Osborne 1

Manufacturer Osborne Computer Corp
Model O-1
Operating System CP/M
Year Introduced 1981
Price as introduced ($) $1795


The computer that started the portable revolution. 

Adam Osborne decided the world needed a computer that a user could take from one place to another.  And thus was born the Osborne O-1.  Designed to fit under a standard airline seat, the O-1 came, originally, with 2 5.25" SSSD 90K capacity floppies and a 5" monitor that displayed 52 columns of text by 25 lines.  The whole machine was designed to take the severe abuse that might be expected from airline luggage handlers without giving up the ghost.  The original tan case left quite a bit to be desired and was soon replaced with the gray and blue case.  This case served so well, it was adopted for the Osborne Executive and was the template for the Vixen.  The Encore did not use this style case as it was designed by Morrow Designs.

One other thing Osborne did was to include Wordstar, SuperCalc, a interpreted BASIC, a compiled BASIC, and of course, CP/M.  In total, the software retailed in excess of $2000.  The computer sold for $1795.  Many people commented, and rightly so, it was like buying the software and getting the computer free.  The computer was an immediate hit. 

Back to McCain's Museum of Ancient Personal Computers

Back to front page