Computers & Business Machines
Imagine the loss, 100 years from now, if museums hadn't begun preserving the artifacts of the computer age. The last few decades offer proof positive of why museums must collect continuously—to document technological and social transformations already underway.
The museum's collections contain mainframes, minicomputers, microcomputers, and handheld devices. Computers range from the pioneering ENIAC to microcomputers like the Altair and the Apple I. A Cray2 supercomputer is part of the collections, along with one of the towers of IBM's Deep Blue, the computer that defeated reigning champion Garry Kasparov in a chess match in 1997. Computer components and peripherals, games, software, manuals, and other documents are part of the collections. Some of the instruments of business include adding machines, calculators, typewriters, dictating machines, fax machines, cash registers, and photocopiers
Kaypro 2000 Microcomputer
- The Kaypro 2000 was the company’s first MS-DOS/IBM compatible microcomputer and their only laptop. Previous Kaypro devices were CP/M based and the maker was one of a few to offer hardware and software together at one price. The complete application software package included MS-DOS, WordStar, Mailmerge, CalcStar (spreadsheet), InfoStar+ (database), MS GW-BASIC, and Tutors and Lessons.
- This laptop unit has a black brushed-aluminum case with beveled sides and is surrounded by a ridged black rubber guard. A gap in the guard on the left side permits access to an asynchronous serial port. In the back, an integral carrying handle is built into the guard. On the bottom are two RJ11 telephone jacks and a one-hundred pin connector (covered with a plastic shield) for use with Kaypro 2000 accessories. An integral battery provided about four hours of use. The basic model had 256Kb of memory but could be upgraded to 768Kb.
- Power came on when the cover was raised. To open the cover, latches on each side were released simultaneously and the front of the case raised. The computer automatically searched for the start-up diskette in the internal drive, a 720Kb 3.5 inch diskette drive located on the right side behind the keyboard. The drive had a top mounted latch and when released the drive popped up for inserting disks. The user had approximately 35 seconds to insert a diskette before a reminder tone sounded. Within a few minutes, if no keystroke or diskette was detected, the laptop shut down automatically.
- The high resolution LCD screen had two positions controlled by the lid release button at the bottom right of the screen. The screen displayed 80 columns and 25 lines of data. The lid release button was also used to close the laptop.
- The removable keyboard connected to the unit by a coiled cord. Feet on the back edges of the keyboard allowed it to be elevated. The Kaypro 2000 was designed to be controlled entirely from the keyboard which is configured with a row of function keys along the top, a typewriter-style keyboard in the center, and an area for cursor control keys to the right.
- The base unit was an accessory for the Kaypro 2000 and provided the user with greatly expanded storage space and the ability to add options such as a color graphics card. This unit contained a 10Mb hard drive, a 5 ¼ inch floppy disk drive, two serial ports, and two expansion slots. When in use, the laptop was placed on top of the base and communicated via the one-hundred pin connector.
- The donor purchased this microcomputer in 1985 and used it when attending the US Air Force Academy and for several years of active duty service. While at the academy, he earned money typing papers for classmates.
- obsoletecomputermuseum.org/k2000 [last accessed 8/8/2017]
- “Kaypro Released An MS-DOS Laptop,” InfoWorld, March 3, 1980, pgs. 42-43.
- Accession file: 2017.0161
- Currently not on view
- date made
- ca 1980
- Kaypro Corporation
- ID Number
- accession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History