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The Osborne 1 Portable Computer

Manufacturer Osborne Computer Corporation
Model Osborne 1
Date Announced 1981
Date Canceled 1983 (with the dissolution of the company)
Number Produced Tens of thousands
Country of Origin USA
Price $1,800
Current Value $5-$200
Processor Zilog Z80A
Speed 4 MHz
ROM Unknown
Storage 2 built-in 5.25" floppy drives
Expansion None
Bus N/A
Video Built-in 52x24 black and white display
I/O Parallel, Serial
OS Options CP/M
Notes Adam Osborne invented the concept of software bundling when he introduced the Osborne 1. It came packaged with WordStar for word processing, SuperCalc for spreadsheet and BASIC along with the CP/M operating system.
Related Items in Collection Manuals, some software, Osborne 1a, Kaypro 2x
Related Items Wanted Original software, keyboard overlays/templates, battery pack, monitor terminator.

In 1980 Adam Osborne designed a portable computer based around the prevalent technology of the time: CP/M running on a Z80 microprocessor. His machine, introduced in 1981, was about the size of a small suitcase and was shaped to fit under an airline seat. Contained within this case were two 5.25 inch floppy drives and a small 52 character display. The computer was marketed "ready-to-go" and included several popular applications in its purchase price.

Osborne successfully marketed the Osborne 1 but mistimed the introduction of their next generation machine. The Osborne Executive was introduced well before its design had been completed and the introduction dried up the market for the still viable Osborne 1. By the time the Executive was released, Osborne was unable to recover and eventually folded.

This Osborne 1 in my collection is one of the early units in a brown case. It's a bit dinged up and still has a ComputerLand tag on the keyboard. It came with most of its original software and some of the original manuals and it still works very well.

(Submitted August 6, 2012 03:48:14 by Micheo76)

Hola. Tengo un portatil Osborne 1 con todos los manuales y soft originales, estoy interesado en venderlo por ebay ¿Que precio creen que podría alcanzar? Si alguien esta interesado en comprarlo contacten en Escribo desde España

(Submitted February 11, 2012 01:13:19 by Michael)

I am looking for someone to repair an old Osborne computer to see if they can get it to operate. Does anyone know of someone who does this sort of work?

(Submitted June 5, 2011 19:38:41 by Rebeccah Quevedo-Prastein)

I have an Osborne 1 that has been in storage for many years. It needs a thorough cleaning, and I don't know whether or not it still runs. My recollection is that I switched to an Osborne Executive because it had a modem, but that the Osborne 1 worked fine. The Executive, on the other hand, gave me disk errors often. However, I also remember that one of them sat in storage with floppy disks in both drives and the disks got warped from heat and had to be pried out. So the drives may not be any good - I don't remember which Osborne that was. Both machines were hand-me-downs from my father.

I may still have a couple of 5 1/4 floppy disks, but I doubt they are still any good.

I have a couple of photos and can take more if desired.

I'm located in Orange County, California. e-mail or call 510-384-7008 if interested.


(Submitted April 20, 2011 08:50:44 by Ernie Roberts)

I found a OSBORNE 1 computer in exellent condition complete with all manuals and programs also fifteen packs of 10 extra disc un opened.

Should I hang on to it as a relic, or get rid of it.

(Submitted October 8, 2010 20:33:48 by Wil)

I have an Executive and am interested in locating a series one. I have managed to aquire some software, but am interested in obtaining more. Drop me a note if you are interested in selling or trading.

(Submitted October 5, 2010 05:56:22 by Em)

Here is a free one on Craigslist, im sure they will ship if you ask... dont know too much about it tho! ml

(Submitted September 14, 2010 01:52:15 by Toby)

Hi guys I have a Osborne 1 luggage laptop from the 1980's anyone interested in buying it just email me at or It is in a very good condition, still running and with manuals and software. Note I am in the Philippines so for international buyers you should handle the shipment fee. If you want to see photos just email me and post your offers. Good investment it may increase its value because in a short time it will become antique or vintage.

(Submitted August 17, 2010 23:20:32 by morgen)

Hi, I have an Osborne 1 (second release with datacom modem) up for grabs if anyone is intrested. It was my father's and I don't know the history, but have had it looked at by my local computer store. They say that it powers up okay but the screen works only intermittently. Faulty video chip? I also have the original manual to go with it, but no extra discs. I'm in Australia (5152) and will ship... the box will weigh around 20kg.

I'm unsure of it's worth but saw a couple on ebay a while ago going for a few hundred. No-one seems to mention prices in this thread.

If you can give me an idea of their value, I'd be grateful. And of course if you have an offer, I'm all ears (eyes).

Cheers, Morgen.

(Submitted August 14, 2010 08:49:33 by Brent Thayne)

I am also interested in buying software for the osborne executive. I can also pay with paypall. I have looked all over with no luck

(Submitted January 19, 2010 21:18:31 by Benjamin )

I just purchased an Osborne 1 and am interested in buying software. If anyone has any for sale, please let me know. I can pay via paypal. Thank you!

(Submitted October 31, 2009 15:17:05 by Glenn Borchardt)

I have two Osborne 1 computers plus one amber screen monitor for sale. Both have boxer fans, which were needed to keep these things running without disk drive errors.

(Submitted August 28, 2009 17:55:27 by jeremy)

i have a fully functional osborne executive v1.2 copy write 1983 that i am looking to sale this includes many disks all manuals and extra cables and what looks like a phone jack adaptor i am located in iowa,usa if you are interested email me at with your offer and ill send you pics thanks

(Submitted July 24, 2009 12:14:09 by (a href=mailto:)Jonathan(/a))

I am looking for a working Osborne. Please contact me here with your pricing: jface AT google DOT com

(Submitted June 2, 2009 04:44:32 by Cristian)

I would like to buy an Osborne-1.Any offers?(europe only).Thank you

(Submitted April 28, 2009 08:29:17 by (a href=mailto:)Mortar(/a))

Back when I was a workstudy in college, I had the priveledge of taking an Osborne 1 home on weekends. Being the department's geek, I'm sure, didn't hurt either.

(Submitted April 16, 2009 15:15:00 by Tim)

I have an Osborne 1 in very good condition that I would like to sell......any offers? I have pictures of it to show.

Email me at

(Submitted March 2, 2009 03:06:20 by John Bagnall)

I have a fully working Osborne 1 with all standard software, manuals, spare disks etc plus an external monitor. Also a C compiler. Is anyone interested? (UK only)

(Submitted February 26, 2009 20:55:12 by Joan Carles)

Wow, what a collection. In particular the Osborne 1 reminds me of the old times when I started learning Pascal, among other jewels there was an Osborne 1 that I found pretty cool.

Nice museum you got at home. Congrats!

(Submitted February 2, 2009 11:44:14 by Simona)

I would like to buy an Osborn 1, any offers?

(Submitted October 22, 2008 13:00:42 by Ed)

My Osborne 1 is for sale on eBay.

The item number is 310094054784.

Included items: all the original software, the Osborne 1 Users Reference Guide, several user magazines from the 1980's, and my Epson RX-80 dot matrix printer.

(Submitted September 12, 2008 08:05:33 by overpsp)

I´m looking for this pc for to buy.. Contact me urgent

(Submitted August 28, 2008 19:42:01 by Catrina)

I am selling a WORKING Osborne Computer with all Original Material on ebay...please take a look ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&item=320292382 573

(Submitted July 9, 2008 09:40:20 by robin)

I sell ny old osborne 1 with full features and antique printer with a wheel. see search in the heather for osborne and you wil find details - netherland

(Submitted May 4, 2008 01:34:21 by Graham Stoddart-Stones)

Osborne 1 with all disks, modem, portable battery, for sale. In full working order. Any offers, please?

(Submitted March 8, 2008 17:18:17 by Eric)

Hi, I have 3 Osborne 1 Laptops, One has a workong modem, 1 works no modem, one is for parts, boots up but I get a disk error. I also have numerous FOGHORN newsletters, the official newsletter of the First Osborne Group and the Original Manual. All for sale if you want them Thanks Eric

(Submitted December 3, 2007 09:20:03 by White Star)

We have an Osborne1 computer with keyboard, intact in appearance, missing one key from keyboard. If someone wants to buy it, email to inquire. Cheers!

(Submitted November 4, 2007 05:02:55 by J.A)

were doing a project so if you have any info on the osborne 1 can you email me it

thanks:J.A =:0)

(Submitted August 29, 2007 10:26:42 by Patrick Bradley)

I would like to purchase an Osborne 1 computer in good working order

thank you

please reply to my email address

(Submitted August 30, 2007 07:27:26 by Peggy)

I have the complete original library with updates, manuals, newsletters, disks etc. My dad was the librarian for Osbourne (or one of them?) Please contact me via email if interested.

(Submitted July 7, 2007 19:59:12 by Laura)

can someone tell me who I can see to get the info from my 5 1/2 double density disk onto a dvd? Much Gratitude

(Submitted June 20, 2007 13:35:41 by Peter)

Hi, I'm looking for keyboard panel (doesn't need to be working) for Osborne 1 (alternatively the complete unit - doesn't need to work - just need the complete casing).

I'm also interested in the complete casing for Osborne 1 Executive model OCC-2.

I can offer my Osborne 1 internal parts. Don't know if it's working...

(Submitted June 13, 2007 20:40:30 by brian nipper)

I have a osbourne portable computer (original owner). I can provide pictures if needed. Has orginal os. If any one is interested please contact me at my email address. Thanks

(Submitted May 5, 2007 21:10:05 by Lucille Owens)

I have an Osborne I computer that is in excellent condition--at least it was when last booted up. Plus there is the complete package including manual, all 4 original discs, original DBase II manual/discs and upgrades and 6 tutor disc. Also there are about 60 discs with miscellaneous stuff including Basic programs, utilities, financial programs, games, etc. Yes, a modem is installed.

Will sell the complete package at best price offered and received by September 30th. The Osborne weighs 27 pounds and additional items with packing should be less than 50 pounds. Machine and all items will be sent FedEx C.O.D, including packing and shipping cost.

Contact me at (805) 964-4046 or email with your offer between today, May 5 and June 10, or after June 27th to September 30. I will advise as to ongoing offers to final date. This is a premium buy.

(Submitted March 23, 2007 05:44:35 by Paul Adriaenssens)

I have an Osborne 1 that's been inactive for many years. When switched on it displays a flickering startup screen and can't be booted. Can this be remedied?

(Submitted March 19, 2007 08:30:26 by steve)

I have a mint condition Osborne Executive with all software and documentation that needs a new home. Any reasonable offer accepted.

(Submitted March 11, 2007 13:35:40 by xfdsg)

can anyone tell me where to find one?

(Submitted March 2, 2007 11:42:34 by Mr. lewis)

Hi, can anyone tell me what was the actuak :Weight: of the Portable Osaborne 1 was?? Thanks . Best Regards. Lewis.

(Submitted March 1, 2007 10:08:38 by (a

I have two osbornes(second variation) and i love them, they are the best portable 80's computers. (or in the top 3)

(Submitted February 16, 2007 14:09:33 by Jeff )

I have an Osborne 1, it boots up and works with the Wordstar package, it is in its original box and has remained so since 1987, it has original discs (some might be corrupted but a computer efficianado should be able to do something), it has the manual and I am looking to sell it. It is currently listed on Ebay. Any offers.

(Submitted October 27, 2006 17:24:47 by weirdal68)

FYI there was a modem that fit into the lower left 1/2 height drive bay and terminated in a db9 connector. The model number on mine is CTS corporation model 103JCTSOSB1 FEB 83.

(Submitted August 10, 2006 22:58:59 by carrie bertolino)

i have an osborne computer with all its parts email me for an offer thanks carrie

(Submitted April 2, 2006 18:10:01 by Randy)

also looking for an altair and a duumb terminal so I dont use up all my paper in a day on my ASR mod 28 for RTTY TNX ps maybe able to get things to Sacramento valley

(Submitted April 2, 2006 18:08:10 by Randy)

also looking for an altair and a duumb terminal so I dont use up all my paper in a day on my ASR mod 28 for RTTY TNX

(Submitted March 28, 2006 21:00:25 by Terry Maiden)

I have a Osborne 1 but the video tube has gone bad. Anyone know where I might get a new video (CRT) tube? Thanks.

(Submitted February 19, 2006 17:32:58 by Seppo Ranta-aho)

I´m looking for a floppy drive for my original Osborne One. I cannot find any parts to the broken drive.

Nothing but Data Processing since 1953

(Submitted January 31, 2006 06:59:51 by Ira Knight)

I was going through my basement the other day and I found my old computer…

Osborne Executive in nearly mint condition. It has seen little use, and has done little but collect dust for the last 20 years. It was purchased new in 1983 by Citicorp, and came into my possession in early 1984 due to a major upgrade in Citicorp’s IBM user interface. -All operating disks -All manuals that originally came with the machine -An external modem -An external printer (daisy wheel)

I’m looking to sell for around $1,500 including all the peripherals. If you have further questions please e-mail me at

(Submitted January 5, 2006 09:43:59 by Kenneth Knight)

The Osborn 1a computer had three standard Input/Output ports on the front. By running setup, you could configure the CP/M DOS to support what three types of printer I/O?

(Submitted September 20, 2005 09:22:45 by Neil)

I worked for a company during the summer of '83 or '84 that used these machines to print amortization reports for banks. The banks didn't have the capability in-house, and my boss wrote a custom program to print them. We also used Execs - man was that an upgrade! Double the storage on the disks - each one held up to 360k plus a larger screen. It was sweet - for 1983/4!

(Submitted June 15, 2005 06:45:35 by K. Venkataramanan)

I would like to get boot disc for the Osborne 1. Is any one able to copy it for me? Venkat

(Submitted June 15, 2005 06:43:33 by K. Venkataramanan)

I would like to get boot disc for the Osborne 1. Is any one able to copy it for me? Venkat

(Submitted May 30, 2005 16:40:04 by William)

Have an Osborne Executive portable with all the original programs, instructions, etc. in very good condition. Any one have any idea as to it's value?

(Submitted May 6, 2005 01:22:54 by Javier)

It´s posible plug in this computer in a 220V

(Submitted April 21, 2005 01:49:21 by J. Velner)

Dear computer enthusiasts,

In the 80's a learned my first computer stuff on a Osborne Variant 1, The desktop, 2 x 5.25, CP/M computer. Wordstar was my first application to use realy for my school projects.

I still have the machine, the software and the some of the documentation. If anyone is interested please let me know.

J. Velner

(Submitted April 10, 2005 20:30:29 by M ODonnell)

I should note that my email address is lucid+vintage-computer (at) (which is a %100 legitimate, valid email address - consult RFC822 and friends if you don't believe me) but I see that this WWW site doesn't obfuscate email addresses (spammers love that!) so I'm glad it got garbled in my previous posting...


(Submitted April 10, 2005 20:17:41 by M ODonnell)

I had an Obsorne-1 and sold it some time ago, but still have approx 100 floppies with all kinds of stuff on them that I now cannot access because I have no machine that can read that floppy format. Is there some way to transfer that data to some more modern media?

(Submitted April 4, 2005 23:50:16 by Jon)

I'm looking for software. I just got an old system one working. CP/M and Basic would be nice, but any copy of any thing...

(Submitted October 26, 2004 14:01:46 by Bill)

Dr. Osborne's obit in NYT. BO.html? ex=1098936000&en=5fd0d309bf92a56f&ei=5070&oref=lo gin

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