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Osborne Corp.

The VIXEN is bundled with CP/M 2.2, WordStar 3.3, Supercalc 2, MBASIC, a game called Desolation, Osboard Software (for drawing graphics), Media Master (to transfer data to MS DOS disks) and Turnkey to change some system features.

The Osborne VIXEN was priced at $1298. An optional 10 MB hard disk could be added with an interface card (the hard disk was $1498, more than the computer !).

Curtis A. Ingraham (who worked for Osborne) reports:
The Osborne Vixen was in development at the time the company filed bankruptcy. I believe it was never offered for sale. It was developed by a consultant, Fred Coury, as I recall. It was significantly smaller and lighter than the Osborne 1. One of the unique aspects of the electronic design was that all of the diskette drive electronics was integrated onto the main printed circuit board of the computer, thus saving cost and space. The disk electronics for the Vixen was designed by Patrick L. McGuire. (In typical computers of that time, diskette drives came from their manufacturers with a large electronics board on each drive.)
The Vixen was a great follow-on product to the Osborne 1. Unfortunately, the IBM PC was released about that time, and customers stopped buying anything but the PC and, later, the Compaq portable. The CP/M computer market disappeared almost overnight.

Barry Carlton reports:
Your information that the Osborne Vixen was never offered for sale is incorrect. I owned one from about 1985 to 1988, buying it new from Worswick Industries (Dwight Worswick) in San Diego. Osborne went into bankruptcy in 1983, as I recall, but reorganized and went back into operation briefly in about 1984 or 1985. That's when I bought the Vixen (to replace my Osborne 1). I had the Vixen up until I got my first Mac, in 1988. Toward the end, I got a modem, joined CompuServe, and also hooked the machine to a 10 Mb hard drive that was horribly noisy, and as long as the Vixen was deep.

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I was president of the First Osborne Group until we made the decision that the need for CP/M support had faded and we had served our purpose. At our peek, FOG had over 17,000 members in more than 40 countries. Their were two incarnations of the Vixen that I''m aware of. One was black with horizontal drives. Very few were produced as it was about to be launched when the first re-org bankruptcy occurred. Osborne survived and launched a slightly modify version. It had the more traditional Osborne look and they returned to vertical drives. There was an external hard drive for it. I kept my Vixens, and had two of them out on the dining room table earlier today. Even the hard drive is still alive and kicking, with a large amount of CP/M software loaded on it. I built a menu system using "super submit" to make it easy to cycle through the options. I found a new home for the Vixens on another vintage computer website where they can be seen again. Ahh.. the memories.

Monday 9th April 2012
Ron (Las Vegas, NV)

I started a collection of Osborne Computers and related Osborne items, and I am looking for the Vixen, can anyone help me find one.
Thanks email me @

Wednesday 9th May 2012
Rich (Chicago IL.)

I still own my vixen. Got it plus a printer for $700 and I loved it. nearly cried when the a: drive burned out. replaced the a: with an ibm model; it worked off and on after that.
the feature i liked most was the 256 key buffer. i could type and type and type and the puppy retained every key stroke, never missed a beat while it read and wrote to the drives.

Great little machine. I liked CPM a lot. very simple and fast.

Tuesday 26th March 2002
Steven (California)


TYPE  Professional Computer
YEAR  1984
KEYBOARD  Full-stroke keyboard, 60 keys
CPU  Zilog Z80A
RAM  64 KB
ROM  Unknown
COLORS  monochrome monitor
SOUND  Unknown
I/O PORTS  Centronics - RS232 - Expansion slot
BUILT IN MEDIA  2 x 5.25'' FDD
OS  CP/M 2.2
PRICE  $1298

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