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Osborne Corp.

The Osborne 1 is one of the first portable computers but needs external power source. Its name comes from Adam Osborne, the man who made this computer a reality (not quite true, see end of the text).

It has a very small built-in screen (8.75 x 6.6 cm, which can display 128 columns!!) and weighs more than 10 Kg.
The first models couldn't display more than 52 columns by line, so to access to the 76 other columns, the user had to scroll among the screen thanks to the cursor keys.

It works under CP/M and was sold with Digital Research CBASIC (compiled BASIC), SuperCalc (spreadsheet), WordStar (word processor), MailMerge (mailing) and Microsoft's MBasic (MBasic source code was 100% upwards compatible with IBM PC's BASICA, source code only).

This machine would be succeeded in 1983 by the Osborne Executive, which featured a larger screen (YAHOO!) and lower-profile disk drives.

Despite its interesting characteristics, Osborne Computer Corporation suffered the competition of the first IBM PC compatibles and went bankrupt in 1983. One casualty was a planned portable computer called the Osborne PC (which, interestingly, was an MS-DOS clone). It was never released (even though prototypes exist).



My name is Michael Osborne { no relationship } and I am a graphic designer. I designed the Osborne Computer logo in 1980 at my first job out of school. Of course, we didn''t even have computers at the time. I have had my own design firm now for 30 years:
So amazing to see this after all this time!

Friday 20th April 2012
michael osborne (San Francisco, CA USA)
michael osborne design

Back in the day, I sold Osborne computers in Falls Church, VA. Recently discovered the original manual v 1.1 (in hardcover folder) multipart registration form, Nov 1981 MicroPro End User Agreement. In case there is historical interest, am offering it up. Any interest? Sold my own Osborne years back and apparently forgot where these documents were.

Thursday 23rd June 2016
Lynne (United States)

To Henry in Texas, from 2013,
Do you still have the manuals? I just bought an Osborne Executive but the power supply blew up (crackles and smoke +++). It seems to be a capacitor which exploded. So I am looking for a circuit diagram of the power supply,
Many Thanks.

Tuesday 28th April 2015
Barry Marshall (Perth, Australia)
Helicobacter Foundation


TYPE  Transportable
YEAR  1981
KEYBOARD  Full-stroke keyboard with separated numeric keypad
CPU  Zilog Z80 A
RAM  64 KB
TEXT MODES  52 / 80 / 104 char. x 24 lines
GRAPHIC MODES  Only graphic characters
COLORS  Monochrome
SOUND  Beeper
SIZE / WEIGHT  51(W) x 32,5 (D) x 22,5(H) cm. Weight : 10,2 Kg.
I/O PORTS  RS232, IEEE 488, Modem port, Composite Video
BUILT IN MEDIA  2 x 5.25'' FDD
POWER SUPPLY  Built-in power supply unit
PERIPHERALS  Supplied with : CBasic, WordStar, SuperCalc, MailMerge, DBase II
PRICE  3201

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