Columbia 1600 VP

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The Columbia 1600 VP is a rugged metal construction portable, with its main selling point at time of launch being a 9-inch green screen, larger than its rivals such as the Compaq.

Compaq are said to have produced the electronics for the machine, our model has two 5.25-inch drives, and originally came bundled with a large selection of software and games, such as MS DOS, CP/M, and a Space game.

The machine was an early IBM Compatible machine that was legally available, previous court cases between IBM and Compaq had been settled, leaving manufacturers such as Columbia to come into the lucrative computer market without such problems.

Between 1983 and 1984, the company were shipping around 2000 machines a month. But as was often the case, shrinking profit margins amongst fierce competition saw the company rapidly run out of funds, huge staff losses followed and the company was delisted. It was taken into private ownership leaving the hardware market, becoming data backup specialists.

It runs off an intel 8088 processor, and has 128K of RAM. The separate keyboard connects via a cable to the rear of the machine, The keys are housed in a padded unit on the front of the machine, that unclips and is removed fully when in use.

Manufacturer: Columbia
Date: 1983

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This exhibit has a reference ID of CH66680. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.


Columbia 1600 VP

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