Some Other Oddities

Red Book

Apple //e and ARM and stuff

After Jef Raskin left Apple he formed Information Appliance, Inc. to build on some of his interface ideas that were simpler than Macintosh for text and data handling. The result was the Swyft and then the Cannon Cat. Here is a clear Swyft prototype with the original angled 7" screen. Note the handle built into the palm rest. All the user testing and interface research showed this to be a good size for an 80 column display and positioned as it is, it is at the right working distance and easier to read than a paperback book. Unfortunately all the focus group testing showed a big resistance to the small screen at point-of-sale. The computer buying world had already been conditioned by the IBM PC to expect a metal box with a big TV on top of it. The missing keys are not lost, they were used on the next prototype.

 

Everyone remembers floppy disk drives, but can you see what is different about this one?

 

Look again with a hand to show the scale!

Yes, it is the Dysan 3 1/4" floppy drive that never made it. It seemed like such a good idea at the time, but the alternaive hard plastic encased diskette could be carried in a shirt pocket and easily won in the marketplace.

 

How about the abandoned HP Kittyhawk hard drive? This is a 20 Meg drive. It is about a half an inch thick. It works great (IDE Interface) and I have about 10 in their plastic bubble shipping package.

 

By the way, yes that is a Scott Kim 'infinity' poster in the background. He worked for Information Appliance on digital typography and human interface and was kind enough to sign this one for me. By the way, like Raskin, Kim plays a mean piano.

 

This next item is probably a little on the rare side as well.

The Questar Briefcase Computer System.

And they do mean SYSTEM. It is the whole works in a briefcase. There are separate modules for RS-232, RAM expansion, video output, and even a color pen plotter. The components will plug together on a table or desk just as they do in the case. Here is the attractive and slim leather case.

And inside we find a complete component computer system.\

Here is a closer view of the CPU/keyboard and LCD display with the video adapter behind it and the color pen plotter in the back.

I'll have to remember to take a photo of it assembled outside the case.