Monday, August 23, 2010

The 1983 iPad

It was 1983, and I was in gadget lust like I've never known.
No matter it cost about 1/20th of my annual salary then, and I had no real need, I had to have it.

It was the lightest computer around.  It weighed about 1/8th of the other hot, portable computer at the time did.  That's a better ratio than an iPad to a laptop!

It had a state of the art non-CRT display, like the iPad.

It had connectivity.

It ran for a long time on batteries.  Unlike the iPad, the batteries were easily replaceable AA batteries.  And it could get 20 hours to a set of batteries, not the iPad's paltry-by-comparison 10 hours.

It had a real keyboard, not an on-screen one.

It could print.  Try that on your iPad.

It had arrow keys.  You won't find those on your iPad.

It had the iPad's cool factor.  I'd use it on BART and draw a crowd.

Reporters loved it.  It was the first PC they could carry with them on stories.  Globe trotting journalists were submitting stories via it in no time.

I'm talking about the Radio Shack Model 100, made by Kyocera.  I still have it.  Probably always will.  Its cool to look at still.


  1. Wow, thanks for the memories. I had (still have) a Model 102 - same as the 100, a little thinner and more memory. Still got the single sided, single density floppy disk drive Radio Shack sold for it as well. I remember Britt Hume was one of the reporters that used it on the White House beat, remember reading a column he wrote about how he used it.

  2. Mark - my friend Robert Stanfield - who works with me on has a 100, 200 600 and 2 pocket PCs at his desk. Never fails to draw a crowd - LOL - his dad Don was the first computer buyer. You neglected to mention that Bill Gates personally wrote the software on the Model 100 - it was MS Works version 1.

  3. Chuck: I thought I remembered that about Gates, but didn't see anything online about it. Thanks for mentioning it!