The Computer-In-A-Book (CIAB) was released just after the Microbee 64. This strange
machine was composed of one main unit and at least two 'books'.
The computer was actually not in a book, but in the main unit, a Microbee 64. The first book held the user manual in a ring binder, the second book (Vol. 1) held a - new at the time - 3.5" floppy-disk drive and a power supply unit which supplied the main unit and the drive. This unit could also supply a second slave disk-book (Vol. 2).
The designer's idea was to offer a low-cost and expandable CP/M machine. Up to 4 disk-books could be connected in chain. Even though the idea was original, the day-to-day use of these light units wasn't very convenient. The bad idea was to mount them in a bookcase, between other books, causing PSU to overheat and system failure.
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There are two of these on display at the Melbourne Museum, hooked up to a 'bee, that Andrew and I saw a while back.
Ah, yes, the Microbee C-I-A-B. my dad and his brother Grahame were the founders of what turned into the microbee user's group. good times, says dad. back when most computers had memory measured in kilobytes instead of gigabytes. i still have some older computers my dad owned, like a Toshiba T-1100 Plus......
Saturday 30th October 2004
Computer In a Book
BUILT IN LANGUAGE
Typewriter type, 60 keys
6545 video controller
4 KB BIOS + 4 KB FDD controller
64 x 16 (Microbee BASIC) - 80 x 24 (CP/M)
128 x 48, 512 x 256 dots
Black & white
Built-in loudspeaker, one channel, 2 octaves
SIZE / WEIGHT
35.5 (W) x 23 (D) x 5.5 (H) cm / 1.5 kg (main unit)
Power/Video/tape, Expansion/drive Interface, Serial ,Parallel, RGB, user ports