Sunday, April 3, 2011

30th Anniversary of the Osborne 1


So it's no surprise that my father was a big influence in my computer development in the 80's. He was in information systems well before I had been born and helped me buy my first PC back in 1982 - an Osborne 1. It was a CP/M machine, and better IMHO than its most direct competitor - the Kaypro, even with the smaller screen.

The Osborne 1 was also an important addition to my dorm room for my first 3 years at school. Countless papers by me or my room mates were written on those lovely 5.25" floppy disks, along with hours of text-based gaming. It was portable, well, as much as a 25 pound computer is portable. It did have a handle and closed into a relatively durable bundle.

I can't thank him enough for his help in my early computer development. Even as I started learning computer programming (Fortran on paper card on the University's UNIVAC mainframe), I used my own personal PC on a daily basis. It made me more comfortable in the workplace during the summers, working for the Navy, around people that had not grown up with PCs.

Anyway, I look back fondly on my years with the Osborne 1, and am amazed with the things that Adam Osborne did in the early years of personal computing. Perhaps with a bit more business sense, his name would be synonymous with PCs, much like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates.

3 comments:

Malcolm said...

My son used a BBC computer, also about 1982, in his computer studies at school. It was very reliable, had no screen, had 32k of memory and no disk. One plugged it into the TV to see what was happening. Although he mastered Assembly language on that, he never kept up with computers and switched to Medicine.

To change the subject, I congratulate you (I don't say "lucky" as I don't believe in luck) on your association with Tapestry. I only know her through her writing. She would be a wonderful gift to any man, and an asset to the world in general.

PirateDaddy said...

Even medicine is heavily involved with computers nowadays.

Thank you - although I do believe in luck (it's better to be lucky than good), perhaps we can agree that the Universe provides.

Malcolm said...

Yes, we can certainly agree that the Universe provides. I keep telling people (including myself) that but sometime it's hard to hear.