Category Archives: Retro computing

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.

read more

Retro Challenge 2018/04

The Retro Challenge is a one-month long excuse to do cool stuff with old computers and blog about it (vaguely wrapped up as a competition).

Last year I created the RetroMatic 2000 as my entry.

This year I have more modest aims. I have acquired a number of additional vintage computers over the last year, and have been nursing them back into life. The one that has eluded me so far though, is the Osborne 1.

read more

TRS-80 Model 3 / Model 4 repairs

Back in March 2017, I bought a TRS-80 Model 3 on eBay.

When I received it, I did some cursory testing. It would boot to the BASIC ROM (by holding down the Break key as you reset it).

But it wouldn’t boot from disk, either from the supplied TRS-80 boot disks, nor my Video Genie boot disks. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the fault was in the disks or the drive.

There was also some curious information about its identity.

read more

RetroMatic 2000 update 21: fixing and debugging

After drawing a (dotted) line under my entry for the Retro Challenge, I took a week off from the project to have a rest.

For the Challenge I was able to demonstrate pretty much everything, but it wasn’t very reliable, and bits were breaking and being repaired in between shots of my wrap-up video!

So time to revisit it, and get it up to scratch to be a usable product.

read more