Microwriter AgendA 128K
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 http://www.bellaire.demon.co.uk/bellaire_cykey_codes.html
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
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH6439. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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