Tuesday, March 22, 2005

The Good Old Osborne 1:

Boingboing has an entry about the Osborne 1, the original portable computer (at 24.5 pounds!). I worked with one a bit, and although it was a technological marvel for its time, I do not miss the darn thing.

In the Boing entry, Stefan says "...The company pioneered the concept of bundling. In addition to the CP/M operating system, you got WordStar, a spreadsheet, ..."

It's not quite correct to credit Osborne with bundling. There were useful CP/M programs floating around, but the reality for each of these early computers was that you could hardly buy any non-trivial 3rd party software. You were dependent on the computer vendor to make products load and run on the machine. Osborne HAD to provide WordStar, spreadsheet, etc. the only question was whether to sell them separately.

No comments: