Personal Computer Museum, Canada's Videogame Museum

Osborne 1

Osborne 1

Speed4 MHz
Memory64 KB

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Release Date: 4/1/1981
Manufacturer: Osborne
Original Retail Price:
Adjusted Inflation Price:
$1,795.00
$4,715.14*
 
Donated By: Lou Anderson
 
The Osborne 1 was the first commercially available portable "all-in-one" microcomputer, released in April, 1981 by Osborne Computer Corporation. It weighed 23.5 pounds (12 kg) and ran the then-popular CP/M 2.2 operating system. Its principal deficiencies were a tiny 5 inch (13 cm) display screen and single sided, single density floppy disk drives whose disks could not contain sufficient data for practical business applications (although a double density drive was available as well). Its design owed much to that of the Xerox NoteTaker, a prototype developed at Xerox PARC in 1976. At the peak of popularity, Osborne was shipping over 10,000 units a month. Osborne Computer Corporation was a victim of its own success. They announced two new models that virtually halted the sales of the current unit, resulting in an inventory issue--helping spiral the company into bankruptcy. This has comes to be known as the 'Osborne Effect'.

A complete sales brochure is available (450K PDF).

Osborne 1 Sales Brochure

 

This computer is currently interactive in the Museum.
 

User Comments
Jennifer Grimes on Monday, January 08, 2018
I developed this sys. Still have it. ProgrMed & 'distrubuted' the first & Most powerful programs Earth will Ever see.She's been 'In Charge' ALL the while. Has a protective glitch' element, and , now, b/c of s & morality, u r all in trouble.
Jennifer Grimes on Monday, January 08, 2018
I developed this sys. Still have it. ProgrMed & 'distrubuted' the first & Most powerful programs Earth will Ever see.She's been 'In Charge' ALL the while. Has a protective glitch' element, and , now, b/c of s & morality, u r all in trouble.
John C on Friday, September 04, 2015
That is actually an Osborne 1A. It was the second release.
Blair M. Groves on Thursday, October 03, 2013
CP/M's BDOS required that the floppy be initialized before it could be accessed, which was apparently a nuisance when running with the diminutive capacity of the Osborne. I recall the same issue when I got my first computer, a TeleVideo TPC-I, which also ran CP/M 2.2, but had two DSDD 360K floppies and a 9" screen . The popular utility called "Uniform", written by MicroSolutions, allowed many CP/M machines to read other CP/M brand formats as well as the DSDD IBM PC format. There was a version of Uniform for the IBM PC, and MicroSolutions even sold 8 inch floppy drive interface cards that could go in an IBM PC expansion slot. I still have most of my TeleVideo (800, 800A, 801, 802(H), 803(H), 804, 806, 816, TPC-I, 1603 and 1605), Xerox 820-II, and Epson QX-10 equipment, user manuals, boot disks, service manuals, parts, parts, more parts, etc... if anyone is looking for something I'd be happy to help. blair@blairgroves.com
Blair M. Groves on Thursday, October 03, 2013
CP/M's BDOS required that the floppy be initialized before it could be accessed, which was apparently a nuisance when running with the diminutive capacity of the Osborne. I recall the same issue when I got my first computer, a TeleVideo TPC-I, which also ran CP/M 2.2, but had two DSDD 360K floppies and a 9" screen . The popular utility called "Uniform", written by MicroSolutions, allowed many CP/M machines to read other CP/M brand formats as well as the DSDD IBM PC format. There was a version of Uniform for the IBM PC, and MicroSolutions even sold 8 inch floppy drive interface cards that could go in an IBM PC expansion slot. I still have most of my TeleVideo (800, 800A, 801, 802(H), 803(H), 804, 806, 816, TPC-I, 1603 and 1605), Xerox 820-II, and Epson QX-10 equipment, user manuals, boot disks, service manuals, parts, parts, more parts, etc... if anyone is looking for something I'd be happy to help.
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* Inflation data courtesy of www.inflationdata.com. Values are approximate using our own calculations.