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D > DATAVUE > Spark     


DATAVUE
Spark

The Datavue Spark was one of the First Laptops Ever Made. It Featured a Powerful (Back Then) Intel 8088 with a clock Speed of 9.77MHz.

It had a blue 5" x 10" screen (which was big for 1987) made by Epson that supported 16 shades of blueish grey. Plus, it was backlit, which made it very bright and readable.

DOS could be run on this system, but needed a boot disk to do anything.

Due to a very high retail price, very few Spark were sold (at least in Australia). In the US, the price was about $1000-$1200, depending on the amount of memory and whether 1 or 2 drives.

The closest (decent) competitor to the Spark was the Toshiba T-1000. A very well-made laptop, but its screen was only about 3-1/2" x 7" and much less readable.

Datavue made it up until 1993, then the company went under due to the many more powerful laptops on the market at the time. Datavue produced many other laptops.

Thanks to Michael Buchan, Ronald Harper for information.

We need more info about this computer ! If you designed, used, or have more info about this system, please send us pictures or anything you might find useful.
Special thanks to Robert S ONeill who donated us this computer !

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I bought about 15 of these in the late ''80s and wrote Turbo Pascal programs for our field salesmen to use. First, the price was about $1000-$1200, depending on the amount of memory and whether 1 or 2 drives. The "tiny" screen was about 5" high by 10" wide, which was HUGE for 1987. Plus, it was backlit, which made it very bright and readable. The screen was bright white with blue text and graphics. (No color) The closest (decent) competitor to the Spark was the Toshiba T-1000. A very well-made laptop, but its screen was only about 3-1/2" x 7" and much less readable.

          
Tuesday 10th November 2009
Ronald Harper (USA)

Wow this brings back memories. I had one of these while I was in grammar school. (mid 90s)
I had a small box of floppies I would carry with it, as it had 2 low density 3 1/2 floppies built into it (no hard drive). I would keep a boot disk with a DOS menu system in drive A, and insert the appropriate floppy for the program before I selected it off the menu, into drive B. I remember spending hours on dial-up AOL searching for free DOS software for this laptop, and giving a presentation on it for the science fair (external CGA monitor. presentation written in Q-BASIC) Great times. Wish I still had it, but it broke while in high school.

          
Thursday 25th October 2007
Keith (Philadelphia PA)

Does anyone know how long it takes the battery to charge?

Or, more importantly, the amperage required on the transformer?

Also, mine says Fivestar Express on the top, and Datavue Spark on the bottom on the label. Remanufactured?

          
Friday 21st April 2006
Michael Reilly (Ft. Walton Beach, FL)
Nerdparadise

 

NAME  Spark
MANUFACTURER  Datavue
TYPE  Portable
ORIGIN  U.S.A.
YEAR  June 1987
END OF PRODUCTION  1993
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  None
KEYBOARD  Full stroke 76 Key IBM Style. No Keypad
CPU  Intel 8088, later Nec V20 & V30
SPEED  9.77 MHz.
RAM  640 KB
VRAM  Suspected to be 128 KB
ROM  384 KB
TEXT MODES  40-80 chars. x 25 lines
GRAPHIC MODES  320 x 200, 400 x 320 dots
COLOrsc  16 blueish greyscales
SOUND  PC Speaker
SIZE / WEIGHT  13 (W) x 13 (D) x 18 (H) Inches / 6.5 Kg. (14 lb)
I/O PORTS  9 Pin RS232C, 9 Pin RGBI, RF Port, 25 Pin Centronics, 16 Pin External Floppy Port
BUILT IN MEDIA  One or two 3 ½ 720K Floppy Disk Drives - Hard disc version came later
OS  MS-DOS
POWER SUPPLY  External power supply unit
PRICE  $1000-$1200 (USA, 1988)
AU$10999 (Australia, 1987)





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