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The first laptop

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– This was a quantum leap: Laptop celebrates 30th anniversary

Osborne 1 came on the market in 1981 and was the first popular laptop. Notice how smal the screen is! Photo: Norwegian Museum

Adam Osbourne Photo: Tony Bove

Today we can hardly imagine life without having an mobile in your pocket, but it is only 30 years since the first laptop computer was invented. Osborne 1 was the name of the first portable computer that was a commercial success. The revolutionary invention was launched in April 1981 by Osborne Computer Corporation, but it was a pretty heavy innovation the world saw. The computer weighed almost 11 pounds and was equipped with a hard plastic case so you could take it with him on the plane.

The man behind the Osborne 1 Adam Osborne was also present at the launch, Norway. He was a very skilled computer journalist with great technical skill who had highlighted the need to carry a tool that he could write when he was traveling. The market for the Osborne 1 was first and foremost business people who travel as an important part of the job. Osborne 1 was a success with business people on the go. The Osborne 1 cost more than £ 15,000.

Notice the small screen

The machine was equipped with two floppy disks . This was before the hard drive’s time, so people used the one station to the operating system and the other for software. The software was available early editions of Word and worksheets.

Osborne 1 had no batteries, it was dependent on electricity for functioning. The screen of the first portable computer was not as we know them today. The screen was very small and not flat so we are used to today. The graphics were far from the same as we see thirty years later.

Computer lap are common today. The first laptops were perhaps not entirely appropriate to have on your thighs when they weighed over 10 pounds. At the most, were produced 10,000 machines each month. Osborne was produced and marketed in large quantities worldwide.

IBM laptop from 1984. Photo: Digital Museum

Although Osborne 1 was popular, the company went bankrupt Adam Osborne shortly. The machine was quickly ousted by the IMB, which came with a PC for half a year later.

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I often think about how amazing it actually is that we can call with a phone without a cord, and compute without cables. We can instantly text message on both phone and computer, we can make video calls and see the one we are talking to even if the person is on the other side of the globe. We can show people we care in an blink of an eye. And that we actually can compute at all! It really is fantastic! Think about in the old days when there were no phone, no computer or no email. Then people had to walk or travel by horse in any weather many miles and long distances and hours just to leave a message, or say hallo even. But now we have those fantastic things to help us. Mostly one only take such for granted right? Well, I don’t, I think of it rather often. I lived back then when the phone was big clumbsy and grey and had that round thingy you put your finger in it and moved it around to dial the phone number. It was plugged to the wall and you could not bring it with you. You had to plan your calles and could only do it at home, from work or from a phone boot, and now we are able to both call and compute wireless. I think people should think about this a little more often, and be more careful with their toys. And be more grateful. We live in a time when we are blessed with having things that help us keep in touch with friends long distance. It also make me think of how sad it is that some people use these wonderful things to abuse other people. This is a wonderful item that should be used to make people happy, not to abuse others.


Author: Annelie

I like canoeing, photographing, friends, movies, food, humor, and going on trips. I dislike rudeness, dishonesty, violence, nastyness, and people not caring for others. I do not drink much, I do not smoke and I do not do drugs. I love friends who are kind to me and stick with me. If you want to give me a gift, the best gift is to stop smoking and stop using fragranced products. Then you give me health and that dear friend, is the best gift a person can get. It is a gift of love. I got asthma and I am hearing disabled.

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