This past weekend, I posted a note about the 30th anniversary of the introduction of the first commercial portable computer, the Osborne 1. The Technologizer site has a longer article that gives more background on the machine, and on its developer, Adam Osborne. Compared to other machines of its day, one thing that distinguished the Osborne 1 was that it included a bundle of software that enabled a new purchaser to be productive without any further expense. It also mentions the machine’s rather clunky esthetics:
The Osborne 1 was widely mocked as ungainly from the moment it was announced. TIME, in a June 1983 story on the machine and its growing army of imitators, called its “graceless” design “a cross between a World War II field radio and a shrunken instrument panel of a DC-3.”
That contemporary story in TIME (linked in the quote above) is interesting, too.
The Technologizer article also has reproductions of some of the original advertising for the machine. It’s an interesting look back at the very early days of the personal computer.