Howdy Retro Computing Stack Exchange,

I semi-recently came into possession of an Osborne Turbomate IV computer with an Ipex monitor and Brother dot matrix printer (along with original Osborne mouse and keyboard and a few other goodies like spare ribbons for the printer and floppy disks). My question is whether anyone here has any information on these items (apart from the printer which returned decent results via Google searches) and their rarity or possible worth as all pieces are in fine working condition?

I found an advertisement for a 286 processor version of this model which came from the Sydney Morning Herald however was unable to find much further online apart from a similar question in a forum about 10 years ago. For some clarification I live in Australia and apart from basic information on Osborne I have been able to find very little else on the model and the Australian branch of the company (or whether it differs from the US company).

I'm sure someone likely has this information as I have spoken to older people who used these machines who advised most local businesses used Osborne products until Windows became available. Apart from that information seems scarce but I have been told this was a common model used by businesses. I tried the monitor model number and came up empty and was not able to see a serial number or model number for the Turbomate. I posted on a Facebook group full of PC Enthusiasts but after bumping the post and a long wait have not had any responses.

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  • The 2.88mb 3.5" Floppy is kind of a rarity, I've only seen them in some IBM PS/2s.
    – PhasedOut
    Dec 13, 2019 at 17:06

1 Answer 1


My question is whether anyone here has any information on these items

Well, sorry to disappoint you, but it's just another Taiwanese 486 based AT. OCC (Osborne Computer Corporation) already folded in 1985. After that, the name got sold to some Finnish(?) company starting to sell PCs under the Osborne label, but not for long and it got sold again. The machine is, as far as I can tell from that pictures a standard board in a generic case with custom stickers.

It almost seems as if these Osborne branded AT clones were somewhat common down under as already the first short search of YouTube turned up several videos like someone showing his old family PC or a more retro/fun hacker showing it off. Seams as if YouTube is a big thing with your people. Maybe that's a lead for further research.

Both machines case differ from the case your pictures, but that's not uncommon for clone manufacturers, buying whatever comes along and slap the brand they acquired just atop.

The IPEX company shown on the CRTs sticker is, well was, an Australian assembler for generic PC components, usually sold under many brand names, but also their own.

and their rarity

Not really anything collectable. As said it's a generic 486. The name may add a little obscurity factor, but not more remarkable as any other machine of the same configuration.

or possible worth as all pieces are in fine working condition?

I'm known to be a cheap ass and dissing PCs anyway.

I'd say if you're lucky it fetches get ~40 bucks ... but then, as usual, finding the right buyer may yield a way better deal.

Having said that and while not really collectables, 486es are a real good tool to run old (pre 2000) software (DOS, Windows or more obscure) as their configurations are still much compatible with early PCs - at least at the AT level - especially speed wise. But they are as well fast enough to run more complex software. So whoever is really into running old games or alike - and preferring the real thing instead of an emulation - will have/need one.

  • 3
    Wow. That is an amazing answer. Thanks that pretty much covers all the bases I was wondering about. I got it (for $15 total) only to play a joke on my older team leader (he was 50 at the time, I was 25) by removing his 3 widescreen monitors and laptop/docking station combo and replacing with these for his return from a holiday. It all went down rather well (we were in a small desktop support team for a regional site next to a service desk) and everyone had a laugh. I will mark as an answer, and I appreciate both your knowledge and the use of 'your people' to signify Aussies. Cheers mate.
    – John Ward
    Jun 21, 2018 at 9:05
  • 2
    @JohnWard Oh, I can imagine you had quite some fun. Cheers - and enjoy playing DOOM the way it was ment to be played :))
    – Raffzahn
    Jun 21, 2018 at 9:09

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