PCs

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 Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

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.