More fun facts, it was used in space, and perhaps even as the "nuclear football".
Amusingly, the laptop featured a socketed 25 MHz 486 SX. I was able to swap it out for a 486 DX2, which added an FPU and an on-package clock doubler giving me a 50 MHz processor.
It did suffer especially from burn-in. Remnants of the WordPerfect status bar were permanently at the bottom of the screen.
They were much lighter than a comparable size CRT, which was the display solution used on the original luggables from companies like Osborne and Compaq. But that was about the only good thing that could be said about them.
If you pointed the screen at a TV set, the signal would go all screwy. Turn it the other way, and it was fine. That thing must have been shielded out the wazoo.
Everywhere says it's electroluminescent. I mentioned "burning out" instead of burning in. I know it's not the most technical term, but I mean LEDs failing in displays. In your speedometer for your car, either the whole display with fail (probably the circuit is broken) or the whole thing works, because it's one EL panel behind a translucent screen.
Also because of the nature of an ELD's components being static, (they radiate when a charge is applied, in a way very different to the phosphors that move around in CRT and plasma screens) I don't think it's possible for them to burn in.
And notwithstanding that, they anyway weighted some 5 ot 6 Kg (but they were tough and had a "proper" keyboard).
It is not clear if the Grid Compass was EL or plasma, here:
they talk of amber plasma and surely the photo here:
looks a lot like amber plasma (as the Toshiba 3100 and other "portables" of around that time).
Our app on the other hand looked and felt like all the other “modern” web apps: low information density, slow, no keybindings, and frustrating. Also it logged you out every 30 minutes! It was a total joke and we had a hard time getting people to use the product.
I think companies make the mistake on just focusing on features, especially with web apps. Performance is absolutely critical and the #1 prerequisite for a good product. But despite research and studies on how users care about performance a lot, developers don’t seem to. Every repeats mantras like “programmer time is more important”, “... the root of all evil”, “just wait a year or two and your app will be 2x faster!”, etc etc.
With the end of exponentially increasing single threaded performance, I think developers are recently starting to realize how valuable performance is. Hopefully this trend continues and we software engineers start making software we are actually proud of.
The current state of development and developers is inexcusable and sad. The slow crap we make is honestly sickening.
There must be an interesting reason why, anybody know?
I assume it is a historical oddity. NYSE prices were done in fractions up until a few years ago.
* Minimum Price Fluctuation: One thirty-second (1/32) of one point ($31.25), except for intermonth spreads, where the minimum price fluctuation shall be one-quarter of one thirty-second of one point ($7.8125 per contract).*
As are some bond-like derivatives, eg MAC swap futures, which are quoted in quarters of thirty-seconds . The way prices are written out is maddening - consider yesterday's settle :
This means 107 and 24.75 thirty-seconds!
I think a lot of companies got away with using binary floating point maths without introducing errors, for assets priced in those power-of-two fractions.
One interesting thing about the Interdata systems is that they were the first non-PDPs to run Unix, via a guerilla porting project done at a university in Australia. Bloomberg used the native OS/32 though, and somewhere there is a paper from that Australian university that gives a scathing review of it. Some kind of timesharing, but with a single console where all output would appear. That made me laugh, because the 'console room' was Bloomberg lingo for a kind of sysadmin group.
The problem was sporadically I'd get a price back that was out of line. It would match to the 5th or 6th decimal, but then would diverge. I could make the same call 10 times in a row and the price would be identical 8 times, but 2 others it would be different in the 5th or 6th decimals. Since I was taking the difference of two prices which were relatively close otherwise, this would wreck havoc with my results.
Bloomberg support was always quick with a response, but often the first level support had no idea what they were talking about. For two weeks they kept insisting that because the yield curve I was pricing with was live, what I was seeing was because of market moves. Finally I got to someone who was on the implementation team for that bit of code, and he explained that they had both Data General and Perkin Elmer (Interdata) machines supporting that function, and the answers depended on which architecture handled the response.
It was an amazing way to keep employees well in touch with customers' needs, and at least at the time the program seemed to be well-enough run to deliver great customer support. Sorry to hear your experience was different.
You are probably thinking of this: http://bitsavers.informatik.uni-stuttgart.de/bits/Interdata/...
Host side was mentioned in a sibling. It was all serial modem muxes back then, 300 baud up to 4800 baud backhaul.
Obviously it looks nothing like that today :)
Edit: from the man himself https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&t=10m8s&v=WsRpY...
I am guessing that you are talking about either Intel's ISIS or RMX operating systems?
It includes a slot for a Biometric auth unit (B-Unit).
It's an MBP keyboard
I'm also very curious as to whether it actually works. Is the biometric authentication properly configured to actually be more secure?
At $24k a year plus exchange fees, companies are very eager to minimize the number of licenses so Bloomberg is quite strict in enforcing these limits.
I love the extra buttons and that it comes with a speaker for voice chat.
I'm considering using one for programming, with the extra buttons remapped.
Could it be the plastic getting older and less soft?