Personal Computer Museum, Canada's Videogame Museum

Philips Micom 2001E

Philips Micom 2001E

Speed4 MHz
Memory128 KB

What's this?

Philips

Release Date: 1/1/1981
Manufacturer: Philips
 
Donated By: Shawn Westbrook
 
The Micom mini is a bit of an oddity in the 'personal computer museum', but it's just too interesting and too rare to ignore. Sold primarily as a word processing system, the Micom was quite advanced in certain ways for its time. Although a daisy wheel printer was connected to the unit, you could actually do special mathematical symbols and even limited graphics with the unique way that it printed. The unit we have has two 8" floppy drives and the machine actually has filters inside of it (like a furnace) to keep it cool. It's also had the side effect of keeping the unit quite clean over the years. In true mini fashion, the controller itself has no interface and appears to do little on its own. You can connect various operating consoles to it to see it actually work. Shown here, the main console actually looks a lot like the Commodore PET. We have a lot of brochures and instruction manuals which we will be posting here because very little information about this machine is out there on the net. If you know more about this unit, please share with us!

Inside Micom

 

This computer is currently interactive in the Museum.
 

Micom 1001 Terminal

Micom 1001 Terminal
This was an additional terminal that could be connected to the Micom. It had a single LCD line for typing into and allowed information to be listened to from a microcassette for dictation. Or was it a storage device? I think we'll have to try it out to know for sure.

Micom Operator Console

Micom Operator Console
This is the operator console terminal for the Micom 2001E. It looks very similar to the PET computer from Commodore.

User Comments
Dennis Pierachini on Tuesday, July 18, 2017
I used one of these in my role as administrative assistant for about two years, 1985-1987. My screen/keyboard were separate, but the CPU was identical to that pictured here. We actually had two screens/keyboards attached so that two people could use it at once, which is what we typically did in my office. We had one other identical set up in our office. I found them to be excellent pieces of office equipment -- no service troubles, the software was easy to learn, and it produced very good looking documents. As mentioned, we were able to use it to provide some very basic graphics (i.e., text in a box). I really hated to give it up, as I had gotten very proficient with it.
ddragomir@hotmail.com on Thursday, March 09, 2017
Look for a monitor disk. There is a "scroll m" command that turns the screen green. v1 1f return. Then you could do many functions including dump the program to a printer. You can support many drives on the ribbon cable, copy, duplicate all at the same time. The shugart drive needs an alignment disk, and track 38 for the cats eyes, and track 1 and 76 for timing. The programmer who wrote it got 5% of the company to do it.
Dan Dorsey on Saturday, March 04, 2017
As the son of the founder of AES and Micom, Stephen Dorsey, I am trying to recover some of these old machines for a video production for Steve's 80th birthday. Seemed like yesterday i was following my dad around in old montreal playing with the Micom 2000. I'd also be open to hearing from all you all about your memories of AES and Micom. I can be reached at dandorsey66 (at) gmail.com . I will be visiting the museum in Brantford on March 11, 2017 at 12 noon.
Michel Dupont on Wednesday, December 28, 2016
Hi. I bought a Micom 3003 in december 1982 for my girlfriend who was just out of translation at McGill. She was good at it but it was obviously not enough to be noticed. That was a whole lot of money at the time but I knew I was doing the right move. This word processing machine was almost exclusively used by Canadian Government, Royal Bank, Hydfro Quebec and big Lawyer firms. I still remember the face of the technician who delivered it to us in our extremely humble dwelling. We, as a very small translation firm, instantly became light years ahead of our time. I remember my girlfriend calling me in tears a few days after we had it because there was no warning to save our work before quitting and she had lost her translation three times. Less than a week later, I also remember her calling me to tell me that she could not ever work without it. It did not take long for her business to succeed. We bought two more, and even a small 1001 for one of our freelance translator. I think we were the only ones in Canada who succeeded to communicate through a modem (300 bauds acoustic coupler) the translated text from the home of our freelance translator to our office, thanks to the help of Micom Customer Service. Imagine, the "thing" (Micom 3003) only had a total of 64k memory, 32 being used by the assembler written program. That program, still to this day is not surpassed (unless you are very very good with complicated macros) for "Global Searck & Replace" strings. Translating thousands of recipes from England, we could this way have zero errors on thousands of weights and volumes equivalences. I remember going to the opening of the brand new Philips factory in Ville St-Laurent after they bought Micom. I even went to there to show them something I was doing with their machine that they did not believe could be done with it. Philips tried to make a PC version of the Software but did not really got serious at it. Anyway, back to the Micom, what a beautiful peace of software and hardware that was. Even the manuals were great, simple, funny. This is the best example of something created for the persons who were going to use it, not for the people creating it. Remember that all the secretaries were using typewriters. I know what I am talking about since I very easily trained people to use it. The learning curve to migrate, to step to this software/hardware was so incredebly simple, easy to understand and tame, it has never been surpassed. All those years I was thinking to myself that I would very much like to meet Steve Dorsey. Reading that he was in Montreal all this time makes me sad I did not have the opportunity to meet him then. I am sure our minds would have enjoyed each other. I am glad to have the opportunity to share my warm and beautiful souvenirs about this machine. Michel Dupont midu1950@gmail.com
John Webb on Friday, November 18, 2016
I first met Steve Dorsey at 447 Ste Helene Street, 3rd floor, in 1976, Montreal. He was working on the first Micom computer/wordprocessor, having recently left AES. I was an IBM Salesman for Office Products Division. I was scouting around the building for prospects for IBM typewriters, dictation equipment, copiers, and Mag Typewriters, IBM's Wordprocessor. Steve was lunching on a sandwich which he had brought from home, and we began a conversation which turned into a life long friendship. I went to work for Steve at MICOM a few years later, and worked at the Montreal downtown sales branch with Bob Lachance, Paul, Maurice, and a whole bunch of great people. I handled legal market, law firms, in Montreal. Along with Ed Hicks, we developed a software package called LAWPAK, which was an add on software applications program for small law firms, enabling them to do billing, docketing, and so forth. I think it sold for $200. When I met Steve, I introduced myself as the new IBM Sales Rep. His eyes lit up, and he had me come in and sit down…he asked me a million questions about the IBM Memory Typewriter, how it worked, its capacities, etc. I thought, "hmmm, this guy knows a lot more than he is saying." I would see Steve occasionally around town, and heard later on about his history with AES, and developing the AES 90, which IBM feared at the time. I am glad I met Steve, and later went work for him. I sold a huge order to the law firm Phillips Vineberg where every secretary and a MICOM! The firm had desks custom made to accommodate the system, which was huge by today's standards. Susan Shaw, do you remember me? We had good time working together, didn't we? I also participated in sales training over at Ruby Foo's.
John Webb on Friday, November 18, 2016
I first met Steve Dorsey at 447 Ste Helene Street, 3rd floor, in 1976, Montreal. He was working on the first Micom computer/wordprocessor, having recently left AES. I was an IBM Salesman for Office Products Division. I was scouting around the building for prospects for IBM typewriters, dictation equipment, copiers, and Mag Typewriters, IBM's Wordprocessor. Steve was lunching on a sandwich which he had brought from home, and we began a conversation which turned into a life long friendship. I went to work for Steve at MICOM a few years later, and worked at the Montreal downtown sales branch with Bob Lachance, Paul, Maurice, and a whole bunch of great people. I handled legal market, law firms, in Montreal. Along with Ed Hicks, we developed a software package called LAWPAK, which was an add on software applications program for small law firms, enabling them to do billing, docketing, and so forth. I think it sold for $200. When I met Steve, I introduced myself as the new IBM Sales Rep. His eyes lit up, and he had me come in and sit down…he asked me a million questions about the IBM Memory Typewriter, how it worked, its capacities, etc. I thought, "hmmm, this guy knows a lot more than he is saying." I would see Steve occasionally around town, and heard later on about his history with AES, and developing the AES 90, which IBM feared at the time. I am glad I met Steve, and later went work for him. I sold a huge order to the law firm Phillips Vineberg where every secretary and a MICOM! The firm had desks custom made to accommodate the system, which was huge by today's standards. Susan Shaw, do you remember me? We had good time working together, didn't we? I also participated in sales training over at Ruby Foo's.
John Webb on Friday, November 18, 2016
I first met Steve Dorsey at 447 Ste Helene Street, 3rd floor, in 1976, Montreal. He was working on the first Micom computer/wordprocessor, having recently left AES. I was an IBM Salesman for Office Products Division. I was scouting around the building for prospects for IBM typewriters, dictation equipment, copiers, and Mag Typewriters, IBM's Wordprocessor. Steve was lunching on a sandwich which he had brought from home, and we began a conversation which turned into a life long friendship. I went to work for Steve at MICOM a few years later, and worked at the Montreal downtown sales branch with Bob Lachance, Paul, Maurice, and a whole bunch of great people. I handled legal market, law firms, in Montreal. Along with Ed Hicks, we developed a software package called LAWPAK, which was an add on software applications program for small law firms, enabling them to do billing, docketing, and so forth. I think it sold for $200. When I met Steve, I introduced myself as the new IBM Sales Rep. His eyes lit up, and he had me come in and sit down…he asked me a million questions about the IBM Memory Typewriter, how it worked, its capacities, etc. I thought, "hmmm, this guy knows a lot more than he is saying." I would see Steve occasionally around town, and heard later on about his history with AES, and developing the AES 90, which IBM feared at the time. I am glad I met Steve, and later went work for him. I sold a huge order to the law firm Phillips Vineberg where every secretary and a MICOM! The firm had desks custom made to accommodate the system, which was huge by today's standards. Susan Shaw, do you remember me? We had good time working together, didn't we? I also participated in sales training over at Ruby Foo's.
Reed Bodwell on Wednesday, November 02, 2016
Lovely to see this. I tried to donate the precursor, my Micom 2000 to a tech museum some years ago. Unfortunately no takers at the time, so it's been melted down. I still have the O/S listings (written in 8080 assembler). That was originally created on punched paper tape because for the first few years we couldn't afford the floppy drive for the Intel development system.
J on Tuesday, April 05, 2016
A lot of names very familiar to me. I started to work for Micom in the Customer Service department, in the same office as Steven Dorsey in TMR (Montreal). Micom later became part of Philips where I then went on to do customer invoicing in the same department then later joined ISD as the computer operator on the Qantel (no 'u'). Philips was also the distributor of Qantel. This system was used for to support manufacturing, inventory, bills of lading, w.i.p, management reporting etc. Alas, after 14 years, I became a victim of the recession in the early '90's. Quite amazing to come across this. Hello to all.
Alan Fisk on Monday, February 08, 2016
I worked on the manuals, and also bought a Micom 1001 (for about $24, as a Philips employee—I think it had been used as a demonstrator). It had a "pseudo-memory" that held your text until you wrote it to the micro-cassette. On one occasion my cat, fascinated by the dancing daisy wheel, put his paw into it; which not only caused the printing operation to crash, it also lost all the data in the pseudo-memory. I had to create all the text again.
Anonymous on Wednesday, October 08, 2014
Wow I never thought I'd see the ol'Micom 2001E! I installed about 100+ of those units all over Cornell University and the southern tier of NY. The sales people sold 90% of them with that huge Qume twin daisy wheel printer with automatic paper feeders installed on top of the printer. Until a couple of years ago I still had all the technical service manuals them. The 8" drives were all hard sectored so if you had good rhythm you could realign the drives by listening for the sector sounds and not have to hook up the oscilloscope. We carried in the new Word Processor and carried out the old IBM Selectric typewriters!
Alan O'Neal on Saturday, September 27, 2014
They used to call me "Mr. Micom" at the Indiana video production company I worked for. I used it for producing production bids and budgets. I also adapted it for order processing for our consumer video club. We had two units with four consoles.
neville Haywood on Wednesday, July 16, 2014
I sold the first Micom 2001 in Saskatchewan to a group with a optional OCR reader. I remember being in Montreal for a week learning how to demonstrate the product with a CSR as it was a twin demonstration me Taking and the CSR pushing the keys Fantastic memories. we then put 20 units in the local university at C$20k each
Garvin H Boyle on Wednesday, March 12, 2014
In the early 80s I was an "office automation specialist" in the Canadian Government and had the care of several of these computers. There was one that would often become quite erratic for a few hours and then quit working, usually when most needed. Several visits by the support technicians could not find the cause, and swapping of various parts resolved little. One day, on passing the printer, I got a static shock, and, on asking the secretary if this had happened before, she said it happened quite often. It turns out the printer, the frame of which was bolted to the computer, was acting as a Van De Graaf generator. As the fan-fold paper rose from a source box, passed through the printer, and fed into another box, static charge built up in the printer, and passed to the internals of the computer. The problem only became severe enough to cause the computer to fail when we had a lot of printing to be done quickly. With the installation of a grounding wire, the problem was solved.
Fred on Tuesday, February 11, 2014
I began using a Micom 2001E with a whopping 128 kb in the early 80s when I worked for National Supply in Edmonton, Alberta. We had the first pair of these models in Edmonton up to that time. I worked with a programmer to write a BASIC program for the Micoms which enabled us to do a mathematical summary and textual abstraction of our quotations. They were great machines; I still think fondly of them.
Pete Ballantyne on Tuesday, January 07, 2014
Ah the mighty Micom. This was my introduction to the wonderful world of office automation. I was working for Statistics Canada in Vancouver and in the early ‘80s StatCan decided to install Micom Word Processors with communications (via acoustic couplers) between the Regional Offices and Ottawa. At a set time each morning (I recall it being about 10 am) we had to be ready to go online to receive missives from HO and transmit any traffic we had for them. Early e-mail I guess you could call it. We discovered that this beast could run under CP/M and load and run various programs such as spreadsheets and data bases. At the time I was managing a large number of data collection activities, up to thirty individual projects that required individual monthly cost and production reports for those in the center of the universe. Doing this by hand with paper and pencil and then having to cross balance vertical and horizontal columns was, with my propensity to transpose numbers, a time consuming task. SuperCalc version-1 to the rescue! Once the formulas were programmed and checked for accuracy doing the monthly reviews was a piece of cake. We did run into the 64K barrier associated with CP/M. We had upgraded the memory in our Micom to 128K but when we upgraded SuperCalc to version 2 we found that between that required by CP/M and that of the new version of SuperCalc there was not sufficient left to load the spreadsheets. Back to v-1 and some reengineering of the individual spreadsheets to reduce them in size to be able to load them. Eventually we got our first IBM PC that had a whooping 128K memory and we ported the spreadsheet files from the Micom to the PC. The Micom was used into the ‘90’s as a word processor and a vehicle to transmit memos to and from HO. Eventually with the establishment of a dedicated data line and an intranet the Micom went to the computer grave yard.
Jan Wijnen on Friday, June 21, 2013
Today I had the luck to find a P5020 on the internet. Nice as back in 1984 I have been working on these machines. As an intern for Philips Data Systems in Apeldoorn, Netherlands. I did program a test for the serial communication and also some of the locaisation for the word processor package. One question, the P5020 misses the keyboard..... Is there somebody who can find one for me. Would be much appreciated!
Alan Whitton on Friday, May 03, 2013
I had the privilege to work at Micom and on one of these very systems as a Co-op student. The stuff I learned there I still use today (not the Z-80 assembler but all the UNIX stuff that the software for this system was developed on). My father's secretary at Air Canada was one of the first folk to use one of these at the time and she loved it. Given my father's penchant to madly revise documents, life was much simpler on this system as compared to an IBM Selectric. Excellent exhibit!
Philip Cresswell on Tuesday, March 19, 2013
My wife wrote her doctoral thesis on one of these. The publisher of Daily Information - an Oxford University newsheet - had a pair of them for hire, and I seem to remember that printing the final version took all night. The little terminal with LCD display could be used remotely, with the text stored on the tape drive. That data could then be downloaded into the Micom and saved onto eight inch floppy. We still have the floppies and would love to convert them to more modern medium. philip.cresswell@gmail.com
jim pook on Wednesday, February 06, 2013
I was the main tech for all the GNWT Micoms which were used by all our government departments. I have intimate knowledge of this equiptment as well as the Daisy Wheel "Qume" printers. At one point I had all the diagnostic disks and various service aids for these units. I will try to see if they are still around (somewhere). Man I feel old....
Garrison on Friday, October 14, 2011
I learned how to use the MICOM in 1982 when I lived in NYC. It was very popular with CITIBANK, Irving Trust, and Bankers Trust Company. The printers had an enormous lucite covering to reduce the noise. I used the computer extensively for file merges of mass-mailings. The printer also worked well with continuous sheet fed checks. Envelopes and a continuous sheet feed were quite another matter. When I moved to San Francisco, I found a company that used the MICOM. They were obsessed with letters that had different sizes (i.e. W took up more space than an I). Made it virtually impossible to try and line up columns or numbers. WANG was one of the biggest competitors in New York. Back in '82 I was earning about $15-20/ hour for typing. Not too shabby back then!
Paul McDermott 2001 Word Processing Services on Thursday, July 21, 2011
The 1001 was called the fox, the tape was for data storage, the machine was for cheap data entry as a full blown 2001 with double drives, sheet feed and tractor cost about $25000.00 in 1979 bucks (top of the line Cadillac)the 1001 were a very weak input machine. There was an excellent spell checker called the Validator that Reid Bodwell engineered (based on Radio Shacks spell checker). I sold hundreds of Micoms into the used market as well as alternative software programs running under CPM
Jane Blake on Saturday, May 14, 2011
I worked at Philips,in the Medical Systems Divison. For its time, the Micom was a revolutionary breakthrough in word processing. I originally learned the WP5000 (well marketed by Philips in Europe, but not in Canada. Upon the removal of the WP5000, a new Word Processor -the Micom was brought in - and I remember saying 'Oh.. we have a new computer- who is going to use this one?" My boss Nick replied, "oh.. uh.. you are going to be the guinea pig!" I went on to learn that Micom thoroughly, through many upgrades - trust me, it was NEVER 'user friendly'. I remember my time at Philips as the nicest company I ever worked for!
Buzz M on Wednesday, April 27, 2011
I worked for Micom in Washington DC from 1979 to 1982 as a technician/ supervisor/ manager. The reference to the 2001 model as a "mini" in incorrect. Steve Dorsey and Reed Bodwell created a prototype which used the electronics of the 2000, a 5 1/4" floppy drive, small CRT, and integrated 2000 keyboard all enclosed in a desktop unit. It was never put into large-scale production. The Army Discharge Review Board (ADRB)at the Pentagon saw the prototype at a show and thought it would be the right fit for a travelling field unit to take depositions. They dangled a much bigger order for 2001's if they could get a half dozen "mini's." I worked a lot of evenings hacking the OS from an 8" diskette--Montreal didn't want to share the source code--to port the latest software and ruggedize the unit for shipping. A "monitor" disk from a counterpart in London was a big help. ADRB got their "mini's" and replaced all their NBI word processors with 2001s. The "mini's" were not without problems. If the operator turned off the machine with a diskette in the system, the collapse of the CRT field would ruin the recorded data. The initial fix was an Arby's foil sandwich wrapper between the CRT frame and the disk drive. That fixed the problem and we replaced the bags with well-grounded, foil-faced circuit boards. (But not before one of the operators called our office to complain that a technician had fixed their unit with a sandwich wrapper saying, "Is THIS how you fix these machines?")
Kathy on Monday, February 07, 2011
I learned WP on a Philips Micom 2001 (circa 1980) - with a dual-headed printer ... which was a rarity. MICOM would ask permission to come to my office and have me demonstrate the dual-headed printer. I later had a home-based secretarial service and bought a MICOM 3003. The service rep found it odd to come to a private home. I still have the MICOM 3003 console which, I believe, still works, training manuals, discs et.
Ed Hicks (Ottawa) on Monday, December 27, 2010
Jim Komar! John Visosky! I remember you well! I worked for Philips-Micom from 1979 to 1981 - shared an office with Susan Shaw, near Jim. I remember your comic book manuals, Jim - they were very good and inventive, like the Micom. John, I remember testing your MathPac software, which was then world-leading. Reid Bodwell and the other engineers did a great job! I think the operating system was theoretically capable of handling 13 tasks on a time-share basis, but of course even trying to type while printing often wasn't very effective. I think my main contribution was getting Steve Dorsey to buy the source code for Microsoft BASIC ($50K in 1980 - helped Bill get started!) and adapting it to run on the Micom. Dan Dang and Hung Vu did most of the programming, and it worked well - but salespeople didn't know how to sell it. Still, it probably paid for itself just in one sale of about 120 machines to Citibank in New York. I made 2 visits to New York and wrote BASIC programs for them to do analyses of commercial loans using a "word processor" because the IT people controlled "computers" and had no time for such small applications on the mainframe. I also helped sell a bunch to CMHC in Toronto to do reports on all the MURBs that they were taking over as a result of the recession (and more than a little fraud). They had to know certain things about each apartment each month, and with thousands of apartments it was taking them a month just to make the reports. My program did it in a few minutes. I really needed a database, but you work with what you've got. Microsoft BASIC was theoretically capable of handling 31 dimensions, and I used a 7-dimensional array and just looked at certain intersections to produce the reports. After I left and the PC came out, I tried to get Micom to make their software available on the PC. They did, but only such a cripled version that it didn't sell. Management (by then the bean counters in Philips) seemed to think that the money was in "boxes", not software. Otherwise, Micom might have been the world's word processor. They did produce a very nice Unix box around 1985 (full page display even), but it was too expensive; sort of like the Xerox Star. Great times and great memories!
Jim Komar, Saskatoon, December 2010 on Monday, December 06, 2010
I wrote most of the training mauals for Micom, including the illustrated, comic book type featuring my character, Bobbie. A wonderful product, well ahead of its time, and a tribute to Canadian engineering. Alas, killed by poor marketing.
david smith on Sunday, August 08, 2010
I have a micom 2001 which we bought from a bank in Elkhart, Indiana in 1981. The bank had financed a church which was the original owner of the machine. The invoice showed it originally sold for over $18,000. It was bilingual-English and Spanish, I was practicing law at the time and also involved in real estate development. I stored it away and as far as I know it is still functional. If there is a museum that would like it contact me at freedomcorner@usa.net.
David Fieldman on Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Ah, I remember the Micom well...the halcyon pre-Philips days. Steve Dorsey and I worked together. I was his Ottawa, Canadian government and business representative...those were the days of demonstrating the advanced concept of inputting and editing text in two columns side by side, one English, the other French. This was an absolute requirement, since the Canadian government mandated that all word processors had to process text in columns in that fashion to fulfill the official languages act. The entire concept was forward looking for its time, since the paragraphs automatically aligned as the text either increased or decreased. Steve Dorsey was a visionary for his time.
Alan Fisk on Friday, January 15, 2010
Ah, memories! This was the first word processor that I ever used, when I went to work for Micom in Montreal in 1983.
Alan Fisk on Friday, January 15, 2010
Ah, memories! This was the first word processor that I ever used, when I went to work for Micom in Montreal in 1983.
Rick M on Thursday, January 07, 2010
I was a service tech for Micom from 1980 thru 1990 (Vancouver), and worked on the Micom 2000, 2001, 2001E, 2002, 300x, 5040, Qume & TEC printers, and lots more - great system for the time, great software, but in 1982 or so the PC started to end the Micom (Phillips) game. Great memories, too bad you don'thave a picture of the guts of a 2000 system!
Ross Wigle on Thursday, November 26, 2009
I worked for MICOM from 1981-1983 in Hamilton. The MICOM 2001E was the 3rd incarnation of the original MICOM 2000. The 2000 had a controller - similar to the 2001E with 1 or 2 8" 300k floppies, a screen (green lettering on black) and a detached keyboard - big and clunky. After Philips bought MICOM from Steve Dorsey (who also invented the AES system out of word proceesing hotbed Montreal) they added European styling and interated the keyboard into a keyboard/screen console (as you can see in the display) and chnaged the name to the MICOM 2001. By extending the memory to 128k the MICOM 2001E (extended memory) was born. The next incarnation was to push it to 256k and have the controller act as a small distributed system whereby a second screen/keyboard could be attached. This was the birth of the MICOM 2002 "Twin". The idea was that two secretaries could work side by side and share a printer - 45 cps Daisy wheel Qume printers - bi-directional typewriter quality printers with limited graphics capabilities. The printer came in a standard width to accomodate single fed paper up to legal sideways and/or continuous fed paper. It also came with a single or dual sheet feeder whereby 1st pg leterhead could be drawn from tray 1 and second page from tray 2. The printer also came in a wide carriage version for accounting applications and a dual head version to allow for an extended chaacter set used in scientific applications - i.e. greek symbols, etc. Eventually and to a very limited extent the MICOM 2002 "Twin" was pushed to allow 4 terminals to hang from it - all using the one 256k processor. This machine turned out to be an absolute dog and represented the end of distributed processing for the MICOM line. This line also introduced a hard drive. Imagine this: the cost of the hard drive was consistent with the formatting of the drive. I.E. the drive could be formatted for 10,20 and 45 megs and was priced at $10,000, $20,000 and (gasp) $27,000 for the 45 meg - ALL THE SAME DRIVE!! Just formatted differently. With the intro of the 3000 series (3003 - single floppy 64k, 3004 - dual floppy 64k, 3004e dula floppy and 128k, 3005 single floppy, 10 meg drive 128k) also came the MICOM 1001. As discussed in a previous post the concept of this single lined LCD screen system was to be a low cost data entry terminal that could feed data to the main unit. In theory you could have 10 data entry clerks typing original text into a $2,000 data entry terminal which would then be fed to a main system ($15,000 cost) to be formatted, spell checked, etc. This system never took off and died quickly. The mini cassette tapes were notoriously slow and faulty. The key to the MICOM success story was their software. Prior to the MICOM 2000 coming to market all systems generally used resident software - i.e. one drive always had to house the software disk which in turn would be called upon to perform different functions. The MICOM on the other hand was praised for having "memory resident programs" whereby all of the programming - AND IT WAS REALLY GOOD STUFF AT THE TIME - was held in memory and one or both floopy drives were available for storage, etc. Some of the programs that were available for the MICOM series were: basic WP, math, greek symbols, photocomposition - i.e. acting as an interface to a photocomp system in the printing world, sort, proportional spacing, communications, terminal emulation, spell check (the best one was written by Reid Bodwell in Montreal independently to MICOM - was I believe also used in the TRS80 Radio Shack system. That's it - it was a great system and many years ahead of its time. The major competitors for it in Canada were AES, IBM, Xerox, WANG and in the states NBI, CPT, Lanier (AES with a different cover) all of which did not have software that was as advanced as the MICOM. Unfortunately the MICOM was a great product for only about 7-8 years and then the IBM PC came to market and the rest is history. Ergonomics kicked in with a total redesign of the basic system and the introduction of the MICOM 3000 series utilizing 5 1/4" floppies and eventually a hard drive.
Ross Wigle on Thursday, November 26, 2009
I worked for MICOM from 1981-1983 in Hamilton. The MICOM 2001E was the 3rd incarnation of the original MICOM 2000. The 2000 had a controller - similar to the 2001E with 1 or 2 8" 300k floppies, a screen (green lettering on black) and a detached keyboard - big and clunky. After Philips bought MICOM from Steve Dorsey (who also invented the AES system out of word proceesing hotbed Montreal) they added European styling and interated the keyboard into a keyboard/screen console (as you can see in the display) and chnaged the name to the MICOM 2001. By extending the memory to 128k the MICOM 2001E (extended memory) was born. The next incarnation was to push it to 256k and have the controller act as a small distributed system whereby a second screen/keyboard could be attached. This was the birth of the MICOM 2002 "Twin". The idea was that two secretaries could work side by side and share a printer - 45 cps Daisy wheel Qume printers - bi-directional typewriter quality printers with limited graphics capabilities. The printer came in a standard width to accomodate single fed paper up to legal sideways and/or continuous fed paper. It also came with a single or dual sheet feeder whereby 1st pg leterhead could be drawn from tray 1 and second page from tray 2. The printer also came in a wide carriage version for accounting applications and a dual head version to allow for an extended chaacter set used in scientific applications - i.e. greek symbols, etc. Eventually and to a very limited extent the MICOM 2002 "Twin" was pushed to allow 4 terminals to hang from it - all using the one 256k processor. This machine turned out to be an absolute dog and represented the end of distributed processing for the MICOM line. This line also introduced a hard drive. Imagine this: the cost of the hard drive was consistent with the formatting of the drive. I.E. the drive could be formatted for 10,20 and 45 megs and was priced at $10,000, $20,000 and (gasp) $27,000 for the 45 meg - ALL THE SAME DRIVE!! Just formatted differently. A total redesign of the system came with the MICOM 3000 series whereby the disk drives were placed beside the terminal all in one housing - it also provided a swivel tiltable screen. With the intro of the 3000 series (3003 - single floppy 64k, 3004 - dual floppy 64k, 3004e dula floppy and 128k, 3005 single floppy, 10 meg drive 128k) also came the MICOM 1001. As discussed in a previous post the concept of this single lined LCD screen system was to be a low cost data entry terminal that could feed data to the main unit. In theory you could have 10 data entry clerks typing original text into a $2,000 data entry terminal which would then be fed to a main system ($15,000 cost) to be formatted, spell checked, etc. This system never took off and died quickly. The mini cassette tapes were notoriously slow and faulty. The key to the MICOM success story was their software. Prior to the MICOM 2000 coming to market all systems generally used resident software - i.e. one drive always had to house the software disk which in turn would be called upon to perform different functions. The MICOM on the other hand was praised for having "memory resident programs" whereby all of the programming - AND IT WAS REALLY GOOD STUFF AT THE TIME - was held in memory and one or both floopy drives were available for storage, etc. Some of the programs that were available for the MICOM series were: basic WP, math, greek symbols, photocomposition - i.e. acting as an interface to a photocomp system in the printing world, sort, proportional spacing, communications, terminal emulation, spell check (the best one was written by Reid Bodwell in Montreal independently to MICOM - was I believe also used in the TRS80 Radio Shack system. That's it - it was a great system and many years ahead of its time. The major competitors for it in Canada were AES, IBM, Xerox, WANG and in the states NBI, CPT, Lanier (AES with a different cover) all of which did not have software that was as advanced as the MICOM. Unfortunately the MICOM was a great product for only about 7-8 years and then the IBM PC came to market and the rest is history.
John 'JV' Visosky on Monday, June 15, 2009
I worked for Micom/Philips from 1979 to 1984. I wrote Math Pak II and Keystroke Memory, plus numerous features in the word processor itself (including the first Arabic version). I was technical lead for the Swift product (the Z80 version of the Micom). We crammed a lot of functionality into 64K of memory - 8K of which was video memory! Good times...
Rod Hughes on Tuesday, April 21, 2009
My father worked for Micom from the mid/late 1970's to the early 80's. He brought a 2001 home when I was 12 in 1981. I taught myself to program on one of these puppys. I have incredible fond memories of spending hours writing text adventures and other games on it.
Elizabeth Woods on Friday, October 03, 2008
I worked for the Army Corps of Engineers Portland District when this sytems was purchased for their Steno Pool in 1981. There was an Optical Scanner feature sold with this system as well that attempted to scan previously typed documents to eliminate retyping the information. What a unique concept for 1981. I worked for an insurance company in Phoenix, Arizona in 1985 and they too used this system for word processing (Wang was the big rival) prior to the IBM-PC craze. I am surprised to see that these systems are still being used.
Michael Hompus on Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I have a Micom 1001 sitting here in my hallway (Am I a real collector or not?). It is labelled Philips P5010 and was a text entry terminal (with mini casette storage). Another component of the Philips range was the P5900, also known as "televerket", which was host for the P5010's, with added features such as floppy drives, x25 conection and a very nice video screen for that time. The P5900 sported a Z8000 processor while the P5010's ran a Z80. Later, my computerclub in Eindhoven, the Philips hometown, created firmware to which ran (tiny)Basic on the 5010. Also, another philips affiliated computerclub published a project to replace the original Z8002 board of the P5900 with a purposely designed Z80 board which ran CP/M..... Personally I still have both 'machines' and planned long ago to build a M6800 board for the P5900 (which I still have laying around). That should be easy since both the Z8002 and the M6800 are 16 bit CPU's with almost identical bus signals. Maybe I'll find some free time during the next ten years.... The practical purpose of such an undertaking is practically zero now since we have laptops running at over 2000MHz!.
Susan B on Saturday, May 10, 2008
I used to work for this company as a marketing support representative, responsible for demonstrating, training, application development and customer support!! I still have some of the 8" program disks, and probably some of the 5 1/4" as well. Great system, the math programs ran circles around the Wang word processor. I almost took home a 2001 when it was obsoleted, but decided that it was too large. Very versatile systems, with the optional programs. And a superb word processing application for its time. We sold oodles of them.
Jim K on Friday, September 07, 2007
The Micom 1001 was called a "keystroke capture device". It's purpose was to free up the expensive ($15K) 2001 for actual word processing by storing typed information onto the mini tape. This data could then be downloaded to the 2001 via a serial RS232 interface at a later time. They didn't sell well so for a time you could get a free 1001 with the purchase of a 2001. The 1001 had a single line LCD display. A later version, the 1002 had a multi line display and limited built in word processing functionality. It could be directly connected to a TEC20 daisy wheel printer and used as a stand alone system. The 1001 stored it's code in firmware but the 1002 had to be booted from a program tape. The Philips mini cassette tape drives were notoriously unreliable and neither system was very popular.
Shawn Westbrook on Thursday, August 16, 2007
I rescued this machine from an auction around 91ish?, i paid a whole 45 dollars for it! I actually used this machine for light word processing during high school, mostly because i loved the machine gun sound the daisy wheel printer made
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