Topic on Milestones-Nomination talk:Toshiba T1100, a pioneering contribution to the development of laptop PC, 1985

Having read again the various discussion items about the Toshiba laptop, my conclusion is that it is not sustainable (in view of the features of the Dats General DG-1) to claim that Toshiba T-1100 was the first laptop. Of course, it is possible to construct a definition of lap-top computer which makes the T-1100 the first (for example, as stated, that Lotus software was not issued on a disc of the appropriate size to run on DG-1, etc. and copy-protection prevented it being transferred to a DG-1, though it could be run on Toshiba T-1100). However, that seems to require an 'artificial' definition of a lap-top computer that might have seemed reasonable at the time the T-1100 was introduced, but Milestones are intended to last for ever, and so the definition should also attempt to be one that would be valid in the long-term. I doubt that, even now, and surely not in future, many people would have even heard of Lotus software, and the distinction between 3.5 and 5.25 discs would be a forgotten feature. Although it was introduced far later (1991), one could ask the question, was the Apple Powerbook a lap-top computer? (it was developed to the MacBookPro by ~2006) - I think that anyone nowadays would easily conclude that it was a lap-top computer - but it did not use the IBM-PC operationg system, it used a Motorola processor, and did not run any of the standard IBM-PC compatible software. So any definition of a lap-top computer that is sustainable in the long term does, in my opinion, need to include such things as the Apple Powerbook. So, the conclusion that the Toshiba T-1100 was a significant and pioneering development remains true, but some care and thought is, I believe, still needed in order to accurately define what that significance was which made the Toshiba distinct and meriting a Milestone. Please not that I am NOT suggesting at all that it does not merit the Milestone status, only that care is needed to get the title and caption in the best and most sustainable form.

Tony Davies 25 Sep 2012