Chuck Colby

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  First Police Car Mac

Macintosh Today, May 30, 1988

Squad Car Field Test for Mobile Mac
Cops take Mac for ride by Dan Berkowitz

Redwood City, Calif. -- A reconfigured, used Macintosh 512K is riding shotgun in one of this city's police cars.

The Mobile Mac, in the final stage of field testing at Redwood City's police department, has been designed specifically for police and rescue vehicles by Fresno, Calif.-based Colby Systems Corp., the company that released WalkMac, a portable Mac, a year ago.

Police report forms have been placed on floppy disks so that police officers can complete them on the Mac. The reports can then be printed out at the police department.

Colby Systems said Mobile Mac is made by taking components from used 512K Macs and mounting them in a 6-by-9 inch case that attaches to the underside of a dashboard. A 7-inch monitor mounts on a tilt-and-swivel stand, which is bolted to the vehicle's floor. A track ball attached to the regular Mac keyboard replaces the mouse. The keyboard sits on the passenger seat or attaches to the case with Velcro.

The Mac has two internal floppy disk drives and runs off the vehicle's battery. Extra-heavy shielded cables are used to protect the unit from radio frequency and electrical noise produced by the vehicle's alternator and electrical system.
The basic Mobile Mac package will be priced at $1,500 when it ships in July, the company said.

Colby Systems Corp. can be reached at (209) 222-4985.

(Image caption:"Mobile Mac, a reconfiguredMac 512K designed by Colby Systems, fits snugly in a Redwood City, Calif. police car.")