The Portfolio Computer

_______________________________ |__ __________________ | |__) |The Portfolio | | | |________________| | | | \_______|==| Atari |==|_______/_ /| [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [ ] | || [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] | | | \| [ ] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [__| | | [] [] [] [__________] [] [] [] | |________________________________| About the Atari Portfolio Palmtop MS-DOS Compatible Remember a few years ago when desktop computers were invented? Computers that use to take up an entire floor of a building now takes up the top of a desk! Everyone then said that one day they will invent a full-featured personal computer that could fit inside of your pocket! Well those days are here and Atari has stretched technology to its limits to bring you the Atari Portfolio Palmtop MS-DOS Compatible computer. The Portfolio features are the following: Processor: 80C88System Clock Speed: 4.9152 MHz Internal RAM: 128K (externally expandable to 640K) Internal ROM: 256KB Display: Supertwist LCD display Text mode - 40 character x 8 line Graphics mode -- 240 x 64 pixels Keyboard: 63-key QWERTY Sound: Speaker with telephone dialing, 25 melody tones from 622 to 2489 Hz and Key Clicks Expansion Bus: 60 pin Card Drive: Solid-state with card drive for optional 32K, 64K or 128K memory (RAM) cards; 64K or 128K programmable (PROM) cards; 128K masked ROM cards, 512K Flash Memory cards Weight: 15.87 ounces with batteries Size: 7.8 x 4 .1 x 1.2 inches Power: 3 AA alkaline batteries or optional AC adaptor Options available for Portfolio: Smart Parallel Interface - For printers, PC file transfer and other "Centronics" parallel devices ($49.95) Serial Interface - For modem, printer and other RS232-C serial devices ($74.95) Memory Expander Plus - Expands main memory by 256K RAM. Includes additional card drive PC Card Drive - Read/write Portfolio cards. ($99.95) Includes interface card for standard PC bus AC Adaptor - Optional power supply for extended use ($9.95) Extra RAM Cards - 32K RAM Card ($64.95) 64K RAM Card ($89.95) 128K RAM Card ($154.95) (All prices are retail. They may be lower at your Atari Dealer.) Software available on Portfolio's ROM: Lotus 1-2-3 File-compatible spreadsheet Text editor with basic word processing funtions Calculator with five memories, four number formats and editable "tape" of calculations Address book with virtually unlimited name and address storage and automatic phone dialing Personal calendar/appointment book with programmable alarms File transfer to upload and download files from compatible PC using optional Smart Parallel Interface Clipboard to move or copy data within a file or between files or programs Operating system similar to MS-DOS 2.11 Due to the popularity of the palmtop, new products are being released for it all the time. Software is continuing to be developed for it and P.D. programs are coming in left and right. Hardware is also being developed for it like a 20 Meg Hard drive and 512k RAM Expansion. The Portfolio can also transmit data between an MS-DOS compatible, a Macintosh, and even an Atari ST computer. The following article is by Tony Thomas, a Portfolio user here on the Atari SIG. This may give you more information on the Portfolio from a user's point-of-view. ----- Atari Portfolio (Review) by Tony Thomas If you were to tell me a few years ago that there would be a full-function, 8088-based computer that you could hold in the palm of your hand, I wouldn't have believed it. Yet, I'm writing this article on just such a marvel of computer technology - the Atari Portfolio. The Portfolio redefines the word "portable". When I bought my first portable computer - a CP/M-based Kaypro 2X -over five years ago, it weighed in at a hefty 25 pounds! So on thereafter, I picked up another "portable" - a NEC 8201 (similar to Tandy Model 100) - which was a vast improvement, weighing in at about 5 pounds. The Portfolio, by contrast, tips the scales at just over a pound! In fact, I was even able to weigh it myself on a tiny Pelouze postal scale!! Now, the obvious question is: Just how powerful is it? While the Portfolio won't do away with the desktop computer, it is the perfect portable supplement to it. Since it fits into a coat pocket and runs for more than fifty hours on a single set of batteries, the Portfolio is the perfect traveling companion that will be at home, on a plane, in a hotel room or even at the beach. Files can be transferred to and from the Portfolio to your desktop computer via the optional serial interface or to an IBM-PC or compatible via the optional Smart Parallel interface. Long term storage is also available via memory cards - an expensive medium (about $2-3 per Kilobyte) -limiting the Portfolio's usefulness as a stand- alone computer. How compatible is the Portfolio with a PC? First of all, its internal memory is only 128K, making it only possible to run the most miniscule PC applications. Secondly, its operating system - DIP DOS - is similar to MS-DOS 2.11 in nearly every respect, except in the area of graphics. Since it does not permit direct screen calls and since the screen is only 40 characters by 8 lines), only simple programs that address the screen through DOS can be used. They mostly fall into the category of simple utilities. The Portfolio, however, does contain some very useful application programs which replicate some of the more powerful mega-programs. The word processor is a simple ASCII editor with basic cursor movement and search and replace functions. It is adequate for routine tasks or for material that will be later edited and formatted on a desktop computer (though the Portfolio does offer some print formatting options allowing material to be printed directly from that machine). The spreadsheet emulates the basic functions of Lotus 1...2...3 Release 1A. Lotus spreadsheets (memory permitting) can be loaded into the Portfolio and vice- versa. The other applications (Address Book, Diary, Calculator) are similarly straight forward and simple to use. Is the Portfolio worth it? If you need desktop power in a tiny package, the answer is a resounding yes! While not as powerful as laptops like the Toshiba T1000, the Portfolio stands head and shoulders above PIMs (Pocket Information Managers like the Sharp Wizard and the Casio Boss) which are an electronic replacement to a Day Runner - address book/notepad/dairy. The Portfolio is a palmtop powerhouse that will enable you to unether the capabilities of your desktop computer and take it with you. ----- The Portfolio as you have read is a powerful small machine. The days of computer systems as gifts in your cereal boxes might not quite be here but it's getting closer... The Atari Portfolio retails for an amazing $229.99! Updated: 01-15-94
Return to menu