Osborne Vixen

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Osborne Vixen
Osborne 'Vixen" Prototype.jpg
DeveloperAdam Osborne
TypePortable computer
Release date1984
Introductory priceUS$1,298 (equivalent to $3,190 in 2019)
Operating systemCP/M, CPM +
CPUZilog Z80 @ 4 MHz
Memory64 KB
ConnectivitySerial port, Parallel port
Mass18 lb (8.2 kg)
PredecessorOsborne Executive
Osborne "Vixen" Enclosure

The Osborne Vixen was a "luggable" portable computer announced by the Osborne Computer Corporation in November 1984, as a follow up to their Osborne 1 and Osborne Executive system.[1]

The Vixen had a 4 MHz Zilog Z80 microprocessor, with 64 KB dynamic random-access memory (DRAM). It had a 7-inch diagonal amber display that could show 24 lines by 80 columns of memory mapped video. It used two 400 KB disk drives, utilizing double-density double-sided 5.25" diskettes. As a luggable, it weighed about 18 pounds. Contemporary advertising pointed out that it could fit under the seat in an airplane, with dimensions of 1258 by 1614 by 614 inches (321 by 413 by 159 mm).

When it was released, the Vixen had a retail price of $1298. Customers also had the option of purchasing an external 10 megabyte hard disk for $1495.

The Vixen used version 2.2 of the CP/M operating system. It was also bundled with a number of software packages: WordStar, the popular word processing package; SuperCalc, a spreadsheet; MBASIC, a programming language; Osboard, a graphics and drawing program; TurnKey, a system utility; MediaMaster, a data interchange program that allowed compatibility with over "200 other computers"; and Desolation, a game.

The Vixen was also known as the Osborne 4. It was developed and released after the bankruptcy of the Osborne corporation. An earlier system also called "Vixen" was never released.[2] Due to technical problems with prototypes and the corporate bankruptcy, by the time the CP/M Vixen was introduced, it had already been made obsolete by MS-DOS IBM PC compatibles.[3] A last ditch effort to design and market a fully IBM PC compatible produced three prototypes, but too late to save the company from bankruptcy.


Program Name Version Published by Program Type
Desolation Game
Osboard Software Graphics
Wordstar 3.3 MicroPro International Application
Supercalc 2 Sorcim Application
MBASIC Microsoft Application
MediaMaster Utility
TurnKey Utility


  1. ^ Peggy Watt, Osborne shows new computer Info World magazine, November 12, 1984, retrieved from Google Books December 16, 2009
  2. ^ John Dvorak, Adam Osborne, Hypergrowth: the rise and fall of Osborne Computer Corporation ,Idthekkethan Pub. Co., 1984 ISBN 0-918347-00-9, page 70
  3. ^ Robert J. Thierauf, A problem-finding approach to effective corporate planning, Greenwood Publishing Group, 1987 ISBN 0-89930-262-9, pages 15–16

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