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Kaypro

Kaypro was a manufacturer of portable microcomputers. The first model was launched in 1982, and was built around the Z80 microprocessor.

The Kaypro 2 had 64 K of RAM, and dual, single sided, 180 K 5.25" floppy drives. The screen was an 80 column green monochrome 9 inch CRT. CP/M was the standard operating system of the day, and the Kaypro 2 came with the WordStar word processor (including MailMerge, for personalised mass mailings), the SuperCalc[?] spreadsheet, two versions of the Microsoft Basic[?] interpreter, Kaypro's own compiled S-Basic (which produced executable .com files), a bytecode compiled Basic called C-basic, and the dBase[?]-II relational database.

Using the comma separated file format (CSV) you could move data between these programs rather easily, which multiplied the utiltiy of the package. The manuals assumed no computer background, the programs were straightforward to use, and thus it was usual to find the CEO or somebody else developing the applications needed in-house.

All this software bought separately cost more than the whole package includind the Kaypro 2, which was a very usable and (at the time) powerful computer for the office and the laboratory. This made the Kaypro very popular, both at work and with well educated professionals also at home -- even though the metal casing made it look more of a laboratory instrument than a home/office appliance.

The case was constructed of aluminum. The keyboard covered the screen and disk drives, when clipped on. The weight was about 20 lbs. There was no battery, the computer ran off regular AC mains power.

The Kaypro 10 followed the Kaypro 2, and featured a 10 Megabyte hard drive and a single 5.25" floppy drive.

There was a legal dispute with regards to the Kaypro 2 main circuit board being an unlicensed copy of the Bigboard design.

After years of growth with CP/M based computers, Kaypro never quite found a comparable position in the IBM PC / MS-DOS arena. At this time a new company, Compaq, started selling their portable computer, which essentially was what Kaypro should have made.

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