PDP-12 at the RICM
RichA at LivingComputerMuseum.org
Mon Jul 13 14:16:21 CDT 2015
From: Kip Koon
Sent: Sunday, July 12, 2015 10:52 PM
> I would be most interested in finding out more about this effort. Do you have
> ongoing pictures documenting this effort? I'd love to have a PDP 8, 11, 12
> someday, but I don't have the space for something like that much less the cost
> involved so I'll have to be satisfied with emulators on my PC or eventually
> building one or more of these systems with current technology like the SBC6120
> if memory serves. Are there other possible alternatives? I used a PDP-8/E in
> high school and college and have been quite interested in the high capability
> PDPs like the PDP-11 Series for starters. I didn't know there were PDP 12
> Series computers. Are there other PDP series computers as well?
Don't confuse higher numbers with higher capabilities, or even as being related
to each other. DEC created computers with 9 different architectures before the
32-bit VAX was even dreamed of.
The list of Programmed Data Processors goes like this:
PDP-1 18-bit word, 12-bit address
PDP-2 24-bit word, paper design only
PDP-3 36-bit word, paper design only
PDP-4 18-bit word, 13-bit address
PDP-5 12-bit word
PDP-6 36-bit word, mainframe unrelated to PDP-3
PDP-7 18-bit word, PDP-4 successor
PDP-8 12-bit word, PDP-5 successor
PDP-9 18-bit word, PDP-7 successor
PDP-10 36-bit word, PDP-6 successor mainframe
PDP-11 16-bit word, 16-bit address
PDP-12 12-bit word, PDP-8/i + LINC hybrid
PDP-14 control processor for customer-built special purpose equipment
PDP-15 18-bit word, PDP-9 successor
PDP-16 Register-Transfer Module hard-wired processor, PDP-14 competitor
There were later variants of some of these:
PDP-8/s, PDP-8/i & /l, PDP-8/e & /f & /m, PDP-8/A
After 1971, they stopped naming things "PDP-n", with the exception of models of
the PDP-11 (which eventually consisted of more than 20 models designated
PDP-11/nn), but even there the Pro-3x0 desktop systems were called something
else. Later models were microprocessor-based.
The later PDP-10 models were designated DECsystem-10 and DECSYSTEM-20.
The later PDP-8 models were the DECmate, DECmate II, and DECmate III (word
processing desktop systems) and the VT-78, all based on Intersil or Harris
microprocessors which were roughly the PDP-8/e in silicon.
"high capability PDPs" = PDP-10 & follow-ons. PDP-11? Pfeh.
 1 built by a customer, reputed to be an NSA front company.
 With memory management, 18 or 22, in 16-bit segments. Late models could
use separate instruction and data segments, for a total of 128KB in use at
 Different model lines had separate sales teams, and competed against each
other across the company for sales.
Vintage Computing Sr. Systems Engineer
Living Computer Museum
2245 1st Avenue S
Seattle, WA 98134
mailto:RichA at LivingComputerMuseum.org
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