How about the Osborne 4?

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How about the Osborne 4?

Postby YetiSeti on Sun Sep 12, 2010 3:08 pm

Bit late in the week to be posting about it, but have been ruminating over the Osborne 4 computer for the week.

Buying points for me are that it gives the Commodore SX-64 a run for the money in the looks department if in a side by side display. It would be the SeXy-64 vs the Vixen. (pity this one for auction isn't labelled as such).

The other interesting bit, to regurgitate what's already on the net, being that it was sold post Osborne going bust. The interesting parts to tell about history are often how it ended. How and why models of computers or companies failed are why things are the way they are now and failure along with conflict makes for good drama. Why did the age of Aquarius never dawn ?...
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Re: How about the Osborne 4?

Postby lizardb0y on Sun Sep 12, 2010 3:36 pm

YetiSeti wrote:Why did the age of Aquarius never dawn ?...

Because the Aquarius was rubbish. Released in 1983 it had graphics that only the ZX81 would envy, sound and keyboard to rival the original Spectrum and under 2Kb of usable RAM in BASIC.
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Re: How about the Osborne 4?

Postby tezza on Sun Sep 12, 2010 4:42 pm

lizardb0y wrote:
YetiSeti wrote:Why did the age of Aquarius never dawn ?...

Because the Aquarius was rubbish. Released in 1983 it had graphics that only the ZX81 would envy, sound and keyboard to rival the original Spectrum and under 2Kb of usable RAM in BASIC.


LOL!!

Yes, I saw that Osborne 4. I have to admit, if I wasn't so pressed for room and self-limit anything I buy to what I regard as "classic" computers, I'd be interested too. It does represent a bit of history and looks in good shape externally.
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Re: How about the Osborne 4?

Postby YetiSeti on Sun Sep 12, 2010 8:18 pm

lizardb0y wrote:Because the Aquarius was rubbish. Released in 1983 it had graphics that only the ZX81 would envy, sound and keyboard to rival the original Spectrum and under 2Kb of usable RAM in BASIC.

Harsh. Spoken like a true computer - calculating and without feeling, and choosing function over form.

Last I checked, chiclet keyboards (on laptops and Macs) seem to be coming back into fashion.

You sir have no appreciation for aesthetics.

*runs for it*
Last edited by YetiSeti on Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How about the Osborne 4?

Postby YetiSeti on Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:40 pm

Of course another thing about the Osborne 4 is that it's a oncer machine and there probably aren't many in the country and it's even less likely to see another on trademe. If not bought now you're probably not going to have one in the collection otherwise and I see there's a mere handful listed in the woozgotwat section of old-computers which I like to have a nose in from time to time (when I can tolerate the speed of the site)

My only machine in this category of rarity is my Panasonic JR-100U, which on the functional scale makes the Aquarius look like a Pentium. Must be something to do with having bright blue keys.
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Re: How about the Osborne 4?

Postby tezza on Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:57 pm

YetiSeti wrote:Of course another thing about the Osborne 4 is that it's a oncer machine and there probably aren't many in the country and it's even less likely to see another on trademe. If not bought now you're probably not going to have one in the collection otherwise and I see there's a mere handful listed in the woozgotwat section of old-computers which I like to have a nose in from time to time (when I can tolerate the speed of the site).


You bring up an interesting discussion point though Clinton. Given we all have limited budgets and storage space and can't collect EVERYTHING (although some do), what are the best models to collect?

For me, I actively collect what I regard as classics, i.e. computers that were publicised well, made a mark (sometimes for the wrong reasons) and had general "visibility". These are the machines people will remember and that's what I'd like show off, exibit and talk about at some stage. The models I have (and seek) are ones the gerneral public might have heard about, or seen when they were young. There is a definite nostalgia element to my collection. That's not to say I refuse oddball models if given to me...they may appear in the collection too. It's just I don't seek them (or pay money for them).

On the other hand, as a COLLECTOR myself the kind of computers I'D like to see ARE INDEED the oddball rare-types like the Vixen. If I was going to a show, I wouldn't want to see the common ones. I would want to see the weird and wonderful. To the general public though, there is zero nostalgia value, they probably had zero impact and so they are unlikely to be interested. Not unless you could spin a wider story. That's why these also-ran machines usually go for a song.

I hope someone does preserve these not-so-common ones. They are getting rare. If I had the space, time and money I would do it but all three are in short supply. The line must be drawn somewhere.
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Re: How about the Osborne 4?

Postby YetiSeti on Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:40 pm

okay, I feel like you were pressuring me to bid, so I have :?

I was inspired by the idea for another display called "The Osbornes". It's lacking substance at the moment though other than displaying a few Osborne computers. If there were enough different models to equal the number of people in the noted family, all the better. I'm not sure who'd get to be the Vixen.

tezza wrote:On the other hand, as a COLLECTOR myself the kind of computers I'D like to see ARE INDEED the oddball rare-types like the Vixen. If I was going to a show, I wouldn't want to see the common ones. I would want to see the weird and wonderful. To the general public though, there is zero nostalgia value, they probably had zero impact and so they are unlikely to be interested. Not unless you could spin a wider story. That's why these also-ran machines usually go for a song.

Yes, a whole generation is growing up now with a PC just looking like a PC and are missing out on the wonders of the variegated designs. These old computers were designed with a differentiating aesthetic in mind and for myself growing up in the 80s personal computing era this definitely had an effect on how I identified with the computers.

Old computers with the gnarly designs are now sufficiently old enough not to be seen or known by younger people and in a kind of reverse anachronistic way, look futuristic and at home in any tacky sci-fi comedy (I have some script ideas for this).

These computers also lend themselves to many ideas for artistic displays and arrangements which I think could provide a raison d'etre for a museum in itself. But yes, money can be short in extent in this space-time-money continuum.
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Re: How about the Osborne 4?

Postby tezza on Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:15 pm

Clinton,

Congratulations. Let us know what you think of the machine when it turns up! Hopefully it takes a fairly standard power cord like the Osborne 1 does.
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Re: How about the Osborne 4?

Postby YetiSeti on Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:43 pm

tezza wrote:Clinton,

Congratulations. Let us know what you think of the machine when it turns up! Hopefully it takes a fairly standard power cord like the Osborne 1 does.

Thanks. I was thinking it would be the standard cord too. There's no info on the net explaining the two labels, whether it timing or markets of release. It might be a question for vintage-computers.

Shouldn't complain that it is not 'Vixen' labelled. It was probably by divine arrangement seeing I'm told it was used for doing church accounts.
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Re: How about the Osborne 4?

Postby tezza on Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:13 pm

Now there is a weird coincidence. My Osborne 1 used to be owned by a Vicar. I even found a 1/2 written sermon on one of the disk.

I'm afraid divine utilisation didn't stop it blowing a filter cap when I first turned it on though :)
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