In Pictures: Of punchcards, platters, and wooden mice. The PC's origin story

Technology marches relentlessly onward, discarding the old to make way for the new. Today’s heroes quickly becomes yesterday’s news.

Computing on the run As soon as computers hit the scene, they started shrinking, but the earliest so-called portable PCs were so hefty—often weighing dozens of pounds—that you could do little more than lug them from desk to desk. It took until the early 1980s for the Epson HX-20 to introduce truly portable computing, cramming a pair of 614kHz CPUs and a calculator-size dot-matrix printer into its totally totable 3.5-pound frame. Now about that 120-by-32-pixel display…

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