MC 00170 Guide to the Michael Rulison Collection of Osborne Computer Club Newsletters, 1981-1988
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2.0 Linear feet
General Physical Description note
4 archival boxes
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Special Collections Research Center Reference Staff .
Gift of Michael Rulison, 2007 (Accession no. 2007-0248)
Processed by: Todd Kosmerick and Kelly Clark;machine-readable finding aid created by: Todd Kosmerick and Kelly Clark
This collection contains newsletters of various Osborne Computer user groups for the years 1982 to 1987 as well as some related items. Included are the publications of the First Osborne Group ( Foghorn and Foglight), the Chicago user group ( PIP), the Seattle-Tacoma area group ( Toggle), and the Raleigh Osborne Computer Group, also known as the Raleigh Other Computer Group ( R.O.C.C. Pile).
These newsletters vary in production quality from hand-stapled desktop-published mailings , like R.O.C.C. Pile, that were circulated by smaller groups and tend to be about 8 pages long, to more professionally produced newsletters, such as Foglight, that are printed on newsprint, folded and stapled to resemble a journal, and tend to be around 20 pages long. The newsletters are all printed in two colors with very few photographs, although there are often illustrations. Given the nonprofessional nature of these computer clubs, most of the early content was composed by club members and included tips, tricks, and strategies for programming Osborne computers. However, as the computer clubs grew, newsletters often had regular writers and editors who shared their expertise with the wider programming community.
Michael Rulison has had a long career in research in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina. While associated with the Research Triangle Institute, he authored A Study of State Uses of Smith Island (1970) for the North Carolina Department of Conservation and Development. During the 1980s, while with the Center for Population and Urban-Rural Studies, he wrote several technical reports of travel studies for the Travel and Tourism Division of the North Carolina Department of Commerce. He later worked for the Institutional Research program at North Carolina State University. Rulison has also been involved with Osborne computer user groups, RTPNet, the Triangle Open Source Lab, and the North Carolina Consumers Council.
The Osborne Computer Corporation was founded by Adam Osborne in 1980 and set out to produce and market the first portable personal computer packaged with software, an innovation that foresaw the usefulness of personal computers not only for computer programming hobbyists but for the practical purposes of word processing and the like for businesses and individuals. The Osborne 1 computer was released in 1981 and ran on the CP/M operating system. Adam Osborne and his company gained the most notoriety for what has been termed the "Osborne Effect." In 1983, Adam Osborne began boasting about the new and improved products the Osborne company was working on, killing demand for the Osborne 1, which would be made obsolete by the new technology. As a result, sales dropped off, and the company was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1983 before any of its new products were complete.
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Special Collections Research Center
[Identification of item], Michael Rulison Collection of Osborne Computer Club Newsletters, MC 170, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC
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