From David Griffith:
It was told to me that some of these were made for military use and included
a built-in hard drive. A big thick X was pressed into the case over the hard
drive. The purpose of this was to show the user where to shoot in case the
computer was in danger of falling into enemy hands.
GRiD Defence Systems produced the laptop computers used in the
"Aliens" film in 1986. The scenes were cut from the theatrical
release but subsequently added to the DVD release.
More information from Gary Clouse:
I have an old gridcase 3 with a 20meg harddrive. It
actually has 8 rom sockets. 4 under a cover above the keyboard and 4
internally. these sockets use the molex chip carriers like the add-on roms
for the Tandy 100 and the 4 internal roms on my old machine have msdos 3.2,
communications software for the internal 1200 baud modem,
a very primative gui called gridmaster which is a lot like deskmate, and a
fourth rom with archived utilities including pcmaster/pcslave which works
somewhat like the interlink programs in later version of msdos.
grid computers were originally made by a company called pulver labs. later
Grid was purchased by Tandy/Radioshack, which later sold the brand to AST,
who in turn was bought by some other company.
Some of the original designers have regrouped as Grid Secure Computing
System (GSCS) and are making tempest class laptops for the military.
The internal harddrive mounts above the floppy disk drive and is a standard
hard drive. The data and power connections are made through a riser card
instead of a cable, so any hard drive used must have the correct spacing
between the power and data connections. This limits the choice of hard
drives to only a few.
Lee Pulver tested and evaluated the
Grid Systems in Mountain View, and then Fremont, California manufactured the
Pulver Laboratories had the privilege of working with the Grid Systems team:
we tested and evaluated these systems from a compliance-engineering
viewpoint. We also labeled these systems to show assured compliance to
a minimum of 56 countries during the 1980s and 1990s for product safety and
unwanted RF emissions. We visited their manufacturing facilities every
three months to assure continued compliance. The chassis, by the way,
is a magnesium alloy. We did the flame test to show it was suitable
for the application. Also note the red plasma display and the
incredible keyboard with near perfect tactile feedback.
They actually made five
dominant screens for these computers:
• An electroluminescent (first shipped
An LCD with light green and shades of black
(second shipped screen).
A Super Twist LCD with light green and shades of black (higher
resolution: third shipped screen option).
A Red Plasma (fourth shipped screen option).
A blue and silver combination using LCD
Their first operating system
was called GRiD-OS.
The manufacturing manager,
, came from Hewlett-Packard, where he introduced the HP-35 handheld
calculator to humankind.
Excellent products and great team at GRiD. www.PulverLabs.com