Feeds

Naked at 30: Osborne 1 stripped to its chips

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

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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.

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Next page: Video and Power

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Xperia Z3: Crikey, Sony – ANOTHER flagship phondleslab?
The Fourth Amendment... and it IS better
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.