An odd terminal

Jason T silent700 at
Fri Apr 13 14:34:15 CDT 2007

I wrote to Xitron's current tech support email, and got this in reply
(posted as a comment on my Flickr page:)
This is a "Xitron Portable Terminal" and dates from the late 70's or
VERY early 80's, as evidenced by the acoustic coupler (hand set cups)
for the modem. Believe it or not, this was the "laptop" computer of
the day. It had a very specific purpose, to allow text entry of
news(?) stories and then transmitted them to a central office via the
modem. When I joined Xitron in 1985, they were still servicing these
units, many of them in Central and South America, but production had
long since ceased. Xitron had a long history in the newspaper market
but has transitioned to Electronic Prepress (Graphic Arts). They are
still in business today.

I am REALLY surprised that this unit is still functional (to some
extent). It is the ONLY example of hardware employing magnetic bubble
memory I have ever seen. The fact that the bubble cartridge still has
it's contents is even more astonishing. I do not know if the bubble
memory cartridge was built by Xitron or was simply integrated as an
off-the-shelf storage solution.

I believe (could be wrong) that Steve Philips was the engineer behind
this device. The fact that it is still working only stands as evidence
that he is the single most talented electrical engineer I have ever
met in my 24+ years in the high technology sector. Bravo!

> On 4/11/07, Richard <legalize at> wrote:
> > Do you have an idea of the manufacturing date for this guy?  I'm
> > guessing mid to late 70s or early 80s.  This terminal doesn't have an
> > LCD screen (like the Random Colleague), which indicates it might be a

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