Selling the Osborne 1
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"Portable as a suitcase full of bricks", people said at the time. The luggability wasn't an issue for my father and me (it never moved once from where we first installed it); what sold it for us was the software bundle, which was unique.
The tiny screen gave us pause. The salesman pointed out that text was the same size and legibility as newsprint: all the same, we splashed out on a whopping 9" green monitor. When that died, we never bothered replacing it. It was the easiest computer to maintain I've ever had: if I recall correctly, there were no software updates in nearly ten years use!
Eventually, of course, clients started asking for Windows-compatible files: we decided with some regret to retire the Osborne and buy an IBM PS/1, as I recall, running Windows 3.1.
(And that, gentle readers, was where our troubles began...)
I'm enjoying picturing an alternate past
where the Starbucks coffee-house blight happened ten years earlier and every table was occupied by someone sporting an Osborne
Oh Tony, you should have done more research on The Osborne Effect. There is a rather unique article in the archives of El Reg that debunks the so-called Osborne Effect. Incidentally, that article quotes ME extensively, I ran a major Osborne repair site.