The HP Integral PC is a "portable" computer (luggable,
more like it, since it weights more than 10 Kg) which works under HP-UX
(Hewlett Packard UNIX variant).
It has a plasma screen and a built-in printer (the world famous HP ThinkJet,
The memory can be extended to 1.5 Mb with 256 Kb modules and up to 5.5
Mb with an external extension.
The ROM contains the OS (HP-UX), HP windows (the GUI) and PAM (a kind
of graphic shell).
This computer had no great success since it was very expensive and only
few business applications were adapted to it.
Interesting comment on the expense. The IPC was
priced comparable to the mac, had double the memory and a printer to boot.
It wrapped a user friendly windowing system around unix in a portable
fashion that did not require program recompile, etc. Faster
cpu, expandable memory.... the list of advantages goes on!
The "fat mac" which matched the memory
was more money.
HP simply did not market the IPC well. There was
internal competition with the "bobcat" series workstations (9000/3xx).
In fact, the IPC has dual serial ports in the hardware,
but the driver was rewritten for only one to work, as the IPC could not
have a "mux" to avoide competition with the 9000's. Also,
the IPC motherboard was only half populated with memory, as are many of
the add on memory cards due to internal competition issues.
The killer IPC that was killed before final release
was the mythical "Unicorn", which had a built in hard
drive and more memory. It was to have sold for $4995, if I remember correctly.
At one point I knew two people that had pre-production "unicorns".
Remember this was not to much after the Apple Lisa
sold for $10k, the initial mac was more, and the AT was brand new and
expensive as well.
The addition of the "stone tools" rom
which effectively added a mainstream unix command set to the existing
kernal and basic commands made the box a powerful package.
The base OS was unix kernel, basic unix commands,
and a windowing system called "PAM". It had a file manager,
text editor, etc, and would happily display character mode unix programs,
as each window emulated a terminal. (Much like X windows developed much
No networking was allowed, alas. I did use this
system via slip and KA9Q code however.
The IPC would work with any of the HP CS-80 drives
and tapes, and the 9133H was a common accessory. The two I/O slots could
be expanded to six with a chassis exxpander, which was required for the
5.5 Mb. Mice, graphics tablets, and larger keyboards could be connected
via the HP-HIL port (Human Interface Link).
A full unix command set was available via floppy,
and could be loaded on the hard drive in typical HP-UX locations. Fix
you PATH variable, and you had a nice unix system for it's day.
Remember that the kernel was in rom, so boot was
quick, and so was much of the command access. It could create ram-disk
as needed as well, so you were not as dependant on the floppy.
The main intent and success of the IPC was as an
instrument controller. It made a nice package, and was a good replacement
for the HP-85.
Business applications were never targeted, though
I believe a visicalc was available.
OK, so they did not sell that many..... I would
still pick this guy over an original mac any day of the week!!!! :-)