Happy 75th birthday, Adam Osborne

Did you ever use these programs?


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Marc

Hunkered Down for the Duration
Staff member
Admin
#1
For those who remember him and his computer (I do)....

Happy 75th birthday, Adam Osborne
The Register said:
Where the Osborne set itself apart was with its software. Adam Osborne and his team knew that most consumers couldn't care less about a hardware checklist, so instead they chose to focus on bundling the system with a suite of software which carried a value greater than that of the Osborne hardware itself.

Among the offerings were the WordStar word processing platform, the SuperCalc spreadsheet software and two flavors of Basic, including the Mbasic release from then-upstart software house Microsoft.
From Wikipedia reference-linkAdam_Osborne:

Osborne was known to frequent the famous Homebrew Computer Club's meetings around 1975. He was best known for creating the first commercially available portable computer, the Osborne 1, released in April 1981. It weighed 24.5 pounds (12 kg), cost US$1795—just over half the cost of a computer from other manufacturers with comparable features—and ran the popular CP/M 2.2 operating system. It was designed to fit under an airline seat.
 
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PaulJSmith

#2
I didn't get into computing until the early 1980s; Commodore VIC-20 (w/ tape drive), then Apple IIe, then PC when Windows became all the rage. I only just missed the Osborne era.
 

Scott Catron

True Artisan
Super Moderator
#3
I remember hearing about Wordstar, but never used it that I remember. Never heard of SuperCalc. In high school (1985 graduate) I only used computers for programming in Basic (on a Commodore-64 at home and I think Macs at school) and then used terminals at college for word processing, spreadsheets and Fortran programming (don't remember the word processing program, but do remember the daisy-wheel printer). Eventually got a used early Mac about 1988 and have used Macs ever since.
 

Ronen E

Problem Solver
Staff member
Moderator
#4
Seems like this one predated it a bit:

Wikipedia reference-linkZX81

My older brother, then in high school, bought the kit version and assembled it himself. The year was 1981, I was still in primary school, and the Sinclair ZX81 was my intro to the computer world and Basic programming. We used our B&W TV as a monitor and a portable tape recorder as a storage device...

Ronen.
 
M

MIREGMGR

#5
My first machine was a Seequa Chameleon...one of the many early not-quite-PC-compatibles. The Chameleon uniquely had two MPUs...an 8088 for the PC side, and also a Z80 so that it could run CP/M-80. Unfortunately for the entrepreneurs involved, their product had excessive RF emissions due to a less-expensive mainboard design without inner-layer ground planes; had an incompatible and not-fully-functional expansion bus port; and used an arguably superior, but incompatible, serial port hardware approach. The RF problem got them in trouble with the FCC, and the incompatibilities meant commercial doom because what most potential customers wanted was exactly-IBM-PC-compatible-but-cheaper.
 

Michael_M

Trusted Information Resource
#6
I didn't get into computing until the early 1980s; Commodore VIC-20 (w/ tape drive), then Apple IIe, then PC when Windows became all the rage. I only just missed the Osborne era.
Ah the Commodore VIC-20 (20k of memory), I remember those days (no, no I would not want to go back).

Your list of computers looks remarkably like mine except I had the TSR-80 in there between the VIC-20 and Apple IIe.
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#7
Ah the Commodore VIC-20 (20k of memory), I remember those days (no, no I would not want to go back).

Your list of computers looks remarkably like mine except I had the TSR-80 in there between the VIC-20 and Apple IIe.
VIC-20 had 5k of RAM, expandable to 40k, iirc. The "20" was just a part of the model number.
 

Mikishots

Trusted Information Resource
#8
Seems like this one predated it a bit:

Wikipedia reference-linkZX81

My older brother, then in high school, bought the kit version and assembled it himself. The year was 1981, I was still in primary school, and the Sinclair ZX81 was my intro to the computer world and Basic programming. We used our B&W TV as a monitor and a portable tape recorder as a storage device...

Ronen.
I take it that he got one of the units that functioned correctly? I remember that they had a power supply issue with many units.
 

Jim Wynne

Staff member
Admin
#9
I take it that he got one of the units that functioned correctly? I remember that they had a power supply issue with many units.
My brother had one. It was marketed by Timex in North America as the Timex Sinclair 1000. I don't recall if it had power supply problems, but the crappy membrane keyboard made it all but impossible to use for purposes other than playing around. It was kind of like Samuel Johnson's famous 18th century observation about female preachers. He said that it was "...like a dog's walking on its hind legs. It is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all."
 

Ronen E

Problem Solver
Staff member
Moderator
#10
I take it that he got one of the units that functioned correctly? I remember that they had a power supply issue with many units.
I can't recall any power supply issues at all, with the one we had. I was too young to care about the overall performance of the brand, and too excited with the fact that we had a computer at home. :)
 
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