Behold: The Atari Portfolio

19 03 2008

Portfolio-open-bat  Hey folks, hope all is well.

Today I want to share with you another of the gems in my collection: The Atari Portfolio pocket computer.

The Portfolio was launched by Atari in 1989. Developed by Distributed Information Processing (DIP) of Surrey, England, it was/is a 16 bit DOS compatible pocket PC that runs on three (3) AA batteries for what seems like forever! The LCD is monochrome without backlight and has 240×64 pixels or 40 characters x 8 lines. Software and memory expansion was done with smart cards.

From Wikipedia:

“There is an expansion port on the right side of the computer for parallel, serial, modem or MIDI expansion modules. It uses a card expansion port for removable memory, which is not compatible with PC card as it predates that standard. Expansion cards were available in sizes of 32, 64, and 128 kB initially, and later were available in capacities up to 4 MB. The expansion cards are backed up by a replaceable battery which lasts approximately 2 years. Built-in applications include a text editor, spreadsheet (Lotus 1-2-3 compatible), phone book and time manager. Expansion cards contained programs such as a chess game, a file manager, and a finance manager. Most text-based MS-DOS applications could be run on the Portfolio as long as they did not directly access the hardware and could fit into the small memory.”

This is a very cool little machine that I found at a Pawn Shop for $24.99 Canadian, with the parallel port interface, several memory expansion cards (in need of new batteries, which I replaced), boxes and power adapters. I just wish I could figure out a way to load software on it from a PC made since 1990!

Here are a few more pictures of it:

Original Box



The Portfolio, closed







The Parallel interface (to hook up a printer or to interface with a PC)











Portfolio with Parallel interface connected








An Expansion Card











music note While writing this, I was listening to “Night Of The Vampire” by Roky Erickson & Tthe Aliens




2 responses

25 09 2008

I’ve just bought one of these off eBay, I’m now trying to work out how to get things into it without a serial connection.

19 10 2010

I’d really like to know if anyone ever saw a MIDI interface for the Portfolio? If anyone has, please post details. If anyone wants to sell a Portfolio MIDI interface, I’ll pay top dollar! contact me at my name up there in the name field, at gmail…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: