Photo compares portable Mac from 25 years ago to one today

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Yeah, but the Macbook Air sucks at toasting sandwiches.


[quote=“frauenfelder, post:1, topic:77334”]My guess is the next one will be invisible.[/quote]On that note, whatever happened to laser-projected keyboards? They’ve been out for a while, and I would have thought the technology would have been sufficiently refined by now.

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Colby Walkmac

As I remember it, that unit had a raygun hidden in it somewhere.


I looked at some of the pictures in the article, trying to recognize all of the ports… The two halves of the computer need separate AC power sources. Considering that computers will (supposedly) soon be able to be charged via USB-C, the thought of a laptop needing a separate power supply for its screen is astounding to me.

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I can think of a lot of reasons those wouldn’t catch on in real life. No tactile feedback means it’s a lot tricker to keep your fingers from wandering to the wrong keys. It’s hard enough typing on a tablet touchscreen, and in that case you don’t have the additional disadvantage of having to look down from the monitor to see what keys you’re hitting. Also you’d be left with a “laptop” that wouldn’t work on many kinds of surfaces—including your lap.


Keep in mind that this thing wasn’t a laptop design. If was a desktop computer (Mac SE) plus a desktop monitor crammed after the fact into a laptop-shaped package.

Much the same thing has been done with everything from Apple II’s to Xboxes. Adding a third-party power supply - and tossing out the existing computer and monitor power supplies - adds a lot of expense and complication.


So many ports… mmmmmm
Apple’s ‘new’ ‘refreshed’ MacBook (now in salmon vomit! I mean rose gold) still has but one port

Jony Ivey has gained weight while the products just get thinner every year

Real men (and womens) carry 35 lb attache/suitcase computers. Back in The Day everyone had one enormous arm and one skinny fast arm for the control keys (like a Motie). You kids. These days. Now off my lawn if you please.


This is a weird comparison.

Didn’t Macintosh have tbe first Mac Portable? In 1989, Big and Heavy. I’m not sure it sold so well, or for long.

Then there were more successful Mac laptops. The Powerbook 100 in 1991, I have one from that early series. And for a long time they styed bout the same size, not particularly large. The 1400 and 190 that I also got at garage sales stayed about the same size, despite increasing performance. The 100 was about like a Mac Plus, the 1400 a PowerPC with decent ram and a cdrom drive.

Laptops became bigger, but in a different way. As screen size went up, they became thinner but took up more surface, I am surprised how large the ten year old Dell laptops I gat recently, the pair for five dollars. They oack a lot more, but with a 15inch screen, they have plenty of room over a larger surface.

A better comparison would show multiple generations. Dig out a transportable, like an Osborne, then an early laptop like the Radio Shack Model 100, thick but small, but limited. Then they got bigger as things like floppy drives were added. The Powerbook 100 was actually smaller than MS-DOS era laptops. Netbooks were small, because of the screen size and smallish keyboard, but not that much smaller than that Powerbook 100 (though the netbook was much better spec wise).


Fun fact: if the Mac is invisible 25 years from now, they can use the same comparison photo, because it already contains an infinite amount of invisible computers in it.


I’m still amazed by my first-gen Air vs. the latest macbook:

It seemed like the original Air couldn’t get any thinner!


You forgot the suitcase full of adaptors that goes with today’s macbook.

Counting in exponential growth, 2035’s iLobe pro will be a mere brain plug that demands a minimum of 1337 adaptors, in series, to connect to just about anything.


Yeah the fair comparison would be with this guy, which of course is still damn impressive:


I know it’s about Macs, but interesting to look at the Osborne portable

And going further I recall borrowing a portable terminal from my university around 1981
which was only a dumb terminal, but looked a bit like the osborne with a flip out keyboard,
and rubber (gas mask type) hookup for plugging in the phone (and a 300 baud connection).
It weighed probably around 60lbs.


YES! I hate touch screens. I am a bumbling idiot WITH tactile keys. I am worse with a touch screen. I can’t imagine laser projection being any better.

So - uh - where IS the key board? They said the pad is a mouse pad…


Now let’s see if that thing can check some emails!


hope it’s from a female!


That’s why I use a Macbook Pro!


The technology is there, but unfortunately the marketing hit a small snag when somebody realized that the entire idea was basically completely stupid and nearly impossible to use. Cool gimmick, though!


Brain plugs I don’t mind. Uploading stuff to your brain using iTunes will suck.