AW: When did Memory- and IO Protection Emerge (Esp. in Minis)?

Curious Marc curiousmarc3 at
Thu May 5 00:10:31 CDT 2016

For the fun of the argument: I was privileged enough to see Carl's IBM 1130, and to my newbie eye, it may justifiably earn the title of "small" computer, when compared to its brethren of the time. But it would never occur to me to call it a mini! It's quite a biggie computer actually. Heavy stuff, forklift or winch needed to put it safely in the truck as I recall. Then I thought our IBM 1401 was big. That's when more knowledgeable people pointed me to the IBM 7090. Now that's *really* big. And then you have SAGE. Now that's huge. Or insane, depending on your engineering point of view :-).

Sent from my iPad

> On May 4, 2016, at 8:24 PM, ANDY HOLT <andy.holt at> wrote:
> Could someone with access to the OED please check up the first use of the term "minicomputer"
> I strongly suspect it was around the time that the PDP11/20 came out or slightly later.
> The IBM 1130 and 1800 were comparable to the /original/ CDC 1700, were similarly launched in the mid 60s,
> but similarly they were not /at that time/ referred to as minis.
> In retrospect we might well call these minicomputers but that is not the question as stated.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Chuck Guzis" <cclist at>
> To: "General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts" <cctalk at>
> Sent: Thursday, 5 May, 2016 3:33:03 AM
> Subject: Re: AW: When did Memory- and IO Protection Emerge (Esp. in Minis)?
>> On 05/04/2016 05:07 PM, ANDY HOLT wrote:
>>> Is the CDC 1700 considered to be in the family of "minicomputers"? 
>>> (i.e. was the word invented before then?).
>> Though functionally it sort of had the minicomputer nature, it was
>> physically a bit large for that term … would have been called a
>> "process control" computer. I also don't think I heard the word
>> "minicomputer" until a couple of years after I first saw a CDC 1700.
> Well, I don't know.  By the time the Cyber 18 came out, it was a 120 VAC
> powered unit that a strongish person could lift off the floor (about 90
> lbs)--and functionally pretty much the same machine as the original
> 1700, just implemented with more advanced technology.
> If that's not a minicomputer, I don't know what is.
> We used them as data concentrators hooked to leased lines, card readers
> and punches and various other peripherals.
> If the 1700 isn't a minicomputer, you'll have to correct the Wikipedia
> article.
> --Chuck

More information about the cctalk mailing list