Osborne1: Early portable computer

Contributed by Hull Libraries

Osborne1: Early portable computer

The Osborne 1 came with a keyboard which could be clipped to the top of the computer to make a suitcase-sized portable that weighed in at 22lbs. The computer had a volatile memory of 64kB, but no hard memory, so everything from the operating system upwards had to be reloaded each time it was switched on. Operating system, programs and files were stored on 5 ¼" floppy discs with a capacity of 44kB. The computer was fitted with a 5" CRT screen and could be linked to most peripherals available at the time, including a modem for directly contacting other computers. It came with a word processor, "Wordstar", a spreadsheet, "Visicalc" and several programming languages including mbasic. This Osborne cost £1200, which was about 3 months' pay for its first user.

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  • 1 comment
  • 1. At 10:57 on 25 March 2010, Ant Smith wrote:

    I remember using these, compaq made something similar I believe. I remember calling them "transportables" to distinguish from the 'flip-style' portables (latterly called notebooks of course) that were starting to make an appearance.

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Made in USA. Used in Hull.




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