GRiD Systems Corporation
Brief history taken from Pioneering the Laptop - The GRiD Compass
John Ellenby left his job at Xerox Parc in January 1979, formed GRiD Systems Corporation with Glenn Edens, Dave Paulsen and Bill Moggridge and as one of Silicon Valley's first stealth companies went public in March 1981.
The "GRiD" name with the unusual lowercase "i" in the middle was the result of discussion between John Ellenby, Glenn Edens and John Ellenby's wife Gillian who pushed for the final choice. The lowercase "i" was a note of thanks to Intel for helping in the early days
GRiD developed and released several pioneering ideas:
First clamshell laptop computer
Patented the "clamshell" laptop design
First portable to use non-volatile bubble-memory
GRiD-OS was a multi-tasking graphical user interface and operating system
First use of electro-luminescent displays in a portable
First use of magnesium for the case
First use of the Intel 8086 and 8087 floating-point co-processor in a commercial product.
pioneered the concept of a "bus" for connecting peripherals (using GPIB)
first computer that included a fully functional telephone and telephone handset
A GRiD Compass 1101 was the first laptop in space. Required special modification to add a fan to pull air through the case.. Subsequently a GRiD 1530 flew on STS-29 in March 1989.
OldComputer.net called the 1982 Compass 1101 the "grand-daddy of all present-day laptop computers". It had 256k RAM, an 8086, 320x240 screen, and 384k of internal 'bubble memory' that held data with power off.
In 1988, Tandy Corporation purchased GRiD