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The Ericsson MC12 (Mobile Companion) is a pocket computer released in December 1996. It is a rebadged HP 320LX.
Like the HP 320LX, the MC12 featured a Hitachi SuperH SH3 (SH7700) CPU that ran at 44 MHz. It came with 4Mb RAM and 5 Mb ROM. The pocket computer ran Windows CE 1.0 and came with pocket versions of Microsoft Excel, Word, Outlook, and Internet Explorer. An upgrade for Windows 2.0 was released later on. There are slots for one Type II PC Card and one CompactFlash card, as well as IrDA 1.0 and serial ports for external communications.
As Ericsson's first PDA, it also came with software that provided easy connectivity to a range of Ericsson mobile phones. The CompactFlash card provided with the MC12 includes three applications that provide communications features not found elsewhere, such as Ericsson Virtual Modem. This provides a useful software modem feature. The software could only handle speeds of 9.6Kbit/s, so wasn't useful for surfing the Internet, and there was no ordinary telephone line adapter, so it was only useful with an Ericsson GSM mobile phone. You can also use the MC12's serial port to connect it to an Ericsson GSM phone. Another application, "My Ericsson Phone", allowed two-way communication between the phone and the MC12. You could use the PDA's contact database to dial numbers on your phone or send short text messages to fax machines or to other cellular phones. You could also access your phone's memory and download information into the contact database.
When released, the MC12 cost £550 (ex. VAT).
Our unit is complete with the original box and was kindly donated by Colin Pearson.
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH13994. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.