John Cleese: Compaq Portable computer vs. dead fish




I had the first version Compaq “Portable”, a great piece of engineering, built like a tank. However it was liable to give you a hernia if you actually wanted to move if more than 50 feet without a car.


Judging by the date, “Dead Fish” is an upgrade from “Dead Parrot”.

You know it had to be said.


Luggable, instead of portable, was the term we used. And you should see what earlier models of ‘portables’ were like.


I remember these fondly. One of my first tasks as a newly hired IT guy back in the day was to swap out one of the 5.25" floppies and install a half-height 20 MB hard disk (with MFM controller of course.) Had to have Tech Services whip up a lovely plexiglas bay cover.


I explain to people in what way those luggables were ‘portable’ thusly: “You bent your knees a few degrees, grabbed the handle, and then straightened out your legs - now your ‘portable’ was just a half inch off the ground.”


we used the term “Schlepptop” a bit later.


i don’t know why, but my explicitly non portable PS/2 80 had a solid metal bar handle which you "could " use to lift it an inch from the ground with “both” hands.


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