(1983) Brandon – A Software Company?

Dennis Rosen joined the team following his completion of his undergraduate and masters work in Computer Science. Dennis would head up the vision to develop “Software” (A term that has just been receiving public understanding) for IBM personal computers in industry areas that Brandon had developed unique expertise.

  • Invested capital in the development of Facman Software. A software programming language and user interface designed to work with Honeywell programmable controls. This product allowed an operator to configure points and control strategies using a high-level programming language called FMPL.
  • Brandon signed a strategic relationship with Honeywell International to distribute this software to approx. 500 dealers nationally.
  • Invested capital in the development of Computer Software Programs targeted at Healthcare facilities departments. This program included: Preventative Maintenance, Work order management, Staff Scheduling and budgeting.
  • Seth Hemley began Co-Op program from RIT electrical engineering school. Travelled and worked to expand the installed base of Automatic Temperature Controls customers.

The Compaq Portable wasn’t very portable by today’s standards. It was the size of a suitcase and it weighed 28 pounds. But you could pack up and move it a lot faster than an IBM PC. In the days before laptops and LCD screens, the Compaq Portable was as portable as you could get.

 The first Compaq computer

The first Compaq computer was its eponymous Compaq Portable. It was a suitcase-sized clone of the original IBM Personal Computer, with an Intel 8088 CPU running at 4.77 MHz running Microsoft MS-DOS. It was hardly the first non-IBM computer to run MS-DOS, but it was the first legal IBM PC clone with a high degree of compatibility.

Compaq announced it in November 1982 and shipped the first unit in March 1983. It originally cost $2995 for a single-drive unit. A dual-drive unit, which was much more useful, cost $3,590. The first Compaq computer, the Compaq Portable, weighed almost 30 pounds and folded up like a briefcase for transport. This example has two floppy drives and a hard drive.

Portable suitcase-sized computers existed before Compaq, but Compaq was the first to make a suitcase-sized computer that was compatible with the IBM PC.