video games gallery from the last century


Philips P2000

    Computers:3     Art

Philips P2000


The Philips P2000T home computer was Philips first real entry in the home computer market, after the Philips Videopac G7000 game system (better known in the U.S. as the Magnavox Odyssey2) which they already sold to compete with the Atari 2600 and similar game systems. There was also an P2000M version with an additional 80-column card for use with a monochrome monitor. This version shipped with a monitor cabinet also housing a dual 5.25 floppy drive.[1]

The P2000T was a Z80-based home computer that used a Teletext display chip to produce the video picture and a small Mini-Cassette recorder for 42 kilobytes of mass storage capacity.[1] The Mini-Cassette was treated as a floppy drive from the users perspective while using the automatic search for a program (CLOAD command) or free space (CSAVE). A command to display the directory of the cassette also exists.[1] Philips used components they already produced for other markets (television sets and dictation machines) to quickly design a small computer system. It was partially designed by Austrian professor Dieter Hammer.

They also copied the ROM cartridge system from their Videopac G7000 game system. One of these cartridges contained Microsoft BASIC. It was also possible to use cassette tape floppies.

Although the Teletext video chip permitted a quick entry into the home computer market, it was also the major weakness of the P2000T. Using the Teletext standard in itself was not a bad idea because it did support eight colors and rudimentary graphics. But unlike later entries in the home computer market which also supported a Teletext display mode, such as the venerable BBC computer and the Oric Atmos, the P2000T did not support a high resolution display mode. This made it very difficult to develop interesting games for it.

As a result, the P2000T had only limited success, and Philips later replaced it with their MSX machines. The machine did gain popularity in The Netherlands, especially in the areas of science, education, and data communications (videotex).

The P2000M incorporated two 5,25-inch floppy disk drives beside a built-in monochrome screen. It could run CP/M or Microsoft BASIC applications, depending on the cartridge used. It was incompatible with the P2000T in the way it handled display of special characters (color, graphics mode), which made most P2000T games unplayable.

Initially, in 1981, the computer cost 3000 guilders (€1361). In 1984 the price was lowered to 1200 guilders (€544,50).[2][3]

The P2000 system can be emulated with the MESS software.[1]

Lenguajes None
Velocidad 2.5 MHz
Co-procesador None
RAM 16 KB to 48 KB
VRAM 1 (T) or 2 (M) KB
ROM 4 KB + 16 KB in ROM cartridges
Modos de Texto 40 (T) or 80 (M) columns x 24 lines
Modo gráfico None
Colores 7
Sonido Built-in beeper - 1 channel
Tamaño/Peso 41 (W) x 47 (D) x 11 (H) cm
Puertos de entrada/salida T version: TV aerial, RGB, Serial
M version: Monochrome composite video, Serial, FDD interface
Almacenamiento interno Mini cassette drive (42 KB)
OS Philips JWSDOS, CP/M with extra card
Fuente de alimentación Built-in Fuente de alimentación unit
Perifericos Various interfaces through the Bus slot
Precio About 3000 Dutch guilders ($1375)

Philips P2000C


Before the P3000 series, Philips also sold the P2000 series.
2000 Sold under the Micom name. Came with one Shugart floppy drive. The printers supported were the Qume and the TEC.
2001 Standalone system. Came with two Shugart floppy drives. The printers supported were the Qume and the TEC.
2002 Two terminal unit that could support two printers. Also came with two Shugart floppy drives.
2005 Called the Cluster. Could support four workstations and four printers. The 2005 Cluster had a hard drive with a single Shugart floppy drive.

Lenguajes None
Teclado Full stroke 93 Teclas with function and arrow Teclas and numeric keypad
CPU 2 x Z80A
Velocidad 4 MHz.
RAM 64 KB up to 320 KB
Modos de Texto 80 chars. x 25 lines
Modo gráfico 512 x 256 dots
Colores Monochrome - Green phosphore CRT
Sonido Beeper
Tamaño/Peso 15 Kg.
Puertos de entrada/salida External floppy drive, SCSI port for connection to up to 7 hard drives, external terminal, external monitor, Serial, Parallel printer, expansion card
Almacenamiento interno 2 x 160 KB 5.25 single side floppy drives - Later 2 x 640 KB
OS CP/M 2.2
Fuente de alimentación Built-in Fuente de alimentación unit
Perifericos 8088 CoAlimentacion, IEEE-488 cards, Internal Hard disk up to 10 MB (about $5000)
Precio about $3000 in Holland

Philips P3000


The Philips word processors of the early to mid 80s were built in the Town of Mount Royal (TMR), Montreal, Canada, by Micom a subsidiary of Philips. They retained the Micom brand name in Canada and US where the brand was quite well respected.

Later Micom was integrated into Philips Information Systems PhIS (always remember the h please!).
The twin Z80 system was originally designed to retain compatiblity with the mid 1970s Micom 8080 based systems. The earlier systems used 8 hard sectored floppies.

After a rapid and successful development including transfer of applications (in <12 months), marketing decided to make it into a CPM machine. This coupled with production delays and problems with the 2/3rd height disk drives from Philips delayed market entry for more than a year, just before the PC came out. The project was codenamed Swift.

At the same time a larger Z8000 system was developed (codenamed Eagle) for the Swedish teletex system. This had amazing video quality for the time with Black on white, 70Hz, >40Mhz dot rate. There was even a full page system just like the Xerox systems (screen rotated right with close to 1000 lines).
This design ultimately failed due to code growth (insufficient memory.) The code was compressed by changing from compiled to interpreted mode, whereupon speed dropped to the point where it could not keep up with an average typist. The Eagles were replaced in the teletex system by Swifts.

I worked on the Floppy systems of both machines. Depending on the age of the system you may find the NEC765 Floppy controller on a daughter board with a PAL. On later systems this was incorporated onto the motherboard.
The P3000 was sold outside America as P5020

Teclado Full stroke 81 Teclas with 8 function Teclas and numeric keypad
CPU 2 x Z80A
RAM 64 KB?
Modos de Texto 80 chars x 25 lines
Colores Monochrome
Sonido Simple beep
Almacenamiento interno 2 x 5.25 floppy discs
Fuente de alimentación Built-in Fuente de alimentación unit