Osborne 1

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Osborne 1
Osborne 1 with opened keyboard

Osborne 1 with opened keyboard

Manufacturer Osborne Computer Corporation
Sales start April 1981
Technical specifications
processor Zilog Z80 4.0 MHz
random access memory 64 kB RAM
screen 5 ″
Current operating system CP / M 2.2


Serial RS-232 connection with 1200 or 300 baud

measures and weight
Weight 11  kg
The text adventure adventure on the screen of the Osborne computer

The Osborne 1 was the first commercially available portable computer . Its inventor was Adam Osborne .


The computer was introduced to the market in April 1981 by Osborne Computer Corporation . The computer weighed 11 kg, which is why he compared to later laptops in English mostly as luggable computer , so as schleppbarer Computer (German pun Schlepptop is called). The introductory slogan was: “Our computer fits under every aircraft seat.” When it was launched, it cost US $ 1,795 in the USA  . In Germany the price was just under DM 6,000 at the beginning of 1983.

In the computer, a working Zilog-Z80 - CPU with 4.0 MHz, on a memory of 64 kB RAM could access. In addition to the CP / M  2.2 operating system, the scope of delivery also included the MBASIC programming language . Its design was based on the Xerox NoteTaker from Xerox PARC , which was developed in 1976 based on a concept by Alan Kay , but never went into series production.

A keyboard with 69 keys (today's keyboards have around 100) and a 5 ″ screen that could display 24 lines of 52 characters were integrated in the collapsible computer.

Successor to the Osborne 1 was the Osborne Executive , before the manufacturer finally went bankrupt in September 1983.



The Osborne 1 was delivered with a package of user software, the composition of which varied. The program dBASE II was not included in the first computer version. CP / M 2.2 from Digital Research served as the operating system .

Program name version Published by Program type date Order number Number of
MBASIC Microsoft basic 301002-02D 1
Colossal Cave game
Deadline Infocom game 2
dBase II Ashton-Tate Database
dBase II tutor Ashton Tate Training program for database 6th
Nominal ledger 2.7 PeachTree software Business software 1983 2X09200-04 2
Purchase ledger 2.7 PeachTree software Business software 1983 2X09200-04 2
Sales ledger 2.7 PeachTree software Business software 1983 2X09200-04 2
Supercalc Sorcim Spreadsheet 1981 301002-03 1
WordStar 2.26 MicroPro Word processing 1

The Osborne 1 in the film

The Osborne 1 or its successor, the Osborne Executive , can be seen briefly in the film The Philadelphia Experiment (1984). In the same scene you can also see a Commodore 64 .

Individual evidence

  1. Zeitschrift Computer Personal, Issue 9 of April 20, 1983, advertisement page 101, price 5978, - DM.
  2. How the suitcase computer almost became a bestseller - Spiegel Online from November 11, 2009

Web links