Fra DDHFwiki
Spring til navigation Spring til søgning

Philips Data Systems

Mats Danielson (Stockholm University) has written a very informative book about: The rise and fall of Philips Data Systems.


Pages related to this project are written in English, as the project has international participation, especially Camiel Vanderhoeven in the Netherlands.

I could of course have written everything in Dutch, but most of the existing documentation is in English, so I'd better stick to English.

(The Philips related entries are subject to heavy editing. Much information is still missing, so please check regularly.)

Most of the contents of these pages are for the time being taken from memory. Errors will be corrected as soon as possible. Comments would be appreciated.

Many of the files in the MANUALS section are scanned from paper, implying that the quality is not always perfect. Some are coming from other sites, others are scanned locally, and some are my own manuals. Most, if not all, Mxx manuals are on hand in a paper version.

The purpose of these PHILIPS pages is twofold :

1) to save basic information on the Philips P800 series minicomputer and it derivates, especially the PTS (Philips Terminal System) series.

2) to describe what is needed in order to revive the PTS hardware we have in stock, so we can show how some functions were accomplished in the early days of computing.

I will start with a bit of PTS history, as this is the one I'm intimate familiar with, the result of working for Philips Data Systems from 1980 to 1990. Pictures will be inserted as they become available.

Back in the (19)60's, Philips had a big product in the industrial niche : the P800 minicomputer series. It was used for process control and other "narrow" niches.

In the 70's, a market emerged for terminal systems, such as Seat Reservation.

Philips wanted to have a share of this market, as it already had much of the needed hardware : the P800 series, the printers, disks etc, but it lacked a major part : the terminal related hardware.

The task of "inventing" the product for that market, was given to Philips Data Systems in Apeldoorn (NL), who had to define what was needed and to take care of the documentation, and Philips Elektronikindustrier AB (PEAB) in Järfälla (Sweden), who had to develop the hardware, develop the drivers, take care of software releases, etc.

The result of this was initially the PTS 6110, but it was soon replaced by the 68xx series, based on the P852 CPU (6810) and the P857 CPU (6813). These systems were closely related, to the point that an update kit (UK01) was available for on-site upgrade.

The discussion below will be based on the 68xx series, as this series is the one I used to work on, until the remaining hardware was handed over to the Danish Data Historical Society around 1990.

This included a full blown development system, equipped with 2 hard discs : one with 2x 2.5 MB discs, and one with 2x 5MB discs. You are reading correctly : it was MEGA bytes, not GIGA.

The system could also double as a terminal system, talking to two terminals : one local terminal consisting of a VDU (25x80), 3-in-1 printer, A4 printer with fanfold paper, and a numerical/alphanumeric keyboard, and a "remote" (aka nextdoor, via modem eliminator cable) terminal using a plasma display and a 3-in-1 printer.

A 3-in-1 printer, PTS 6222, is a "3 in one" solution : the same printer mechanism serves a "tracking" roll, so any transaction can be tracked, one roll serving as the printer for a calculator, and then a position where account cards or savings banks books could be printed.

Around 2014 it was considered to attempt to revive the system, but it was soon discovered that many parts had mysteriously disappeared, the most important loss being the two hard drives.

It was therefore decided to start with the development of a simulator and if possible a "desk top" version, so we had something to show the unwashed.

In the mean time, it would be investigated whether the discs could be replaced with for example a Control Data 80 MB disk or some kind of disk simulator, but this has not (yet) resulted in anything useful.

The table-top version was intended to be based on the P859 box, which was supposed to be software compatible with the P857. Alas, we could not find a P859 CPU, so the project was shelved. Various notes are still exist, should we ever find such a beast.

What to do now?

In order to be able to show anything, we had to develop an Assembler and a Simulator.

The purpose of the assembler is to gain some experience in Philips' way of handling instructions (which are very smart, but sometimes hard to understand), and to make some programs so we could validate the Simulator.

The Simulator should resemble the 6813 as much as possible, especially the Systems Operator Panel and the Customer Operator Panel.

This project is now available in an Alpha version, so the next step is to look at the missing hardware, what has survived, and what the technical implications are regarding the missing parts.


-- projects --

Assembler Project

Simulator Project

Data recovery project

-- Other interesting things --

Short Description of the PTS Terminal System

Hardware Issues to be Solved

Activities to be investigated


Overview of Backup tapes

PTS stock list Renge - Fil:PTS lagerliste Renge.pdf

Other P800-related sites (additions are very welcome!)