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Encyclopedia > Digital Equipment Corporation
Digital Equipment Corporation
Fate Assets were sold to various companies. What remained was sold to Compaq.
Successor Compaq
Founded 1957
Defunct 1998
Location Maynard, Massachusetts
Flag of the United States United States
Products PDP
VAX
DEC Alpha
Key people Ken Olsen (founder and CEO)
Harlan Anderson (co-founder)
Peak size over 100,000 (1980s) employees

Digital Equipment Corporation was a pioneering American company in the computer industry. It is often referred to within the computing industry as DEC. (This acronym was frequently officially used by Digital itself,[1] but the official name was always DIGITAL.) Its PDP and VAX products were arguably the most popular minicomputers for the scientific and engineering communities during the 1970s and 1980s. DEC was acquired by Compaq in June 1998, which subsequently merged with Hewlett-Packard in May 2002. As of 2007 its product lines were still produced under the HP name. From 1957 until 1992 its headquarters was in an old woolen mill in Maynard, Massachusetts. Image File history File links Digital_dec_logo. ... Compaq Computer Corporation is an American personal computer company founded in 1982, and now a brand name of Hewlett-Packard. ... Compaq Computer Corporation is an American personal computer company founded in 1982, and now a brand name of Hewlett-Packard. ...   Maynard is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Programmed Data Processor (abbreviated PDP) was the name of a series of computers, several of them ground-breaking and very influential, made by Digital Equipment Corporation. ... VAX is a 32-bit computing architecture that supports an orthogonal instruction set (machine language) and virtual addressing (i. ... DEC Alpha AXP 21064 Microprocessor die photo Package for DEC Alpha AXP 21064 Microprocessor Alpha AXP 21064 bare die mounted on a business card with some statistics The DEC Alpha, also known as the Alpha AXP, is a 64-bit RISC microprocessor originally developed and fabricated by Digital Equipment Corp... Ken Olsen calling UNIX snake oil Kenneth H. Olsen (born on February 20, 1926) is an American engineer who cofounded Digital Equipment Corporation in 1957 with colleague Harlan Anderson. ... Harlan Anderson (born 1929) is an engineer and entrepreneur, best known as the co-founder of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). ... This article is about the machine. ... Programmed Data Processor (abbreviated PDP) was the name of a series of computers, several of them ground-breaking and very influential, made by Digital Equipment Corporation. ... VAX is a 32-bit computing architecture that supports an orthogonal instruction set (machine language) and virtual addressing (i. ... Minicomputer (colloquially, mini) is a largely obsolete term for a class of multi-user computers which make up the middle range of the computing spectrum, in between the largest multi-user systems (traditionally, mainframe computers) and the smallest single-user systems (microcomputers or personal computers). ... Compaq Computer Corporation is an American personal computer company founded in 1982, and now a brand name of Hewlett-Packard. ... The Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ), commonly known as HP, is a very large, global company headquartered in Palo Alto, California, United States. ... 2007 is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar. ...   Maynard is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. ...


Digital Equipment Corporation should not be confused with Digital Research; the two were unrelated, separate entities; or with Western Digital (despite the fact that they made the LSI-11 chipsets used in Digital Equipment Corporation's low end PDP-11/03 computers). Note, however, that there were Digital Research Laboratories where DEC did its corporate research. Digital Research, Inc. ... Western Digital Corporation (NYSE: WDC) (often abbreviated to WD) is a manufacturer of a large proportion of the worlds hard disks, and has a long history in the electronics industry as an IC maker and a storage products company. ... The PDP-11 was a 16-bit minicomputer sold by Digital Equipment Corp. ... The PDP-11 was a 16-bit minicomputer sold by Digital Equipment Corp. ... Digital Equipment Corporation was a pioneering American company in the computer industry. ...

Contents

History

The company was founded in 1957 by Ken Olsen and Harlan Anderson, two engineers who had been working at MIT Lincoln Laboratory on the TX-2 project. The TX-2 was a transistor-based computer using the then-huge amount of 64K 36-bit words of core memory. When that project ran into difficulties, Olsen and Anderson left MIT to form DEC. Venture capital of about $70,000 was provided by Georges Doriot and his American Research and Development Corporation. AR&D later sold its investment in Digital for approximately $450 million, certainly the best VC return ever to that point. At the time, the VC market was hostile to computer companies, and investors shied from their plans. The original business plan named the company "Digital Computer Corporation," but AR&D required that the name be changed to DEC. Instead, DEC started building small digital "modules" such as flip flops, gates, and transformer drivers that could be combined to run scientific and engineering experiments. In 1959, Ben Gurley started design of the company's first computer, the PDP-1 (PDP being an initialism for Programmable Data Processor as a means of attracting VC funding. As he put it, "We aren't building computers, we're building 'Programmable Data Processors'." DEC began operations in a Civil War era textile mill in Maynard, Mass., where plenty of inexpensive manufacturing space was available. Ken Olsen calling UNIX snake oil Kenneth H. Olsen (born on February 20, 1926) is an American engineer who cofounded Digital Equipment Corporation in 1957 with colleague Harlan Anderson. ... Harlan Anderson (born 1929) is an engineer and entrepreneur, best known as the co-founder of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC). ... Mapúa Institute of Technology (MIT, MapúaTech or simply Mapúa) is a private, non-sectarian, Filipino tertiary institute located in Intramuros, Manila. ... MIT Lincoln Laboratory, also known as Lincoln Lab, is a federally funded research and development center managed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and funded by the United States Department of Defense. ... The MIT Lincoln Laboratory TX-2 computer was the successor to the Lincoln TX-0 and was known for its role in advancing both artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction. ... Assorted discrete transistors A transistor is a semiconductor device, commonly used as an amplifier or an electrically controlled switch. ... 36-bit word length describes the number of bits, 36, used in some early computers to represent data in the form of words—their basic units of addressing and calculation. ... A 16×16 cm area core memory plane of 128×128 bits, i. ... Venture capital is a general term to describe financing for startup and early stage businesses as well as businesses in turn around situations. ... Georges Doriot was one of the first American venture capitalists. ... PDP-1 at the Computer History Museum. ... Acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations formed from the initial letter or letters of words, such as NATO and XHTML, and are pronounced in a way that is distinct from the full pronunciation of what the letters stand for. ... PDP is also used as an acronym for Plasma Display Panel. ...

System Building Blocks 1103 hex-inverter card (both sides)

The first modules were the free-standing "laboratory modules," placing one or two gates inside an extruded aluminum housing. These modules could be stacked in a preconfigured 19-in rack shelf that supplied power to the modules; the logic circuits were then established using banana plug patch cords installed at the front of the modules. The same circuits were then packaged as "System Building Blocks," which were used to build the PDP-1. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2156x1364, 1845 KB) Summary dec System Building Blocks 1103 hex-inverter card (both sides) By: RTC Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby grant the permission to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2156x1364, 1845 KB) Summary dec System Building Blocks 1103 hex-inverter card (both sides) By: RTC Licensing I, the creator of this work, hereby grant the permission to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU... 4 mm plugs The 4 mm plug (also called the banana plug) is a single-pole electrical connector widely used in science laboratories for temporarily joining wires to equipment. ... It is a cord designed to connect between 2 computers as a bridge. ... System Building Blocks logo System Building Blocks were printed circuit boards designed and manufactured by Digital Equipment Corporation. ...

A "B" (blue) series Flip Chip module containing nine transistors, 1971
A "B" (blue) series Flip Chip module containing nine transistors, 1971

The same circuits were then packaged as the first "R" (red) series "Flip-Chip®" modules. Later, other module series provided additional speed, much higher logic density, and industrial I/O capabilities. Digital published extensive data about the modules in free catalogs that became very popular. Image File history File links KA10_mod_end. ... Image File history File links KA10_mod_end. ... This article is about a historical electronic module produced by DEC. For the general semiconductor mounting technique, see flip chip. ...




8-bit systems

In the 1980s, DEC built the VT180 (codenamed "Robin"), which was a VT100 terminal with a Z80-based microcomputer running CP/M. VT180 = VT100 + Z80. ... The VT100 was a video terminal made by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) which became the de facto standard used by terminal emulators. ... One of the first Z80 microprocessors manufactured; the date stamp is from June 1976. ... CP/M is an operating system originally created for Intel 8080/85 based microcomputers by Gary Kildall of Digital Research, Inc. ...


This evolved into the Rainbow 100, which had both Z80 and 8088 CPUs and was capable of running CP/M, CP/M-86, and MS-DOS. Digital Equipment Corporation joined the microcomputer revolution a little late when it introduced the Rainbow-100 in 1982. ... The Intel 8088 is an Intel microprocessor based on the 8086, with 16-bit registers and an 8-bit external data bus. ... CP/M is an operating system originally created for Intel 8080/85 based microcomputers by Gary Kildall of Digital Research, Inc. ... CP/M-86 was a version of the CP/M operating system that Digital Research made for the Intel 8086 and Intel 8088. ... Microsofts disk operating system, MS-DOS, was Microsofts implementation of DOS, which was the first popular operating system for the IBM PC, and until recently, was widely used on the PC compatible platform. ...


DEC also used Intel 8-bit microprocessors as embedded processors within larger systems; for example, as the console processor in PDP-11/04, 11/34, and 11/44 systems and as the main processor within the VT100 family of video terminals. The PDP-11 was a 16-bit minicomputer sold by Digital Equipment Corp. ... The VT100 was a video terminal made by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) which became the de facto standard used by terminal emulators. ...


12-bit systems

A PDP-8 on display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.. This example is from the first generation of PDP-8s, built with discrete transistors and later known as the Straight 8.
A PDP-8 on display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.. This example is from the first generation of PDP-8s, built with discrete transistors and later known as the Straight 8.

To serve laboratories at a lower cost, DEC provided the PDP-5, an early minicomputer, in 1963. True success followed with the introduction of the famous PDP-8 in 1964. It was a smaller, 12-bit word machine that sold for about $16,000 and was small enough to fit on a cart. The device was simple enough to be used for many roles, and was soon being sold in large quantities to new market niches such as labs, railways, and various industrial applications. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (960x1280, 129 KB)The PDP-8 on display at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (960x1280, 129 KB)The PDP-8 on display at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... The Smithsonian castle, as seen through the garden gate. ... The National Museum of American History is a museum administered by the Smithsonian Institution and located in Washington, D.C., on the National Mall. ... For other uses, see Washington, D.C. (disambiguation). ... Programmed Data Processor (abbreviated PDP) was the name of a series of computers, several of them ground-breaking and very influential, made by Digital Equipment Corporation. ... A PDP-8 on display at the Smithsonians National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.. This example is from the first generation of PDP-8s, built with discrete transistors and later known as the Straight 8. ...


The PDP-8 was important historically because it was the first computer that was regularly purchased by a handful of end users as an alternative to using a larger system in a data center. Because of their low cost and portability, these machines could be purchased to fill a specific need, unlike the mainframe systems of the day that were nearly always shared among diverse users. Today, the PDP-8 is generally regarded as the first minicomputer. The PDP-8 spawned a cousin, the PDP-12, which merged data acquisition and display capabilities developed with the NIH-sponsored LINC computers into the PDP-8 architecture. Minicomputer (colloquially, mini) is a largely obsolete term for a class of multi-user computers which make up the middle range of the computing spectrum, in between the largest multi-user systems (traditionally, mainframe computers) and the smallest single-user systems (microcomputers or personal computers). ... PDP is also used as an acronym for Plasma Display Panel. ... The LINC (Laboratory Instrument Computer) was a 12-bit, 2048-word computer. ...


The PDP-8 was used as the "brains" for many specific scientific and research projects. Once such adaptation was the "Durrum Instruments D-500 Amino Acid Analyzer" wherein a PDP-8 was used for process control. Durrum D-500 Amino-acid Analyzer The D-500 Amino Acid Analyzer was designed and built by Durrum Instruments in the late 1960s. ... Process control is a statistics and engineering discipline that deals with architectures, mechanisms, and algorithms for controlling the output of a specific process. ...


Many 8- and 16-bit machine architectures are said to be inspired by the PDP-8, including the HP 2100 and Data General Nova, and to a lesser extent the National Semiconductor IMP, PACE, and INS8900 microprocessors and the Signetics 2650 microprocessor. Machines based on the PDP-8 can be characterized by a small number of accumulators (such as AC and MQ, or A and B), or a small number of general registers (R0-R3) rather than a relatively large number of regular registers (such as R0-R7 or R15), and by memory addressing in terms of a base page and a current page (related to PC value). Hewlett-Packards first computer, the 2116A of the HP-2100 series, was developed in the late 1960s. ... Data General SuperNova The Data General Nova was a popular 16-bit minicomputer built by the United States company Data General starting in 1969. ... Categories: Electronics companies of the United States | Companies based in California | Corporation stubs ... The INS8900 was the NMOS version of National Semiconductors PACE 16-bit microprocessor. ... According to Adam Osbornes classic book An Introduction to Microprocessors Vol 2: Some Real Products, the 2650 was the most minicomputer-like of the 8-bit processors. ...


The design of the 4 bit Intel 4004 was also inspired by the PDP-8, although it has a series of regular registers (R0-R15). While evaluating the Busicom designed calculator chipset for production by Intel, Ted Hoff realized that the PDP-8 sitting in the corner of the room was far more powerful than newer chips, yet the circuitry was much simpler. Therefore, he proposed that Intel not make the chips designed by Busicom, but instead design a "computer chipset" that buyers could program as a calculator. The Intel 4004 is a 4-bit central processing unit (CPU) released by Intel Corporation in 1971. ... Busicom was a company that owned the rights to the first microprocessor but sold them back to Intel. ... Dr. Marcian Edward Ted Hoff Jr. ...


16-bit systems

Data General was formed by a group of DEC engineers in May, 1968, and rapidly brought the 16-bit NOVA minicomputer to market, based on a proposed architecture that DEC management had rejected. DEC immediately found itself behind in the industry transition to 8-bit bytes. The PDP-11 16-bit computer was designed in a crash program by Harold McFarland, Gordon Bell, Roger Cady, and others. Its numerous architectural innovations, including the UNIBUS, proved superior to all competitors and the "11" architecture was soon the industry leader. The first model was the PDP-11/20, which was followed by higher performance models such as the 11/45 and 11/70. When improvements to integrated circuits enabled the single-chip microprocessor, 11s eventually were packaged into systems no larger than a modern PC. Data General was one of the first minicomputer firms from the late 1960s. ... The PDP-11 was a 16-bit minicomputer sold by Digital Equipment Corp. ... C. Gordon Bell (August 19, 1934) is a leading computer engineer and manager, an early employee of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) who designed several of their PDP machines and later rose to Vice President of Engineering and oversaw the development of the VAX. // Career Born in Kirksville, Missouri, he received... The Unibus was the earliest of several bus technologies used with PDP-11 and early VAX systems manufactured by the Digital Equipment Corporation of Maynard, Massachusetts. ... Integrated circuit of Atmel Diopsis 740 System on Chip showing memory blocks, logic and input/output pads around the periphery Microchips with a transparent window, showing the integrated circuit inside. ... A stylised illustration of a modern personal computer A personal computer (PC) is a computer whose original sales price, size, and capabilities make it useful for individuals. ...


The PDP-11 supported several operating systems, including Bell Labs' new Unix operating system as well as DEC's DOS-11, RSX-11, IAS, RT-11, and RSTS/E. Many early PDP-11 applications were developed using standalone paper-tape utilities. DOS-11 was the PDP-11's first disk operating system, but was soon supplanted by more capable systems. RT-11 provided a practical real-time operating system, allowing the PDP-11 to continue Digital's critical role as a computer supplier for embedded systems. RSX provided a general-purpose multitasking environment and supported a wide variety of programming languages. IAS was a time-sharing version of RSX-11D. Both RSTS and Unix were time-sharing systems available to educational institutions at little or no cost, and these PDP-11 systems were destined to be the sandbox for a generation of engineers and computer scientists. Large numbers of 11/70s were deployed in telecommunications and industrial control applications. AT&T became DEC's largest customer. Bell Laboratories (also known as Bell Labs and formerly known as AT&T Bell Laboratories and Bell Telephone Laboratories) was the main research and development arm of the United States Bell System. ... Filiation of Unix and Unix-like systems Unix (officially trademarked as UNIX®, sometimes also written as or ® with small caps) is a computer operating system originally developed in 1969 by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Labs including Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie and Douglas McIlroy. ... BATCH-11/DOS-11, also known simply as DOS-11, was an operating system by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) of Maynard, Massachusetts. ... RSX-11 is a family of real-time operating systems mainly for PDP-11 computers created by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), common in the late 1970s and early 1980s. ... RT-11 (for Run Time or Real Time) was a real-time operating system for the DEC PDP-11. ... RSTS/E (an acronym for Resource Sharing Timesharing System Extended) was a multi-user time-shared operating system developed by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) (now part of Hewlett Packard) for the PDP-11 series of 16-bit minicomputers, and used primarily during the 1970s and 1980s, although some installations were... A router, an example of an embedded system. ... In computing, multitasking is a method by which multiple tasks, also known as processes, share common processing resources such as a CPU. In the case of a computer with a single CPU, only one task is said to be running at any point in time, meaning that the CPU is... Alternate uses: see Timesharing Time-sharing is an approach to interactive computing in which a single computer is used to provide apparently simultaneous interactive general-purpose computing to multiple users by sharing processor time. ...


The PDP-11's 16-bit byte-oriented architecture provided a 64KB virtual address space. Most models had a paged physical memory architecture and memory protection features, useful for multitasking and time-sharing, and some supported separate Instruction & Data spaces for an effective virtual address size of 128KB within a physical address size of up to 4 MB. A communication is byte oriented or character oriented when the transmitted information is grouped into bytes. ...


Another significant innovation of the PDP's architecture (PDP-11 in particular, but also to some degree the other PDPs) was that all peripheral device interfaces were memory mapped: rather than using special I/O instructions to work with peripherals, programmers accessed device registers by reading and modifying the contents of specific physical memory addresses.


PDP operating systems were the model for many other operating systems. CP/M used a command syntax similar to RT-11's, and even retained the awkward PIP program used to copy other programs. DEC's use of '/' for "switches" (command-line options) would lead to the adoption of '' for pathnames in Windows as opposed to '/' in Unix. CP/M is an operating system originally created for Intel 8080/85 based microcomputers by Gary Kildall of Digital Research, Inc. ... The Peripheral Interchange Program (PIP), on the Digital Equipment Corporations computers was a utility to transfer data files. ... Windows redirects here. ... Filiation of Unix and Unix-like systems Unix (officially trademarked as UNIX®, sometimes also written as or ® with small caps) is a computer operating system originally developed in 1969 by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Labs including Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie and Douglas McIlroy. ...


18-bit systems

Through the 1960s, DEC produced a series of machines aimed at a price/performance point below IBM's mainframe machines, typically based on an 18-bit word using core memory: the PDP-1, the PDP-4 (1963), the PDP-7 (the first to use their Flip-Chip® technology) and PDP-9 (1965), and finally the PDP-15 series (starting in 1970 and later sold as the "XVM" series). The PDP-15 was an early user of TTL integrated circuits. These computers were moderately powerful computers for their time, mainly used in industrial, scientific, and medical laboratories. International Business Machines Corporation (IBM, or colloquially, Big Blue) (NYSE: IBM) (incorporated June 15, 1911, in operation since 1888) is headquartered in Armonk, New York, USA. The company manufactures and sells computer hardware, software, and services. ... For other uses, see Mainframe. ... A flip chip is one type of IC chip mounting which does not require any wire bonds. ... Programmed Data Processor (abbreviated PDP) was the name of a series of computers, several of them ground-breaking and very influential, made by Digital Equipment Corporation. ... Programmed Data Processor (abbreviated PDP) was the name of a series of computers, several of them ground-breaking and very influential, made by Digital Equipment Corporation. ... A Motorola 68000-based computer with various TTL chips. ... An integrated circuit (IC) is a thin chip consisting of at least two interconnected semiconductor devices, mainly transistors, as well as passive components like resistors. ...


24-bit systems

According to Gordon Bell, the second PDP (PDP-2) was reserved for a 24-bit computer that was never developed. C. Gordon Bell (August 19, 1934) is a leading computer engineer and manager, an early employee of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) who designed several of their PDP machines and later rose to Vice President of Engineering and oversaw the development of the VAX. // Career Born in Kirksville, Missouri, he received...


32-bit systems

In addition to the VAX below, DEC collaborated with ARM Limited to produce the StrongARM processor. This processor, based in part on ARM7 and in part on DEC technologies like Alpha, was highly compatible with the ARMv4 architecture and set the standard for microprocessors intended for mobile applications, virtually destroying the market for technologies such as MIPS and SuperH in these markets. Microsoft subsequently dropped PocketPC support for these architectures, largely as a result of the extremely broad appeal of StrongARM. When DEC ceased to trade, the StrongARM intellectual property was sold to Intel, who continued to manufacture StrongARM, as well as developing it into XScale. Image:ARM-Cambridge. ... DEC StrongARM SA-110 Microprocessor The StrongARM microprocessor is a faster version of the Advanced RISC Machines ARM design. ... A MIPS R4400 microprocessor made by Toshiba. ... The SuperHichem (or SH) is brandname of a certain microcontroller and microprocessor architecture. ... Microsoft Corporation, (NASDAQ: MSFT, HKSE: 4338) is a multinational computer technology corporation with global annual revenue of US$44. ... A Pocket PC is a computer in a handheld size that runs a variation of the operating system Windows CE. It has many capabilities of modern desktop PCs. ... DEC StrongARM SA-110 Microprocessor The StrongARM microprocessor is a faster version of the Advanced RISC Machines ARM design. ... DEC StrongARM SA-110 Microprocessor The StrongARM microprocessor is a faster version of the Advanced RISC Machines ARM design. ... Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC, SEHK: 4335), founded in 1968 as Integrated Electronics Corporation, is an American multinational corporation that is best known for designing and manufacturing microprocessors and specialized integrated circuits. ... DEC StrongARM SA-110 Microprocessor The StrongARM microprocessor is a faster version of the Advanced RISC Machines ARM design. ... The XScale, a microprocessor core, is Marvells (formerly Intels) implementation of the 5th generation of the ARM architecture, and consists of several distinct families: IXP, IXC, IOP, PXA and CE (see more below). ...


36-bit systems

A paper design for the third PDP (PDP-3) was developed and a single computer was produced from the specification by a DEC customer using DEC System Building Blocks.


For larger scientific applications DEC produced the PDP-6 in 1964, using a 36-bit architecture. Using the same word length as the IBM 701-7094 series scientific computers, which were being replaced by the 32-bit IBM System/360 series, and the UNIVAC 1107, which was replaced by the successor UNIVAC 1108 the next year, provided an alternative growth path for scientific customers. The successor was the PDP-10 series, eventually sold as the DECsystem-10 and DECSYSTEM-20. The IBM 700/7000 series was a series of incompatible large scale (mainframe) computer systems made by IBM through the 1950s and early 1960s. ... System/360 Model 65 operators console, with register value lamps and toggle switches (middle of picture) and emergency pull switch (upper right). ... The UNIVAC 1100/2200 series is a series of compatible 36-bit computer systems, beginning with the UNIVAC 1107 in 1962, initially made by Sperry Rand. ... The UNIVAC 1108 was the second member of Sperry Rands UNIVAC 1100 series of computers, introduced in 1964. ... The PDP-10 was a computer manufactured by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) from the late 1960s on; the name stands for Programmed Data Processor model 10. It was the machine that made time-sharing common; it looms large in hacker folklore because of its adoption in the 1970s by many... The TOPS-10 System was a computer operating system from Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) for the PDP-10 released in 1964. ... The DECSYSTEM-20 was a DEC PDP-10 computer running the TOPS-20 operating system. ...


One of the most unusual peripherals produced for the PDP-10 was the DECtape. The DECtape was a length of standard magnetic tape wound on 5-in reels. However, the recording format was a 10-track approach using fixed-length numbered 'blocks' organized into a standard file structure, including a directory. Files could be written, read, changed and deleted on a DECtape as though it were a hard drive. In fact, some PDP-10 systems had no hard drives at all, using DECtapes alone for their primary data storage. For greater efficiency, the DECtape drive could read and write to a DECtape in both directions. DECtape was a magnetic tape storage medium used with early Digital Equipment Corporation computers, including the PDP-6, PDP-8, LINC-8, PDP-10, PDP-11, PDP-12, and the PDP-15. ...


VAX and Ethernet systems

A representative VAX-11/780 system configuration
A representative VAX-11/780 system configuration

In 1976, DEC decided to extend the PDP-11 architecture to 32 bits, creating the first 32-bit minicomputer, referred to as a super-mini. This was launched as the Virtual Address eXtension (VAX) 11/780 in 1978, and immediately took over the vast majority of the minicomputer market. Desperate attempts by competitors such as Data General (which had been formed in 1968 by Ed DeCastro and eight other DEC engineers who had worked on a 16-bit design that DEC had rejected) to win back market share failed, due not only to DEC's successes, but the emergence of the microcomputer and workstation into the lower-end of the minicomputer market. In 1983, DEC canceled its "Jupiter" project, which had been intended to build a successor to the PDP-10, and instead focused on promoting the VAX as their the single computer architecture for the company. It was believed that microprocessor technology at the low end and networking of larger systems could produce a 1:1000 range of computing power from one architecture. Download high resolution version (1592x1024, 237 KB)VAX 11/780 from [1], copyright DIgital Equipment Corporation, believed to be fair use. ... Download high resolution version (1592x1024, 237 KB)VAX 11/780 from [1], copyright DIgital Equipment Corporation, believed to be fair use. ... The PDP-11 was a 16-bit minicomputer sold by Digital Equipment Corp. ... A supermini can be: A car size class used in Europe. ... VAX is a 32-bit computing architecture that supports an orthogonal instruction set (machine language) and virtual addressing (i. ... Data General was one of the first minicomputer firms from the late 1960s. ... The Commodore 64 was one of the most popular microcomputers of its era, and is the best selling model of home computer of all time. ... Sun SPARCstation 1+, 25 MHz RISC processor from early 1990s A workstation, such as a Unix workstation, RISC workstation or engineering workstation, is a high-end desktop or deskside microcomputer designed for technical applications. ... The Jupiter project was to be a successor to Digital Equipment Corporations PDP-10 model of the VAX computer series. ...


The VAX series had an instruction set that is rich even by today's standards (as well as an abundance of addressing modes). In addition to the paging and memory protection features of the PDP series, the VAX supported virtual memory. The VAX could use both Unix and DEC's own VMS operating system. Addressing modes, a concept from computer science, are an aspect of the instruction set architecture in most central processing unit (CPU) designs. ... The program thinks it has a large range of contiguous addresses; but in reality the parts it is currently using are scattered around RAM, and the inactive parts are saved in a disk file. ... OpenVMS[1] (Open Virtual Memory System or just VMS) is the name of a high-end computer server operating system that runs on the VAX[2] and Alpha[3] family of computers developed by Digital Equipment Corporation of Maynard, Massachusetts (DIGITAL was then purchased by Compaq, and is now owned...


In 1984, DEC launched its first 10 Mbps Ethernet. Ethernet allowed scalable networking, and VAXcluster allowed scalable computing. Combined with DecNet and Ethernet based terminal servers (LAT), DEC had produced a networked storage architecture which allowed them to compete directly with IBM. The Ethernet replaced the IBM token-ring, and went on to become the dominate networking model for the remainder of the 20th century and beyond.


At its peak in the late 1980s, Digital was the second-largest computer company in the world, with over 100,000 employees. It was during this time that the company appeared to take on a feeling of invincibility, and it branched out into software, producing products for almost every "hot" niche at the time. This included Digital's own networking system, DECnet, file and print sharing, relational database, and even transaction processing. Although many of these products were well designed, most of them were DEC-only or DEC-centric, and customers frequently ignored them and used third-party products instead. This problem was further magnified by Olsen's aversion to traditional advertising and his belief that well-engineered products would sell themselves. Hundreds of millions of dollars were spent on these projects, at the same time that workstations based on RISC architecture were starting to approach the VAX in performance. Constrained by their huge success of the VAX/VMS products, which followed the proprietary model, the company was very late to respond to commodity hardware in the form of Intel-based personal computers and standards-based software such as Unix and Internet protocols such as TCP/IP. In the early 1990s, DEC found its sales faltering and its first layoffs followed. The company that created the minicomputer, a dominate networking technology, and arguably the first computers for personal use, did not effectively respond to the significant restructuring of the computer industry. DECnet is a proprietary suite of network protocols created by Digital Equipment Corporation, originally released in 1975 in order to connect two PDP-11 minicomputers. ... In computer science, transaction processing is information processing that is divided into individual, indivisible operations, called Each transaction must succeed or fail as a complete unit; it cannot remain in an intermediate state. ... Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC), is a microprocessor CPU design philosophy that favors a smaller and simpler set of instructions that all take about the same amount of time to execute. ... Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC, SEHK: 4335), founded in 1968 as Integrated Electronics Corporation, is an American multinational corporation that is best known for designing and manufacturing microprocessors and specialized integrated circuits. ... Filiation of Unix and Unix-like systems Unix (officially trademarked as UNIX®, sometimes also written as or ® with small caps) is a computer operating system originally developed in 1969 by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Labs including Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie and Douglas McIlroy. ... The Internet protocol suite is the set of communications protocols that implement the protocol stack on which the Internet runs. ...


Alpha and MIPS systems

Inside view of AlphaServer 2100.
Inside view of AlphaServer 2100.

During the 1980s, DEC made several attempts at designing a RISC (reduced instruction set) processor to replace the VAX architecture. Eventually, in 1992, DEC launched the Alpha processor (initially named Alpha AXP, the "AXP" was later dropped). This was a 64-bit RISC architecture (as opposed to the 32-bit CISC architecture used in the VAX) and one of the first 64-bit microprocessor designs. The Alpha offered class-leading performance at its launch, and subsequent variants continued to do so into the 2000s. Alpha-based computers (the DEC AXP series, later the AlphaStation and AlphaServer series) superseded both the VAX architecture and the MIPS-based DECstation line, and could run VMS, DEC's 4.2BSD-based Unix variant called Ultrix and Microsoft's new server operating system Windows NT. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1222x960, 206 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Digital Equipment Corporation ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1222x960, 206 KB) Summary Licensing File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Digital Equipment Corporation ... Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC), is a microprocessor CPU design philosophy that favors a smaller and simpler set of instructions that all take about the same amount of time to execute. ... DEC Alpha AXP 21064 Microprocessor die photo Package for DEC Alpha AXP 21064 Microprocessor Alpha AXP 21064 bare die mounted on a business card with some statistics The DEC Alpha, also known as the Alpha AXP, is a 64-bit RISC microprocessor originally developed and fabricated by Digital Equipment Corp... In computing, a 64-bit component is one in which data are processed or stored in 64-bit units (words). ... Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC), is a microprocessor CPU design philosophy that favors a smaller and simpler set of instructions that all take about the same amount of time to execute. ... A Complex Instruction Set Computer (CISC) is an instruction set architecture (ISA) in which each instruction can indicate several low-level operations, such as a load from memory, an arithmetic operation, and a memory store, all in a single instruction. ... A microprocessor is a programmable digital electronic component that incorporates the functions of a central processing unit (CPU) on a single semiconducting integrated circuit (IC). ... AlphaStation was the name given to a series of computer workstations, produced from 1994 onwards by Digital Equipment Corporation, and latterly by Compaq and HP. As the name suggests, the AlphaStations were based on the DEC Alpha 64-bit microprocessor. ... AlphaServer was the name given to a series of server computers, produced from 1994 onwards by Digital Equipment Corporation, and latterly by Compaq and HP. As the name suggests, the AlphaServers were based on the DEC Alpha 64-bit microprocessor. ... A MIPS R4400 microprocessor made by Toshiba. ... A DECstation 5000/120 The DECstation was a brand of computers used by DEC, and refers to three distinct lines of computer systems—the first released in 1978 as a word processing system, and the latter (more widely known) two both released in 1989. ... BSD redirects here. ... Filiation of Unix and Unix-like systems Unix (officially trademarked as UNIX®, sometimes also written as or ® with small caps) is a computer operating system originally developed in 1969 by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Labs including Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie and Douglas McIlroy. ... Ultrix (officially all-caps ULTRIX) was the brand name of Digital Equipment Corporations (DEC) native Unix systems. ... Windows NT (New Technology) is a family of operating systems produced by Microsoft, the first version of which was released in July 1993. ...


DEC tried to compete in the Unix market by marketing the VMS operating system as "OpenVMS" and by selling its own Unix (OSF/1 AXP, later renamed Digital UNIX and then Tru64), and began to advertise more aggressively. DEC was simply not prepared to sell into a crowded Unix market however, and the low end PC-servers running NT (based on Intel processors) took market share from Alpha-based computers. DEC's workstation and server line never gained much popularity beyond former DEC customers. OpenVMS[1] (Open Virtual Memory System or just VMS) is the name of a high-end computer server operating system that runs on the VAX[2] and Alpha[3] family of computers developed by Digital Equipment Corporation of Maynard, Massachusetts (DIGITAL was then purchased by Compaq, and is now owned... Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC, SEHK: 4335), founded in 1968 as Integrated Electronics Corporation, is an American multinational corporation that is best known for designing and manufacturing microprocessors and specialized integrated circuits. ...


Personal computers

Digital responded to the challenge of the IBM-PC with not one, but three machines, tied to proprietary architectures. One machine was for "professionals," barely hiding CEO Ken Olsen's contempt for the IBM PC. One was for word processing only and another was "almost" IBM compatible. All three were commercial failures. Packaging was based on the new VT220 terminals. The DEC Professional Series Model 350 (380) was based on the PDP-11/23 (11/73)which, running RSX-11M+ derived the menu-driven P/OS, was software incompatible with the base of largely CP/M and 8080 based microcomputers. The 'Pro' provided 64K 16-bit addresses windowing into 2 MB of physical memory, compared to 1 MB capacity of the Intel 8086. The DecMate I and II was the latest version of the PDP-8 based word processors, but not really suited to general computing, nor competitive with Wang Laboratories word processing that was becoming popular. The Rainbow 100 ran an 8086 implementation of CP/M, so applications could in theory be recompiled; but, by this time, users were expecting custom-built applications such as Lotus 1-2-3, which was eventually ported along with MS-DOS V2.0 and introduced in late 1983. Users objected to having to buy preformatted floppy disks. The IBM PC (Personal Computer), was the original version and progenitor of the IBM PC compatible hardware platform. ... Proprietary indicates that a party, or proprietor, exercises private ownership, control or use over an item of property, usually to the exclusion of other parties. ... Ken Olsen calling UNIX snake oil Kenneth H. Olsen (born on February 20, 1926) is an American engineer who cofounded Digital Equipment Corporation in 1957 with colleague Harlan Anderson. ... The VT220 was a terminal produced by Digital Equipment Corporation from 1983 to 1987. ... The PDP-11 was a 16-bit minicomputer sold by Digital Equipment Corp. ... CP/M is an operating system originally created for Intel 8080/85 based microcomputers by Gary Kildall of Digital Research, Inc. ... The Intel 8080 was an early microprocessor designed and manufactured by Intel. ... The 8086[1] is a 16-bit microprocessor chip designed by Intel in 1978, which gave rise to the x86 architecture. ... Wang logo circa 1976. ... Digital Equipment Corporation joined the microcomputer revolution a little late when it introduced the Rainbow-100 in 1982. ... CP/M-86 was a version of the CP/M operating system that Digital Research made for the Intel 8086 and Intel 8088. ... Lotus 1-2-3 is a spreadsheet program from Lotus Software (now part of IBM). ...


DEC was initially resistant to even supporting MS-DOS, and did not produce a true IBM-PC compatible computer for many years, although the VAXmate came close, introduced in 1986 along with MS-Windows V1.0 and a VAX/VMS based (file and print) server for Microsoft's network protocols (such as SMB and NetBIOS) along with integration into DEC's own DECnet-family, providing LAN/WAN connection from PC to mainframe (supermini). The lines of DECs personal computers peaked with the Alpha-based 64-bit RISC workstations introduced in the early 1990s. DEC later produced a range of true IBM-PC compatible computers, including the Starion, Venturis, Celebris and Digital PC desktop lines, the HiNote series of laptops and the Digital Server and Prioris ranges of servers.[2] Microsofts disk operating system, MS-DOS, was Microsofts implementation of DOS, which was the first popular operating system for the IBM PC, and until recently, was widely used on the PC compatible platform. ... One of the first PCs from IBM - the IBM PC model 5150. ... VAXmate was a personal computer produced by Digital Equipment Corporation. ... Microsoft Windows is a range of commercial operating environments for personal computers. ... OpenVMS V7. ... DECnet is a proprietary suite of network protocols created by Digital Equipment Corporation, originally released in 1975 in order to connect two PDP-11 minicomputers. ...


Architecting Solutions

Beyond DECsystem-10/20, PDP, VAX and Alpha, Digital was well respected for its communication subsystem designs, such as Ethernet, DNA (Digital Network Architecture - predominantly DECnet products), DSA (Digital Storage Architecture - disks/tapes/controllers), and its "dumb terminal" subsystems including VT100 and DECserver products.[3]


Closing DEC's business

In June 1992, Ken Olsen was replaced by Robert Palmer as the company's CEO. Palmer had joined DEC in 1985 to run Semiconductor Engineering and Manufacturing. His relentless campaign to be CEO, and success with the Alpha microprocessor family, made him a candidate to succeed Olsen. However, Palmer was unable to stem the tide of red ink. More rounds of layoffs ensued and many of DEC's assets were spun off: Robert B. Palmer was born in 1941. ...

  • Worldwide training was spun off to form an independent/new company called Global Knowledge Network.[4]
  • Their database product, Rdb, was sold to Oracle.
  • The TK-series tape technology was sold to Quantum Corporation as the basis for today's DLT and SuperDLT technology.
  • Text terminal business (VT100 and its successors) was sold in August 1995 to Boundless Technologies.
  • In March 1997, DEC's CORBA-based product, ObjectBroker, and its messaging software, MessageQ, was sold to BEA Systems, Inc.
  • In May 1997, DEC sued Intel for allegedly infringing on its Alpha patents in designing the Pentium chips. As part of a settlement, DEC's chip business was sold to Intel. This included DEC's StrongARM implementation of the ARM computer architecture, which Intel sold as the XScale processors commonly used in Pocket PCs.
  • In 1997, the printer business was sold to GENICOM (now TallyGenicom), which then produced models bearing the Digital logo.
  • At about the same time, the networking business was sold to Cabletron Systems, and subsequently spun off as Digital Network Products Group.
  • The DECtalk and DECvoice voice products were spun off, and eventually arrived at Fonix.
  • RT-11 is now supported and distributed by the Mentec company.[5]

Eventually, on January 26, 1998, what remained of the company (including Digital's multivendor global services organization and customer support centers) was sold to Compaq, which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard in 2002. Hewlett-Packard now sells what were Digital's StorageWorks disk/tape products,[6] made possible through the Compaq acquisition. Rdb/VMS is a relational database management system (RDBMS) for the Hewlett-Packard OpenVMS operating system. ... Oracle Corporation (NASDAQ: ORCL) is one of the major companies developing database management systems (DBMS), tools for database development, middle-tier software, enterprise resource planning software (ERP), customer relationship management software (CRM) and supply chain management (SCM) software. ... Quantum Corporation is a manufacturer of tape drive products, based in San Jose, California. ... A Super DLT I tape cartridge Digital Linear Tape (DLT) (previously called CompacTape) is a magnetic tape data storage technology developed by Digital Equipment Corporation from 1984 onwards. ... A typical text terminal produces input and displays output and errors A text terminal or often just terminal (sometimes text console) is a serial computer interface for text entry and display. ... The VT100 was a video terminal made by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) which became the de facto standard used by terminal emulators. ... In computing, Common Object Request Broker Architecture (CORBA) is a standard for software componentry, created and controlled by the Object Management Group (OMG). ... BEA Systems, Inc. ... Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC, SEHK: 4335), founded in 1968 as Integrated Electronics Corporation, is an American multinational corporation that is best known for designing and manufacturing microprocessors and specialized integrated circuits. ... Pentium MMX - top view The Pentium is a fifth-generation x86 architecture microprocessor by Intel which first shipped on March 22, 1993. ... DEC StrongARM SA-110 Microprocessor The StrongARM microprocessor is a faster version of the Advanced RISC Machines ARM design. ... The ARM architecture (previously, the Advanced RISC Machine, and prior to that Acorn RISC Machine) is a 32-bit RISC processor architecture developed by ARM Limited that is widely used in a number of embedded designs. ... The XScale, a microprocessor core, is Intels implementation of the 5th generation of the ARM architecture, and consists of several distinct families: IXP, IXC, IOP and PXA (see more below). ... The Dell Axim x30, a Pocket PC A Pocket PC, abbreviated P/PC or PPC, is a hardware specification for a handheld-sized computer (Personal digital assistant) that runs the Windows Mobile operating system. ... The GENICOM logo From 1982 to 2003, GENICOM was a leading American manufacturer of computer printers, based in Chantilly, Virginia. ... Cabletron Systems was a New Hampshire, USA-based provider of networking computer equipment that provided one of the major hardware boom stories of the dot-com era before succumbing to competition and breaking up into four subsidiarieis in 2000. ... DECtalk was a speech synthesizer and text-to-speech technology developed by Digital Equipment Corporation in the early 1980s. ... RT-11 (for Run Time or Real Time) was a real-time operating system for the DEC PDP-11. ... is the 26th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1998 (MCMXCVIII) was a common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar). ... Compaq Computer Corporation is an American personal computer company founded in 1982, and now a brand name of Hewlett-Packard. ... The Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ), commonly known as HP, is a very large, global company headquartered in Palo Alto, California, United States. ...


The Digital logo survived for a while after the company ceased to exist, as the logo of Digital GlobalSoft, an IT services company in India (which was a 51 percent subsidiary of DEC). Digital GlobalSoft was later renamed "HP GlobalSoft" (also known as the "HP Global Delivery India Center" or HP GDIC) and no longer uses the Digital logo.


The digital.com and DEC.com domain names are now owned by Hewlett-Packard and redirect to their US website.[7]


Research

DEC's Research Laboratories (or Research Labs, as they were commonly known) conducted Digital's corporate research. Some of them were operated by Compaq and are still operated by Hewlett-Packard. The laboratories were: Compaq Computer Corporation is an American personal computer company founded in 1982, and now a brand name of Hewlett-Packard. ... The Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ), commonly known as HP, is a very large, global company headquartered in Palo Alto, California, United States. ...

Some of the former employees of Digital's Research Labs or Digital's R&D in general include: Location in Santa Clara County and the state of California Coordinates: , Country State County Santa Clara Government  - Mayor Yoriko Kishimoto[1] Area  - City 25. ... Categories: Stub ... Location in Santa Clara County and the state of California Coordinates: , Country State County Santa Clara Government  - Mayor Yoriko Kishimoto[1] Area  - City 25. ... Location in Santa Clara County and the state of California Coordinates: , Country State County Santa Clara Government  - Mayor Yoriko Kishimoto[1] Area  - City 25. ... Location in Middlesex County in Massachusetts Coordinates: , Country State County Middlesex Settled 1630 Incorporated 1636 Government  - Type Mayor-City Council  - Mayor Kenneth Reeves (D) Area  - Total 7. ... The Eiffel Tower has become the symbol of Paris throughout the world. ...   Maynard is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States. ...

Some of the work of the Research Labs was published in the Digital Technical Journal,[8] published until 1998.[9] C. Gordon Bell (August 19, 1934) is a leading computer engineer and manager, an early employee of Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) who designed several of their PDP machines and later rose to Vice President of Engineering and oversaw the development of the VAX. // Career Born in Kirksville, Missouri, he received... Henry Burkhardt III (1945-2000) was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, grew up in South Hadley, Massachusetts, and was schooled there. ... Data General was one of the first minicomputer firms from the late 1960s. ... Kendall Square Research (KSR) was a supercomputer company headquartered originally in Kendall Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1986, near MIT. It was co-founded by Henry Burkhardt III who had previously helped found Data General and Encore Computer and was one of the original team that designed the PDP-8... An Italian computer scientist, currently working for Microsoft Research in Cambridge. ... David Neil Cutler, Sr. ... Data General was one of the first minicomputer firms from the late 1960s. ... Data General was one of the first minicomputer firms from the late 1960s. ... Henri Gouraud (born ~1944) is a French computer scientist. ... James Nicholas Jim Gray (born 1944, presumed lost at sea January 28, 2007) is an American computer scientist who received the Turing Award in 1998 for seminal contributions to database and transaction processing research and technical leadership in system implementation. ... This article is about Alan Kotok who was associate chair of W3C. Alan B. Kotok who is the managing editor of Science Careers is also called Alan Kotok. ... Leslie Lamport Dr. Leslie Lamport (born 1941) is an American computer scientist. ... Butler W. Lampson is a computer scientist, considered to be one of the most significant in the history of the field. ... Founder of internet search engine AltaVista, currently working at Google. ... Brian Keith Reid (born 1949) is a computer scientist most famous for developing the Scribe word processing system, the subject of his 1980 doctoral dissertation, for which he received the Association for Computing Machinerys Grace Murray Hopper Award in 1982. ... Paul Vixie is the author of several RFCs and well known UNIX system programs, among them SENDS, proxynet, rtty and Vixie cron. ...


Accomplishments

Digital supported the ANSI standards, especially the ASCII character set, which survives in Unicode and the ISO 8859 character set family. Digital's own Multinational Character Set also had a large influence on ISO 8859-1 (Latin-1) and, by extension, Unicode. The American National Standards Institute or ANSI (pronounced an-see) is a nonprofit organization that oversees the development of standards for products, services, processes and systems in the United States. ... Image:ASCII fullsvg There are 95 printable ASCII characters, numbered 32 to 126. ... The Unicode Standard, Version 5. ... ISO 8859, more formally ISO/IEC 8859, is a joint ISO and IEC standard for 8-bit character encodings for use by computers. ... The Multinational Character Set is a character encoding created by Digital Equipment Corporation for use in the popular VT220 terminal. ... ISO 8859-1, more formally cited as ISO/IEC 8859-1 or less formally as Latin-1, is part 1 of ISO/IEC 8859, a standard character encoding originally developed by ISO, but later jointly maintained by ISO and IEC. The standard, when supplemented with additional character assignments, is the... The Unicode Standard, Version 5. ...


The first versions of the C programming language and the UNIX operating system ran on Digital's PDP series of computers (first on a PDP-7, then the PDP-11's), which were among the first commercially viable minicomputers, although for several years Digital itself did not encourage the use of Unix. C is a general-purpose, block structured, procedural, imperative computer programming language developed in 1972 by Dennis Ritchie at the Bell Telephone Laboratories for use with the Unix operating system. ... Filiation of Unix and Unix-like systems Unix (officially trademarked as UNIX®, sometimes also written as or ® with small caps) is a computer operating system originally developed in 1969 by a group of AT&T employees at Bell Labs including Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie and Douglas McIlroy. ... Programmed Data Processor (abbreviated PDP) was the name of a series of computers, several of them ground-breaking and very influential, made by Digital Equipment Corporation. ... The PDP-11 was a 16-bit minicomputer sold by Digital Equipment Corp. ... Minicomputer (colloquially, mini) is a largely obsolete term for a class of multi-user computers which make up the middle range of the computing spectrum, in between the largest multi-user systems (traditionally, mainframe computers) and the smallest single-user systems (microcomputers or personal computers). ...


Digital also produced the popular VAX computer family, the first pure 64-bit microprocessor architecture, Alpha AXP, the first commercially successful workstation (the VT-78), and some commercially unsuccessful personal computers. The central computing system of the Soviet reusable Buran spaceship was based on two microVAX computers. VAX is a 32-bit computing architecture that supports an orthogonal instruction set (machine language) and virtual addressing (i. ... DEC Alpha AXP 21064 Microprocessor die photo Package for DEC Alpha AXP 21064 Microprocessor Alpha AXP 21064 bare die mounted on a business card with some statistics The DEC Alpha, also known as the Alpha AXP, is a 64-bit RISC microprocessor originally developed and fabricated by Digital Equipment Corp... The Buran spacecraft, serial number 11F35 K1, was the only fully completed and operational space shuttle from the Soviet Unions Buran program. ...


Digital produced widely used interactive operating systems, including OS-8, TOPS-10, TOPS-20, RSTS/E, RSX-11, RT-11, and OpenVMS. PDP computers, in particular the PDP-11 model, inspired a generation of programmers and software developers. Some PDP-11 systems more than 25 years old (software and hardware) are still being used to control and monitor factories, transportation systems and nuclear plants. Digital was an early champion of time-sharing systems. OS/8 was the primary operating system used on the Digital PDP-8 minicomputer. ... The TOPS-10 System was a computer operating system from Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) for the PDP-10 released in 1964 and later on for the DEC-System10. ... The TOPS-20 operating system by DEC was the second proprietary OS for the PDP-10. ... RSTS/E (an acronym for Resource Sharing Timesharing System Extended) was a multi-user time-shared operating system developed by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) (now part of Hewlett Packard) for the PDP-11 series of 16-bit minicomputers, and used primarily during the 1970s and 1980s, although some installations were... RSX-11 is a family of real-time operating systems mainly for PDP-11 computers created by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), common in the late 1970s and early 1980s. ... RT-11 (for Run Time or Real Time) was a real-time operating system for the DEC PDP-11. ... OpenVMS[1] (Open Virtual Memory System or just VMS) is the name of a high-end computer server operating system that runs on the VAX[2] and Alpha[3] family of computers developed by Digital Equipment Corporation of Maynard, Massachusetts (DIGITAL was then purchased by Compaq, and is now owned... The PDP-11 was a 16-bit minicomputer sold by Digital Equipment Corp. ... The PDP-11 was a 16-bit minicomputer sold by Digital Equipment Corp. ... Alternate uses: see Timesharing Time-sharing is an approach to interactive computing in which a single computer is used to provide apparently simultaneous interactive general-purpose computing to multiple users by sharing processor time. ...


Digital was to the command-line interface (CLI) what Apple was to the GUI: there was history before and innovation after, but it was Digital's operating systems that put it together in a complete and definitive form. The command-line interfaces found in Digital's systems, eventually codified as DCL, would look familiar to any user of modern microcomputer CLIs; those used in earlier systems, such as CTSS, IBM's JCL, or Univac's time-sharing systems, would look utterly alien. Many features of the CP/M and MS-DOS CLI show a recognizable family resemblance to Digital's OSes, including command names such as DIR and HELP and the "name-dot-extension" file naming conventions. DCL is the standard Command line interface (CLI) adopted by most of the operating systems that were sold by the former Digital Equipment Corporation (which has since been acquired by Hewlett-Packard). ... CTSS, which stood for the Compatible Time-Sharing System, was one of the first time-sharing operating systems; it was developed at MITs Computation Center. ... For other uses, see IBM (disambiguation) and Big Blue. ... Job Control Language (JCL) is a scripting language used on IBM mainframe operating systems to instruct the Job Entry Subsystem (that is, JES2 or JES3) on how to run a batch program or start a subsystem. ... UNIVAC serves as the catch-all name for the American manufacturers of the lines of mainframe computers by that name, which through mergers and acquisitions underwent numerous name changes. ...


VAX and MicroVAX computers (very widespread in the 1980s) running VMS formed one of the most important proprietary networks, DECnet, which linked business and research facilities. The DECnet protocols formed one of the first peer-to-peer networking standards. Email, file sharing, and distributed collaborative projects existed within the company long before their value was recognized in the market. save Y100!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ... OpenVMS V7. ... DECnet is a proprietary suite of network protocols created by Digital Equipment Corporation, originally released in 1975 in order to connect two PDP-11 minicomputers. ... DECnet is a proprietary suite of network protocols created by Digital Equipment Corporation, originally released in 1975 in order to connect two PDP-11 minicomputers. ...


Digital, Intel and Xerox through their collaboration to create the DIX standard, were champions of Ethernet, but Digital is the company that made Ethernet commercially successful. Initially, Ethernet-based DECnet and LAT protocols interconnected VAXes with DECserver terminal servers. Starting with the UNIBUS to Ethernet adapter, multiple generations of Ethernet controllers from Digital were the de facto standard. The CI "computer interconnect" adapter was the industry's first network interface controller to use separate transmit and receive "rings". Ethernet is a large, diverse family of frame-based computer networking technologies that operate at many speeds for local area networks (LANs). ... Local Area Transport OR LAT is a non-routable networking technology developed by Digital Equipment Corporation to provide connection between the DECserver 90, 100, 200, 300, 700 and DECserver 900 Terminal Servers and Digitals VAX and Alpha host computers via Ethernet, giving communication between those hosts and serial devices...


Digital also invented clustering, an operating system technology that treated multiple machines as one logical entity. Clustering permitted sharing of pooled disk and tape storage via the HSC50/70/90 and later series of Hierarchical Storage Controllers. HSCs delivered the first hardware RAID 0 and 1 capabilities and the first serial interconnects of multiple storage technologies. This technology was the forerunner to systems like Network of Workstations which are used for massively cooperative tasks such as web-searches and drug research. An example of a Computer cluster A computer cluster is a group of tightly coupled computers that work together closely so that in many respects they can be viewed as though they are a single computer. ... A NOW or Network of Workstations is a computer network which connects several computer workstations together, and by utilising special software it allows to use the network as a cluster. ...


The LA36 and LA120 dot matrix printers became industry standards and may have hastened the demise of the Teletype Corporation. Teletype machines in World War II A teleprinter (teletypewriter, teletype or TTY for TeleTYpe/TeleTYpewriter) is a now largely obsolete electro-mechanical typewriter which can be used to communicate typed messages from point to point through a simple electrical communications channel, often just a pair of wires. ...


The VT100 computer terminal became the industry standard, implementing a useful subset of the ANSI X3.64 standard, and even today terminal emulators such as HyperTerminal, PuTTY and Xterm still emulate a VT100 (or its more capable successor, the VT220). The VT100 was a video terminal made by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) which became the de facto standard used by terminal emulators. ... A computer terminal is an electronic or electromechanical hardware device that is used for entering data into, and displaying data from, a computer or a computing system. ... Screenshot of HyperACCESS HyperACCESS is the name for a number of successive computer communications software, made by Hilgraeve. ... PuTTY is a free software SSH, Telnet, rlogin, and raw TCP client. ... xterm is the standard terminal emulator for the X Window System. ... The VT220 was a terminal produced by Digital Equipment Corporation from 1983 to 1987. ...


The X Window System, the first remote-windowing system, was developed by Project Athena at MIT. Digital was the primary sponsor for this project. “X11” redirects here. ... Project Athena was a joint project of MIT, Digital Equipment Corporation, and IBM. It was launched in 1983, and research and development ran through June 30, 1991, eight years after it began. ... “MIT” redirects here. ...


Dave Cutler, who led the development of RSX-11M, RSX-11M+, VMS and then VAXeln, left Digital in 1988 to lead the development of Windows NT. A rumor circulated for a long time that WNT=VMS+1 (increment each letter by one). In the early 1990's, when asked directly about this, Cutler quipped "What took you so long ?", leaving open the possibility that VMS becoming WNT was a very unlikely coincidence. However, as noted in the article on Windows NT, the order of events does not support this. RSX-11 is a family of real-time operating systems mainly for PDP-11 computers created by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), common in the late 1970s and early 1980s. ... RSX-11 is a family of real-time operating systems mainly for PDP-11 computers created by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), common in the late 1970s and early 1980s. ... OpenVMS V7. ... VAXeln is a real-time operating system for MicroVAX. Trivia It was originally supposed to be named ELAN but DEC discovered at the last minute that it was trademarked in a European country where DEC wished to conduct business. ... Windows NT (New Technology) is a family of operating systems produced by Microsoft, the first version of which was released in July 1993. ... Windows NT (New Technology) is a family of operating systems produced by Microsoft, the first version of which was released in July 1993. ...


Notes-11 and its follow-on product, VAXnotes, were two of the first examples of online collaboration software, a category that has become to be known as groupware. Len Kawell, one of the original Notes-11 developers later joined Lotus Development Corporation and contributed to their Lotus Notes product. Collaborative software is software designed to help people involved in a common task achieve their goals. ... Len Kawell is an engineer and entrepreneur who once worked at Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), where he was one of the designers of the VAX/VMS operating system. ... Lotus Software (called Lotus Development Corporation before its acquisition by IBM) is an American software company headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts. ... Lotus Notes is a client-server collaborative software and e-mail system owned by Lotus Software, of the IBM Software Group. ...


Digital was one of the first businesses connected to the Internet with dec.com, registered in 1985,[10] being one of the first of the now ubiquitous .com domains. gatekeeper.dec.com was a well-known software repository during the pre-World Wide Web days, but Digital was also the first computer vendor to open a public website, on October 1, 1993.[11] The popular AltaVista, created by Digital, was one of the first comprehensive Internet search engines. (Although Lycos was earlier, it was much more limited.) Graphic representation of the world wide web around Wikipedia The World Wide Web (WWW, or simply Web) is an information space in which the items of interest, referred to as resources, are identified by global identifiers called Uniform Resource Identifiers (URI). ... is the 274th day of the year (275th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1993 (MCMXCIII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1993 Gregorian calendar). ... The name AltaVista refers both to an Internet search engine company and to that company’s search engine product. ... A search engine is an information retrieval system designed to help find information stored on a computer system. ... Lycos is an Internet search engine and web portal. ...


DEC invented Digital Linear Tape (DLT), which began as a 5.25" replacement for refrigerator-sized reel-to-reel ½" tape drives and grew to capacities in excess of 30 gigabytes. A Super DLT I tape cartridge Digital Linear Tape (DLT) (previously called CompacTape) is a magnetic tape data storage technology developed by Digital Equipment Corporation from 1984 onwards. ...


Work on the first hard-disk-based MP3-player, the Personal Jukebox, started at the DEC Systems Research Center. (The project was started about a month before the merger into Compaq was completed.) Two versions of the Personal Jukebox: Black (Music) Compressor (rebranded, by HyTek) respectively Titanium PJB-100 (original, by HanGo) The Personal Jukebox (also known as PJB-100 and, to some extent Music Compressor) was the first ever hard disk MP3-Player to hit the market in late 1999, which makes... Categories: Stub ... Compaq Computer Corporation is an American personal computer company founded in 1982, and now a brand name of Hewlett-Packard. ...


PDA concepts created in DEC's Western Research Lab, originally called Itsy, were incorporated into The iPaq which was developed as a successor to Compaq's own PDA, the Aero, originally developed to showcase WindowsCE using display and other technology from Nintendo color GameBoy. There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... iPAQ presently refers to a Pocket PC and personal digital assistant first unveiled by Compaq in April 2000; the name was borrowed from Compaqs earlier iPAQ Desktop Personal Computers. ...


Anecdotes

The first spam in computer history was sent in 1979 by a Digital employee. Over 400 people received his promotional message via the Arpanet network. E-mail spam, also known as bulk e-mail or junk e-mail is a subset of spam that involves sending nearly identical messages to numerous recipients by e-mail. ... ARPANET logical map, March 1977. ...


Notes and references

  1. ^ "DEC used by Digital itself:" PDP11 Processor Handbook (1973): page 8, "DEC, PDP, UNIBUS are registered trademarks of Digital Equipment Corporation;" page 1-4, "Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) designs and manufacturers many of the peripheral devices offered with PDP-11's. As a designer and manufacturer of peripherals, DEC can offer extremely reliable equipment... The LA30 DECwriter, a totally DEC-designed and built teleprinter, can serve as an alternative to the Teletype."
  2. ^ http://h18002.www1.hp.com/legacysupport/digital/retired.html
  3. ^ For in-depth articles regarding Digital technologies, refer to the archived Digital Technical Journal
  4. ^ http://www.globalknowledge.com
  5. ^ http://www.mentec.com/
  6. ^ http://h18006.www1.hp.com/storage/
  7. ^ www.digital.com, www.DEC.com
  8. ^ http://www.hpl.hp.com/hpjournal/dtj/past.htm
  9. ^ At least some of the research reports are available online at ftp.digital.com, in the subdirectories WRL, SRC, NSL, CRL, PRL (see Research section). Verified July 2006
  10. ^ http://research.microsoft.com/Users/gbell/Digital/timeline/1985-6.htm
  11. ^ http://listserv.acsu.buffalo.edu/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind9402&L=dectei-l&T=0&P=200
  • Edgar H. Schein, Peter S. DeLisi, Paul J. Kampas, and Michael M. Sonduck, DEC Is Dead, Long Live DEC: The Lasting Legacy of Digital Equipment Corporation (San Francisco: Barrett-Koehler, 2003), ISBN 1-57675-225-9.
  • C. Gordon Bell, J. Craig Mudge, and John E. McNamara, Computer Engineering - A DEC View of Hardware Systems Design; Digital Press, 1978, ISBN 0-932376-00-2.
  • Alan R. Earls, Digital Equipment Corporation; Arcadia Publishing, 2004, ISBN 0-7385-3587-7.

The PDP-11 was a 16-bit minicomputer sold by Digital Equipment Corp. ... Digital Equipment Corporation was a pioneering American company in the computer industry. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ...

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Digital Equipment Corporation
  • OpenVMS.org
  • Tru64.org (initially Ultrix, then OSF1, and then Digital UNIX)
  • pictures of DEC chips at chipdb.org

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Digital Equipment Corporation, originally founded in 1957, was a innovative company in the American computer industry.
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The case may also be distributed in electronic form by the Digital Equipment Corporation (at no charge to users), again subject to this copyright statement remaining attached and no changes being made without permission of the authors.
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