back to article DEC founder Ken Olsen is dead

Ken Olsen, the founder of minicomputer and client/server company Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) died on Sunday. He was 84 years-old. Olsen started out a maverick, pioneered and drove the minicomputer and supermini revolutions, and then became a dinosaur. But unlike many other senior DEC executives he remains a much-loved …

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First pdp had how many bits?

If one looks up the history of DEC and even further looks at the pdp-1, they might find that it has 18 bits. Yes, there were DEC machines that were 12 bits (pdp-5, pdp-8, pdp-12), but the first one had 18 bits. Some of the DEC machines that had 18 bits were pdp-7, pdp-9, and pdp-15 (there may have been more).

Of course, one can also look to non-S/360 machines of IBM -- 36 bit 709/7094, and of course the IBM 1130 - 16 bits.

Real people used IBM's "personal computer" of the 60's: The IBM 1620. A marvelous computer to learn on.

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The IBM 1620..

...was the first computer that I used, too. Magic.

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Looking back...

Talking as an ex-DECcie: thanks for allowing me to take part in that terrific adventure called "Digital". Looking back I can honestly say those were the best professional years of my life. I never found that original Digital spirit in any of the other companies I worked for. Too bad it did not last: I jumped ship just before the Texas cowboys took over but the downturn was already started by then ( what is mister Palmer doing these days?).

Thanks again, Ken.

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Tape Towers

Anyone remember upgrading MicroVax's with a tower of TK50 tapes?

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Isn't every computer a | D | I | G | I | T | A | L | computer?

Had that as a car-sticker once. (OK, some were analogue, but maybe the programs are archived on Philips Casette tape somewhere...)

Fond memories. PDP11/05? Loading boot with the switches so often, I reckon I could've done it in about a minute or so, no handbook required.

Then, watch that paper tape just WHIZZ!!!

Yowser! Took a computer-literate new G/F of mine, used to Cobal, punched cards and IBM to the 'control centre' one night.

WHIZZ!.

No mention of using an LSI-11 to play "Zork" from a mag-tape cartridge? At least, it gave time to think...

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RIP Ken...

I was lucky enough to work for DEC in Harefield house back in '93 for 3 years, the culture was great, the Alpha was just coming along and there was a buzz..

Fond memories of a time gone by.. Although I feel the need to point out that VMS/Alpha is not dead yet.. for instance, the Deutsche Borse (German stock exchange) system runs on a cluster of 14 VMS Alpha nodes.. of course it will eventually end up on linux on x86 hardware..

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Re. PDP14

My memories are returning. It was EDT and Runoff on the Vax. Later I worked on Sun workstations when I used vi and nroff.

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Was it Videotext?

Seem to recall being able to bring up all kinds of documentation, manuals, policies - docs of any kind really across DECs internal network. Much like we use the web today.

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