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William Moggridge: In Designing the Laptop Computer, He Was Way Ahead of His Time
Posted By Patrick Kiger On September 10, 2012 @ 2:32 pm In Legacy | No Comments
Tablets and smartphones are pretty nifty, we admit. But when it comes to actually doing stuff – whether it’s writing memos or working on spreadsheets at the office, or playing fantasy baseball at night – we still depend heavily on that reliable old workhorse, the laptop. It’s got a roomy keyboard that enables us to use all 10 fingers, and it’s still small enough that you can close the lid, stick it in your shoulder bag and take it with you just about anywhere. More than any other gadget, the laptop made computing a ubiquitous, near-indispensable part of everyday life.
For that, thank William Moggridge. The British-born industrial designer was the major creative force behind the first true laptop, the GRiD Compass, which hit the market in 1982.
Moggridge, who lived in California and passed away on Sept. 8 at age 69, was assigned to come up with a portable replacement for the clunky, bigger-than-a-desk computer used by a White House official. To accomplish that, Moggridge came up with five innovations that ended up changing all our lives as well.
Here’s a video tribute to Moggridge from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, where he served in recent years as director.
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