Stanford's PDP-6 ( was Re: Hardware Hobbyists vs. EmulatorJockeys)

William Donzelli wdonzelli at
Thu Jun 18 15:43:47 CDT 2009

> Yes, most of the big machines from the 50's and 60's, like the 7000 series, saw
> a few years of life, were decommissioned and promptly scrapped. It was a
> brand-new, fast-changing industry and significant portions of a warehouse would
> be needed to hold onto them.
> However, for a machine like the PDP-6 to have survived 20 years was remarkable
> by the 80's. It would seem from the discussion that in the case of the SAIL
> machine there was recognition and interest in it's historicity even then, it
> was known to and around people who might appreciate it, so it is more
> perplexing that it cannot now be found.

There were many 2nd generation mainframes that stuck around into the
early 1980s, often powered down and taking up space. Many missed the
prompt scrapping, being held by surplus dealers that thought they
could perhaps sell the units. I missed a 7094 back then - but I was
still in high school, so I probably could not have afforded to
purchase it. I remember hearing about other big machines that were
just too large for a high school kid to deal with.

The SAIL PDP-6 was no different. Just part of the final slaughter.


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