Hardware

The Osborne 1 is now in a Cracked Open Photo Gallery

Recently, I published an entry in the TechRepublic Classics Rock blog on the Dinosaur Sightings Photo Galleries of the Osborne 1 and the TRS-80 Model 4P personal computers. Well, now I have taken the next step -- I have just published a Cracking Open Photo Gallery of the Osborne 1.

Recently, I published an entry in the TechRepublic Classics Rock blog on the Dinosaur Sightings Photo Galleries of the Osborne 1 and the TRS-80 Model 4P personal computers. Well, now I have taken the next step -- I have just published a Cracking Open Photo Gallery of the Osborne 1.

Once I got inside the Osborne 1 I was surprised to find so many parts. Previous vintage PCs had less silicon chips and less significant power management systems. Obviously the addition of a CRT display requires a significant expansion in those systems. It certainly requires a significant increase in the warnings I saw regarding deadly electric shock.

If you have specific knowledge about the Osborne 1 and the chips it contains please jump in the discussion thread and enlighten us -- even though I have some age on me, the Osborne 1 was just before my full-blown love affair with all things personal computer.

The TRS-80 Model 4P is next.

About

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.

5 comments
Tom in Toronto
Tom in Toronto

I had a later OZZY, a 2nd generation blue case, it came with double density disks standard and I added a "Screen Pak" that allowed you to connect an external 80 column display, the standard 9" displayed a 52 column window on the screen and as you typed past 52 it would shift sideways. I also used a tweaked version of CPM called ZCPR-3. With this you could compile your own kernel adding or deleting functions. Mine occupied 5 kb of memory leaving 59 kb free for your programs...that is efficient!!!! For printing the system board had an IEEE 1488 instrumentation port that could double as a standard parallel port with the right cable

crimper
crimper

I was a Computerland Technician in 1982 and worked on lots of these. We had several lawyers who swore by these for getting all their work done. They were fairly modular so I could get someone back on the road pretty quick. Drive alignment was a big issue since they got banged around alot.

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

Probably Cray and not---

John Sheesley - TechRepublic Pro
John Sheesley - TechRepublic Pro

Indeed it was. Being able to take an entire computer with you where ever you went was revolutionary in 1981 when the Osbourne I was introduced. Until then, you had separate large heavy CRTs, bulky external disk drives, boxy CPU/Keyboard combos that just didnt lend themselves to computing on the go. Osbourne sold upwards of 10,000 of these units a month at one point which was a wild success for a computer in those days. Osbourne was also making $1m a month off of them.

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