In the early 80's Philips produced a series of business/home microcomputers generically known as the P2000 series. There were five different lines developed over the few years the machines were produced: the P2000T, P2000M, P2000B (later called P2500), P2000C and finally the Yes, a MS-DOS machine. The weird thing about these different machines was that they were all incompatible with each other.
The P2000C, was probably the most advanced of the P2000 series and the early portable from Philips. It was a heavy luggable computer. In fact, users didn't pick it up and carry its 15 kg unless they really had to! Also as with almost all early portable machines it was not battery powered but mains only.
With its twin Z80 processors - the second was dedicated to I/O - the P2000C was one of the faster CP/M system, faster than most of the PC's of the day for several professional applications. Furthermore, it could run MS-DOS software thanks to an optional 8088 'CoPower' card.
Its two 160 KB 5 1/4" floppy disk drives (later 2 x 600 KB) were able to read almost all the widely used CP/M disk formats like those of Osborne and Kaypro.
More information from Peter A Forbes (UK):
We have three of these machines around, one was our main computer for a number of years, and we bought the PC upgrade board which enabled MS-DOS 2.61 (I think) to run.
The floppies were great and very high capacity for the day, and the machine also came with utilities to convert disk formats from CP-M to MS-DOS, very useful!
The drives could write quite a few formats if I remember correctly. The internal program came with the machine to do this.
Printer port was serial, we used the big Philips (Sweden) 300 series 18-needle printers and still have them. They were very heavy-duty models which could crunch continuous stationery out at high speed. The printers had built0in fonts which were software selectable or could be selected by a rotary switch on the printer control panel.
Back to the P2000-C, Morgan Computer Co in London were selling these off cheaply, just as the last of the Philips adverts were running in the press. Although heavy, they were well made and we never had a problem. We occasionally get one out to dig up some old data off the disks which still hold data.
Programs supplied with ours were: Wordstar, Calcstar, A graphics package, CP-M, MS-DOS, Datastar.
They were convection cooled, so no fans and very quiet. The Hard disk option was a 10mb unit with a SASI (Shugart Asscociates System Interface) and that was about £1000!
We have full documentation for these units, including the CP-M manuals and the books on the machine hardware. They were built in Vienna, at least mine all were and the books are all Philips, Vienna.
Jürgen Sattler (Germany) also has a P2000-C:
I own a P2000C which is still working today. Here are some additional information: The coprocessor board could be used in two different modes, the so-called P2000-C mode with 800 KB disk format, and the IBM-PC mode whereby PC programs which didn't access to the video RAM (e.g. DBase II or WordStar) could run. The board had 512 KB of RAM. Under the provided MS-DOS 2.11, the original P2000 RAM could be used as a RAM disk. With the CP/M 2.2 OS (640 KB floppy disk format) the following programs were provided at that time: Open ACCESS with data base, calculation and text processing, ABASIC, TTY, Dataplot+. The price in Germany was about 2600 Euros (DM 5000).
We need more info about this computer ! If you designed, used, or have more info about this system,
please send us pictures or anything you might find useful.
I was recruited by Philips to Vienna in 1980 and was responsible for getting the development of the P2000C started as an engineering development with my boss Herr Firster. Product Management had us developing the P2000B businees desktop using UCSD Pascal P-Code and was very slow. Engineering did the P2000C without Product Management support, that is, an end-around development to get a successful product to market. The dual Z-80 prototype graphics really got us the managemet backing we needed.
Wednesday 12th May 2010
Jim Goldenberg (USA)
I own two of these beauties. I studied the external monitor connector, but I have absolutely no idea, how to get this connected to any monitor neither new nor old nor a converter.
Monday 21st March 2016
Adrian Wallaschek (Deutschland)
While digging through my cellar I discovered that I probably have one complete P2000M and P2000B (aka P2500). The P2000M has both BASIC and UCSD 4.0-something cartridges to it. The P2000B was probably booted off the floppies, if I remember that right. I loved the P-system implementation on those machines, asit was quite fast - at least compared to the compatition of that time.