30 Years Ago: Osborne 1 — 24 Pounds of Portable Goodness

That odd looking (by 2011 standards) 24 lbs. heavy device with the tiny smartphone-sized display (5-inches) pictured here (photo courtesy of Wikipedia) is the Osborne 1. If you were alive and a gadget geek of any sort in 1981, this was the first widely available full-function consumer-grade portable computer. It cost an $1795 and came with 64KB RAM, dual floppy drives, an office software suite, and ran the CP/M operating system.

Grab a Dell Streak 5 (if you can find one), stare at its display and then imagine working on it all day as your portable computer. Although the Osborne 1 was not a financial success, it kickstarted the portable computer revolution that many of us depend on so much today. The Osborne 1’s creator and company founder, Adam Osborne, passed away in 2003.

Happy 30th Osborne 1!

A big thanks to Technologizer’s Harry McCracken for reminding us all of this anniversary: Osborne!