First Computer Store

Eric Smith spacewar at
Fri Jul 24 17:53:01 CDT 2015

On Fri, Jul 24, 2015 at 2:58 PM, Chuck Guzis <cclist at> wrote:
> On 07/24/2015 01:18 PM, Fred Cisin wrote:
>> Now, obviously, the first "REAL" computer needed to have internet
>> connectivity.
> ---and a USB port. :)

It's not a real computer unless it has a real front panel with
switches and blinkenlights. Real computers haven't been commercially
sold in ages.

A keypad and display scanned by software, e.g., Heath H8, doesn't
qualify; an important purpose of the front panel is to examine and
modify memory for diagnostic purposes when the computer isn't working

The KL10 CPU used in later PDP-10 systems (DECsystem-10 and
DECSYSTEM-20) doesn't qualify because the only real front panel is on
the PDP-11 front end; there's no front panel to examine and modify
main system memory.

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