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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).

Please consider donating your old computer / videogame system to or one of our partners from anywhere in the world (Europe, America, Asia, etc.).


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

Had an Osborne 1a in my AF recruiting office in 1982. It was the ss/sd drive, but there had been an after market supplier of a DD board. Found it in the Osborne mag, but they were $ping the line. I bought 3 for $25 ea, (they offered to sell me the entire stock plus jigs, but passed on it) and sold the other two to members of the QCOUG for enough to cover mine. You had to solder leads directly to chips on the main board. Actually have the VHS tape for dealers display, somewhere.

Sunday 3rd July 2022
Scott Scholz (United States)

I use to sell and repair Osborne, Commodore pets and North Stars. The killer problem with the Osborne and KayPros was that they would fail to boot. Their was a hard lesson learned here about EMI. In short because the switching power supply was located behind the floppy disk drive, it would couple EM Interference into the pickup heads on the floppy. This caused bad faulty data sector reads and therefore it would fail to boot C/PM. If you were to take it apart and move the floppy drive away from the chassis it would boot C/PM just fine

Tuesday 1st June 2021
Douglas K McClelland (United States)


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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