Binary Dinosaurs Computer Museum
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Microwriter MW4
The Microwriter has an interesting history if only because of who invented it - a bloke called Cy Enfield who's better known for directing the 1964 classic 'Zulu' starring Michael Caine amongst others. After moving to England (Mitcham, Surrey no less) he came up with the idea of a one-handed keyboard and this was the result. Letters were entered using a mnemonic scheme similar to the chord-key set that Doug Engelbart and team came up with when they co-invented the mouse back in 1964-ish. It was claimed it only took a month to learn all the key sequences needed, and it could be twice as fast as writing!
Unfortunately it didn't catch on, not because it wasn't a brilliant idea - it was - but because it was SLOW. Maybe this is down to it using the RCA COSMAC CDP1802 CPU, aka the processor from the later COMX-35 Dutch home computer and little things like space rockets :)
It ceased to exist in 1985 but Microwriter later produced one of the first PDAs - the AgendA in 1989. Add-on keyboards were also produced for the BBC Micro and later Palm devices. A version of the keyboard is still available as the CyKey from Bellaire Electronics.
This one came from Gavin Saxby, cheers!

Pictures

All images and text © Adrian Graham 1999-2017 unless otherwise noted using words. Also on