Origin of the term minicomputer (was Re: PDP-1 as ...

Tom Gardner thomas.gardner at sbcglobal.net
Wed Aug 18 13:46:55 CDT 2010

> Date: Wed, 18 Aug 2010 09:25:34 -0700
> From: Al Kossow <aek at bitsavers.org>
> Subject: Origin of the term minicomputer (was Re: PDP-1 as
> 	minicomputer [was	RE: OT - sort of])
> To: General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts
> 	<cctalk at classiccmp.org>
> Message-ID: <4C6C097E.8060908 at bitsavers.org>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
> >> But it all depends on how you define "minicomputer" as to what
> >> specifically falls in the category.
> >
> > Who originally created the term?  marketing??
> >
> The earliest use of the term as we use it today was an ad in
> Datamation announcing the (Varian) Data 520i in April, 1968.
Apparently as early as May 1987 the term minicomputer was used in the WHITE
HOUSE executive offices and quoted in several newspapers, along the lines,
"Without a minicomputer one really can't tell ..."

Given the lack of technical expertise in Washington, this suggests a much
earlier origin of the word.


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