I recently finished reading the book Terrible Nerd by Kevin Savetz. If you were a nerd that grew up in the 80’s with an Atari, Commodore, or TRS computer, then you will likely relate to much of the book. It is an entertaining stroll down memory lane.
In it he talks about a friend, Jason, who collected brochures, flyers, and any other media a company would send him simply by asking. This, of course, was in the 1980’s. Later in life Jason decides to create a digital archive of the material on the Internet which is here: Reader Service.
It got me thinking. I have a folder with a bunch of old brochures of computer equipment I had and/or wanted. I opened it and found several that I thought might be worthy to contribute so they are not lost to the sands of time. I browsed Reader Service to see if any already existed and they don’t. So I started scanning.
The most interesting, for me, is the one for a small pocket computer that was way ahead of its time in 1990 – the Atari Portfolio. It was one of the first PDA’s (Personal Digital Assistant). I had one of these and used it for well over a couple of years. I had all my contacts in it, I kept notes, I managed my checkbook on it, and I wrote a few small programs for it (which have unfortunately been lost to the great bit bucket in the sky).
This little device ran a version of MS-DOS, I think version 2.10, so files were compatible with IBM PC’s. It had a built-in spreadsheet that was compatible with Lotus 1-2-3 (the spreadsheet king back then). It had a full keyboard, had 40 columns of text, 128K of memory, an expansion port for programs or data storage, printer port (via expansion unit), serial port (via expansion unit), and it ran on three AA batteries.
Sometimes I miss that little computer.
I am submitting the scans to Reader Service, however, you can see this brochure right here: Brochure-Atari-Portfolio-1990.pdf