Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 2nd Oct 2009 12:49 UTC
IBM What laptop is the most loved, and maybe the most famous laptop in the world? Which laptop went into space? Which laptop won over 300 design awards? I'm sure many of you will be thinking of something made by Apple, but the truth of the matter is that we're talking about something else: IBM's ThinkPad. You might wonder, where does that name come from?
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I conseived in-keyboard pointing device while reading Moran/Card Human Computer Interaction book before I went to Atari Research in 1983. I wrote up a patent and filed it before joining IBM in 1985. I disclosed it to them but when the work at IBM the work got too important to diminsh with complex legal interests. I abandoned the patent pending, and focused on the work at IBM. People making the L40SX looked at and ultimately rejected the pointing device in 1990. People making the Thinkpad models in 1991 looked at and ultimately rejected it. The Thinkpad 700, the first one with the pointing device was the same weight, speed and display size with its unsuccessful predisesor, the biggest difference was getting rid of its thumb trackball and replacing it with the TrackPoint gave the laptop a boost in usability that the press and cusotmers seemed to notice... and aused IBM to tripple its projections and production scheudle three times in the first three months selling $.5 billion of thinkpads in the first year. An exponential growth in sales continued for 3 years.

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