Computer Closet Collection

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Osborne Executive

See below for specifications and information on this system.

Specifications and information

Introduced: 1982
Original Price: $2495
CPU: Zilog Z-80A, 4 MHz
Memory: 64K
Operating System: CP/M
Display: 80 characters by 24 lines, text only
Input/Output: Built-in 7" amber monochrome monitor and detachable keyboard; Serial port, IEEE parallel port
Weight: 28 3/4 lbs
Bus: N/A
Other Items in Collection: Documentation, software
Needed: None

The Executive was Osborne's follow-on to the hugely successful Osborne 1 portable computer. It was a well-thought-out evolutionary design, with a larger, amber monitor and half-height floppy disk drives in a case exactly the same size as the Osborne 1.

Some critics didn't think the Executive's screen was large enough. The Osborne 1 had a 5" screen, and the Executive increased that to 7". Osborne's chief competitor, the Kaypro II, had a 9" display. The irascible Adam Osborne claimed that their research showed that people actually preferred 7" screens. Peter McWilliams said in a 1982 review of the Executive, "Maybe a 9-inch screen would be like admitting, 'I've been wrong all this time after all.'"

Screen size aside, the IBM PC had already begun to dominate the personal computer standards, and Osborne was worried. They quickly followed the Executive with an announcement of an IBM PC-compatible portable to be called the Vixen. The Vixen announcement torpedoed sales of existing models, and few Executives were sold. This left Osborne with little capital to continue the Vixen project, and only a tiny handful of Vixens were produced before Osborne filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in September of 1983.

This particular Executive has been maintained in perfect condition in its original shipping box with all accompanying documentation and software.

With the case closed, you can tell an Executive from an Osborne 1 by the Executive's rear cooling fan mounted under the carrying strap (this was another improvement on the Osborne 1 design, which was known to overheat).

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Last modified: April 17, 2003