What Portable Computers Were Like in 1987

YouTube / Computer Chronicles
YouTube / Computer Chronicles

In this episode of Computer Chronicles, we get a look at portable computers from 1987. Our definition of portability has changed over the years, from 1975's IBM 5100 (what we used to call a "luggable" computer) all the way to today's ultrabooks, which are finally actually "notebook" sized -- and still have halfway decent battery life.

In 1987, having a portable computer of any kind was kind of amazing. "It's no more cumbersome than a case full of binders," says an announcer describing an HP portable carried by a businessman -- who also carried an outboard disk drive and printer (!) for "the inevitable hard copy" of reports. This cutting-edge device had a tiny monochrome LCD screen, a full-sized keyboard, and had its software burned into ROM. Wow. (It also had a modem to dial up the home office, which was genuinely impressive albeit clunky in the extreme.)

I know many of you are reading this article on laptops (I'm writing it on one), or phones, or tablets. Want to see what portable computing tech was like just 26 years ago? Tune in and freak out (and keep your eyes out for the "cellular telephone" at 5:30, with a battery pack the size of a car battery).

At 16:00 note how we did GPS in 1987. It involved a tripod-mounted receiver, a portable computer, and a lot of calculation. The units cost $40,000 each. At 19:45 we see the Dynamac, the first portable Mac, weighing in at 18 pounds (Apple would release their own two years later at "just" 16 pounds -- powered by a lead-acid battery).

What was your first portable computer? Mine was an IBM ThinkPad 701, best known for its "butterfly" keyboard that slid out when you opened the lid, giving you a full-sized keyboard on a subnotebook sized computer. It was a pretty slow machine, but it was super small and portable for its time!

11 Masks That Will Keep You Safe and Stylish

Design Safe/Designer Face Covers/Its All Goods
Design Safe/Designer Face Covers/Its All Goods

Face masks are going to be the norm for the foreseeable future, and with that in mind, designers and manufacturers have answered the call by providing options that are tailored for different lifestyles and fashion tastes. Almost every mask below is on sale, so you can find one that fits your needs without overspending.

1. Multicolor 5-pack of Polyester Face Masks; $22 (56 percent off)

Home Essentials

This set of five polyester masks offers the protection you need in a range of colors, so you can coordinate with whatever outfit you're wearing.

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2. 3D Comfort Masks 5-Pack; $20 (25 percent off)

Brio

The breathable, stretchy fabric in these 3D masks makes them a comfortable option for daily use.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

3. Reusable Face Masks 2-pack; $15 (50 percent off)

Triple Grade

This cotton mask pack is washable and comfortable. Use the two as a matching set with your best friend or significant other, or keep the spare for laundry day.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

4. Active Masks 3-pack; $23 (14 percent off)

RipleyRader

Don’t let masks get in the way of staying active. These double-layer cotton masks are breathable but still protect against those airborne particles.

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5. Washable Protective Cotton Face Masks 2-pack; $13 (35 percent off)

Its All Good

Avoid the accidental nose-out look with this cotton mask that stays snug to your face.

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6. Washable 3D Masks 12-pack; $24 (44 percent off)

Elicto

With this 12-pack of protective masks, you can keep a few back-ups in your car and hand the rest out to friends and family who need them.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

7. Reusable Dust-Proof Mask with 5 Filters; $22 (45 percent off)

Triple Grade

This dust-proof mask can filter out 95 percent of germs and other particles, making it a great option for anyone working around smoke and debris all day, or even if you're just outside mowing the lawn.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

8. Reusable Fun Face Cover / Neck Gaiter (Flamingo); $20

Designer Face Covers

Channel some tropical energy with this flamingo fabric neck gaiter. The style of this covering resembles a bandana, which could save your ears and head from soreness from elastic loops. Other designs include a Bauhaus-inspired mask and this retro look.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

9. Seamless Bandana Mask; $8 (52 percent off)

Eargasm Earplugs

This seamless gaiter-style mask can be worn properly for protection and fashioned up into a headband once you're in the car or a safe space. Plus, having your hair out of your face will help you avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth before washing your hands.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

10. Two-Ply "Love" Face Masks 2-Pack; $18 (40 percent off)

Design Safe

These statement masks allow you to have a voice, even if your mouth is covered.

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11. Neoprene/Fleece Neck and Face Mask (Purple); $10 (66 percent off)

Its All Good

This mask will definitely come in handy once winter rolls around. It features a fleece neck, face, and ear covering to keep your mask secure and your face warm.

Buy it: The Mental Floss Shop

Prices subject to change.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. If you haven't received your voucher or have a question about your order, contact the Mental Floss shop here.

Special Pac-Man Edition of Monopoly Includes a Mini Arcade Cabinet

Amazon
Amazon

Monopoly has been around in some form for over a century, and as Game Rant reports, the brand is getting ready to pay homage to another iconic game from a different era. In honor of Pac-Man's 40th anniversary this year, a special-edition Monopoly game inspired by the arcade classic is hitting shelves.

Monopoly Arcade Pac-Man replicates Pac-Man's pixilated world for an analog board game. Players collect power-ups like cherries and pellets when they land on certain spaces, and a ghost piece—either Blinky, Pinky, Inky, or Clyde—follows them around the board as the game progresses.

Amazon

The video game legend hasn't been totally removed from his arcade roots for this iteration, though. The Monopoly game also comes with a miniature arcade cabinet that acts as the players' digital bank. The accessory even includes the retro Pac-Man logo from the original game that debuted in 1980.

Monopoly Arcade Pac-Man is currently unavailable on Amazon, but it's scheduled for release on August 1 for $30. Here are more examples of special-edition Monopoly boards that have been released in the past.

[h/t Game Rant]

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.