From: cctalk [mailto:cctalk-bounces at classiccmp.org
] On Behalf Of Dave Wade
Sent: 24 October 2017 10:01
To: 'Kip Koon' <computerdoc at sc.rr.com>; 'General Discussion:
Off-Topic Posts' <cctalk at classiccmp.org>
Subject: RE: Which Dec Emulation is the MOST useful and Versatile?
It depends on what your interest is! Of course PDP stood for "Programmed
and avoids the use of the word computer because the backers of Digital did
want them building a Computer. I believed it also
helped sales as it
corporate purchasing edicts which said only central IT
The PDP8 is the smallest but most hackable, but things like Oscars 8I or
SBC6120 which turns up from time to time (google
SBC6120) mean that its
possible to have something approaching a physical PDP-8 to play with
than just emulation. But if small is beautiful then
may be the machine for
These were used all over the place. Manchester
University Medical School
one connected to its IBM7090, Leeds to its KDF9.
Really a revolution in
computing. Its amazing what folks got to run on these using only paper
Eventually made in a Microprocessor with the Harris
and Interrail 6100 and
then the Harris HD6120..
The PDP-11 covers a huge range of systems and I know there are still some
PDP-11's in service. At one time Barclays, a UK bank used them as Branch
Controllers so every branch had a PDP-11 and in those days there were many
more branches than there are now. I learnt BASIC on one at Salford
in 1977. When I worked for the uk's Natural
Environment Research Council
must have had hundreds of the things. We used them to
conversion" systems that would copy data from scientific instruments and
build front end concentrators for our Honeywell L66.
More capable than the
PDP-11 but possibly less easy to hack. Lots of different Operating Systems
there but for some licensing is interesting. Was used
to develop early
The VAX-11 is probably my favourite box. I have several physical VAXen
with the VMS OS installed. Really gives a flavour of
was like in the 1970's and 1980's. Very
capable but even less easy to
initially big and expensive, which is why the PDP-11
continued to be
for many years.
There is also the PDP-10/Dec System 10 which was claimed to be a
but I never met one of these. Probably not for the
Ah the PDP10! Although the very first computer I used was a PDP11, it was so
briefly that I really consider the PDP10 (in DECSYSTEM-20 form) to be my
first computer. It is easy to emulate in SIMH, although the SIMH emulation
is of a less capable processor (KS10) and I think KLH10 is the best emulator
for that (but I have never used it).
For general DEC goodness I would go for a PDP11 or a VAX, preferably both.
And as Dave and others have pointed out, PDP was not really a line of
computers, it was multiple lines of different computers.
I forsee a *long* thread here.