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

"I can remember when the first pulsars were discovered. I was able to go and sit down and listen to graduate students talking about what their theories, to explain what pulsars really were."
- Vernor Vinge

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
Lizard Squad, Nihilistic Technofetishists For Hire
CoBots - Collaborative Robots Ask Humans For Help
Neuromorphic Brain-Chip Takes Flight
'Hello, Computer!' Intel's Core M Catches Up To Scotty

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

In Vivo Micromotors Powered By Stomach Acid
First in vivo study of artificial micromotors.

Synthetic 'Squid Skin' For Camouflage On The Way
'The small, chameleon-clad figures continued to advance.'

3D Printer 'Teleports' Objects Like Simak's Way Stations
'An entirely new being but exactly like the old one'

Laser Etching Makes Metal Super-Hydrophobic
'The water flowed off those walls without binding tension.'

Patient Walks Out With Fully Artificial Heart
'The throb of the robot pump gave him confidence...'

Radisens' Gemini Instant Blood Tests
An amazing lab-on-a-panel.

Argentine Orangutan Receives Basic Human Rights
'They wouldn't dare let the Fuzzies be proven sapient...'

Elon Musk, Google To Extend Internet Into Earth Orbit, Then Mars
'This was the center of Interplanetary Communications.'

Range R Lets Police See Into Your House
There are lots of ways to see through walls!

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.