WorkSlate Microcomputer


In 1983 Convergent Technologies, Inc., introduced this light weight portable personal computer. Advertised as “an information processing tool designed to meet business needs,” it sold with an integrated set of three business applications – memo pad, phone list, and calendar. At least eight other proprietary software worksheets were available.

Power sources included AC power, or a NiCad battery pack, or four AA batteries. Two “button” type batteries (Union Carbide #186, made in USA) maintained the contents of the memory for about seven days without other power sources connected. To conserve power, the WorkSlate automatically shut off after five minutes of non-use.

The computer display screen is a liquid crystal display (LCD), approximately 6”w x 3”h. It displayed forty-six characters across and fourteen rows down.

The sixty keys of the keyboard were color coded to indicate their purpose. Yellow represented principal operations such as backspace, cancel, on/off, and Do It. (The Do It key performs execute/enter functions). White identified the letters, numbers, and main punctuation marks. Keys marked in green were used in conjunction with the green “Special” key to access extended operations and characters.

The microcassette player/recorder used 1½” h x 2½ w tape cassettes to load software worksheets, store data, and record phone messages.

The computer included communication connections. Connected to a phone with standard RJ11 cable, it could be used as a speaker phone. Using the phone list application, it could auto-dial numbers. Using a microcassette, it could function as an answering machine. The Comm Port, when linked to the WorkSlate, provided the means to connect with other WorkSlate devices to send or receive worksheets, tie to printers, or link to a modem to access an electronic information service. According to the reference guide, by subscribing to an electronic information service, you could “receive data on almost any subject imaginable”.

The objects in accession 2016.0253 and non-accession 2016.3134 are related.

Date Made: 1983

Maker: Convergent Technologies, Inc.

Place Made: United States: California, Santa Clara

Web Subject: Computers


See more items in: Medicine and Science: Computers, Computers & Business Machines

Exhibition: My Computing Device

Exhibition Location: National Museum of American History

Credit Line: Gift of Michael Boman

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2016.0253.01Accession Number: 2016.0253Catalog Number: 2016.0253.01

Object Name: microcomputer

Physical Description: plastic (overall material)glass (?) (overall, screen material)metal (overall, circuitry material)Measurements: overall: 4 cm x 37 cm x 21.5 cm; 1 9/16 in x 14 9/16 in x 8 15/32 inmicrocomputer: 2.5 cm x 28.5 cm x 21.5 cm; 31/32 in x 11 7/32 in x 8 15/32 inpower adapter: 4 cm x 5.5 cm x 7.5 cm; 1 9/16 in x 2 5/32 in x 2 15/16 inbattery pack: 1.5 cm x 3 cm x 10 3/32 in; 19/32 in x 1 3/16 in x 25.654 cmnumeric keypad overlay: 7.5 cm x 7.3 cm; 2 15/16 in x 2 7/8 inlcd screen: 15.5 cm x 7.5 cm; 6 3/32 in x 2 15/16 in


Record Id: nmah_1819447

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