GRiDPad. Wrong Side of the ancient tablets




| GRiDPad. Wrong Side of the ancient tablets


GRiD company was on the forefront of the young computer industry and was the first company in the world, has created a tablet computer GRiDPad. One of its designers was Jeff Hawkins (Jeff Hawkins), who then worked at GRiD. It was he who developed and patented the original interface “PalmPrint”, recognized and interpreted what the person would write by hand. Incidentally, until recently, “handwritten interface” was considered very promising, as long as mankind has not found with surprise that almost forgotten how to write.

First, the dry specifications, and only then a short story about the first tablet of the planet. GRiDPad debuted in October 1989. It cost 2000 U.S. $ 370. Weighed two pounds. Based on the processor Intel 80C86 c clock frequency of 10 MHz (and now humanity dreams of a chip with a speed in megahertz billion and this does not surprise anyone.) RAM is 1 megabyte. His 10-inch LCD monochrome display supports a resolution of 80 x 24 for text and 640 x 400 for graphics. World’s first tablet had a RS-232 port and a connector for the keyboard, and two slots for flash memory cards. He is running a preinstalled operating system MS-DOS 3.3.

Let’s go back to Jeff Hawkins. In 1992, he left the GRiD and founded his own company Palm, known to all who had the opportunity to use handheld computers (PDAs, PDA). In 1996 saw the release of the handheld Palm Pilot. In those days, it was all the craze for PDAs that are successful and widespread devices, however, and did not. Even Apple succumbed to the general enthusiasm and released in 1993, his PDA Newton.

It was a small digression, which characterizes the spirit of the age. So, GRiDPad was running stitched in memory of the operating system MS-DOS 3.3. OS reboot in seconds.


The world’s first tablet does not support floppy disks (floppy disks). Instead, it has two slots for flash memory cards truly “giant” size: 256 or 512 kilobytes. Yes, dear readers, that’s right, and no mistake is not here. Not megabytes, and even more so, not gigabytes, but only a kilobyte. Through the serial port RS-232 can be shared with another computer running MS-DOS. Data is exchanged using the software LapLink. Optionally, the world’s first tablet can even be equipped with such a miracle of technology as an integrated modem.

Screen, as it should screen tablet that was a touch, although monochrome. Operated via a stylus. To input characters, use the onscreen keyboard. In addition, you can connect and external keyboard. As you can see, it’s very similar to what we see in today’s tablets.

Although this tablet and is considered the first in history to attempt to create such a device have been and before his appearance. Two years earlier, in 1987, Linus Technologies established its Write-Top running all the same operating system MS-DOS 3.30. There was also a touch screen and stylus, but this tablet is weighed twice GRiDPad was not so easy to use.


GRiD representatives stated that in 1990 it was sold to an incredible number of first tablet in the world. Just think in this truly record number: ten thousand GRiDPad! Is not it true, is impressive, especially given the current sales of tablets?

I must say that in 1989, presented the first ever GRiDPad, to put it mildly, was very far from perfect. Complaints caused light reflection of its screen. Yes and no hard disk is not too pleased. But soon followed by renovation and GRiDPad got 20 megabyte 2.5-inch hard disk drive. His memory has increased to 2 megabytes. Backlight of the screen become less demanding. Developers prefer a cheaper processor NEC V20 CPU. However, these beneficial changes are the best way affect the price GRiDPad 1910 (the so-called modified model), raising it to 3 thousand 750 U.S. dollars.

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