Osbourne Executive (fwd)

From: jpero_at_mail.cgo.wave.ca <(jpero_at_mail.cgo.wave.ca)>
Date: Sun Jun 15 08:23:08 1997

> Date: Sun, 15 Jun 1997 12:32:29 +0500
> Reply-to: classiccmp_at_u.washington.edu
> From: Jeff Hellige <jeffh_at_unix.aardvarkol.com>
> To: "Discussion re-collecting of classic computers" <classiccmp_at_u.washington.edu>
> Subject: Osbourne Executive (fwd)

> 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
> what
> 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
> business
> computer.
> 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
> than
> you could imagine.
Nip! parallel woes....

> The
> Osbourne Executive has two unusual features. First, the printer port is alsso
> a
Snap! Techanical babble....

> character display was very limiting. Fitting 80 characters on a 7 inch display
> was
> not easy. You will note if you have a full screen of characters, as you turn
> the
> machine around, the earth's magnetic field tends to make the outer characters
> slip
> out of view. Osbourne was roundly condemned for announcing this machine too
> early
> and killing sales for the Osbourne 1 and thus killing the company. I think
> that
> this is a harsh judgement. This was the time that FCC radiation rules were
> just
> 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.

Following this design of these portables... I did repair work on two
machines of Osborne 1's, I was horrified at type of this design
inside. The power supply is bit weak and nearly tight spot so dead
air there. The display cage frame is oddball type, the motherboard
looked like it was retrofitted there with too much space in there.
Whole thing, the machine did not have any EMI shielding AT ALL.
The display would jump in sync with every clunks from the massive
drive. There was already two generations and that Osborne 1 is last
generation and they're selling like hotcakes but Osborne made mistake
of preannoucing new Osborne Ex. :( First generation type uses flat
ribbon cable for the keyboard and different face plate. The
second generation uses coiled keyboard cable with cleaner look of
the faceplate. That's Osborne 1. There is retrofits of add on
boards that doubles the capacity of each drives from 90k to 180k each
and makes the display to show 80 columns on that dinky 3" display.

The physical design of this Osborne is like that: Top
and bottom shell clamps onto "plastic shaped shelf" that I will call
it shelf. The faceplate is kept in place by 6 or 8 screws around the
edges of the both shells. The underside of this shelf have four
stilts with metal lugs that held the bit smaller bare retangular
motherboard and amazing thing, it has no support in middle of that
long motherboard! The monitor sit in middle on raised part of the
upside shelf with both full height drive in both sides. All three
devices are secured from bottom with screws. The power supply is
just loosely nestled into a insulated cavity behind one drive.
Pretty iffy design if you ask me!

Anyway, that company had the fresh start overall
but the Canadian company had the right stuff to make a true great
solid machine called Hyperion which I have in storage. True PC
clone. The internals is very solid, no dead air and it does have a
variable speed fan that runs but speeds up when drive is in use. Too
bad, I wished they did redevelop the Hyperion again with 100 percent
compatible BIOS and better display , the previous one is about 80
percent compatible. I know some users still use this Hyperions
somewhere in that town of mine. :)
Hyperions monitor size is about 7" diagonal and uses amber monochrome
which is more pleasing to look at and very sharp. Both drives is
stacked on. Overall the package is very compact about 10" tall
and 18 inches wide, depth is about foot.
Can fit that machine under the 747 chair easily which ad did showed!
Memory is 256k standard but you can plug in external small memory
board to bring it up to 640k via the expansion port! It has modem as
a option, parallel, serial standard and expansion port. Also there
is a option that allows you to use external hard drive on it.

> 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 - 08:23:08 BST

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