DEC Computer Lab for sale
couryhouse at aol.com
Sat May 29 11:37:16 CDT 2021
Smecc has an extra one of these DEC labs... May be missing patch cords but in nice shape we would sell or trade...
I think bitsavers or one of the other has manual
Off list. Please
Here is history on Kab unit and interesting commentary of manual writer!
https://archive.org/details/TNM_Digital_Equipment_Corp_-_Digital_Logic_Labora_20170629_0375Reviewer: JohnLH - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 5, 2018
Subject: Some Thoughts from the AuthorAlmost 50 years after I designed the Digital Equipment H500 Computer Lab and wrote the Computer Lab Workbook, it’s incredible to see a newly-scanned copy of the workbook on archive.org. Of course it’s in good company with copies of many of the other hardware and software handbooks that DEC (Digital Equipment Corp) published in great abundance.
Even though I’m the most biased reviewer ever for this book, I’ll boldly start off the reviews by giving it 5 stars. Since most of the folks looking at this book may have used a DEC Computer Lab at some point in their technical education, here’s a little relevant DEC history that you might find interesting.
In the mid 60’s DEC brought out a logic training system called the Logic Lab that used the discrete component logic modules that at the time were the building blocks of all computers. The Logic Lab was very flexible and powerful. In fact, DEC engineers used multiple Logic Labs to prototype the first PDP 8S computer. The biggest problem with that prototype was suppressing the electrical noise associated with long leads and multiple Logic Lab chassis – eventually though it worked.
By the late 60’s integrated circuit logic devices had displaced discrete device logic modules as computer building blocks. Add to that a Logic Lab price of over $2,000 that was well above the budget of many tech schools and universities – it was time for a replacement product.
Denny Doyle, the President of DEC Canada, wanted a locally developed and manufactured product to expand the role of the Canadian subsidiary. About that time, I joined Digital Equipment Canada as a newly minted electrical engineer. Shortly after I was tasked with designing and writing a book to support an affordable logic training device for the technical education market based on the then popular TTL (Transistor-Transistor Logic) integrated circuits. The result was the H500 Computer Lab manufactured by Digital Canada that sold for $400 back in the late 60’s through the early 80’s. What follows are a few Computer Lab facts:
About 5000 Computer Labs were built over the life of the product. Most were sold to the technical education market to be used as the practical lab part of a course on computer logic. Over the usable life of the product, my guess is that an average of 20 students (or more) would get to use each Computer Lab. That translates to a worldwide population of about 100,000+ technicians and engineers who gained their first practical lab experience with digital logic on a Computer Lab.
The Computer Lab Workbook was key to the success of the product. It was an inexpensive paperback handbook that DEC printed in volume and freely distributed for product promotion (along with many other DEC handbooks). The book was a ready-to-use 200 hour+ lab course for computer logic – that clearly appealed to educators. The first printing of the book, 100,000 copies, was gone quickly in about a year. A second printing of 100,000 was used up much more slowly and lasted for the remainder of the product life.
DEC sold a separate Computer Lab Teacher’s Guide written by Larry DeAngelo. It had answers to questions in the Computer Lab Work along with additional experiments and supporting material.
Even almost 50 years after they were manufactured, Computer Labs still regularly appear for sale on EBay.com. Interestingly surfing the web recently someone mentioned a still in service Computer Lab as recently as 2006 in Switzerland. Got a story about cutting your digital teeth on a Computer Lab? Add it here.
John L Hughes
Sent from the all new AOL app for Android
On Sat, May 29, 2021 at 7:58 AM, William Donzelli via cctalk<cctalk at classiccmp.org> wrote: Over on the Discord, I have posted a DEC Computer Lab H-500 for sale.
Needs cosmetic help, but will be priced accordingly.
Offers? Off list...
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