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Re: The other Osborne (March 25)

Thank you for your excellent editorial on Adam Osborne.

I had the pleasure of knowing Adam when he attended the same school in England as

me (Leamington College) before university. He was three years older than myself but he was a unique student even as a teenager. He was an excellent debator in the School Debating Club and was also a wonderful actor. I think both of those skills were evident in his later years in the U.S. and quite a contrast to many of his colleagues in the industry, most of whom were and still are terrible public speakers.

I followed his career as a result with great interest and agree with your analogy of Goodyear. With a little bit of luck in his business decisions and better timing he would have been a household name. He was a true pioneer of the industry, ahead of his time in many respects and continued to tilt at the industry establishment windmills. It was always a pleasure to read his writings and to hear him at conferences.

I would add that his Paperback software company was at least as important as his Osborne PC. He took full tilt at Lotus when the software companies had godlike stature and were dominating the industry. I believe Adam’s Paperback spreadsheet software was $99 where Lotus 123 was $700. His belief was that the PC industry growth depended on mass market applications and that there was no reason not to provide much cheaper software using the same analogy of the book publishing industry.

Many of his strategies proved to be correct, and I for one mourn his loss.

By the way, there was a very active Osborne Users Club in Toronto in the early ’80s.

Thanks again for the memories.

Stan Squires

Re: The other Osborne (March 25)

I must take issue with your version of the demise of Osborne.

I “”fondly”” recall programming the OzwareJ accounting package (written in CBasic, 1983) on that 52-column monochrome screen, 8-bit CPU behemoth. (By the way, it was not battery powered.)

In my humble opinion, it was the combination of Compaq Computer Corp. (started in 1982) with their IBM PC-compatible portable and Mitch Kapor’s Lotus 123 (in 1983) that killed the Osborne — just as IBM’s PC (with MS-DOS and Lotus) destroyed all the 8-bit (CP/M) desktop boxes.

FYI, in their first full year of operation (1983), Compaq shipped 53,000-plus portable PCs worth over $111 million.

Andrew Sharko

Re: The other Osborne (March 25)

Thank you for “”The other Osborne.”” It is not just the ultimate winners who got us where we are

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