25 Feb 2014

The most beautiful computer

What could this be?

1983 Otrona Attache 5300














The Otrona Attache cost $3995 new and was designed and made in Boulder, Colorado from 1982 to 1984. It has a Z-80 processor running CP/M 2.2.5 and 64k of RAM. The handle flips under to prop the computer up at two different angles.

Watch the Otrona Attache in action:

A video I recorded of an MBASIC-80 piano program that lets you play notes with the keyboard.


Sent from my new Otrona Attache

22 comments:

  1. Gee, Nick, I thought you were a young guy. How can that be when you know so much computer history?
    == Höhne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How can that be when I know so much typewriter history? ;P

      The answer, though, is old library books and Google.

      Delete
    2. You absorb it well. You write like (not "as if") you lived with them. And I never tire of complimenting your photographs, too. Thanks.

      Delete
  2. Oooh, very pretty and exotic! I lost my CP/M disks (LS-DOS is more useful on the Trash-80's). Very, very nice condition too! (:

    I hear ya when it comes to those old floppies. I've heard somewhere that people have mcGuyvered up SD card interfaces that work with old floppy busses. Someday we're gonna have to cashier these old floppies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a rather dire situation. The Otrona Attache can only run using the Otrona version of CP/M on it's own disk format, and there aren't many of them around. It would be horrible if there were working Otronas with all of the software lost! Thankfully mine came with many system disks, and two copies of each.

      Delete
  3. Very nice computer! You are so lucky to get such an old device in such good condition and working too!
    OOOhhhhhh back in the old days I did quite a bit of CP/M programming. It is not all that limited, but programming can get tedious. Now you need to get a collection of 5 1/4 inch floppies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It came with a big box of floppies with all sorts of programs and games on them, but I haven't had the time to go through them all and find out what they do. Some of the disks are a bit flaky but most seem to work fine.

      I bought it along with a couple of other old tech items, but this was the main reason I bought them. :D

      Delete
  4. Much prettier than the Brother WP-1 I owned in 1988.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Super feature! Excellent photos!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow. Those floppy disks drives take up a lot of real estate. The keyboard looks better than many of the later ones.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were special disk drives that were 2/3 the height of ordinary ones even. It's an interesting keyboard that takes time getting used to. I'm used to the Macbook Pro keyboard (which I think is the nicest computer keyboard, honestly.) which is very different. To use the Otrona's I have to go back to my two finger method that I use for all typewriters. (rather than the weird 4 left + 1 right method I use on the computer)

      Delete
  7. Wow! That is a beauty! I can't compete with it having just a plain little ZX Spectrum :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Fascinating little machine. better be careful, or you'll end up with a computer collection along side your typewriter collection. Then you'd be stuffed!

    Not sure about the most beautiful. But for its era, it is certainly stunning. I think the PET machine of the same era is slightly sexier though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A very present danger! It was a danger with my fountain pens, too, but as I'll mention later on this week, it hasn't gone out of control. It's the same with computers, for me. It'll all be more explained eventually… XD

      For me, the PET is just too large to think about much…and nobody likes the keyboard… XD oh well.

      Delete
  9. Nice styling! So glad those days of green (or sometimes orange) on black screens are history.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too. Staring at a small, bright green screen for only a few minute and the world looks pink and wrong.

      Delete
  10. Gee whizz that's awesome as! :D
    Very cool gadget to have... and great pictures to boot!

    ReplyDelete
  11. That post written on recycled phosphorus? That is a very nice design.
    There's a Kaypro 4 on shopgoodwill right now. I would only hope it functions as well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It needs a keyboard cord and doesn't have system disks, which would be two problems, but at the same time it's a 4 so it's a lot less common than a II…

      I'd be concerned about getting Spokane to actually package it safely! Unless if things have changed, I had some difficulty with them last year.

      Delete
  12. Small world, buddy. I have an Otrona attaché and a pair of early Osborne 1's. I have a lot of the Otrona disks, but not the music program. Funny, small world, this is!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. How could I have missed this post!?! The design is amazing, only a couple of orange hints, but it truly makes it sparkle! Definitely like it better than the Osborne, must get one of these into the museum QUICK!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not sure if any were exported out of the US, although I hope some were! I know that the character set supports most western European languages.

      Delete