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>
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> 
> 
> 
> >> 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.
> 
<snip>
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.

Tom




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