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Film Studies 101
Feature
The Tech Biopics Hollywood Needs To Make
With two McAfee films in the works, what other stories should be told on screen?

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The Tech Biopics Hollywood Needs To Make | Adam Osbourne
Adam Osbourne

Growing up the son of a British father and a Polish mother in India, Osbourne in enjoyed a lavish, pampered early life. But at the age of 11, the family relocated to the UK, which was a massive culture shock.

Osbourne became interested in technology early, and frequented the well-known Homebrew Computer Club (the American version spawned Steve Jobs and Wozniak, among others). His big breakthrough was creating the first commercially available portable computer, known as the Osbourne 1. It was a huge hit and, at its peak, was shipping 10,000 units a moth at a cost of $1795 each. Cannily, Osbourne had spotted a gap in the market for computer users who were not the hobbyists usually interested in tinkering with the devices, but instead needed to use it for business. So his machine came loaded with spreadsheet and early word processing software. Fortunately this was many years before the invention of Clippy, that cursed Microsoft paperclip.

Sadly, Osbourne’s ego got the better of him, and his bragging talk of the next machines his company was developing shot the legs out from the market for the Osbourne 1. In fact, the problem of a new technology destroying demand for older versions is now known as the Osbourne Effect, a lesson Apple today would do well to learn if it is to keep selling iPads. Still, that wasn’t the only problem - thanks to problems with management and other issues, the company filed for bankruptcy in 1983.

Osbourne moved on to creating computer manuals and affordable software. But one popular title, which shared similarities with the famous Lotus 1-2-3 system, resulted in a lawsuit and more problems for Osbourne’s Paperback Software company. But though he stepped down from the company, it continues to trade. He died in India aged 64.

We’d cast: Paul Rudd with sideburns and a moustache.

Tone: Tragi-comic, with a Man On The Moon feel.

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Your Comments

1 The Great and Venerable Woz
I'd love to see a film just about him, it would be so tragically heartwarming... And I already have the title right there! More

Posted by kisswithatear on Saturday January 26, 2013, 17:00

2 We've already had a Napster film!
It was called The Italian Job and it actually turned out Seth Green was the real creator! More

Posted by TPM007 on Saturday January 26, 2013, 11:17


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