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Technology / AI and automation


Poqet Computer Corp reckons it has thought of everything in designing The Poqet PC paperback book-sized IBM-compatible, MS-DOS personal computer, powered by two standard AA-size batteries that run for up to 100 hours. The battery life is achieved by making extenive use of proprietary power management techniques that are secret and the subject of patent applications and switch off the processor except when it is actually executing, a low-power screen display and low-power memory technology. It costs $2,000 – it is to be UKP1,250 in the UK, and has full 80-character by 25-line display and a 77-key, Qwerty keyboard, yet is just 8.75 long by 4.3 wide and 0.9 thick, weighing about 1 lb, so that it can really fit into a jacket pocket. There is an external portable, battery-operated 3.5 1.44Mb floppy disk option for $400, and it runs for 25 hours in average use, but the thing is designed to use memory cards for storage. A serial communications cable enables users to download files and use any MS-DOS programs designed to run in 512Kb memory. Applications will also be offered on credit card size memory cards, and many applications have been designed to run in the card, freeing up the main memory. Programs to be delivered this way include Lotus Development Corp’s 1-2-3, Metro, Express and Agenda; WordPerfect Corp’s WordPerfect Executive and WordPerfect 5.0; Xyquest’s Xywrite III Plus. Built into the machine are the PoqetWrite notepad and text editor program for basic word processing; PoqetSchedule diary; PoqetAddress address book; PoqetCalc four function calculator; and PoqetTalk terminal emulation program for accessing remote services such as MCI Mail and on-line databases via a modem. The 80C88 runs at up to 7MHz and the thing has 640Kb of ROM as well as the 512Kb RAM. The two card slots can also take 512Kb RAM cards; it’s to be available in the autumn.

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