Osborne 1

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Over the past few days I’ve picked up a couple “new” machines - an Atari 1040ST in perfect condition with all manner of software and accessories (more on that one as I explore further - lots of things to look at) and just this evening, an Osborne 1.

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I picked up the Osborne in Morgan Hill form a Craigslist seller with the understanding that the floppy drives weren’t working. After my recent experience with the TRS-80 Model III I figured it could just be a power supply. Since the machine seemed to power up okay otherwise I wasn’t too worried - whatever it was would most likely be an easy repair.

Once I got the machine home and started troubleshooting, I discovered a stuck key was blocking it from booting - it won’t perform a disk seek unless you hit ‘enter’. This also explained why the screen would flash a few times after power up - the stuck key was forcing screen redraws until the keyboard buffer filled up. Exercising the keys a bit cleared the stuck key and everything now checks out. I also took the opportunity to fully disassemble the unit and “de-bunny” it as Dr. Dave would say.

The machine also came with a small collection of diskettes in the right-hand storage compartment, including copies of Osborne’s CP/M and WordStar.

All in all it seems like a pretty cool machine, though the display is impossibly tiny - I imagine quite a few Osborne fans opted for an external display when portability wasn’t a concern. After using it for a bit I feel Kaypro certainly had the advantage on the suitcase form factor with a useable screen size.

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This page contains a single entry by nekonoko published on August 12, 2008 10:44 PM.

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The Dilemma of the Eight Inch Diskette is the next entry in this blog.

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