PDP-1 as minicomputer [was RE: OT - sort of]

Ethan Dicks ethan.dicks at gmail.com
Tue Aug 17 16:21:02 CDT 2010

On 8/17/10, Richard <legalize at xmission.com> wrote:
> In article <AANLkTi=RENp1PERbsgCgZg4nkHWqPOVKpaqmROydrTqR at mail.gmail.com>,
>     Ethan Dicks <ethan.dicks at gmail.com>  writes:
>> ... I'm by no means
>> an expert, but I would have thought that a machine that fell into the
>> "minicomputer" category would be based on its size and cost...
> OK, I'll go along with your definition; it seems more thought out than
> my stab in the dark.

My definition is most likely an amalgam of what I was exposed to
vis-a-vis minis vs mainframes c. 1980, more than anything else.  It's
certainly not meant to be the absolute yardstick of what is or is not
a mini, but I think it works for all but the edge cases (which is
where debate creeps in anyway).

> I'd like to hear Rich Alderson's definition though and why he doesn't
> include the PDP-1.

After reading other reponses in this thread, something I had not
considered is what year the term was first applied - that seems to be
1964, give or take, and applied to the PDP-8.

So perhaps the PDP-1 was a minicomputer before they had the word for
it, but I am far too young to comment if it was then _called_ a
minicomputer, after the word was coined.


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