big on your novelty […]