Osborne Vixen

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Osborne Vixen
Osborne 'Vixen" Prototype.jpg
DeveloperAdam Osborne
Typeportable computer
Release date1984
Introductory priceUS$1,498
Operating systemCP/M, CPM +
CPUZilog Z80 @ 4.0MHZ
Memory64KB
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 12​58 by 16​14 by 6​14 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 a 10 megabyte hard disk for $1498.

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.

Software[edit]

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

References[edit]

  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

External links[edit]