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Who Invented the Laptop?

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It is difficult to know exactly who invented the laptop. There are several contenders, including Bill Mogridge, Alan Kay, and Adam Osborne, but none of them can claim to have been the first to invent the portable computer. Several of them were employed by various companies, including Hewlett-Packard.

Adam Osborne

In the early 1980s, Adam Osborne was an entrepreneur who came up with the idea of creating a portable computer. Born in Thailand, he spent most of his childhood in southern India and studied chemical engineering at Birmingham University. The Osborne 1 was the first mass-produced portable computer.

Osborne began writing for computer publications and frequenting meetings of the Homebrew Computer Club in Silicon Valley. There he learned about the microcomputer revolution and became convinced that people needed mobile computers. The floppy disk drives used by other companies were not reliable and easily damaged if dropped.

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Osborne’s design was so successful that it quickly became the first portable computer. His goal was to break the price barrier and develop a machine that would allow people to do the things they wanted to do, wherever they were. The Osborne 1 cost US$1795 and had many features. It included a CP/M 2.2 operating system and word processing and spreadsheet software.

Alan Kay

In the 1970s, computer pioneer Alan Kay came up with the idea for a portable computer that was both lightweight and portable. He called his idea a Dynabook, inspired by dynamic information. The resulting design was revolutionary for the time. The portable computer was akin to today’s tablets and was designed to allow children to learn on the go. Kay studied learning theories and worked with development psychologists to make the computer accessible to children.

Kay completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Colorado in 1966, where he studied mathematics and molecular biology. After graduating from college, he went to the University of Utah and earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering. At the University of Utah, he studied computer science and he wrote his doctoral dissertation about the invention of the FLEX computer language. The program he developed later came to be known as Smalltalk.

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In addition to developing the first laptop, Alan Kay also pioneered graphical user interfaces. He is currently the president of ViewPoints Research Institute and adjunct professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. His work has earned him numerous honors, including the 2003 Turing Award from the Association for Computing Machinery. Other honors include the Lewis Branscomb Technology Award, the Charles Stark Draper Prize, and the Kyoto Prize for Advanced Technology.

Bill Mogridge

Bill Mogridge was a British industrial designer who invented the laptop over 30 years ago. In the early 1980s, he created the world’s first laptop computer. Called the GRiD Compass 1100, it weighed about 11 pounds. It was Moggridge’s idea to use a hinged clamshell case for the keyboard and display. The clamshell case would open to reveal the keyboard and a luminous display. The clamshell design was a success and the GRiD Compass 1100 would go on to be the world’s first laptop.

Bill Mogridge also invented the concept of interaction design. This concept states that products should be designed to meet human needs. Moggridge’s first laptop, the Grid Compass, was created in 1979. In the years that followed, laptop computers became so popular that they became the dominant form of the PC market.

The Grid Compass had a clamshell design, and Bill Mogridge designed it in 1979. Bill Moggridge, who died of cancer in 2010, was credited with the invention of the laptop computer. The Grid Compass 1101, which went on sale in 1982, was a groundbreaking design and was used on Nasa space shuttle missions. It weighed about 10 pounds, and was used by astronauts during the 1980s.


In 1991, HP introduced a palmtop personal computer called the 95LX. It was priced at $699 and included Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet software. It quickly became a best seller. This prompted HP to expand into other markets for palmtop computers. The company began to explore software for real estate applications and navigational systems.

The company was founded in a one-car garage, but eventually outgrew its single-car garage. In fact, the building became a landmark and was given California Historical Landmark status in 1987. During WWII, Packard ran the company while fighting in Europe. After the war, he served as an officer in the United States Army.

In 2002, HP acquired Compaq, another major PC maker in the United States. After the deal was finalized, HP was able to expand its business. The company made PCs, printers, servers, and other computing equipment. Its ticker symbol, HPQ, was changed to reflect its new direction. The company became the first technology company to reach a $100 billion sales revenue.

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