Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"My father was a master mechanic; I grew up with a screwdriver in one hand and a pair of pliers in the other."
- Frank Herbert

Pocket Computer  
  A pocket-sized computer.  

"...Aub!" There was something imperative about his manner of biting off that one syllable name, but then he was a great Programmer speaking to a mere Technician. "Aub! How much is nine times seven?"

Aub hesitated a moment. His pale eyes glimmered with a feeble anxiety. "Sixty-three," he said. Congressman Brant lifted his eyebrows. "Is that right?"

"Check it for yourself, Congressman."

The congressman took out his pocket computer, nudged the milled edges twice, looked at its face as it lay there in the palm of his hand, and put it back.

From The Feeling of Power, by Isaac Asimov.
Published by Worlds of Science Fiction in 1958
Additional resources -

Thanks to Brad Templeton for the tip on this item, and Winchell Chung for pointing me at the right thread.

Another relatively early use of this phrase is in Niven and Pournelle's classic 1974 novel The Mote in God's Eye:

Rod Blaine scowled at the words flowing across the screen of his pocket computer. The physical data were correct, but everything else was obsolete...

He put the instrument away...

See also this usage from their 1981 novel Oath of Fealty.

"Sinclair wants to do some outside work while we're dirtside." He took out his pocket computer and wrote quickly with the attached stylus. "Let's see, we're about one and a half billion kilometers from New Scotland, that's uh, make it a hundred hours to turnover. About two hundred hours' travel time, plus what we spend on Dagda...

Apparently, they also included some sort of wireless link, because (elsewhere in the novel) it says that, when the officers were off duty, they "could always be reached on their pocket computers."

Another early mention of a small "pocket computer" or note-taking device with some mathematical functionality built-in is the calculator pad from Foundation by Isaac Asimov.

Asimov also mentioned a "pocket-computer" in his 1975 story Point of View.

As far as I know, the first pocket computer sold as such was the TRS-80 PC-1 in 1980. It weighed 6.0 oz., had 1.5 kilobytes of RAM, was programmable in BASIC and cost $230.


(Radio Shack Pocket Computer PC-1)

Comment/Join this discussion ( 15 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from The Feeling of Power
  More Ideas and Technology by Isaac Asimov
  Tech news articles related to The Feeling of Power
  Tech news articles related to works by Isaac Asimov

Pocket Computer-related news articles:
  - HTC Magic Smartphone At Google IO

Articles related to Computer
Melomics Avant Garde Computer Musician
x.ai And The Quest For A Digital Personal Assistant
NailO Thumb-Mounted Mouse Needs John Varley's Help
Vint Cerf's 'Digital Dark Age' Vs. George Orwell's

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Brainwaves As Biometric Identification
'The doors of Mr. Lars, Incorporated, shut, tuned as they were to his own cephalic pattern.'

What-If Machine Concocts Creative Premises
'Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.'

Underwater Balloon Gardens
'He puffed heavily as he angled around the bulbous lifezones...'

Storing 1 Zettabyte In 10 Grams
'It is theoretically possible to have a matrix in which each individual molecule has a meaning...'

Laser-Powered Spacecraft To Explore The Solar System
'Whoever launched it fired a laser cannon... for about forty-five years, so the intruder would have a beam to travel on...'

Skin Chair For That 'Sitting On A Fat Guy' Feeling
'The semi-sentient artifact glided to a position behind McKie...'

Pneumatic Micro-Tentacles Kidnapping Ants
'Long, flexible, glittering tentacles...'

Bee Narcs To Perform Drug 'Stings'
'Time for a replacement of both Behren and his dipterous insect...'

3D Printed Spherical Flying Machine
'Gold dots against blue, basketball-sized, twelve feet up....'

Airbus E-Fan All-Electric Plane Now Ready
I couldn't believe it, either.

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.