"industrial" PDP-11

Paul Koning paulkoning at comcast.net
Wed May 15 18:52:15 CDT 2019

> On May 15, 2019, at 7:25 PM, Jules Richardson via cctalk <cctalk at classiccmp.org> wrote:
> Hey all,
> I bumped into someone who has some early (mid 1970 on some of the photos I've seen) PDP-11 bits - front panel and a handful of boards (the backplane, PSU, rack, peripherals etc. are long gone). The front panel's branded as "Industrial 11" though, which isn't something I've seen or heard of before.
> Address bus is 16 bits wide, and aside from the branding, the style appears to be the same as an 11/05 or 11/10. Were there any differences to the system internally though, or in the standard set of boards fitted, or was the "industrial" aspect purely a marketing exercise?

There was a "Rugged 11", a PDP11/20 variant with actual packaging changes, for example sturdier switches on the console panel.  I've only seen photos of that one.

The "Industrial" thing you mentioned sounds more like a "product line" variant.  DEC had a lot of groups focused on particular business categories, which it called "product lines".  That meant a marketing and sales focus on those businesses, but might also include specialized software products, hardware bundles, or the like.

For example, the newspaper product line created Typeset-11 software, the VT20, 61t, and 71 terminals, custom interfaces to phototypesetters, and software/hardware/support bundled packages for turnkey systems to sell to newspapers.  The telephone product group created Assist-11 directory assistance database software, and later was the original vehicle for DEC to deliver Unix to customers who wanted it.  Educational products group created PDP-11 systems with software bundles and a different paint job (light/dark blue rather than red/maroon).

I have a plastic ruler made as a marketing tchotchke by the industrial products group.  They may well have done more substantive stuff, like industrial control interfaces or product bundles focused on those customers.


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