Computer Histories VII

Lois Lopatin of Brookline Massachusetts sits with her 1986 Sharp "Lunchbox" PC 7000 portable computer.

This computer was one of the very first lightweight ergonomic portable computer computers. It is called a ‘lunchbox’ computer because its shape resembles that of a lunchbox. It has a detachable keyboard and a tilt screen. It has a Sharp portable thermal printer and a leather carrying case for both the computer and its printer. The Sharp PC-7000 uses the MS-DOS operating system and has two 5.25” floppy-disk drives; program diskettes are put in the in the A drive and data diskettes are put in the B drive. The total cost for the computer, printer and carrying case in 1986 was $2,000.

The computer was donated by Lois Lopatin of Brookline, MA who was the founder and President of Computer Advisory Services, Inc. (CASI). CASI provided “impartial advice for successful computing” to small businesses when small businesses were just beginning to be able to afford computers. From 1985-1992, CASI helped about 100 small businesses computerize for the first time or upgrade their existing PC or mini-computer systems.

CASI had two Sharp PC-7000 computers that were used from 1986 to 1992. One was used by the staff in the office for accounting, sales and marketing activities, creating proposals and writing assessments, requests for proposals for client computers and reports to client management. Lois use the second Sharp PC-7000 in the office and also took it to trade shows, prospects and clients to demonstrate how a computer can improve productivity and provider quick and easy data analysis.

The donation includes the computer and original manuals, printer in its original box, a cover and a carrying case and all the software that was used in the business. Q&A software was used for word processing, spreadsheets and database activities. Dac-Easy software was used for accounting.