Working on drawings of old abandoned technology for another project, I was distracted when Russ dragged his first computer out of the storage room. Honestly, at first I thought it was an old sewing machine. Then I found out it was a prehistoric portable computer called the Osborne.

Can you believe this thing? The bottom of the case unhooks and plugs into the top to make a keyboard. Floppy drives — remember those? And it only cost a mere 2K, but that was the economical version.

Unfortunately, when we plugged it into a nearby outlet (because I wanted to see what came up on that tiny little screen), the thing literally caught on fire and smoke started pouring out of the vent on the top. I was so unnerved by the smoke that I forgot to take a photo of that.

Anyway, something fun to draw, even if it doesn’t work anymore.

5 Comments

  • Ah, such memories you have conjured up! We had these at Oberlin college – a whole room full of them – our 1st computer lab! I also worked as a secretary’s assistant in the Classics/Philosophy department and typed many syllabi etc. on this thing! Also most of my papers! sigh…

    • Hi Candy — Better than a typewriter, which was all I ever used until I met Russ and he taught me something called dos!

    • I was wonder who else had one of these. When I asked what he used it for, he said he was developing programs to make kinetic and other interactive sculptures work — such as programs for lights.

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