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

Charlie Carothers csquared3 at tx.rr.com
Fri Aug 20 15:41:41 CDT 2010


Tony Duell wrote:
>> On Fri, Aug 20, 2010 at 6:35 AM, Tony Duell <ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>>
>>> What do you consider the DPP11/23 and PDP11/73 to be? (Remember the CPU is
>>> a small number of custom LSI chips).
>>>
>> Never fear, the DEC marketing crowd "fixed" that one too, they were
>> "Supermicrosystems", as per the handbook (1986) which covered the MicroVAX
>> I,II, Micro PDP11/23,73,83.
> 
> OK :-)
> 
> But DEC had their own meaning for 'microprocessor' to mean a 'microcoded 
> control system'. I seem to remember that the control logic of a VT52 and 
> that of the DMC11, etc are called 'microprocessors' in the DEC manuals, 
> for all the are built from lots of MSI chips, and there's nothing that 
> the rest of  the world would call a microprocessor (a chip such as a Z80, 
> 6800, 8080, 6502, etc)
> 
> And I've still not worked out what to class the HP9830 as  ;-)
> 
> -tony
>
Heh!  After looking at hp9830.com for just a bit, I think I see your 
problem.  There are some really interesting turns of phrase on that page 
using forms of the words "calculate" and "compute" in the same sentence. 
  Gotta go read that site in more detail when I have a chance.  You'd 
mentioned it enough times I just had to google and see what it was. 
Looks like a quite fascinating machine!  I'd love to try lunar lander on 
one.
Later,
Charlie C.






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