> From: Clem Cole
> The 8 pretty much had a base price in the $30k range in the mid to late
His statement was made in 1977 (ironically, the same year as the Apple
(Not really that relevant, since he was apparently talking about 'smart
homes'; still, the history of DEC and personal computers is not a happy one;
perhaps why that quotation was taken up.)
> Later models used TTL and got down to a single 3U 'drawer'.
There was eventually a single-chip micro version, done in the mid-70's; it
was used in a number of DEC word-processing products.
> From: Dave Horsfall <dave(a)horsfall.org>
>> one of the Watson's saying there was a probably market for
>> <single-digit> of computers; Ken Olsen saying people wouldn't want
>> computers in their homes; etc, etc.
> I seem to recall reading somewhere that these were urban myths... Does
> anyone have actual references in their contexts?
Well, for the Watson one, there is some controversy:
My guess is that he might actually have said it, and it was passed down orally
for a while before it was first written down. The thing is that he is alleged
to have said it in 1943, and there probably _was_ a market for only 5 of the
kind of computing devices available at that point (e.g. the Mark I).
> E.g. Watson was talking about the multi-megabuck 704/709/7094 etc
No. The 7094 is circa 1960, almost 20 years later.
> Olsens's quote was about the DEC-System 10...
Again, no. He did say it, but it was not about PDP-10s:
"Olsen later explained that he was referring to smart homes rather than
personal computers." Which sounds plausible (in the sense of 'what he meant',
not 'it was correct'), given where he said it (a World Future Society
> I think RS took it and left it behind someone's car at one as a practical joke.
That behemoth was built to last. It would surely stop a car.
Moving it single-handed would be quite a feat. When Andy Hall
retired his, he was able to push it as far as his back porch,
where it remained for more than a year.
Under the keyboard was remarkable mechanical crossbar
encoder that dripped machine oil. Fortunately the operator's
knees were protected by a drip pan. The oil smell led me
to keep mine in my workshop; its fragrance reminded
me of the first major piece of computing equipment I saw
as a child: Vennevar Bush's mechanical differential
analyzer, a room-size table of shafts, gears and integrators
that was redolent of machine shop.
Hopkins had a KSR37 that was our standard word processing output for a long time before the daisy wheel printers started showing up.
It even had the "greek box" so when eqn or whatever wanted that, it just sent shift-in/shift-out (control-n, -o). Years later I managed to pick up a surplus ASR37 from Rocky Flats. I had it in my kitchen for years on a modem. It was great fun to have one of the few terminals that nroff would send all those ESC-8/9 things for the vertical positioning without needing an output filter. No greek box, though. It also had a giant NEWLINE key and didn't need to have the nl mode turned on. Amusingly the thing would sit there quiet until the modem was powered up and then DSR ready would bring it to life. When CD came up an giant green PROCEED light illuminated above the keyboard. The paper tape unit was a monster side car. I never got around to programming the "here-is" drum.
I think RS took it and left it behind someone's car at one as a practical joke.
ANTS was written by Gary Grossman and the experience with ANTS and ANTS 2 was the direct inspiration for NCP Unix (which was probably what Mike installed):
The source for NCP Unix is available on the Unix Tree webpage:
> Date: Sun, 3 Jun 2018 13:42:00 -0400
> From: "Ron Natalie" <ron(a)ronnatalie.com>
> While Mike and I still shared an office in 394, the ENIAC room was where the IMP 29 on the ARPANET was and a PDP-11/40 system that ran a terminal server called ANTS (ArpaNet Terminal Server) complete with little ants silkscreened on the rack tops. When the ARPANET went to long leaders, Mike replaced that software with a UNIX host giving the BRL their real first HOST on the Arpanet. Years later I recycled those racks (discarding the 11/40) to hold BRL Gateways (retaining the ants).
(Yeah, I was asked to not use "RIP", so...)
We lost J. Presper Eckert back in 1995; he was a co-inventor of ENIAC (one
of the world's first "electronic brains").
Dave Horsfall DTM (VK2KFU) "Those who don't understand security will suffer."