As my Osborne 1 ages, various of my disks have had to be retired with errors, and I'm concerned it may not survive much longer so am looking for ways to extend its life.

Are there any communities who maintain software or are there alternatives to the 5 1/4" floppies used to boot the Osborne or run software?

Osborne 1

pic from https://www.inexhibit.com/case-studies/osborne-1-1981-when-the-personal-computer-became-portable/

  • I remember the Compaqs looking similar to this but they only had one floppy and a larger screen. One of my mates used to ride his bike with his Compaq in one pannier and his briefcase in the other pannier. – cup Dec 25 '17 at 11:36

As the Osborne is a pretty standard CP/M machine, any CP/M software will do, so look out for CP/M users (/groups) - there are plenty. In Europe especially, since the Amstrad CPC series gave CP/M a late boost.

Just keep working copies of the OS to boot. Disks can still be bought new and properly stored drives will surely work for a few more decades. Also, with its serial interface, everything needed to transfer new Software onto (new) disks is on board. I'd be more worried about the built-in screen or plastic parts.

If you really want to replace the drives, there are several designs, kits or ready to use flash-to-Shugart replacements available. Some are quite luxurious systems like Floppyflash.

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