Osbourne Executive (fwd)

From: Jeff Hellige <jeffh_at_unix.aardvarkol.com>
Date: Sun Jun 15 02:32:29 1997

   Here's a message I recieved last year after the aquisition of my Osborne
Executive that I thought some of you might find interesting:

*** Forwarded message, originally written by Arthur N. Borg on 14-Aug-96 ***
Dear Jeff,
At the time that the Osbourne was being designed, I worked for the company
that made the display. I remember clearly asking one of the Osbourne engineers
he thought about the IBM PC that had recently been introduced. He said, that
computer has a color display, It is just a toy or video game. Ours is a
The Osbourne executive ran CP/M 3.0 as the operating system. If you have an
operating system disk and a format and modem disk. You should have access to
everything that you need. Walnut Creek has a CD-ROM with more CP/M material
you could imagine.
I (think) that I have a set of manuals but I also (think) that they are in
storage in the United States. One caveat. In the manual there is a drawing
how to connect the parallel port to a Centronics printer. The drawing is
incorrect. I spent a week re-wiring the dongle so that the printer would work.
Osbourne Executive has two unusual features. First, the printer port is alsso
bi-directional IEE-488 interface and so the machine could control and monitor
equipment and so on. Also, the type face is loaded into ram at start up and
so, you
can devise your own type face or use Greek or whatever.
We also made some of the displays for the Osbourne 1 and having a 63
character display was very limiting. Fitting 80 characters on a 7 inch display
not easy. You will note if you have a full screen of characters, as you turn
machine around, the earth's magnetic field tends to make the outer characters
out of view. Osbourne was roundly condemned for announcing this machine too
and killing sales for the Osbourne 1 and thus killing the company. I think
this is a harsh judgement. This was the time that FCC radiation rules were
getting started and everyone was having a hard time meeting them. In plain
fact, I
think that they didn't realize how big a task they had to pass this test. I
some figures after the company died. There was no week that they were in
that the company had a positive cash flow. You could see from the curves that
somewhere out in the future, they would have a positive cash flow. I think
that the
investors just felt that there was too much going for IBM and pulled the plug

Best regards,

Art Borg

***End of forwarded message

   Jeff jeffh_at_unix.aardvarkol.com

    Amiga enthusiast and collector of early, classic microcomputers
Received on Sun Jun 15 1997 - 02:32:29 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:30:29 BST