The Atari Portfolio (Atari PC Folio) is an IBM PC-compatible palmtop PC, released by Atari Corporation in June 1989. This makes it the world's first palmtop computer.
DIP Research Ltd. based in Guildford, Surrey, UK released a product in the UK called the DIP Pocket PC in 1989. Soon after its release, DIP licensed this product to Atari for sale as the Portfolio in the UK and US. In Italy, Spain and Germany, it was originally marketed as PC Folio instead. DIP officially stood for "Distributed Information Processing", although secretly it actually stood for "David, Ian and Peter", the three founding members of the company who were former employees of Psion. The original founder of the company (first called "Crushproof Software") was Ian H. S. Cullimore, and the other two David Frodsham and Peter Baldwin. Cullimore was involved in designing the early Organiser products at Psion before the DIP Pocket PC project. The technologic successor of the Portfolio was the also DIP-developed Sharp PC-3000/3100. DIP Research was later acquired by Phoenix Technologies in 1994.
The Portfolio uses an Intel 80C88 CPU running at 4.9152 MHz and runs "DIP Operating System 2.11" (DIP DOS), an operating system mostly compatible to MS-DOS 2.11, but with some DOS 2.xx functionality lacking and some internal data structures more compatible with DOS 3.xx. It has 128 KB of RAM and 256 KB of ROM which contains the OS and built-in applications. The on-board RAM is divided between system memory and local storage (the C: drive). The LCD is monochrome without backlight and has 15360 240 × 64 pixels or 40 characters × 8 lines.
Power is supplied by three AA size removable alkaline batteries. The computer's memory is preserved during battery changes. There is also an optional AC adapter (120 V: HPC-401, 230 V: HPC-402).
There is an expansion port on the right side of the computer for parallel (HPC-101), serial (HPC-102), modem or MIDI expansion modules. It uses a Bee Card expansion port for removable memory (aka Credit Card Memory or CCM), which is not compatible with PC card as it predated that standard. Expansion cards were available in sizes of 32 KB (HPC-201), 64 KB (HPC-202), and 128 KB (HPC-203) initially, and later were available in capacities up to 4 MB. The expansion cards were backed up by a replaceable battery, which last approximately two years. Built-in applications include a text editor, spreadsheet (Lotus 1-2-3 compatible), phone book and time manager. Expansion cards contain programs such as a chess game (HPC-750), a file manager (HPC-704), and a finance manager (HPC-702). Most text-based DOS applications can run on the Portfolio as long as they did not directly access the hardware and could fit into the small memory.
Other expansion modules include a floppy drive, and a memory expansion unit (HPC-104). The memory expansion unit gives the Portfolio an additional 256 KB of RAM, which can be partitioned into several drives. It also features a pass-through expansion connector, allowing the use of more than one expansion unit. In theory, multiple memory expanders can be attached, increasing the available storage to over 640 KB.
A card reader (HPC-301) connects to a desktop PC to read and write to the expansion cards. The kit contains an ISA card, a special cable, the card reader, and software distributed on floppy disk.
A modem expansion module converts the portfolio into a miniature computer terminal. The modem is powered from the portfolio and came with an acoustic coupler consisting of two round shells that could be mounted over both ends of a handset with the aid of velcro strips. A direct connection to a telephone with a standard telephone lead is also possible. The complete terminal and coupler are portable, weighing only a few hundred grams.
Also, using the parallel port expansion module (HPC-101), a standard parallel cable and the software supplied (DOS based), the Portfolio can be connected to a PC for transferring files to and from the unit.
Credits for the development of the product can be found in an easter egg if one selects Setup, then Help, and then presses + ("Alt" plus "left square bracket").
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The Atari Portfolio was used by the character John Connor to crack PINs in two scenes in the 1991 film Terminator 2: Judgment Day.