Zenith MiniSport Laptop Computer
The Zenith MiniSport (circa 1989) uses an 80C88 CMOS CPU running at 4.77MHz or 8MHz, software selectable. It features one MB of RAM, configured at 640K for MS-DOS applications, and 386K for EMS or a RAM drive. An additional 1MB can be added, increasing the size of the EMS or RAM drive to 1392KB. The system also contains a ROM-based copy of MS-DOS, which appears as the C: drive. It has a built-in 640x200 LCD display, with CGA and composite monochrome outputs for external displays. One of the most unique features of the system was the 2-inch double-sided, double-density 720K floppy disk drive. The diskettes (shown here with a standard 3 1/2" diskette for reference) were originally made by Fuji for a still video camera. In order to transfer software to and from a host PC, the MiniSport used a unique scheme featuring the FastLynx LX transfer utility. No additional software is required on the host system to get things started; you simply tie the two systems together with a null-modem serial cable, run FastLynx, and follow the directions on the MiniSport screen. Using the DOS "Mode" command on the host system, you trasnfer the DOS console to the serial port. The FastLynx software then "types in" the host-side executable and help file. At that point, you simply run the newly-created executable file on the host PC, and transfer files in a manner similar to other serial-link software. A separate backup battery retains the contents of the RAM drive while the power is off. The MiniSport is 12.5" wide x 9.8" deep x 1.29" tall (lid closed), and 7.75" tall (lid open). It weighs 5.9lbs, including the battery.