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

Al Kossow aek at bitsavers.org
Wed Aug 18 14:50:25 CDT 2010

On 8/18/10 11:57 AM, Evan Koblentz wrote:
> It
> could be newspaper editors simply deciding to hyphenate a
> then-unfamiliar word, or, it could be that whoever said the original
> quote meant it as, "Without a miniature computer," while having zero
> knowledge that something technically called a "minicomputer" was being
> born.

I think this was the case. There are other examples of "mini-computer"
being used where they meant "miniature computer" earlier than the example
I gave, which was why I stated the Varian ad being the first occurrence I
was able to find of the use of the word referring to a machine which we
would consider to be a minicomputer.

This, and the origin of the word "Software" are both poorly documented.

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