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?]

Phil Budne phil at
Thu Dec 4 16:59:50 CST 2014

Lyle Bickley, PDP-1 Restoration Team, CHM
>>Dale Cook wrote:
>>Speaking of that pioneering machine, does anyone know if there are
>>any plans by the CHM to try to make the MIT engineering prototype
>>operable? I last saw it in use at MIT about 45 years ago, when it
>>was housed adjacent to the TX-0 and the two were being used for
>>speech synthesis experiments. From what I understand the operable
>>machine on display at the CHM is a later C production version.
> There are no current plans to restore another PDP-1 at the CHM...

For the RLE PDP-1, restored to what condition would be another
question...  My understanding is that the machine evolved, with
instruction changes, and multiple lights & switches "consoles".  ISTR
hearing that an MIT person was dismayed that all of that had been
stripped away....

I saw the TX-0 when it was in the DEC Museum in Marlboro, when I
worked in an adjoining building (MR1).  I didn't understand it's
significance back then.  I understand it lost it's peripherals when
MIT sold it (the purchaser only wanted the outboard hardware).

I was glad to hear that it remained in Massachusetts (I was told it's
in the Lincoln Labs library), but sad that it isn't on public display,
nor in working order (it had been restored to working order once
already). I guess I can hope someday for a CHM East.  As of now, the
best public collection(s) of DEC hardware in the area are in Rhode


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