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This mini forum is intended to provide a simple means of discussion about the Columbia Data Products VP computer. If you want to share your own experience or memories, or add relevant information about this system: post a message!

  Click Here to add a message in the forum


Wednesday 12th August 2020
Martin Cohen (United States)

This was my first pc compatible. I remember upgrading from dos 1 to dos 2. I liked the perfect software series and was very annoyed when perfect 2 series removed keyboard compatibility with emacs.
I got the carrying case and sometimes brought it into work. I borrowed as 1200 baud modem so I could dial into work. I usually stayed in emacs. 1200 baud was fast enough.
I added an 8087 and a card with a 10mb hard drive (really helped) and 64kb (I think) of ram.
I still have it in storage and haven''t used it for at least 30 years. Don''t know if it works.
I may have the original 5-1/4" floppies.

Sunday 2nd February 2020
Go (Michigan, USA)

I used Perfect Calc software in the late 1980s and still have a few dozen spreadsheets that I would like to convert to a more recent spreadsheet format. I have the software but missing pc.swp. If anyone has that file and willing to share, I would greatly appreciate it.

Thursday 8th February 2018
Kim (Utah)

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 2nd March 2017
Richard (Vancouver BC CANADA)

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

Monday 28th November 2016
Marcin (Kraków/Poland)

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)

Saturday 7th February 2015
John A. Ficke (Virginia Beach, VA/USA)
John Amos Ficke

I worked at Columbia Data Products as a production technician in the soldier shop and then briefly in the cable assy shop (after they shipped the soldiering tasks to PR). What Mr. Sommerville doesn''t tell you about Columbia Data Products is that, just before they started laying people off... They had a big (mandatory) meeting with all of the production personnel on the floor. They pushed buying the company stock with the eagerness of a street hooker and literally a week later started laying everyone off! Having their fill of champagne and knowing that there competitors would destroy them in court for literally stealing the intellectual property of another.

I never bought any of the company stock, but many did... Their way of sticking it to their production personnel just as hard as they could, after robbing other honest innovators!

I too never looked back, but I learned a valuable lesson about liars and thieves that wear suits...

Thursday 18th August 2005
Vince Gray (Canada)

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 21st April 2005
Lyle Van Camp (Drayton ND)

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?

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