MCM/70 : first "laptop"?

From: Fred N. van Kempen <>
Date: Mon Oct 27 08:36:54 2003

On Mon, 20 Oct 2003, Stan Sieler wrote:

> My candidate for the first "laptop" is the MCM/70, from 1973.
> It was an 8008 computer, with APL in ROM, a one line
> 32-character video display, dual cassettes for mass storage,
> internal batteries (so it could run "on your lap" for a bit :),
> and "virtual memory" via the casettes.

Uhm... given the power usage specs of those days, I assume those
batteries were just enough so you could run from wall socket A
to wall socket B with the power plug? :-]

> I got a phone call yesterday from a guy who owns a working MCM/70
> ... that he bought new in 1975.
> Sadly (for me :), he doesn't want to part with it :(
> He confirmed that it could run for a short while on batteries.
How long?

> The MCM/70 was announced in 1973. I'm not sure of the actual
> first shipping date, but his was received in Jan 1975.
> (The Computer History Museum's MCM/70 is dated 1974 on the display
> card.)
What was the typical application for the machine? I kinda know what
one can do with APL, but I assume it also had a set of apps that
came with it, or that were orderable for it?

> Did I mention that he doesn't want to sell it?
Yes :)

        Fred (typing away on his HiNote w/Win98SE - thanks, Dan !)
Fred N. van Kempen, DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation) Collector/Archivist
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Email:         BUSSUM, THE NETHERLANDS / Sunnyvale, CA, USA
Received on Mon Oct 27 2003 - 08:36:54 GMT

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