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The HP Integral Personal Computer


The Integral is one of my favorite HP machines. It was introduced in 1985 and was intended as a replacement for the HP 80 series of computers. The mid 70's to the mid 80's were a great time for microcomputers. That period saw tremendous exploration of various design possibilities, and the IPC represents the ultimate in the luggable form factor.

Innovations in the IPC include a built-in full-size inkjet printer. This was basically a ThinkJet printer. Very popular at the time, and I think the first inkjet design in mass production. This printer was so popular that you can still buy replacement ink cartriges today more than 15 years after being introduced. Other innovations in the IPC include a 9" electroluminescent flat-panel display and a 3.5" microfloppy drive.

I think the most significant thing about the IPC is that it ran UNIX out of ROM. To my knowledge no other personal computer before or since has done this. Of course, this probably means that interactive UNIX from ROM is not a brilliant idea, but if you are going to blaze new trails, you have to accept the fact that some of those trails will lead nowhere.

If you have more information about the IPC, please drop me a line. Also, I am looking for the HP Journal from October 1985. I - it is full of information about the IPC.

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Peter Johnson

Last updated: $Date: 2000/10/25 16:26:12 $