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I've been trying to model some ideas around a portable general purpose computer that's essentially a "desktop with ISA slots, but not really". A laptop with a rear arrangement that allows expansion with maybe a removable cover

You may recognize the Grid Compass from the movie Aliens (the Sentry Gun control system). Notice the Compass II 1137 had a wider screen

Back in the 1980s, these originally came with 340K memory and went into space aboard the Space Shuttle Orbiter

@cypnk

The "lunchbox" form factor is (was?) exactly that.

imgur.com/gallery/AmOtc

You can't really stick it in a knapsack but it's easy enough to transport and set up.

@profoundlynerdy Good question. The highest I've ever seen in any of them over the years is 512K (with 10MB hard drive). The max was probably around there.

@cypnk Do you think folding phones will cover this space? A folding Pinephone 🌲

@2en Sadly, they may be a bit too niche, directed more toward communication

My work involves handling very old industrial equipment (usually, something from the 80s - 90s with the original manufacturer long since gone). The ISA card interface would be ideal for creating on-the-fly signals

@cypnk @2en there are 2 portable computers that stand out in my mind from early in my career in industrial automation: Compaq Portable 3 and Toshiba T3100

So chunky. Very plasma. Desktops in disguise.

Why hasn't the market for mini ITX cases like this never even really been a thing?

@msh @2en It needs to be a thing. Thinkpads have had enough IO bus to host plenty of ports via a dock so a mini itx system can easily surpass that with just a bit more power consumption

@msh @cypnk @2en I prefer detachable peripherals, that's why I have a bagpack that fits my node 202 case and everything else.. spring loaded cable connects could fuse the ideas together though

@msh@coales.co @cypnk@mastodon.social @2en@mastodon.social I was just thinking the other day that I'd love to see a 'luggable' case. Something with a built in keyboard and small display, you provide the ITX motherboard & psu (or perhaps ideally have it be similar to the Checkmate A1500+, design with mounting points for multiple motherboard standards as well as raspberry pi, and a selection of back plates)

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