Atari Portfolio (1989 – 1993)

The Atari Portfolio was an early palmtop computer introduced by Atari in 1989. It was produced under license from DIP Research in the UK, who introduced the machine as the DIP Pocket PC to the UK market earlier in the year.

The Portfolio ran a version of DOS called DIP DOS 2.11, and also had a few built-in applications stored in ROM, such as a diary and address book, and basic word-processing and spreadsheet capabilities. It ran on 3 AA batteries, which were said to last for up to six weeks.

It included 128 KB of RAM, but it had a card slot for extra storage or additional software. The slot used a roughly credit card-size design of card identical to the earlier Bee Card designed for MSX computers. When used for additional storage, the card (called a Memory Card) also contained a battery and hence was slightly thicker. These were treated by the system as an additional disk, in this case as drive A in the same way as a floppy disk drive. ROM cards were also available containing a range of software.

Since there was no floppy disk drive, data could be transferred to another computer via an optional serial or parallel port adaptor, An optional card reader was available but was expensive.

Perhaps the most famous use of an Atari Portfolio was in the 1991 film Terminator 2, where one is used to hack a cash machine (ATM).

The Atari Portfolio was discontinued in 1993.

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