GRiD Compass II 1129
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The Compass series was the first portable computer to be used in orbit, flying first on the Space Shuttle Columbia. In fact, GRiD started a trend for the space program in that on board the International Space Station you will find laptops velcroed and otherwise attached to surfaces all over the station. Laptops have become standard issue tools in human spaceflight and it all started with GRiD.
The GRiDs sold for $6,000 to $10,000+
The GRiD Compass was equipped with an Intel 8086 at 8 MHz with 8087 math coprocessor; 512 kB of ROM; 512 kB of RAM; and 384 kB of non-volatile magnetic-bubble memory as background storage. The Clam-shell case was made of durable magnesium components. External storage was available by connecting a floppy drive and/or hard disk (up to 40 MB) using the machine's GPIB (IEEE-488) connector. The bright, amber-colour electroluminescent display has 320 x 240 pixels. The earlier models of the Compass (designed in 1979) were using a proprietary operating system GRiD-OS. However after the introduction of the IBM-PC (1981) MS-DOS became fashionable, and was made available for the Compass (MS-DOS 2.11).
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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH25335. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.