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C > COLUMBIA DATA PRODUCTS > VP     


Columbia Data Products
VP

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


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This was my first home computer. A "luggable", as opposed to "portable", I think we called it then. I remember that mine had 1 MB of RAM - I used the portion that wasn't consumed by TSR programs as a virtual disk - fantastically fast access, compared to the floppy :-)

          
Thursday 18th August 2005
Vince Gray (Canada)

For several years we published our weekly newspaper using a Coumbia Data Products VP. It has two floppies and a memory expansion unit. It should still be working fine. I will try and dig it out tomorrowand set it up. We ran Wordstar, Rimwriter and LePrint and output to an HP Laserjet. The HP was supposed to be the third one shiped out of Minneaoplis. We had our choice of waiting for the "new" parallel model or taking a seial one. We took the serial one and it still works fine, although it does need a good cleaning and probably a new cart. I would be interested in selling the Columbia if I could find the best way to market it. Any suggestions?

          
Thursday 21st April 2005
Lyle Van Camp (Drayton ND)

 

NAME  VP
MANUFACTURER  Columbia Data Products
TYPE  Portable
ORIGIN  U.S.A.
YEAR  1983
BUILT IN LANGUAGE  None
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
VRAM  16 KB
ROM  12 KB
TEXT MODES  40 or 80 characters x 25 lines
GRAPHIC MODES  320 or 640 x 200 pixels (CGA mode)
COLOrsc  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
OS  MS-DOS, CP/M-86
POWER SUPPLY  Built-in power supply unit
PERIPHERALS  1 internal expansion slot
PRICE  $2,995





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