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Happy 30th Birthday!

This weekend marks the 30-year anniversary of the portable computer unveiling. Adam Osborne released the Osborne 1 April 3, 1981. The revolutionary portable computer was announced at the West Coast Computer Faire at San Francisco’s Brooks Hall. Although today he is not as famous as the legendary CEO of apple Steve Jobs, or Microsoft founder Bill Gates, his portable computer changed the world of technology, as we know it.

Before his Osborne 1 no one could even fathom a computer that could move from desk to desk, now portable computer laptops are so standard most students could not imagine life without them. Even now as I type this blog I cannot think of college without the convenience of my laptop to take notes, stalk on Facebook, or and write the endless research papers.Unfortunately for Osborne, his company went bankrupt after trying to introduce his computers before they were consumer ready. Now if any product has any manufacturing issue at all, take the iPhone 2, corporations immediately work to fix the apparent problem. After the iPhone 2 showed issues with the antennae, Apple sent customers free cases to help with the reception and prevent dropped calls. Osborne’s early exposure of his products led to the demise of Osborne Computer Company. Now, the premature release of products causing consumers to reject them is known as the “Osborne effect”. Companies spend millions to keep their products a secret until they are ready to announce the finalized product. Despite his lack of failure now, back in the day Adam Osborne was seen as a god in tech communities. David Bunnell, a managing editor of Osborne’s publishing company who later founded PC Magazine, PC World, Macworld, and other publications. “I tell people that in those days there were three major people in the industry: Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Adam Osborne, and not necessarily in that order. He had a huge following.”

Thanks to Adam Osborne’s creation of the Osborne 1, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates followed in his footsteps to create, and continue to perfect the portable computer. After 30 years and millions and millions of models, it is only fitting we put our hands together for the father of the portable computer. Happy Birthday PC!

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