World’s Strangest

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Why the First Laptop Didn’t Catch On

hIn 1979, designer Bill Moggridge built the first laptop computer. In 1982, it was introduced to the public as the GRiD Compass. It was heavy, and expensive, but the real reason businessmen didn’t want it was something most computer users wouldn’t guess today. It was the keyboard. 

At that time, 1982, business people, who were in their 40s and 50s, did not have any computer or keyboard in their offices. And it was associated with being part of the secretarial pool or the word processing (remember that industry?) department. And so you’d put this thing in their office and they’d say, “Get that out of here.” It was like getting a demotion. They really were uncomfortable with it.

And besides that, they didn’t know how to type -that was women’s work. It was a sign of the times -my father did not want me to take typing class in high school (in the 1970s), because he was afraid it might lead to secretarial work, and he wanted me to be a scientist. Read the entire story at the Atlantic. Link

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October 12th, 2012

Stranger to the World


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