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What is a Notebook Computer ?. A Notebook is a portable computer. Portable Computers. Laptops - largest Notebooks - smaller Palmtops - smallest. A portable computer is much smaller and lighter than the most compact PC. The screen and keyboard are integrated parts of the unit.

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A Notebook is a portable computer


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Portable Computers

  • Laptops - largest

  • Notebooks - smaller

  • Palmtops - smallest


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Ever heard of Xerox ? most compact PC.

  • In the 1970s, Alan Kay of the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center sketched the Dynabook – a vision for a wireless portable computer

  • Dynabook never got past sketches and a cardboard model, but the idea got out …



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  • 1979 - William Moggridge of Grid Systems Corporation created the first functioning portable computer - Grid Compass Computer 1109 (find a picture)

  • 1109 had 340 KB memory, a die-cast magnesium case and a folding electroluminescent graphics display screen.

  • NASA bought 1109s at $800 for the space program.


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IBM PC Convertible .. created the first functioning portable computer - Grid Compass Computer 1109 (find a picture)

  • Weighed 12 lbs (5.4 kg),

  • sold for $3,500.

  • was the first portable computer with the clamshell design used in today's laptops.

  • The success of the PC Convertible was the catalyst for competitors like Compaq and Toshiba to switch to the clamshell design in their portable computers. And so began the era of the laptop computer.


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IBM PC Convertible had .. created the first functioning portable computer - Grid Compass Computer 1109 (find a picture)

  • An 8088 microprocessor

  • 256 kilobytes of memory

  • Two 3.5-inch (8.9-cm) floppy drives

  • An LCD display

  • Parallel and serial printer ports

  • Space for an internal modem

  • A software suite including basic word processing, appointment calendar, telephone/address book, and calculator software


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What to look for in a portable computer today … created the first functioning portable computer - Grid Compass Computer 1109 (find a picture)

  • Don’t plan to upgrade anything except memory and a PCI Card

  • Get a warranty

  • Buy light (as in not heavy) with fastest processor, active matrix display, lithium battery


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FYI … created the first functioning portable computer - Grid Compass Computer 1109 (find a picture)

  • In the mid 90’s one of the most exciting innovations was channel aggregation – a notebook could have 2 modem connections to speed up data transfer


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Extending a Notebook created the first functioning portable computer - Grid Compass Computer 1109 (find a picture)

Cards slot into a notebook and extend the functionality, for ..

  • Memory

  • Modems

  • Drives

    PCMCIA standards define these cards.


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The PC Card Standard, CardBus created the first functioning portable computer - Grid Compass Computer 1109 (find a picture)

  • Memory (type 1) – 3.3 mm thick

  • Modems (type 2) – 5.5 mm thick

  • Drives (type 3) – 10.5 mm thick

    CardBus uses 16 bit or 32 bit operation.


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ExpressCard created the first functioning portable computer - Grid Compass Computer 1109 (find a picture)

  • Intended to replace PC Card

  • Designed to use PCI Express or USB 2.0


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ExpressCard created the first functioning portable computer - Grid Compass Computer 1109 (find a picture)

  • ExpressCard/34 is 34 mm wide, 75 mm long and 5 mm high.

  • ExpressCard/54 is 54 mm wide, 75 mm long and 5 mm high.


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To use PC Card and/or ExpressCard .. created the first functioning portable computer - Grid Compass Computer 1109 (find a picture)

The Operating System needs

  • Socket Services

  • Card Services


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To unplug a PC Card created the first functioning portable computer - Grid Compass Computer 1109 (find a picture)

  • Windows XP : Use the unplug icon in the system tray

  • Windows 2000: Add/Remove Hardware


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Find … created the first functioning portable computer - Grid Compass Computer 1109 (find a picture)

  • A PC Card that supports gigabit ethernet

  • A TV Tuner PC Card

  • A PC Card that supports an external SATA drive


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Memory created the first functioning portable computer - Grid Compass Computer 1109 (find a picture)

  • SO-DIMMS

  • SO-RIMMS

  • PC Card Memory

  • Proprietary Memory


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What is an Active Matrix Display ? created the first functioning portable computer - Grid Compass Computer 1109 (find a picture)

  • A TFT (Thin Film Transistor) LCD Display


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Difference between Active Matrix and Passive Matrix ? like liquid.

Passive matrix flat panel displays consist of a grid of horizontal and vertical wires. At the intersection of each grid is an LCD element that constitutes a single pixel.

Active matrix flat panels have a transistor built into each pixel within the screen.

Active matrix displays have

- higher resolution,

- higher contrast,

- faster pixel response rates … than passive matrix LCDs.



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…. and display ? Try …What is the fastest processor in a portable computer ?


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Batteries … display ? Try …

There are 4 major types of batteries used in portable computers :

  • Alkaline

    in remote controls – not used for computers today

  • Nickel-Cadmium (NiCd)

    Older, up to 12 hours to charge, memory effect, Cadmium is toxic

  • Nickel-metal-hydride (NiMH)

    Better than NiCd, but only recharged up to 500 times

  • Lithium-ion (Li-ion)

    Non-toxic but lithium highly reactive with water, lightweight, no memory effect, expensive

  • Direct methanol fuel cell (this is new)


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SO-DIMMS display ? Try …

  • 72 pin (32 bit) – outdated with FPM or EDO memory

  • 144 pin (64 bit) - SDRAM

  • 200 pin (64 bit) - SDRAM


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SO-RIMMS display ? Try …

  • 160 pins

  • RAMBUS technology


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PC Card Memory display ? Try …

  • Available as both CARDBUS and ExpressCard

    (Sometimes CARDBUS just called PCM, PC CARD …, but ExpressCard Memory will be referenced as ExpressCard)


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Mini PCI card Standard display ? Try …

  • Standard for notebooks to evolve from using proprietary cards and slots

  • Type 1 and type 2 – use a 100 pin ‘stacking connector’

  • Type 3 - 124 pin stacking connector


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Port Replicator Vs Docking Station display ? Try …

  • Port Replicator : Allows notebook to connect to power outlet, full size monitor

  • Docking station : As provided by Port Replicator, but also connection to hard drive, floppy drive, DVD/CD drives


Find a l.jpg
Find a .. display ? Try …

  • Port Replicator

  • Docking Station


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Spend 15 minutes… display ? Try …

  • … online selecting a notebook computer for less than $1,500.


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Servicing your own Notebook ? display ? Try …

All notebooks are different, usually with proprietary components, so ……

Get a service manual / user manual / helpful web site


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Good Support ? display ? Try …

  • Lenovo and Dell have free online service manuals and phone support (through Canada)

  • Compaq have good web support and good phone support

  • Apple – Good web support, good phone support, good store support


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Others ? display ? Try …

  • Try manufacturer’s web site

  • Try WWW.ESERVICEINFO.COMfor a free online manual or information .. Go visit


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WWW.ESERVICEINFO.COM display ? Try …

For support software go to WWW.RARLAB.COM


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Today we have a …. display ? Try …

  • DELL SoLo

  • Model ----

  • … and a project that we will start today.

  • First step – find the information. We need instructions for opening the Dell ,,,,,


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Servicing your own Notebook ? display ? Try …

All notebooks are different, usually with proprietary components, so ……

Get a service manual / user manual / helpful web site


Others42 l.jpg
Others ? display ? Try …

  • Try manufacturer’s web site

  • Try WWW.ESERVICEINFO.COMfor a free online manual or information .. Go visit


Www eserviceinfo com43 l.jpg
WWW.ESERVICEINFO.COM display ? Try …

For support software go to WWW.RARLAB.COM


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