Thinking Portability: The Osborne 1 Is 30 Today

It was early 1984. Apple had just released the Macintosh, but IBM (and its partner/stepchild/competitor Microsoft) had jumped into the nascent personal computer market in mid-1981 with the IBM PC. However, the tried-and-true operating system (or tired-and-old, depending on your point of view) of the day was not DOS but CP/M. Somehow I convinced my then husband-to-be that we should not buy a Mac (shiny!) but an Epson CP/M computer that came bundled with Peachtree Software's office suite: word processing, spreadsheet and database. This was years before Microsoft would release Office for the Mac (1989) or Windows (1990). What I didn't know was that what I thought of as "ease of use" was a direct result of the work done for the Osborne 1, a "portable" computer launched 30 years ago today (April 3, 1981). According to Thom Hogan, who had been Osborne's director of software, the Osborne 1 was the first computer that allowed the buyer to "take the box home, unpack it, plug it in, and start using [the] computer."…continue reading →

iPad2 Faces

Friday afternoon, I went to Alderwood Mall to get a gander at the line for the iPad2. Here are some faces (all taken with permission). I was struck by how many people already had an iPad. (When I asked, I was told the old device was being shared with family members or friends.) The folks who were first in line (a bunch of young guys) were from Vancouver BC and had been in line since before 5 am; Apple opened the doors at 5 pm. An Apple employee told me later Friday night (about 8 pm) that half of those in line had been turned away. …continue reading →