Personal Computer Museum, Canada's Videogame Museum

Compaq Portable

Compaq Portable

Speed4.77 MHz
Memory128 KB

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Release Date: 1/11/1982
Manufacturer: Compaq
Original Retail Price:
Adjusted Inflation Price:
Donated By: Jon Paddon
Often considered the first 100% IBM compatible clone, it is actually known that the system may not have actually been 100% but it was pretty close. The engineers at Compaq reverse engineered the original IBM PC and made their BIOS perform the same functions without actually stealing any of IBM's intellectual property. The machine (shown here with two 5.25" drives) brought great success to Compaq achieving over $100 million in revenues within the first year and led Compaq into several award winning years after that. This machine ran at 4.77 MHz (the same as the original PC) but of course was transportable (or luggable) and came with 128K standard.

User Comments
ETasse on Tuesday, July 8, 2014
Got this one as a loaner from my first IT job. When it's closed and packed for moving, it looks like a portable sewing machine. Weighed as much too.
Jay on Friday, November 30, 2012
I bought one of these after college graduation in 1985. I loved this machine, using it extensively until 1988. It's hard to imagine we had much use for something so primitive - without much graphic capability, very little software available, more than a 1000 times slower CPU, 50000 times less memory, etc. I used Lotus123, Wordstar, Basic, Pascal, Autocad, Symphony, DBase. I wrote lots of graphical programs in GW Basic. Ah, the memories! I'm going to cry.
Allan Siemens on Wednesday, August 8, 2007
I worked for United Co-operatives of Ontario from 1986-1990. Their MIS Department had several of these machines that you could sign out on an overnight basis. I recall that some versions only had one FDD. You had to put the DOS disk in to boot up, and then replace it with a blank disk to save any files. The double FDD was convenient because you could leave the operating system disk in place. I learned a lot about DOS on this machine and how to tweak the config and boot files for maximum performance and memory usage. The memory capacity was minimal and you learned to be frugal. They must not have had a hard drive, or perhaps it was disabled because of the public use of the units. They were eventually replaced with Compaq IIIs. What a difference that was!
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* Inflation data courtesy of Values are approximate using our own calculations.