In an era of computers, where everything is easily available on our fingertips, a huge computer that weighs 10.7kg seems surreal. That was how the world’s first computer was.
A 10.7 kg computer was a reality once! The world’s first successful portable micro-computer, Osborne 1 was released in San Francisco exactly 37 years ago.
On April 3, 1981, Osborne 1 was unveiled by Osborne Computer Corporation. It cost US $1,795 (equivalent to more than 1.15 lakh Indian rupees in that era). It ran the CP/M 2.2 operating system and was powered directly from a mains socket as it had no on-board battery like laptops today.
The Osborne 1 was developed by Adam Osborne and designed by Lee Felsenstein. It was about the size and weight of a sewing machine and was advertised as the only computer that would fit underneath an airline seat! The games on this computer like Hamurabi, were not graphics-based but text-based.
How surprising are these facts? Today, we can pick up a netbook with two fingers and yet it is more powerful than the computer that was built decades ago! Technology can really do wonders!
However it is a shocking fact that the Osborne Corporation went bankrupt in 1983 because they were unable to beat the competition in the computer market.
Today, 37 years later, when the computers and laptops dominate the lifestyles of almost everyone around the world, it’s time to remember those days when computers were just a luxury and rarely seen.
There is one thing that has changed drastically from then, to now. Back then people could survive without checking their computers and other devices – today we find it impossible to do so. Are we advanced then or backward? Food for thought.