By the year 2000 the personal computer will be as small as a “Composition” size notebook, less than half an inch thick, and weigh less than an average text book. Kids will have no problem carrying it around all day. It will consume very little electricity (perhaps only two to three watts) making it possible to use solar cells as a primary source of power or to plug it into a smart house wall outlet. All the needed solar cells will be wrapped around the outside of the unit and embedded in a clear plastic shell.

TABLET will be much sturdier and more reliable than today’s machines with a virtually indestructible case. It will need to be, because we expect its portability will encourage students to treat it like a baseball bat! Its display screen may even be covered with unscratchable glass to allow TABLET to be used as a light table and cutting board.

Voice recognition will be built in to the computer as a standard feature. This will allow users to give TABLET verbal commands, although conversation with it is not likely within the decade. A miniature video camera will also be included in the basic package allowing the computer to digitize and remember anything it sees. TABLET will come equipped with a pressure sensitive stylus called PENCIL. A regular keyboard will be available but only as an optional accessory, since the screen itself will be useable as a keyboard.

Infrared or microwave radio transmissions will enable TABLET to connect with other computers much like battery operated cellular phones do today. The computer will have prodigious quantities of memory (either on chips or laser disks and cards) and enormous computing power by today’s standards. It will be cheap and it will probably be manufactured overseas.

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