Some people have fond memories of their first bike or their first record player; I get that warm nostalgic feeling when I think about our family’s first portable computer. My dad purchased an Osborne 1 when I was only a wee little tike, a big monster of a suitcase box that used some mysterious thing called CP/M to make video games and print words out on its tiny little screen.
It’s funny that some stupid, clunky piece of techno-memorabilia could cause such a torrent of emotions and memories. But you have to admit, it is kind of cute in its antiqueness with a little bubbly screen and extra-spacious keyboard. It makes me wonder, in the day of ATX cases and LCD screens, will kids of this generation share my experience? I’d assume not, but I guess I’m just jealously guarding my unique suitcase-computer.
Maybe Apple has it right: these digital artifacts aren’t just tools, they’re objects that are part of our personal experiences, things we become attached to. I’d much rather bond with a Mac Classic than a vanilla PC. But I guess not everyone is the same.. hell, the second world lasted for quite some time.
Anyway, I’m in mourning today, as Adam Osborne, eccentric engineer and inventor of the portable (luggable) computer passed away at 64.