Feeds

Naked at 30: Osborne 1 stripped to its chips

He ain't heavy. He's my TV typewriter

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Tiny CRT, enormous floppies

Before we crack the case, let's instead lift the latched door on the back of the Osborne 1 and see what it conceals:

Osborne 1, second version - fuses and on-off switch

Behind the Osborne 1's hinged back door lurks the AC plug, fuses, and on/off switch (click to enlarge)

The answer: not much. There is, however, a tiny bit of nostalgia: an on/off switch that actually says "On" and "Off" in addition to the now-familiar one and zero icons.

Five Phillips screws – two recessed deeply enough to require a six-inch screwdriver – hold the case together. Once I found the right screwdriver and removed them, and unscrewed the panel that held the on/off swith et al., the case came apart easily.

Osborne 1, second version - inside, front

Those full-height floppy drives dwarf the five-inch CRT (click to enlarge)

The cage in which all of the second-generation Osborne 1's electronic goodness resides is an open-frame design. The original Osborne 1 had a cage with closed sides.

You'll notice that once I removed the cage from inside the Osborne 1's plastic case, it sags in the middle – that CRT may be small, but it, its power supply, and its associated electronics are heavy enough to cause the cage to sag.

Osborne 1, second version - inside, back

The floppy drives' ribbon cable dominates the rear view of the component cage (click to enlarge)

In the front view of the cage, you'll notice heavy shielding foil covering the top of the CRT module. In the rear view, I've peeled that foil to one side so that you can catch a glimpse of the CRT assembly – you'll see more photos of that area on a following page.

Osborne 1, second version - full-travel keys

Full-travel keys have long disappeared from portables – and from most keyboards, for that matter (click to enlarge)

The keyboard case comes apart with the removal of four screws, and freeing the keyboard itself involves four more. The 69-key keyboard was manufactured by Oak Switch Systems (part number 5-64951-022), and the full-travel membrane keys themselves are a blessed throwback to the days when computer keyboards felt more like electric-typewriter keyboards than do the Chiclet-like nubbins on, say, my MacBook Air.

In the image above, notice the little white square on the keyboard base, just right of center. Here's a close-up:

Osborne 1, second version - keyboard calendar

But what month are we talking about? (click to enlarge)

Another square (not shown) gives the year of manufacture. This one apparently has something to do with the day of the month of manufacture. If any Reg reader can offer more info on this detail, I'd love to hear it.

Osborne 1, second version - keyboard cable

There's plenty of room inside the keyboard's case – and inside the Osborne 1 in general (click to enlarge)

The enormous amount of free space inside the keyboard case allowed for the ribbon cables that carried keystroke info to the black keyboard cable (it starts coiling off-camera) to arc gracefully with no crimping to worry about.

Application security programs and practises

Next page: Port authorities

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.