Microwriter AgendA 32K
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The Microwriter AgendA was one of the first PDAs. Released in 1989, it includes a set of small "conventional" alpha-numeric keys arranged inside the half circle of a Microwriter chording keyboard with larger keys. It was designed for text-mode note-taking without a conventional desk or keyboard. Microwriting was a 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. Many people were able to learn how to touch type in less than 1 hour, but many in 30 minutes. Then typing speed and accuracy will build up as experience is gained.
The AgendA is based on the 6303 Microprocessor (running at 4.9MHz) and has 32k of storage, pluggable memory modules, a 4-line LCD screen, and advertised excellent build quality and long battery life. It featured ABC programming language (BASIC/Pascal hybrid), a built-in word processor, calculator, to-do list, organiser, database and alarm clock. Additional software was available on memory cards including spreadsheets, language translators, finance and maths. Serial and parallel interfaces were available to connect the PDA to printers and PCs.
It originally sold for £199. In 1990 it was awarded the British Design Award.
We are lucky to have both the 32K and the 128K models - both in soft cases. This 32K example in our collection is complete with the original packaging, cables, software and documentation, and was kindly donated by Peter Martin.
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