The Ghost in the Machine

​​P. Atkinson, 'The Ghost in the Machine'
Paperweight 2: 2011: 7

In April 1991 the cover of the Personal Computer World displayed a photograph of a new category of computer - a tablet computer called the 'GO PC'. It was a breakthrough in 'PenPoint Computing'. The photograph showed the product being held by one hand in the manner of a clipboard, and being written on with the other hand using a stylus. This was no April Fool - typing commands into a computer was soon to be a thing of the past. 

 

The only problem with this story is that GO was a ghost, a piece of vapourware. The GO PC never existed as anything other than a prototype. Is it of any importance to design history that a particular product never got past the prototype stage? To be of any relevance, does a product actually have to have been made in quantity to 'count' in some way?

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