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Not trying to steal any thunder, I think Ben Heckendorn’s portable IIgs definitely raises the bar. No questions there. But.. if there had been an Engadget in the days of GHB’s loosing election for a second term, I think I would have been there with it. It’s really hard to believe it’s been that long. But the first portable IIgs I built using an Otrona luggable CP/M machine as the case made it’s debut at the Apple Expo East, at The Castle Expo Center, Boston, on Oct 2nd, 1992. Just weeks before the national elections. What made that event memorable was in the very same hotel that the Apple Expo was based out of, was right across the street from some high level Republican convention in Boston the same week and the hotel was busy giving all our rooms out to higher paying reporters and the like. GWB was on site while the Apple Expo East was going on. The SS was all over the rooftops, we were looking out a window from the 8th floor when our phone rang, “Close the Window”, they said. Diz and Burger Bill were in the room with us. We decided to walk to China Town, and while making our way through the protesters that had gathered at the base of the two hotels, we all started chanting “Apple II Forever!”. Why not, everyone else there had a cause and since national TV was near, why not. A few of us even had some signs. When we opened the window, a portion of the crowd was singing, “Na-na na-na.. hey-hey.. good-bye ..” and “six more weeks! six more weeks!” But anyway, as I prepared the day and evening before my flight from Carlsbad, CA to LAX and then to BOS, I was doing final preparation on the Apple IIgs Portable, tweaking the amber monitor just ever so much to get the perfect picture. My flight from Carlsbad was a very short one, the IIgs fit just perfectly on the belt and they were definitely curious.. of course, it was carry-on. At LAX I had about a 3 hour wait for the flight east. I practiced the now modern day activity of seeking out a spot near an electrical outlet. It wasn’t hard back then. Hardly anyone travelled with anything that needed plugging in.. except me. I had been known to sit on the floor in a terminal during long layovers with an entire IIgs system plugged in.
Anyhow, there I am sitting with the IIgs Portable, I’m playing the IIgs version of Ultima I on it… a massive crowd goes past and I hear this voice, “hey, thats Burger Bill’s Ultima I for the IIgs!” and see a hand waiving from the crowd..
At the Expo, the Macintosh version of Lemmings was released, and they were there at the Expo with it. I had appropriated some of their marketing materials and positioned them at my Apple II booth with added captions, “port us to the IIgs”, and the like. I still have those items, and at one time I presented some of them to the Brutal Deluxe folks some years later during one of their visits to California.