The Columbia VP was a Compaq Portable like IBM PC compatible. Besides, it was said that Compaq designed the electronic part of the VP._______________________
It was the last computer made by Columbia, the company which made the MPC, first true copy of the IBM-PC.
Columbia built a very rugged but heavy case which supported a 9" monochrome monitor, larger than the Compaq. All other features were the same as the Compaq.
When the system was launched, the main argument of Columbia was the large number of software bundled with it. Among them: MS-DOS, CP/M-86, Perfect series (Writer, Filer, Speller, Calc), MS-BASIC, Macro assembler, Home accountant and Space Commander game.
It seems that several versions of the VP were built: 1600/1, 1600/4, 2110, 2220, VP-Plus, but we have no information about them.
Stephen Somerville's memories:
I was the senior operations manager at Columbia Data Products from 1982 to 1984. My production team built and shipped about 2,000 VP's a month during that time.
I still have one buried in my closet. Wish I could find the "perfect" bundled software that came with it. I'd pay big to find that software somewhere on the net.
Anyway, those days were indeed heady times. BIG BONUSES, all expense trips for the senior staff in Vegas, and bahamas, the champange flowed like water. We were making money hand over fist, then one day, all of the sudden, I was told to layoff 400 production line workers. I ONE DAY! I quit 2 weeks later and never looked back.
But I'll never forget those times. We took Kaypros apart, as well as commodores, compaqs, and anybody elses where we could see a better idea, cheaper method, any item to drive a higher margin. I remember sitting at a conference room table with the guts of all our competitors machines hanging out, and saying to the rest of the senior staff, "guys, there is no more profit in this box, we've trimmed everything we can".
I remember the press coming to the company. An expedition team was taking one of our VP's to the top of mount everest to plot wind, conditions, etc. and the entire company was wearing tee shirts that read "Columbia Data Products, computers that can climb mountains".
Geeez, those were heady times, we had the world by the balls. Steve