HP-150

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HP-150
HP-HP150II 04.jpg
ManufacturerHP
TypeA single-unit touchscreen personal computer
Release dateNovember 1983
Introductory price$2795 MSRP[1]
DiscontinuedYes
MediaTwo 270 KB floppy drives
Operating systemMS-DOS or CP/M
CPUIntel 8088 @ 8 MHz
Memory256 KB RAM, 160 KB ROM (DRAM)
DisplayBuilt-in 9" Sony CRT
• Text: 80 columns, 27 lines
• Bitmap: 512 × 390 pixels
Graphics6 KB SRAM (video)
Input• Infrared emitters and detectors for touchscreen functionality
• Keyboard
Connectivity• Two RS-232 ports, with one supporting RS-422
• One 8-bit parallel multi-master interface bus: HP-IB, IEEE-488 standard

HP-150 (aka HP Touchscreen or HP 45611A) was a compact, powerful and innovative computer made by Hewlett-Packard in 1983. It was based on the Intel 8088 and was one of the world's earliest commercialized touch screen computers. Despite running customized MS-DOS versions 2.01, 2.11 and 3.20, the machine was not IBM PC compatible. Its 8088 CPU, rated at 8 MHz, was faster than the 4.77 MHz CPUs used by the IBM PC of that period. Using add-on cards, main memory could be increased from 256 KB to 640 KB. However, its mainboard did not have a slot for the optional Intel 8087 math coprocessor due to space constraints. An HP-150 with an optional hard disk was called HP Touchscreen MAX.

The computer's screen was a 9-inch Sony CRT surrounded by infrared emitters and detectors which detected the position of any non-transparent object that touched the screen. In the original HP-150, these emitters and detectors were placed within small holes located on the inside of the monitor's bezel (which resulted in the bottom series of holes sometimes filling with dust, causing the touchscreen to fail until the dust was vacuumed from the holes).

Like the original Macintosh, HP-150 was packaged with the CRT display as a single unit, and made use of 3½-inch floppy disks. Unlike the Mac, however, HP-150 had no internal floppy drive; the machine sat atop the phone book-sized 9121D[2] dual 3½-inch floppy (76 mm high, 325 mm wide, 285 mm deep) or similarly sized hard disk devices, connected by HP-IB.

Hardware[edit]

Display[edit]

Hp-150 touchscreen

Display resolutions:

  • Text: 80 columns × 27 lines (720 × 378 pixels)
    • Character size: 7 × 10 pixels
    • Character cell size: 9 × 14 pixels
    • Inherent HP Terminal emulation equivalent to HP 2623 Graphics Terminal
  • Bit-map: 512 × 390 pixels
  • Separate plane for text and graphics
  • Monitor sensor grid: 40 (h) × 24 (v)

HP-150's touch screen sensor grid is quite coarse. Its resolution is only two characters wide. Used mainly for rough cursor positioning and function key control, it could not be used to draw pictures.

Processor unit[edit]

  • Optional internal thermal printer HP 2647A (fax roll)
  • Communication ports:
    • Two RS-232 ports (one of them supported RS-422)
    • HP-IB (IEEE-488)
    • HP-HIL (standard on HP-150 II, but an optional add-on card on HP-150)

Storage[edit]

  • Supported HP-IB attached storage:
HP Model Command
Set
# FDD FDD
type
Sides FDD capacity
(each)
# HDD HDD capacity Notes
HP 82901M Amigo 2 5.25" DS 270 KB 0 n/a Add-on only
HP 82902M Amigo 1 5.25" DS 270 KB 0 n/a Add-on only
HP 9121D Amigo 2 3.5" SS 270 KB 0 n/a -
HP 9121S Amigo 1 3.5" SS 270 KB 0 n/a Add-on only
HP 9122D SS/80 2 3.5" DS 710 KB 0 n/a -
HP 9122S SS/80 1 3.5" DS 710 KB 0 n/a Add-on only
HP 9123D SS/80 2 3.5" DS 710 KB 0 n/a HP-150 II only
HP 9125S Amigo 1 5.25" DS 360 KB 0 n/a Add-on only. Not bootable
HP 9127S Amigo 1 5.25" DS 360 KB 0 n/a Add-on only. Not bootable
HP 9133A Amigo 1 3.5" SS 270 KB 1 5 MB -
HP 9133B Amigo 1 3.5" SS 270 KB 1 10 MB -
HP 9133D SS/80 1 3.5" DS 710 KB 1 15 MB -
HP 9133H SS/80 1 3.5" DS 710 KB 1 20 MB Requires DOS 3.20
HP 9133L SS/80 1 3.5" DS 710 KB 1 40 MB Requires DOS 3.20
HP 9133V Amigo 1 3.5" SS 270 KB 1 5 MB -
HP 9133XV Amigo 1 3.5" SS 270 KB 1 15 MB -
HP 9134A Amigo 0 n/a n/a n/a 1 5 MB -
HP 9134B Amigo 0 n/a n/a n/a 1 10 MB -
HP 9134H SS/80 0 n/a n/a n/a 1 20 MB Requires DOS 3.20
HP 9134L SS/80 0 n/a n/a n/a 1 40 MB Requires DOS 3.20
HP 9134V Amigo 0 n/a n/a n/a 1 5 MB -
HP 9134XV Amigo 0 n/a n/a n/a 1 15 MB -
HP 9153A SS/80 1 3.5" DS 710 KB 1 10 MB -
HP 9153B SS/80 1 3.5" DS 710 KB 1 20 MB Requires DOS 3.20
HP 9153C SS/80 1 3.5" DS 710 KB 1 10/20/40 MB Requires DOS 3.20
HP 9154A SS/80 0 n/a n/a n/a 1 10 MB -
HP 9154B SS/80 0 n/a n/a n/a 1 20 MB Requires DOS 3.20

Reception[edit]

BYTE in November 1984 called HP-150 "an extremely flexible machine", but "difficult to program".[3]

Successors[edit]

The two-CPU HP-120 (aka HP 45600A)[4] Z80 CP/M machine also used the 9121 drives.

HP-150 II (aka HP 45849A)[5] replaced HP-150 in 1984. While still called HP Touchscreen II, the touchscreen was no longer standard, but rather a rarely-adopted option. The optional touchscreen bezel was superior to the original bezel, in that the emitters and detectors were now located behind a solid infrared-transparent plastic; thus removing the need to regularly clean the holes found in the original model.

HP-150 II had the same footprint as HP-150, but came in a larger housing to accommodate its 12-inch screen, but could no longer accommodate an internal printer. HP-150 II had four expansion slots available (as opposed to two), and could accommodate an optional 8087 co-processor board. There were some minor compatibility problems between HP-150 and HP-150 II in the video subsystem.

In 1985, HP introduced the Vectra, which InfoWorld stated was the company "responding to demands from its customers for full IBM PC compatibility". HP repositioned HP-150 as a workstation for the HP 3000 minicomputer.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "150 Touchscreen". Business Desktops/Calcs: 100 Series Selection. HP Computer Museum. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  2. ^ "9121 Disc Drive". Peripheral Products: Storage Selection. HP Computer Museum. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  3. ^ Haas, Mark (November 1984). "The HP 150 Computer". BYTE. 9 (12). pp. 262–275. Retrieved 2015-02-14.
  4. ^ "120". Business Desktops/Calcs: 100 Series Selection. HP Computer Museum. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  5. ^ "150 Touchscreen II". Business Desktops/Calcs: 100 Series Selection. HP Computer Museum. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  6. ^ Petrosky, Mark (1985-09-30). "HP's Vectra Called PC AT 'Hybrid'". InfoWorld. p. 5. Retrieved 2015-02-20.

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]