Adam Osborne

Adam Osborne ( born March 6, 1939 in Thailand, † March 18, 2003 in Kodaikanal, India ) was an American author, software developer and computer designer and founder of several companies in the United States. Because of his heritage, he is regarded as British inventor of the laptop.


Early years and education

Adam Osborne was the son of a British father and a Polish mother and was born in Thailand, but spent much of his childhood and youth in India after his parents were followers of the mystic Ramana Maharshi. Osborne studied at the University of Birmingham and went in 1961 in the USA, where he completed his doctorate at the University of Delaware. On November 26, 1968 he was awarded an American citizen.


His professional career began Osborne at Shell Oil Company, the American offshoot of Royal Dutch Shell. In the early 1970s, however, he left the group again to pursue his passion for computers. Around 1975 Osborne was a member of the famous Homebrew Computer Club and was often to be found at the meetings of the club.

In 1980, Osborne Osborne Computer Corporation with the aim of developing a portable computer. In April 1981, Osborne introduced the first laptop Osborne 1, Model 1, above. The computer weighed 12 kg and cost in the introduction on the market in the U.S. 1,795 U.S. dollars. The operating system for the computer CP / M 2.2 was used in the computer and a Zilog Z80 CPU was used at 4.0 MHz.

While the Osborne Computer Corporation in 1983 went bankrupt, they went over the Osborne effect named after her in the economic history: The reason for the bankruptcy namely a premature announcement of successor models for the Osborne 1 was identified. This announcement was selling the current models fall sharply. In anticipation for the next, better Osborne 's interest decreased to the current Osborne 1 was alleged by the undertaking less capital available to bring the development of the Osborne 2 to the financial statements. So it had to file for bankruptcy on 13 September 1983. Recent sources say that for the downfall of the company, however, mismanagement was responsible.

Career as a book author

In 1972, Osborne had founded a company that specialized in the publication of easy-to -read computer books. By 1977, the publisher Osborne & Associates had 40 titles in the program and in 1979 it was purchased by McGraw -Hill and continue as Osborne / McGraw- Hill.

After the bankruptcy of the Osborne Computer Corporation Osborne wrote with John C. Dvorak, a book about the project entitled Hyper Growth: The Rise and Fall of the Osborne Computer Corporation, which was released in the U.S. in 1985 and became a bestseller.

In 1984, Osborne again a company called Paperback Software International Ltd.. , A software publishing company that specialized in inexpensive computer software. One of the projects was the VP -Planner, a Billigklon of Lotus 1-2-3. 1987 Lotus software sued the company and in 1990 the case went to court where Paperback of copyright infringement has been found in the appearance and interface usage guilty. Osborne left Paperback Software in the same year.

In 2003, Osborne died in an ashram in Kodaikanal, India.