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Microwriter AgendA 32K

The Microwriter AgendA was one of the first PDAs. Released in 1989, it includes a set of small "conventional" keys arranged inside the half circle of a Microwriter chording keyboard with larger keys. It has 32k of storage, pluggable memory modules, a 4-line LCD screen, and advertised excellent build quality and long battery life. It was designed for text-mode note-taking without a conventional desk or keyboard. In 1990 it was awarded the British Design Award.

Microwriting is the leading system of chord keying and is based on a set of mnemonics, it was developed by Cy Endfield and Chris Rainey in the 1970s. The system was used in the Microwriter and the Microwriter Agenda, which was one of the first PDA (personal digital assistant). The AgendA was awarded the British Design Award in 1990. Thousands of people have acquired the ability to use the system. Most people can touch type in less than 1 hour but many in 30minutes. Then typing speed and accuracy will build up as experience is gained.

The Microwriter codes can be seen at

Released 1989 at £199 

6303 Microprocessor at 4.9MHz 

32kB RAM expandable to 128KB 

Alpha-numeric keyboard, plus "Microwriter" keyboard designed for one handed "blind" operation 

Serial and parallel interfaces to printers and PCs 

ABC programming language (BASIC/Pascal hybrid) 

Built in word processor, calculator, to-do list, organiser, database and alarm clock 

Additional software available on memory cards - spreadsheet, language translators, finance & maths 

We are lucky to have both the  32K and the 128K models - both in soft cases.

This Agenda 32K is complete with the original packaging, cables, software and documentation and was kindly donated by Peter Martin


Manufacturer: Microwriter
Date: 1989

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Microwriter AgendA 32K Manuals:

Item Manufacturer Date
IBM 7090 Data Processing Share 7090 9PAC IBM 1961

Microwriter AgendA 32K Articles:

Item Manufacturer Date
A Research Center for Augmenting Human Intellect 9 Dec 1968

Magazines RELATED to Microwriter AgendA 32K in our Library

Item Manufacturer Date
Practical Computing - September 1988 Unknown
Practical Computing - January 1988 Jan 1988
Personal Computer World - February 1988 1 Feb 1988
Byte August 1988 Aug 1988
PCW Focus - July 1989 1 Jul 1989
PCW Focus - August 1989 1 Aug 1989
IEEE Annals of the History of Computing - January-March 2004 2004
Edge - Issue 155 - November 2005 Future Publishing Nov 2005
Edge - Issue 211 - February 2010 Future Publishing Feb 2010

Other Systems Related To Microwriter AgendA 32K:

Item Manufacturer Date
Microwriter MW4 Microwriter 1980
Microwriter MW4 Microwriter May 1982
Microwriter (case only) Microwriter 1985
Microwriter AgendA 128K Microwriter 1989

This exhibit has a reference ID of CH13151. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.


Microwriter AgendA 32K

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