The DIP Pocket PC was released in 1989, and soon later it was licensed to Atari to be sold with the name “Portfolio” in the UK and US. DIP officially stood for “Distributed Information Processing”, although secretly it actually stood for “David, Ian and Peter”, the three founding members of the company who were former employees of Psion.

The Portfolio uses an Intel 80C88 CPU running at 4.9152 MHz and runs “DIP Operating System 2.11” (DIP DOS), an operating system mostly compatible to MS-DOS 2.11. It has 128 KB of RAM and 256 KB of ROM which contains the OS and built-in applications. The on-board RAM is divided between system memory and local storage (the C: drive). The LCD is monochrome without backlight and has 240 × 64 pixels or 40 characters × 8 lines.

Power is supplied by 3xAA size removable alkaline batteries and the computer’s memory is preserved during battery changes. A DC charger can be used, but I don’t have one at the moment.

On the right side of the device, there is an expansion port, which can take a for parallel, serial, modem or MIDI expansion modules. Of all these, I have the parallel one, but I haven’t yet played with it, due to the lack of a parallel cable.

Expansion cards were available in sizes of 32-128 KB initially, but later you could find capacities up to 4 MB, they were inserted in a Bee Card expansion port aka Credit Card Memory or CCM. Built-in applications include a text editor, spreadsheet (Lotus 1-2-3 compatible), phone book and time manager.

There are also other programs that can be added, like a chess game, file manager, finance manager, but in theory, most DOS applications can run on the portfolio, as long as they don’t need direct hardware access and can fit in the small memory of the device.

Fun fact: This computer appeared in Terminator 2. It was used by young John Connor to break into an ATM bank machine.

More info about it: Wikipedia | old computers | Wikiwand | LGR Video |



Libretto 100CT

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