No such thing as "the PDP" [was RE: Typesafety versus Worse is Better - was Re: Fwd: is there any word processing software for the pdp11?]

Rich Alderson RichA at
Thu Dec 4 14:03:15 CST 2014

From: Mark Wickens
Sent: Thursday, December 04, 2014 12:47 AM

> Has anyone considered whether it would be possible to port lua to the
> PDP?

You know, there never was (or only for a very short time) such a thing
as "the PDP".  DEC produced systems with 5 different architectures (or
4.5, if you lump the two 18-bit architectures together; I usually do)
under the rubric "PDP-<small integer>":  The PDP-1, the PDP-4/7/9/15,
the PDP-5/8 family, the PDP-6/10 family, and the PDP-11 family.  I would
argue that only the original PDP-1 could rightly be called "the PDP",
but even then, DEC had designed the 24-bit PDP-2 and the 36-bit PDP-3
which they did not build themselves, for a total of 7 architectures
designated "PDP".

Back when I was doing sales support for XKL, a lovely lady who did
consulting in the oil industry advised me that we should be selling the
Toad-1 in that market "because there are PDPs *everywhere* in the fields!"

(Steps off soap box, walks away from Hyde Park.)

(Hi, Mark! ;-)


Rich Alderson
Vintage Computing Sr. Systems Engineer
Living Computer Museum
2245 1st Avenue S
Seattle, WA 98134

mailto:RichA at

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