Stanford's PDP-6 ( was Re: Hardware Hobbyists vs. EmulatorJockeys)

Brent Hilpert hilpert at
Thu Jun 18 17:48:53 CDT 2009

William Donzelli wrote:
> > Yes, most of the big machines from the 50's and 60's, like the 7000 series, saw
> > a few years of life, were decommissioned and promptly scrapped. It was a
> > brand-new, fast-changing industry and significant portions of a warehouse would
> > be needed to hold onto them.
> >
> > However, for a machine like the PDP-6 to have survived 20 years was remarkable
> > by the 80's. It would seem from the discussion that in the case of the SAIL
> > machine there was recognition and interest in it's historicity even then, it
> > was known to and around people who might appreciate it, so it is more
> > perplexing that it cannot now be found.
> There were many 2nd generation mainframes that stuck around into the
> early 1980s, often powered down and taking up space. Many missed the
> prompt scrapping, being held by surplus dealers that thought they
> could perhaps sell the units. I missed a 7094 back then - but I was
> still in high school, so I probably could not have afforded to
> purchase it. I remember hearing about other big machines that were
> just too large for a high school kid to deal with.


> The SAIL PDP-6 was no different.

Not that I was there, but from what I hear there was a difference. The machine
in question was in a situation of awareness from which one might have had
greater hope or expectation, it's wasn't quite the same as some machine sitting
in the back of some surplus dealer's warehouse.

> Just part of the final slaughter.

Yes. Who knows who was making the final decisions.

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