Feeds

Naked at 30: Osborne 1 stripped to its chips

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

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Mega-floppies with mini-capacity

If you've been around personal computers for a few decades, you'll remember when floppy disks were, well, floppy. The dual 5.25-inch drives in the Osborne 1 used those flexible, black-sleeved disks, the decendants of earlier 8-inch floppies.

Osborne 1, second version - 5.25-inch floppy drive slot

That oh-so-convenient port below the drive could house extra floppies (click to enlarge)

The original machine accepted only single-density disks with the amazingly miniscule capacity of 92KB. A double-density, factory-installable optional card, however could just about double that capacity, bringing it up to 182KB.

Osborne 1, second version - 5.25-inch floppy drive double-density controller card

Trust me, if you want an Osborne 1, you want this optional double-density card (click to enlarge)

According to Oldcomputers.net, the double-density option allowed the floppy drives to also read disks formatted as Xerox 820 single density (82KB), Cromemco single density (80KB), IBM Personal Computer (156KB in the CP/M-86 format), and DEC VT-180 (171KB).

Here are a few views of the full-height 5.25-inch drives in the Osborne 1:

Osborne 1, second version - 5.25-inch floppy drive, front

The front of the drive (click to enlarge)

Osborne 1, second version - 5.25-inch floppy drive, back

The back (click to enlarge)

Osborne 1, second version - 5.25-inch floppy drive, bottom

The bottom, complete with belt drive (click to enlarge)

Osborne 1, second version - 5.25-inch floppy drive, top

Looking into the drive from the top, with floppy inserted (click to enlarge)

As large as these floppy drives now appear, they were compact when compared to the 8-inch drives in my teardown of an S-100 system that I built oh, so many years ago.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Next page: Video and Power

More from The Register

next story
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode
Frontier cops an epic kicking in its own forums ahead of December revival
Intel's LAME DUCK mobile chips gobbled by CASH COW
Chipzilla won't have money-losing mobe unit to kick about anymore
First in line to order a Nexus 6? AT&T has a BRICK for you
Black Screen of Death plagues early Google-mobe batch
Ford's B-Max: Fiesta-based runaround that goes THUNK
... when you close the slidey doors, that is ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?