Thursday, June 19, 2008

"Portable" Computers of the 80's

The Osbourne was the first portable computer, with a built-in keyboard, monitor, and power supply. It has a 4mhz processor, and 64k ram. This is an Osbourne 1(rev 1.43), it seems to function fine, but there's no boot disk, so testing remains to be done.
Boot Message:
The Kaypro series eventually superseded the Osbournes, and took over the portable computer market. This is a Kaypro II on boot screen, waiting for a boot disk.
Here is the Kaypro II again folded up.
Damn, these are old, clunky, and slow. Especially compared to modern laptops and computers.

3 comments:

student of gomi said...

"clunky and slow"

hmmm....

As was the model t, the connestoga wagon,farnsworths tv and the telegraph when viewed in a modern context.

one could also say "early examples of the computer revolution" Or look its got a serial port and does vt100! what can we hook it to?

MaggieL said...

As much as I love my Osborne/I, it was *not* the first portable computer. It was only the first one an ordnary human could afford.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_5100

http://wandel.ca/ibm5100/IBM%205100.jpg

Don Hutton said...

I actually remember seeing either one of the IBM 5100's at a SF convention in Toronto in the 1970's (Alpha or Beta Draconis?). It might even one of the earlier APL prototype machines as the big APL shop I. P. Sharpe Associates was headquartered in Toronto. The guy who had it was using the on-board APL system to generate D&D character sheets: computer supported RPG!!! I think I still have the dot-matrix printout of the Grey Elf he generated for me in a box somewhere.