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The Osborne 1 computer, introduced in 1981, was one of he very first "portable" computers. It looked like (and at ~25 lbs, had the heft of) a large sewing machine case, with a solid plastic body and clasps holding the bottom on. With the Osborne, you laid the case on its side and removed the "base", which contained the keyboard. This exposed the face of the computer.

The computer itself had a 4-inch green monochrome screen flanked by two 5-1/4 in. floppy drives. You needed really good eyesight to read what was on the screen, as the text was approximately 1/8 in. tall. The processor was a Zilog Z80, running at 4 MHz. It had no hard drive, and you ran the CP/M operating system on one floppy drive and your program on the other.

Back in 1982, I used to write with mine when I wasn't playing Zork and Starcross.

I shudder to think that today I own a pocket flash memory drive the size of a pack of gum with 3 orders of magnitude more memory than that computer had. Not to mention that my handspring Treo cell phone/PDA has a screen as big as that Osborne had. To add insult to injury, not only is the Treo's screen color, the entire device weighs less than that monochrome CRT would have if you removed it from its case.

Thanks to oldcomputers.net for the technical details.

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