Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"I went back to science fiction to try a few experiments …and my first experiment was a disaster…"
- Alfred Bester

Briefcase Computer  
  A portable computer workstation.  

This is an early description of a computer that is small enough to carry around; it's hard to say whether or not this device used a keyboard or not (might be entirely voice-activated).

Rob Gray ... sat with an open briefcase resting on his knees. He studied the information being displayed on the screen built into its lid... Gray addressed the [microphone] grille, located next to the tiny lens just above the screen.

"Hi, Sue" ... "Could I have personal data, ... please."

Gray ... inserted [the card from his wallet] into a slot set to one side of the screen, and touched a key. ... "Thank you, goodbye."

Gray flipped a switch, unplugged the briefcase from the socket built into the armrest of his seat, and coiled the connecting cord back into the space provided in the lid. He closed the case and stowed it behind his feet.

From Inherit the Stars, by James P. Hogan.
Published by Del Rey in 1977
Additional resources -

Note that this scene describes a businessman making an in-flight, two-way video call over the global network using the computer. He then uses electronic ID cards to authenticate himself and authorize an electronic transaction.

Compare this item to the briefcase console from Niven and Pournell's 1981 novel Oath of Fealty.

Thanks to Stephen Jones for finding this item (and submitting the quote).

Comment/Join this discussion ( 2 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Inherit the Stars
  More Ideas and Technology by James P. Hogan
  Tech news articles related to Inherit the Stars
  Tech news articles related to works by James P. Hogan

Articles related to Computer
Kelly Clarkson Show Like Black Mirror '15 Million Merits'
Neuralink Will Land A Chip In Your Brain
100 Terabyte Exadrive SSD Also Has Biggest Price
Google Now Expects Chips To Design Themselves

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

ESA Space Claw To Grab Space Junk
Now, where have I seen this idea before?

'Black Friday' Online Shopping - In 1899!
'In your days they showed you a fashion-plate,' said the tailor, 'but this is our modern development.'

DARPA's Virtual Caves Explored By Virtual Robots
'If there's anything in here worth looking at, these pups'll find it.'

Glass Dome Cities On Mars, Dreamed By Elon Musk
'They will have flung great arches and domes of glass above the wider spaces...'

Looking Glass Display Good Enough For Science Fiction, Fantasy
'The figure seemed to be swimming toward the surface.'

Do You Need The Entire Fembot? Maybe Just The Hand
'...Men don't want real women anymore. You and I are behind the times...'

3D Printing With Sunlight And Sand
'We made a crude, small cell and were delighted...'

Samsung Gets Transparent Smartphone Patent
The Transparency of Things to Come

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.