Bill Moggridge, Father of the Clamshell Laptop Design Dies at 69

Yesterday, we lost a legend in the world of computing. Bill Moggridge (not pictured above, but his creation is) passed away from cancer yesterday at the age of 69. Moggridge was one of the legions of unsung heroes in the world of tech, but his creations can be seen just about everywhere. He was the original designer of the clamshell notebook form factor, which, until tablets made it big recently, was the unchallenged gold standard for portable computing.

Pictured above is the Grid Compass, Moggridge’s original laptop, on board the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1985. The Grid Compass came out in 1982, and was mostly used by the military at the time. That might have had something to do with its prohibitive price – a healthy $8,150.

The British designer made computers truly portable for the first time ever – it’s hard to say what existed before really counted. “Portable computers” pre-Moggridge came in the slightly less convenient sewing machine form factor. You can imagine the pleasure upon moving from those to Moggridge’s creation.

Wherever he is, I’m sure Moggridge is happy about this week – the Intel Developer Forum is going to do his invention proud, by rolling out more ultrabooks than you’ll be able to handle. A fitting tribute if there ever was one.

Via Yahoo! News