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Shall. We. Play. A. Game?


I was going to post tonight about how I made my first strawberry jam, but I didn’t make strawberry jam. I made a big smelly bowl of angry black napalm. Mmmm! So, seeing how much fun everybody was having geekin’ out, I dared Uncle B to dig out his old Osborne 1 and see if we could kick it back to life.

Remember the Osborne? It was the first sort-of portable computer. They called it a “luggable.” I saw my first at the very same 1985 computer fair where I bought that copy of Hack. I thought it was the most unbelievably mindblowingly cool thing ever.

All packed up, it was about the size and weight of a typical Singer sewing machine. Lay it on its side, the bottom came off and became the keyboard. There was a tiny green monitor in the middle, like an oscilloscope. There were buttons and knobs (buttons! and knobs!) and 5¼” floppy drives (Uncle B was rich enough to buy the dual-floppy model, but not rich enough for dual-sided drives. The operating system was on one floppy and the program on another). Oh, it was very. So very.

Uncle B had TWO. That’s right, beyotches; that’s how cool he was. He doesn’t know where the other one got to, but we’ve been lugging this one around from place to place. So I made a high-pitched keening noise until he let me plug it in and switch it on (I did so well with the strawberry jam experiment, why not?)

Did it boot? No, of course not. He doesn’t know where the OS floppy is (though you can bet he’s got it somewhere). But it woke up and it by-god TRIED to boot.

Anybody know where we can get a single-sided 5¼” copy of CP/M?


June 25, 2009 — 7:51 pm
Comments: 19