appendix aDEC’s Technical Legacy

For the reader who is more interested in technical detail, I asked several of DEC’s key engineers to write about what they considered DEC’s technical contributions to have been. The points below are an amalgamation of their various comments.

Interactive computing. Starting with the PDP-1, DEC computers were interactive, allowing immediate direct response to the user’s commands for computational results without waiting for a long (potentially overnight) batch job queue. Interaction also included connection to lab experiments and eventually manufacturing processes for real-time control. The capability to easily and tightly interconnect computers to both people and other processes led directly to the first minicomputer ...

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