Monthly Archives: April 2018

Osborne Restoration part 8: transferring files with an RS232 interface lead

Having got one of my Osbornes working correctly, the next challenge is to get software installed on it. I now have the originally-supplied set of disks containing business software, but as it is a CPM machine, there are countless other programs available (and archived online).

So let’s see what my options are for copying the software to my Osborne…

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Osborne Restoration part 4: floppy emulator first tests

I have no boot disks for this Osborne 1. The plan was to connect my USB floppy drive emulator to the motherboard, and boot from that.

My floppy emulator uses the HxC firmware on Gotek hardware.

The author of the HxC firmware managed to get dedicated HxC hardware to work with an Osborne 1.

As a follow-up to that thread, another user got the HxC/Gotek combination to work with his Osborne 1 (with additional pictures here).

So I looked to be on to a winner!

If only things were that easy…

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Osborne Restoration part 2: a bit of investigative surgery

First off, I decided to have a look inside my newly acquired Osborne to see what I had in store.

The front cover comes off easily after removing the monitor brightness/contrast knobs and a few screws.

Good news: that daughter board at the back (with the grey floppy cable coming out of it) means it’s had the Double Density controller fitted:

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Osborne Restoration part 1: acquiring my first Osborne

Back in February 2018, I finally had a chance to buy an Osborne 1, the world’s first portable computer, from 1983.

I’d been after one for years, but they are quite rare in the UK, and most eBay sellers are unwilling to ship such a heavy and delicate computer.

This one was somewhere that I could pick it up while visiting relatives, and just within my budget.

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