Semi-Tech Microelectronics were one of the first corporations
to have a go at the portable computing market. Adam Osborn was first out of
the gates with his Osborn 1 luggable, a CP/M machine containing 2 5 1/4"
floppy drives and a built-in 4" screen. However, it was expensive and at
27lb in weight not exactly portable by all. STM's answer was the Pied Piper
Communicator, again a Z80 based CP/M machine but a lot lighter owing to the
single half-height floppy drive and no built-in screen. Instead the Communicator contained a TV Modulator and a Composite monitor connection, so you could
use the machine in the office then take it home and plug it into a domestic
TV. Cost? $1299 to you, chief. They also did an IBM compatible luggable called
the STM PC, which featured the same case as the Communicator but fitted with
dual floppy drives, a built-in LCD screen, SCSI interface and a keyboard hidden
in the hinged lid.
Oh, as a small aside, STM used to be a global company that owned
the likes of Singer sewing machines and Akai Hi-Fi, but a series of spectacular
collapses in 2000 left the whole corporation pretty much dead and the man who
started it all, one James Ting, hasn't been seen since late 2000. It's a funny