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This mini forum is intended to provide a simple means of discussion about the Convergent Technologies Workslate computer. If you want to share your own experience or memories, or add relevant information about this system: post a message!

  Click Here to add a message in the forum


Monday 16th January 2023
Sharon (USA)

I actually worked at Convergent manufacturing facility in Santa Clara as a quality inspector, this product was such a jewel before its time! I have 2 complete functional units, printers, all in original cases, user manuals etc.

Friday 6th April 2018
Tami Whelan (California )

OMG I used to be the only technician at a company called PBDS in Dublin Ca that used to fix the workslates!! Was well before its time!

Wednesday 27th June 2012
Gerald Hawkins (California - United States)

I worked at Convergent Technologies from 1980 until 1991. The Workslate was notable as an early user of surface-mount technology. It was Convergent''s first use of SMT.

The Workslate is also notable because before its introduction, Convergent could do (almost) no wrong. Everything we made sold like crazy. After the failure of the Workslate and the almost simultaneous failure of a customized Unix workstation for AT$T, it seemed we couldn''t do much of anything right. The company was sold to Unisys in 1988 and most of what remained of it was disappearing by the time I left in 1991.

Despite all that, the Workslate was a remarkable first step into tablet computing. If it had offered BASIC programming and had a word processor, it may have succeeded. (It is hard to imagine, but in 1985 people really, really wanted BASIC$ and the inclusion of a word processor was considered too premium at that time.)

Friday 6th June 2008
Ken Wood (USA)

I was a Convergent OEM in the early 1980's. I have a complete WorkSlate system including the Parallel port adapter and battery pack (needs new batts) I even have the classy leather poutch.
I bought it new for $1200 and I was an OEM. Convergent really screwed up on the marketing of this product. Some genius talked Convergent into marketing this totally new product through American Express instead of their OEMs. How dumb was that? If they had gone to the OEMs they would have sold a ton.

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.

Mine still works but boy is it slow.

Sunday 20th May 2012
Robbie Fields (Phuket, Thailand)
Posh Boy Music

The Workslate was my second computing device, the first being a Tomy (toy) computer which allowed rudimentary Basic programming and little else.

I bought it cheap in 1984 and used it extensively for a couple of years until I replaced it with another orphan, the Pied Piper, which was light years ahead on account of its 1.2 mB built in floppy drive and the ability to add an external one.

As opposed to the so called portable Osborne, the Workslate was a marvel for its time, comparable to a netbook (my preferred device for the past 4 years) in terms of portability and also sufficient functionality.

I used my WorkSlate as a remote terminal for EaasySabre, the Library of Congress and as a smart terminal for Western Union''s foray into document delivery which was a sensation at the time, years before FedEx also failed with a similar gambit. Instead of buying a crappy and expensive dot matrix printer, I used to send everything over the 300 baud modem and Western Union would print out contracts on laser printers that almost nobody else had at the time and mail to specified recipients. Yes, you could save a contract or 2 to the microcassette drive!

Friday 9th March 2012
Stephen Heinrichs (Dixon, CA USA)

I first heard of the Workslate when it was on the cover of Mexhanics Illustrated. The following year, I purchased two of them for the company that I worked for. The outside representatives could use them to do calculations while at a customer''s location. No other portable computer existed that would allow this. I created several master spreadsheets that utilized the upgraded 50k memory.

Due to the limited memory, I learned how to created a compact, efficient spreadsheet! As supurvisor, I kept one at my office and the other one was used by my only rep that i could trust with a computer at the time! Those two units, especially the one I used, were used up until 1992 to run the speacilaized spreadsheets I had created and maintained each year with updated information.

When my position with the company was eliminated in 1992, the spreadsheets were recreated in Excel on a desktop computer and the Workslates left the cmpany with me. I supsequently sold one of them to a person in NY whose unit had died and he wanted to replace it for the speacialized application that he used his for.

I still have the other one and the portatble printer that was made for it. It was a "spreadsheet in a box" and worked well for that application. And, yes, it had character!

Thanks for the memories!

Tuesday 12th June 2007
Pioneer1962 (Minnesota, USA)

Someone asked about determining the polarity of the NiCd battery for the Convergent Technologies Workslate.

The NiCd battery I have is a WK-101 4.8 V 500mAh. It measures 4 1/16" X 1 1/4". As you view the battery there are a series of arrows on one side with the label "This side up". When oriented this way on a flat surface and the arrows pointing North (or away from you) the polarity markings are on the end toward you with "+" on the right and "-" on the left. There are no other polarity markings. The battery is made up of four 1.2 V cells connected in series. The end oppposite the end with the markings is open and and the cell ends are exposed with the "-" end of a cell on the right and the "+" end of another cell on the left.

The AC adapter is supposed to charge the NiCd battery when the battery is installed in the Workslate.

Hope this helps.

Computer Graphics Pioneer 1962

Saturday 23rd February 2019
don baxter (US)

We have a Workslate also brand new and a micro printer brand new would like to sell both if anyone is me.

Monday 27th June 2016
Barb (USA)

I have one I purchased way back then, printer and all. It''s still one of the coolest computers ever made. It was very ahead of it''s time. One of the reason (IMO) that it failed was a lack of IBM PC compatibility. That was the direction everything was going, aside from MAC of course. Another cool computer of the time was the GRID. Good times...

Tuesday 3rd May 2016
Jeffrey  (USA)

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.

Monday 22nd September 2014
Stephen (USA)

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.

Saturday 31st August 2013
J D Jimenez (California, USA)

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...

Thursday 15th August 2013
Lorne Pine

I have one for sale on Ebay as of Aug 15, 2013.

Saturday 3rd August 2013
Philippe Elie (Paris / France)

Hi Jason, thanks for your post. I am interested for your Workslate, I actually found one a couple of months ago but the display has died and I could not manage to fix it. Can you please me email me if you are willing to sell it so we agree on a price ? thanks and kind regards, Philippe

Tuesday 23rd July 2013
Jason  (USA)

Ey I got one too printer and all I have no idea how much its worth but I know its very rare my dad worked for convergent back in the day but has passed so I dont know much more about

Tuesday 4th June 2013
Philippe Elie (Paris / France)

Hi Doug, sorry for the late reply. I am interested by your Workslate and its accessories. Can you please email me with the price you ask for it ? Thanks, Philippe

Monday 8th April 2013
Doug Alter (United States)

I have a Workslate with a printer and their soft covers, power supply, Reference guide, Owner''s manual, Exercise workbook, Sales Reporter , Teach me now $ Teach me later softwear programs, 11 micro cassettes and 4 rolls of Micro Printer paper . All this is new like condition $ packaging. I would be happy to part with this piece of computer history.

Sunday 31st March 2013
Philippe Elie (Paris, France)

I''m looking for a Convergent Technologies Workslate. If you have one you are willing to sell, let me know, thanks.

Wednesday 20th June 2012
Marc Bessler (USA)
Marc''s Computer Service

I have one of these I am looking to pass along to a good home. It is complete with the printer, hard case, cables, two packs of un-opened color ink styluses, and 9 tapes with programs, one or two even in the original shrink-wrap.

It is basically in mint condition - although I have not had time to power it up. Also have a branded binder with the user manual for something called TransSlate which apparently is a method to tie the WorkSlate to an IBM server.

I am not looking for any money other than the true cost of shipping. If interested, let me know!

Tuesday 4th October 2011
Bruce Haugland (US)

I used to work with CTOS machines. I remember that Convergent had shortened the name on the DoIt Key to Do by then.

Friday 11th June 2010
kknds (San Francisco, CA)

How great to get this info! So, I have one but am looking to sell ... anyone have ideas on how to do that or just eBay? Thanks

Sunday 6th June 2010
Keith Scheuring (USA (Arizona))

I got one off of eBay a number of years ago. It was pretty cool but the memory was very limiting. I tried it as an answering machine. I regret getting rid of it now.

Saturday 14th February 2009
Name (A land mass. earth)

I gotta put that on my wish list

Saturday 14th February 2009
Name (Aland, CountryWorld)

I is so cool, I want one.

Thursday 10th July 2008
Bob Schmitt (USA)

The tape in the cassette would work as an answering machine, if I remember correctly. I had one. Check the manual for this function.

Sunday 29th January 2006
Roger Sperberg (Montclair, NJ)

Back in 1982 or '83 I had a Sord IS-11, which had a 25x80 screen and a decent word-processing app. But when I got one of the remaindered Workslates -- was that '84? whenever the prices fell -- I sold the Sord to get the Workslate. The keyboard was pretty funky, and the word-processing made no sense whatsoever, which was not the best thing for a freelance writer, as I was at the time.

But it had an aesthetic that I remember to this day.

Actually though, I realized a little bit ago, after being reminded of this machine, that it had so many limitations in its vision that I've also lived many a year without thinking about it. Some of it -- the green and yellow labels popping off the black, the marketing by cool factor -- was timeless. But competency and utility from more mundane solutions is a good idea too.

Saturday 12th November 2005
Bob Schmitt (USA)

I first saw a Workslate when I was living in Hawaii - too expensive for me then. I later bought one from DAK (or similar "surplus outlet" store, probably for about $100. It was my second computer, after a Timex 1000. I really liked the 1-2-3 metaphor which helped me with contract pricing negotiations. I started lugging my original Compaq to those sessions and didn't use the Workslate, giving to a friend still in Hawaii. Wish I had kept it! I'll look for the original ad or receipts, which I probably still have.

Wednesday 25th May 2005
Jeffrey Kotte (USA)

I just received one of these from Wisconsin. I am also looking for the cable to connect the printer. I aquired this for a donation to a museum.

Friday 29th April 2005
Ken Clements (Los Gatos CA)

I have one of these and am looking for the cable for the RS232 interface, as well as any "Inside the Workslate" documentation.

Saturday 24th July 2004
David Vaughn (USA)

I acquired 4 of these devices while I was handling the MCI account for my company to utilize a then nacent MCImail application. It worked wonderfully, for those times, as a communication device to document correspondance. It was, if you will, the first PC like device acquired by my company.

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