Donor: Edward Ford
Location: Williamsburg, VA
Kaypro produced several CP/M based computers.
Eventually they produced a DOS machine, the Kaypro 2000.
While everyone should lament the passing of CP/M, this is
still one crankin' laptop. First of all, it looks damn
cool. If Darth Vader carried a laptop, it would look
something like the Kaypro 2000. You can't really see it
in the pictures, but the case has bevels that go in a
good inch. It's shaped more like a wedgy sports car than
a blocky laptop. It's all black metal, except for the
edge, which is covered in ridged black rubber. This all
makes it strong, heavy, and solidly built.
Installed inside the case is a battery pack the size
of 4 C-cell batteries. This also contributes to its
considerable heft. Really, the first time you pick one
up, you have a hard time believing that something so
small could weigh this much. There's a nice handle built
into the edge as well.
Inside you'll find an 80x25 character screen. It's not
the sharpest LCD screen, but it's still better than most.
The screen itself is much smaller than the available
area. At the front of the case is the keyboard. The
keyboard is removable and is connected to the rest of the
unit by a coiled cord. The keyboard has little feet on
the back edge, so you can prop it up. You can even put it
back in the case with it propped up. So, put it in your
lap, put in on the table, or put it back in the laptop.
Any way, you'll always have that keyboard in reach. It's
also a very nice keyboard in and of itself. Behind the
keyboard, on the right side, is a floppy drive. The front
pops up out of the case to let you insert disks.
The software side is pure DOS, with an added utility
to see things like battery juice remaining. It also had a
suite of programs that were RAM resident. It still amazes
me how much we used to be able to pack into 640K.
Microsoft's Office 97 took up 120 megs on my system, and
that wasn't even a full install!
Also available was an expansion base that the 2000 sat
upon. The base provided the usual serial ports, as well
as the ability to use a graphics card. There's also an
external battery pack that can help supplement the
internal power. All together, a very impressive machine.
(If only it wasn't so heavy.)
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