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Columbia Data Products

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

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 still own a 1600-1 Columbia PC with the Perfect Software floppies and manuals. I used this computer to start my career in the software industry. I have it sitting in my office at home. It still works. Amazing.

Thursday 8th February 2018
Kim (Utah)

I own $392 just brought down from the attic. Willing to sell at nominal value to any interested collector. Have photos.

Thursday 2nd March 2017
Richard (Vancouver BC CANADA)

Hey, by browsing CDP OEM version of MS-DOS 1.25 I encountered that there are different versions of this computer (this is from DEFINE.EXE executable).
* 1600-1 Dual Floppy System
* 1600-2 Floppy + 5 Megabyte Hard Disk
* 1600-3 Floppy + 7.5 Megabyte Hard Disk
* 1600-4 Floppy + 10 Megabyte Hard Disk

Additionally by hex-viewing DEFINE.DAT there are several similar entries: 1600-1S, 1600-2S, 1600-3S, 1600-4S, 1600-1R, 1600-1SR, 1600-2R, 1600-2SR, 1600-3R, 1600-3SR, 1600-4R, 1600-4SR and S9600.

These are probably just model variations of 1600-X model, but I don''t know what S9600 is.

You can find this info also on my wiki (pages DEFINE.DAT and DEFINE.EXE)

Monday 28th November 2016
Marcin (Kraków/Poland)


MANUFACTURER  Columbia Data Products
TYPE  Portable
YEAR  1983
KEYBOARD  Standard PC 82-key with function keys and numeric keypad
CPU  Intel 8088
SPEED  4.77 MHz
CO-PROCESSOR  Socket for 8087 math coprocessor
RAM  128 KB up to 256 KB on board
ROM  12 KB
TEXT MODES  40 or 80 characters x 25 lines
GRAPHIC MODES  320 or 640 x 200 pixels (CGA mode)
COLORS  16 maximum
SOUND  Tone generator
SIZE / WEIGHT  Unknown
I/O PORTS  Serial and Parallel ports
BUILT IN MEDIA  2 x 360 KB 5.25'' floppy disc drives
POWER SUPPLY  Built-in power supply unit
PERIPHERALS  1 internal expansion slot
PRICE  $2,995

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