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Osborne 1 vs. IPad 2

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the there-actually-is-only-one dept.

Apple 249

On Saturday we ran a story about the 30th Anniversary of the Osborne Computer, and today we have an amusing head-to-head: Osborne 1 vs the iPad 2. StormDriver starts: "At first, they seem to belong in completely different weight categories. Osborne 1 is just under 11 kg, enough to pull your arm out of the socket, if you're a skinny geek. That's roughly 20 times more than an iPad, or about the same as whole suitcase of them But what about the processing power? Osbourne 1 was sporting a Z80 CPU, running at a stunning frequency of 4.0 MHz. You cannot compare the different architectures directly, but iPad's CPU is a dual core A5, clocked at up to 1 GHz. That's approximately three hundred times more, not counting in the vastly superior architecture. Z80 CPU was supported by whooping 64KB of system memory. Surprisingly, it was enough to run databases, word processors and complex, professional software. Today's iPad is equipped with 512MB of RAM (roughly one thousand times more), and some reviewers complain it's a bit on the low side."

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249 comments

Old stuff improves. (4, Funny)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720350)

Next articles to include:
Rubber tires vs wooden.
Model T vs 2011 Kia.
LEDs vs Candles.

Re:Old stuff improves. (4, Funny)

vawwyakr (1992390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720396)

2011 Kia? How much of an improvement is that really over the Model T?

Re:Old stuff improves. (4, Funny)

tnk1 (899206) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720428)

2011 Kia? How much of an improvement is that really over the Model T?

More colors.

Re:Old stuff improves. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720496)

I wanna see the Model T vs 2011 Kia Rio offroad challenge!!

Re:Old stuff improves. (2)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720860)

I wanna see the Model T vs 2011 Kia Rio offroad challenge!!

I'm sure "Top Gear" will get around to it soon.

Re:Old stuff improves. (0)

ciderbrew (1860166) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720554)

2011 Kia? How much of an improvement is that really over the Model T?

More colors.

I read Model T800 Vs T-X, thinking the Kai was actress's name.

Re:Old stuff improves. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720608)

Come on, you could get the model T in any color you wanted*, while the Kia only comes in a choice of 8!

*as long as you want black

Re:Old stuff improves. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720958)

no way, I don't want a car with 8 colours!

Re:Old stuff improves. (1)

ThePromenader (878501) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720712)

My favourite colour is black - so I should be driving a model T? Imagine flying down the highway at 22km/h...

Re:Old stuff improves. (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35721138)

My favourite colour is black - so I should be driving a model T? Imagine flying down the highway at 22km/h...

Sorry, no such luck... Model T's only fly in MPH.

Re:Old stuff improves. (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720472)

Well, look at the order:
Rubber tires vs wooden.
Model T vs 2011 Kia.
LEDs vs Candles.

I just assumed that the Model T was considered the obviously better one.

Re:Old stuff improves. (1)

vawwyakr (1992390) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720540)

Ohhhh good point, hadn't noticed that, thanks for the clarification.

from a UI perspective, everything (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720612)

Just how much of an improvement is a keyboard, mouse, and display over Hollerith Cards?

The transmission involved multiple foot pedals and a lever. The throttle on the model T is also a lever.

Re:from a UI perspective, everything (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720882)

Just how much of an improvement is a keyboard, mouse, and display over Hollerith Cards?

The Osborne came with a keyboard . . .

Re:Old stuff improves. (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720644)

From a raw performance point of view, the iPad vs Osborne comparison would be more like Bugatti Veyron vs 1870 Strassenwagen.

Re:Old stuff improves. (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#35721166)

Kias aren't bad cars. I've hear good tings about the Koup. It would be a really awesome-looking car if it had the dimensions of an '80s sports car rather than being a modern monstrosity.

Re:Old stuff improves. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720730)

Wrong. None of those products are in Apple's product line. I love apple, I hate their ability to infuse all media with advertisements for their products. Gets old.

Re; Osbourne vs Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720812)

That is some Crazy Train of a list you have there. At 11 kg, you'd have to be a real Iron Man to lift the old tablet. What about the safety of the Apple battery? If it catches fire, you could have an Electric Funeral without having the opportunity to tell your family, See You On the Other Side.

Now compare (3, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720356)

The size of say, the spreadsheet program's binary files on both machines and ask yourself exactly how many of those "features" you actually use.

Re:Now compare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720498)

Now get fifty people and sum up their feature needs. 80% of users might only use 20% of features individually, but if the 20% don't overlap well, you simply need to implement all the features.

However I bet using VisiCalc (or other early 80s spreadsheets) was more efficient in many ways than today. No, no formatting the font/spacing/colour/borders for you.

Then again ... no, no pivot tables, filters, ...

Re:Now compare (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720558)

All of them. And I even write extra functions; "features".

No all of us use spreadsheets to compile lists.

The best one I wrote pulled data points from a remote power station and calculated the creep life of the boiler headers.

My old Spectrum 48k ran a spreadsheet. Tell me I could have used that to calculate creep life.

Re:Now compare (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720704)

Wouldn't something like R be better suited to that kind of data analysis?

Re:Now compare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720978)

The golden rule of desktop computing:
All programs start out as VBA macros in excel.

It follows:
All VBA macros in excel would perform much better if a domain specific language is used.
The tradeoff is development time vs performance, so for the average Joe they remain VBA macros in excel.

Re:Now compare (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35721158)

Wouldn't something like R be better suited to that kind of data analysis?

What does he look like, a filthy Pirate?

Re:Now compare (2)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720668)

The size of say, the spreadsheet program's binary files on both machines and ask yourself exactly how many of those "features" you actually use.

The average "geek" can not realistically answer this question for the "average" business user. The facts are (good or bad) that most businesses of any significant size use Excel spreadsheets that include complex scripting macros and othe "advanced" features. Sure, in your mom's basement you don't need these features to track your WoW loot, but *real* businesses actually *do* use the advanced spreadsheet functionality.

Re:Now compare (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720946)

Hey!

Knock it off with the bigoted stereotypes: I only track the WoW loot in my DAD's basement...

Re:Now compare (1)

NoSleepDemon (1521253) | more than 3 years ago | (#35721056)

That's Rift loot, you insensitive clod!

Bloatware anybody? (2)

wfstanle (1188751) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720936)

I think this is more a commentary on the poor state of many programs today. Back when the Osborne was on the market, programmers had to get the most out of every byte of memory and every cycle of the CPU. Now, nobody cares about efficiency, we just put it on a faster bigger computer and throw away the "obsolete" computer. Yes, this also happened "way back when" but paying a thousand or more on a computer made people think twice before upgrading.

Re:Bloatware anybody? (1)

trickyD1ck (1313117) | more than 3 years ago | (#35721026)

It's the cost-benefit analysis. Silicone turned out to be cheaper than time/brains.

Re:Bloatware anybody? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35721120)

Well, sure, that works for Playboy models, but what about computers?

Re:Bloatware anybody? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35721108)

I disagree, there is a huge community of people who make gadgets, etc with $20 arduino's and the like. This is the comparison that the article should have made, because the price to capability comparison is more interesting. Anyone trying to get some complex code running on a small microcontroller will be using plenty of care to avoid bloat. Of course they are still relying on a compiler at the end of the day.

Not a fair comparison (3, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720390)

The Osborne 1 was an amazing machine, but the Osborne 2 was going to be even more amazing. Since it never got a chance to be released, comparing a second generation iPad to the Oz1 seems a bit unfair.

What about apples and oranges? These have never been fairly compared.

Re:Not a fair comparison (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720624)

oh shit they never released a 2? hm what about the The Osborne-2 "Executive" or the The Osborne-4 "Vixen" both covered in last weeks article

Re:Not a fair comparison (1)

demonbug (309515) | more than 3 years ago | (#35721218)

oh shit they never released a 2? hm what about the The Osborne-2 "Executive"

Obviously a re-badged etch-a-sketch.

Bloated software (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720394)

Software (including operating systems - perhaps especially operating systems) is so bloated nowadays that it makes this type of comparison completely ridiculous. It affects both the memory footprint as well as the execution speed, not to mention the sloppy programming practices and security holes.

Re:Bloated software (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720458)

sloppy programming practices

Customers this year demand more features and more flexibility from their software, and sloppy practices arise from the complexity of implementing such features combined with the budget limitations of commercial off-the-shelf software.

and security holes

In the days of the Osborne, as I understand it, people generally didn't trade untrusted documents with complete strangers over a computer network.

Re:Bloated software (1)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720758)

If ever Intel misses a beat for one of their upgrade cycles, then I would enjoy seeing MS double down on their code efficiency to keep all the features but have it thundering on the hardware.

We all know that Vista was never supposed to be taken seriously - it was a Hail Mary after someone's catastrophic meeting that the codebase had to be restarted from the ground up. Windows 7 was a decent effort at patching things up, but I'd really like to see them do an ultra lean edition.

Re:Bloated software (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720806)

Windows 7 was a decent effort at patching things up, but I'd really like to see them do an ultra lean edition.

Microsoft did make an ultra lean edition nicknamed Windows XB, using a separate codebase from NT. But instead of making it for the PC, they made it as the operating system of the Xbox 360.

Re:Bloated software (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720938)

Interresting enough it's based on Windows 2000 kernel.

1,000? (1)

geektweaked.com (93565) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720400)

512MB is a lot more than 1000x 64KB.

Re:1,000? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720460)

Relatedly, how does 4 MHz ever become a three hundredth of dual 1GHz?

Re:1,000? (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720874)

...and how does 20 iPads fill up a suitcase?

Re:1,000? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720598)

Exactly my thought. I believe it works out that the iPad 2 has 8192 times more RAM than the Osborne 1. Maphs is hard.

Re:1,000? (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720794)

maybe they calculated the fraction on a pentium processor using microsoft excel?

Damn, i never knew making the obligatory /. jokes makes you feel so dirty

Re:1,000? (3, Interesting)

hattig (47930) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720604)

Indeed, it's 2^13 (8192) times more.

And the RAM in the Osbourne 1 was probably eight 8KB chips, whereas (IIRC) it's two 256MB dies in the iPad 2, on the same chip as the CPU and GPU and more.

But in the end magnitudes are all that matter when the differences are so massive. A Z80 took between 4 and 11 clock cycles to perform an instruction (8 or 16 bits typically) - let's say 0.1 MIPS/clock, whereas a 1GHz ARM A9 can do 2.5 MIPS/clock. That's 25 times more instructions per clock, and 250 times the clock, and twice the cores, and then we have to consider the ARM is 32-bit - so you need even more instructions on the Z80 for 32-bit operations. It's probably not too far off 20,000x faster to compute something on the integer cores of the A5 than on the Osbourne's Z80 - and that's before we consider the Neon vector units, the dedicate hardware for security, graphics, video, ...

Re:1,000? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720736)

You mean 0.1 instructions/clock and 2.5 instructions/clock right?

Ignoring the clock/clock issue, I'd kill for a CPU that could do 0.1 million instructions per clock.

Mafs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720402)

8,000 times more.

Slashdot: lame blog aggregator (5, Insightful)

ari_j (90255) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720466)

Leaving to the side the content of the story itself, this is just another blog that someone has succeeded in getting free advertising for thanks to Slashdot's willingness to post retarded crap. But the most annoying part is that the blogger is illiterate. There's a difference between whooping and whopping, for instance. He also sucks at math, as others have pointed out. If Slashdot is going to feed the world other people's blogs all day, can we at least get some that are well-written about topics of interest to nerds over the age of 5?

Re:Slashdot: lame blog aggregator (1)

dstyle5 (702493) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720550)

I found the summary so "amusing" I failed to read the entire "article".

Re:Slashdot: lame blog aggregator (2)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720592)

s/retarded crap/retarded crap about iGadgets/g. If it's a retarded non-story, and it's on Slashdot, it's most likely yet another story hyping Apple.

Re:Slashdot: lame blog aggregator (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#35721274)

It's not limited to hyping Apple. Often, it's hyping Facebook, or hyping Google, or hyping some random company that I'm pretty sure is cheating to get voted up in the Firehose.

It would be interesting to just start tagging all of them as "advert" (since that's what they are) and see what percentage got that tag.

Re:Slashdot: lame blog aggregator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720654)

Apparantly 1000 is roughly 300 times 4.

I mean, seriously? If you can't work out 1000 divided by 4, why are you allowed out in public unsupervised?

Re:Slashdot: lame blog aggregator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720870)

can we at least get some that are well-written about topics of interest to nerds over the age of 5?

You must be new here...

Surprising? (1)

JockTroll (996521) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720476)

"Surprisingly, it was enough to run databases, word processors and complex, professional software." Surprising to ignorant trekkie pedophile geeks, maybe. Real jocks know how to make more with less. Faced with difficulties and low on resources, we push through an win. Nerds whine, complain they don't have the "right equipment" and sulk in a corner. Until we beat them up and shit on their faces.

Re:Surprising? (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720926)

Nerds whine, complain they don't have the "right equipment" and sulk in a corner. Until we beat them up and shit on their faces.

Don't do that, you'll only excite them.

Whooping memory? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720480)

My RAM is usually quiet, didn't realize old systems had such excited memory.

Re:Whooping memory? (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720854)

it is a little known fact that the Z in Z80 stands for Zoidberg, after an unfortunate timetravel incident, he ended up making the z80 a reailty, the trade-off however, were constant whooping noises.

Osbourne? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720490)

As far as poorly written submissions go, this is one of the worst I've seen in a long time.

constant killing by heavily armed depopulators (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720502)

du, eugenatics, religious holycost take no prisoners neo-gods, .5billion remaining pop. mandate, fake weather math science news etc...

good time for another pageant, crusade, sporting event, miraculess surgical revirginations (aka monkey business), salvation, rude awakening. it's probably not going to go 'quiet' for very long, now that it's clear that history is revealing, & repeating itself, at this time. impossible, by any real math.

Re:constant killing by heavily armed depopulators (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720570)

Please seek immediate mental health care. Then we can work on spelling and coherence.

Progress... (5, Insightful)

C A S S I E L (16009) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720542)

Users were allowed to program the Osborne - it had a built-in programming language interpreter. iPad? Verboten.

Re:Progress... (0)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720792)

you can program webpages and apps. different paradigm

Re:Progress... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35721194)

Osborne- removable storage::iPad- not even close
Osborne- I/O ports::iPad- not even a usb port
Osborne- not out to rip people off::iPad- propiretary POS

Re:Progress... (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 3 years ago | (#35721202)

Can you run Linux on an iPad already?

And... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720568)

the iPad still can't fit into your pocket.

Re:And... (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720940)

the iPad still can't fit into your pocket.

I hear Apple is equipping their store employees with larger than usual pockets. What, that's been done before [sonystyle.com] ?

Re:And... (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 3 years ago | (#35721012)

The scary part is that I'm not sure whether that's a joke...

THe Osborne had street cred (1)

Waveney (301457) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720572)

When I used an Osborne people would come up and say "Wow Whats That!", if you have an Ipad they just say "Oh an Ipad"

Re:THe Osborne had street cred (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720916)

Blame consumer access. If an iDevice was a business tool, you'd still have similar reactions to it, but since Average Joe can get one, nearly everybody knows what it is and can identify it, making it less "special" to them. I remember a few years back that the guy with the laptop was important and now everybody has one.

Re:THe Osborne had street cred (1)

ThePromenader (878501) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720934)

Like when I carry around Apple's first "portable" [lowendmac.com] computer ; )

Most important difference (2, Insightful)

Exitar (809068) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720574)

With the Osborne 1, people got introduced to the world of programming and were able to actually learn and produce something.
With the iPad 2, people can post on Facebook what they did eat for breakfast (does Jobs still allows posting on Facebook, doesn't he?)

I'd still take the Osborne... (3, Insightful)

sticks_us (150624) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720582)

...not trolling, either.

Why?

- Real, physical keyboard
- Easy access to the filesystem
- The ability to install whatever you want, and use the computer however you want
- Tons of languages, dev tools, and compilers (were) available for various languages
- I/O ports for useful tasks like printing ...and so on. Osborne 1 is much more suited for geekery.

Re:I'd still take the Osborne... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720828)

Shouldn't they compare it to a laptop then?

Re:I'd still take the Osborne... (1)

sticks_us (150624) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720990)

Shouldn't they compare it to a laptop then?

You're right--they probably should. Other folks in this thread have pointed out what a strange comparison it is; I guess they were just trying to contrast the power in two 'mobile' devices from different eras.

The real differences (significant though they may be) are not to be found in the computing power or specifications, however.

There's been a seismic shift in the way we approach the notion of "computing," and it's not necessarily a beneficial one. It wasn't too long ago that owning/using a home computer meant you had full access to the system, and could use it any way you saw fit (more or less).

Perhaps there was a steep learning curve, but it was a fantastic opportunity to explore the guts of your system--you could do some pretty neat stuff, since everything was so open-ended. Many of us spent our formative years hacking around on systems like the Osborne (or the C64, or Apple ][ or whatever) and benefitted tremendously from the experience.

Nowadays, everyone can pick up and carry around a computer with tremendous power, but you're very restricted in what you can do with it, and how you can use it.

Re:I'd still take the Osborne... (1)

Rob the Bold (788862) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720998)

...not trolling, either.

Why?

- The ability to install whatever you want, and use the computer however you want

Of course, with no hard disk, "install" meant something a little different than it does today.

Re:I'd still take the Osborne... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35721010)

http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Osborne-1-Computer-Found-/390300940706?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item5adfbfb9a2#ht_500wt_1040

Only $200 to boot.

Whee. (1)

trudyscousin (258684) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720586)

Z80 CPU was supported by whooping 64KB of system memory.

Was it celebrating something? Or did it have case of pertussis, the poor thing?

Re:Whee. (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720840)

Didn't you get the twitter? Whooping is the new rad. Next time you see a hawt girl be sure to tell her how Ebola she looks*
*Void where prohibited. I am not responsible for any slaps or STDs or babies that may occur from using such phrases.

Re:Whee. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35721004)

That's SO sick!

Not really surprising (4, Insightful)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720634)

Surprisingly, it was enough to run databases, word processors and complex, professional software. Today's iPad is equipped with 512MB of RAM (roughly one thousand times more), and some reviewers complain it's a bit on the low side.

This is not surprising at all. The general trend over the intervening three decades has been to trade efficiency for development time. The result is applications that are often less responsive than their primitive predecessors which were written in hand-coded assembly language. Moreover, because most users -- especially corporate users -- only upgrade their software when they replace their machines, often when a new package has increased hardware demands, there's a feedback effect between hardware and software vendors, with less efficient resource hogging software driving hardware sales which in turn drives the sales of new licenses for established software. As application categories mature -- when was the last time you saw a new word processor or spreadsheet feature worth paying for an upgrade? -- this becomes the only driver of substantial new sales.

Software has to get worse for both industries to maintain their desired growth rates. And because technical users ceased to be the majority of users decades ago, the industry has largely managed to get away with it. I had hoped FOSS software would have reversed this trend since FOSS is largely free of market pressures, but the Free Software folks could never sully themselves by making end-user-friendly software, and the Open Source folks were bent on imitating the very corporations they despised. Ergo, you can have Microsoft Office hog your resources or have OpenOffice.org hog your resources or you can use emacs or vim to write your documents in LaTeX. The user gets screwed either way, profits continue as normal for Intel, Apple, and Microsoft, and FOSS remains a minor player in userspace.

Re:Not really surprising (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 3 years ago | (#35721248)

Yes I still think it's weird that you have to use what in the 1980s and maybe even early 1990s was considered a supercomputer just to run a word processor. Imagine what your modern laptop can do if programmed in machine language by competent people, like the home computers of the 1980s were!

Waste of space (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720642)

To think that something much better might have made it to slashdots frontpage and yet we got this....

What about software? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720648)

And yet the Osborne is still a better machine as I can run the software I want on it, and not the software Steve Jobs tells me to run.

2041 (1)

Scorchio (177053) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720672)

I wonder if in 30 years we'll be looking back at the iPad 2 and wondering how we managed to do anything with something so slow, restricted and clunky. And what will we be comparing it to? Back in my day we had touchscreens, none of this neural implant junk...

Re:2041 (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720872)

Imagine how flabby the arms will be for future generations of geeks. At least with the Osborne geeks got some exercise lifting the thing. ;)

Re:2041 (1)

kiehlster (844523) | more than 3 years ago | (#35721144)

This is why I don't mind lugging around my 18-cell laptop. Any day now I'll have ladies flocking to my brawn. Any day now... Eh hem. Any day...

cpu comparison BS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720726)

dual core GHZ arm only 300 times faster than 4MHz Z80? I don't think so. z80 is rougly 0.2 Mips. dual core GHZ arm is roughly 2000 mips. not to mention those are 32 bit mips instead of 8 bit mips.

He might be a bit slow but (1)

michelcolman (1208008) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720746)

at least Ozzy has an original style.

Moore's law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720778)

given that performance should double every two year;
so with 15 2 years periods we get a growth factor,
g = 2^15 = 32,768

When dinosaurs ruled the CPU... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720894)

I remember the 'good ole days' when programmers wrote lean mean code BECAUSE you only had 64k of ram to use total. Yes, back in the day, there were word processors, spreadsheets (I recall one that shipped on a single 360k floppy disc), and pretty much all the basic office functions you'd want - and they ran reasonably fast. As resources became more plentiful, programmers got SLOPPY. I look at code today and cringe - such waste. I'm still coding like I have 64k, and am happy to say, my programs run like greased lightning. I think ALL PROGRAMMERS should be forced to code exclusively on 64k Ram machines for a year before they are called 'programmers' to be perfectly honest. It would cure a great deal of ugly code bloat that is so rampant today.

-JurassiC++

Freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35720900)

But at least you could load whatever you wanted on the Osborne 1

How about the most relevant question (2)

iamacat (583406) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720970)

Which of the two is more useful for mission critical work. Say, Osborne had a real keyboard and support for removable storage media.

Ah, yes, I remember it well (1)

bfwebster (90513) | more than 3 years ago | (#35720994)

I worked for Oasis Systems/FTL Games back in the early 1980s; we had software than ran on the Osborne 1 ("The Word Plus" spelling checker; "Punctuation + Style" grammar checker). In fact, if I remember correctly, we used a utility package running on the Osborne 1 to create most of our other 5.25" CP/M disk formats; there was no standard 5.25" disk format for CP/M, and so we had to create different disks for most different computers running CP/M.

Adam Osborne was actually a columnist for InfoWorld who, after complaining about the state of the personal computing market, decided to take action and start his own computer company. The Osborne 1 was a success (within the scope of the tiny nascent PC market at the time), but he pre-announced the Osborne II too far in advance of being able to ship it, saw his Osborne 1 sales dry up, and ended up having to shut down the company due to lack of cash flow. If you've ever heard anyone refer to "the Osborne effect", that's what they're talking about.

Not much nostalgia here, though -- I'll take my modern laptops, desktops, and digital devices (iPhone 4, iPad 1) over an Osborne any day. ..bruce..

Re:Ah, yes, I remember it well (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35721106)

> I worked for Oasis Systems/FTL Games?

FTL? You have anything to do with DM? One of the best games ever, that thing was!

Surprise? (1)

khr (708262) | more than 3 years ago | (#35721034)

Surprisingly, it was enough to run databases, word processors and complex, professional software

I fail to see what the surprise is... So it ran software that was designed and written for it? Wow, surprise!

I'd have an Osborne 1 over any iPad any day (1)

WonderingAround (2007742) | more than 3 years ago | (#35721142)

iPad's are just expensive frisbee's

Re:I'd have an Osborne 1 over any iPad any day (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 3 years ago | (#35721272)

I'd rather have an Osborne to whack some crook over the head with in a dark side-street than throw an iPad at him. I think the message will come over better if you use the Osborne.

The Guy on the Right Doesn't Stand a Chance (2)

JDS13 (1236704) | more than 3 years ago | (#35721244)

In his June 4, 1984 "Inside Track" column in Infoworld (p.95), John C Dvorak wrote this:
        "Apparently there is an advertisement in one of the munitions magazines that goes something like this:
        "The Guy on the Right Doesn't Stand a Chance. The guy on the right has the Osborne 1, a fully functional computer system in a portable package the size of a briefcase. The guy on the left has an Uzi submachine gun concealed in his attache case. Also in the case are four fully loaded, 32-round clips of 125-grain 9mm ammunition.
          "The owner of the Uzi is going to get more tactical firepower delivered - and delivered on target - in less time, and with less effort.
          "All for $795. It's inevitable.
          "If you're going up against some guy with an Osborne 1 - or any personal computer - he's the one who's in trouble. One round from an Uzi can zip through ten inches of solid pine wood, so you can imagine what it will do to structural foam acrylic and sheet aluminum. In fact, detachable magazines for the Uzi are available in 32-, 32-, and 40-round capacities, so you can take out an entire office full of Apple II or IBM Personal Computers tied into Ethernet or other local-area networks.
          "What about the new 16-bit computers, like the Lisa and Fortune? Even with Winchester backup, they're no match for the Uzi. One quick burst and they'll find out what Unix means.
          "Make your commanding officer proud. Get an Uzi - and come home a winner in te fight for office automatic weapons."

This was written 27-years ago, before deranged individuals with firearms shifted this from ironic humor into tragedy. But at the time it was very very funny.

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