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

"The world is really so surreal these days that it's necessary for us to blunt it somehow in order to stay sane. The artist functions to short-circuit the buffering mechanism, so that people can occasionally perceive the weirdness of things as they are."
- William Gibson

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
Neuromorphic Computing Hardare
Finally! Microsoft Surface Neo And Surface Duo Implement Excellent Courier Idea
Tap Strap 2 Now With Air Mouse
Entire Planet Modeled In New MS Flight Sim

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

Sci-Fi Helps Young Readers Build Resiliency
'Reading science fiction and fantasy can help readers make sense of the world.'

I Want My 1928 Telestereo Hologram Now
'Instantly there appeared standing upon the disk, the image of a man...'

Memes Now Come From Neural Nets
'Your order said for him to be able to be able to work out twists on the gags in the file...'

Robot Dog Learns To Be Doggy From Real Dogs
'So we took pictures of Guzub making a Three Planets, and I could construct this one to do it exactly right down to the thousandth of a second.'

Unwanted Cruise Ships Huddle Together Out At Sea
'On the screen they passed in an endless, boundaryless flood of green specks...'

Sono Sion Electric Car Charges As You Drive
'It drew its power from six square yards of sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

News Mood Filter Web Extension
'He adjusted the n, the r and b knobs, and hopefully anticipated a turn for the better...'

Fetal Lamb Rests In Artificial Womb
'... stewing warm on their cushion of peritoneum and gorged with blood-surrogate and hormones, the foetuses grew and grew...'

MIT Wants To Catch Interstellar Visitors
'INVESTIGATE MYSTERIOUS OBJECT ENTERING NEW CALEDONIA SYSTEM FROM NORMAL SPACE'

AutoX Sets Up Asia's Largest Robotaxi Center
'The robot cab seemed to know where it was going and, no doubt, the master machine from which it received its signals knew.'

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.