Now that laptops have become a familiar part of our lives and are already gradually replacing desktop computers, few people remember the history of their appearance. But it is very dramatic and instructive.
It all started in 1980 when Adam Osborne founded Osborne Computer Corporation. His goal was to create portable computers that the user could carry with him everywhere. An innovative idea for those times, although the use of rechargeable batteries had not yet been discussed. In April 1981, Osborne 1 is born - the first laptop in history suitable for commercial use.
This miracle of technology was equipped with a 5-inch (11 cm) CRT-screen, 64 KB of RAM (expanded to 128 KB). Worked Osborne 1 running the operating system CP/M. At that time, no one even dreamed of hard drives - the user had to work with 5.25-inch floppy disks. There was a modem, which is important. The basis was the Zilog Z80 processor with a frequency of 4 MHz.
The creators made every effort to ensure that the device in the folded state could fit under the seat of the aircraft, otherwise talk about its mobility became meaningless. Weighed Osborne 1 "only" 11 kg, so it was hard to carry it with you. But nevertheless, it was a truly unique device. After all, it provided the possibility of simplified transportation, which was not possible in the case of conventional desktop computers.
The cost of the "laptop" was 1795 US dollars. In addition to the traditional BASIC, the kit included software that allowed you to work with texts and spreadsheets.
Throughout history Osborne Computer Corporation only about 11,000 devices were sold. Very little for dynamic development, especially against the background of the fact that despite the high cost, Osborne 1 brought little to its creators. They were afraid to raise the cost even higher, since this could completely kill the interest of the public. One of the mistakes is the use CP/M, which clearly lost in popularity and quantity of software to the young, but already gaining strength DOS. And almost immediately, competitors appeared, offering more interesting solutions at a similar cost. For example company Kaypro I thought of using lighter aluminum as a material for the case, and the screen "squeezed" a 9-inch one (just like the first netbooks).
And then there's Adam Osborne "tried" when, trying to attract additional public attention, he said that his company was about to introduce the second computer model - Osborne 2. As a result, sales immediately stopped - no one wanted to buy an outdated model, when just around the corner the output is more perfect. Even lowering the price to $1,250 and then down to $950 did not help, sales stalled completely. September 13, 1983 Osborne Computer Corporation declared its bankruptcy.
For a long time afterwards, there was a term in Silicon Valley Osborneing (roughly speaking "Osborne effect"), which denoted such companies, with a bright birth and an inglorious end.