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Adam Osborne, Portable Computer Pioneer, Dead at 64

Adam Osborne, whose successes and failures pioneering the first portable computer became one of Silicon Valley's great cautionary tales, is dead at 64 after a long illness.

Osborne, a British immigrant and long-time resident of Berkeley, California, died in his sleep in Kodiakanal, a village in southern India last Tuesday, his sister, Katya Douglas, told Reuters on Monday.

His death ended a decade-long battle with an organic brain disorder that caused him to suffer an endless series of mini-strokes.

The popularity of the 23-pound luggable computer he introduced in 1981 made his start-up, Osborne Computer Corp., the fastest-growing company up to that time, thanks in part to his willingness to cut the cost of computers nearly in half compared with rivals such as first-to-market Apple Computer.

But the rigors of "hypergrowth" -- a term coined to describe his company's rise -- ended in an even quicker plunge into bankruptcy two years later, making Osborne's legacy a textbook study of the perils of undisciplined growth.

News source: Reuters - Adam Osborne, Portable Computer Pioneer, Dead at 64

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