Convergent Technologies of Santa Clara, California introduced the Worslate the same time as the Tandy Model 100. Although it was about the same size of the Model 100, the Workslate was primarily a spreadsheet machine. No other software could be loaded except some application which was adaptations of the basic spreadsheet program.
The Workslate used a CMOS version of the old 6800 processor and 16B KB of RAM. RAM size couldn't be extended and allowed a limited 720 cells spreadsheet to be filled. The keyboard with circular rubber-keys was hard-to-use for text entry. However, with its phone book, memo pad, and financial calculator, the Workslate was designed for those who only wanted a business tool and didn't want to learn about computers.
Also built-in were a tape drive able to record and play data's or voice annotations, a 300-baud modem and a printer port.
The Workslate was first launched in the American Express Christmas catalog, and was sold as a high-tech novelty product. But no one was interested in buying a limited spredsheet machine for $895. Convergent Technology planned to sell 200,000 units within a year, but only 5,000 systems were sold in the U.S.A plus some hundreds in Europe. The product was discontinued in July 1984, and the company lost about $15 million.
If you notice the keyboard has a "DoIt" key. The President of the fledgling company Allen Michaels used to roam the halls of the company at night and spray paint "DoIT" everywhere, hence the key name.
John Demian from Modesto, California had the good luck to find a complete Workslate system and sent us the Convergent references for all the peripherals and Taskware he found:
WorkSlate # WK-100
MicroPrinter # WP-100
Comm Port # WC-100 (has a Parallel and Serial interface for external printers.)
Teach Me Now Tape # TW-120
those of you growing up in the 80''s and watched the TV Show Airwolf with Jan-Michael Vincent and Ernest Borgnine, the show used this as a keyboard prop that Ernest used to type on when sitting in the back. In an episode of season 1 or two they do a quick 2 second shot of him typing and you''ll see it.
Tuesday 3rd May 2016
Has anyone mentioned the problem with entering phone numbers with a "1" prefix? I suppose that was caused by the way of memory allocation. This problem may well have been the fatal flaw that caused the demise of this elegant device.
Monday 22nd September 2014
We have a WorkSlate WK-100 and would like to find a new home for it, but don''t know value...It is still packed in original box...Can anyone give me a little information as to its approx. worth..
It does not have the Elect connect cord or back up battery, but tested with 4 AA batteries and it works...It has 1 WorkSlate micro cassette...It comes with Owner''s Manual, Reference Guide booklet, $ Exercise Workbook...
Thanks for any information...
Saturday 31st August 2013
J D Jimenez (California, USA)
END OF PRODUCTION
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61 rubber keys with numeric keypad and 5 function keys