"Single instance" machines

From: Kees Stravers <pb0aia_at_iaehv.nl>
Date: Thu Dec 31 10:41:40 1998

On Mon, 14 Dec 1998 21:34:45 +0000, Lawrence Walker wrote:
>On 13 Dec 98 at 23:36, Kees Stravers wrote:
>> How about the Philips P2000 family? I have not seen messages about
>> those machines on the list. Z80 system, 48K RAM, 16K ROM in a cart
>> so it was easy to change programs, micro cassette recorder that was
>> operated by the computer so no fiddling with buttons, floppy drives
>> optional, video 40x24 color (viewdata/teletext character set) or
>> 80x24 monochrome. Started life as a dedicated word processor, BASIC
>> cart added later.
>> picture at http://www.iae.nl/users/pb0aia/cm/sroom.html

>Hi Kees, your pages are always interesting. Haven't visited in a while.
>Nice to see the additions.
>You mention that the P2000 started as a dedicated WP. Could this have
>been the Philips Micom 2000 ? If so, any other info ?

I have never heard of the Philips Micom word processor. That's not so
strange, Philips has made a lot of different computer systems, it is an
enormous task to catalogue them all. Sometimes Philips even sold the
same computer under two different names, e.g. their third XT clone was
known as the NMS9100 for the consumer market, but sold as the P3105
by a totally different section of Philips to the professional market,
and it was the exact same machine. I tried several web searches for
'Philips Micom', but all I could come up with were a couple of firms
offering conversion services for its files, and a CV of a Canadian
researcher who mentiones having written software for the thing.
I once saw a very old Philips wordprocessor, with a cabinet a the size
of a cubic metre under the desk, a separate terminal for i/o and a
weird thirteen bit parallel daisywheel printer which had no smarts at all
(the computer had to tell it how many microsteps to turn the roll and move
the head etc) but this machine used magnetic cards the size of a punched
card to save files to, not disks.

The P2000 family I was talking about has four lines that are incompatible
with each other.
- The P2000T (cassette, 40 char video) / P2000M (disk, 80 char video)
  which was the most common here in The Netherlands. They were the same
  internally but had different video. Most programs were interchangable.
  A CP/M card was available for it from the Philips computer club. Also
  a floppy disk controller for the T that was compatible with the internal
  one in the M.
- The P2000C luggable, the most advanced one, CP/M, even had a 8088
  'CoPower' card available for it that could run MSDOS. You could attach
  an external hard disk via a SASI interface. It could read and write the
  disk formats from all the other members, and of a lot of CP/M systems too.
- The P2000B/P2500, a CP/M disk system with 5.25i disks, monitor and disks
  in one cabinet like the P2000M, on top of a passive backplane cabinet
  like the Northstar with everything on cards. 8i floppy controller available.
- The P5020/P5040 word processor system. The P5020 was a monster system, an
  all-in-one system with a 15 inch 36 line system, two 5.25i drives next
  to the monitor, internal card cage with passive backplane (not the same
  as the P2500). The entire thing stood on a big tilt/swivel pedestal.
  Heavy keyboard made of metal, no plastic exept for the keys. The P5040
  was a more modern version, smaller and looking like a PC with separate
  monitor and all. There was an add-on machine, called the P5010, which
  was a keyboard with a single line lcd display and a cassette drive, which
  could be used to enter long texts. You then transported these texts serially
  to the P5020 or P5040 for the finishing touches. Maybe this system was the
  Micom, I don't know.
  Some bright minds in the Philips computer club made a new ROM for the
  P5010 so you could write Z80 machine code programs with it. Later there
  even was CP/M for the P5020/5040. Multiplan with 36 lines really was a

I only have pictures of the P2000M and the P2000C on my pages. The other
systems are buried in the garage, it would take quite some digging to
photograph them. I'll go look if I have some magazine pictures of them.


Kees Stravers - Geldrop, The Netherlands - pb0aia_at_iae.nl
Sysadmin and DEC PDP/VAX preservationist - Visit VAXarchive!
http://vaxarchive.ml.org (primary) - http://www.sevensages.org/vax/ (mirror)
See my old computers at http://www.iae.nl/users/pb0aia/cm/
Net-Tamer V 1.08.1 - Registered
Received on Thu Dec 31 1998 - 10:41:40 GMT

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