[TUHS] PDP-10 in the news today

Clem Cole clemc at ccc.com
Wed Feb 1 09:23:27 AEST 2017


On Tue, Jan 31, 2017 at 4:33 PM, Noel Chiappa <jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu>
wrote:

>     > From: Nigel Williams
>     > Is it a reasonable claim that the PDP-10 made time-sharing "common"
> ​ ​
> ... I'm presuming that "common" should be read as ubiquitous and accessible
>     > I'm wondering if it was really the combination of the PDP-11
>
> Good question; I think a case can be made both ways.

​I agree.
​

>
>
>     > (lower-cost more models)
>
> One observation I will make: the two don't have identical time-lines; the
> ​ ​
> earliest PDP-10 models predate the PDP-11 by a good chunk, and the PDP-11
> ​ ​
> out-lasted the PDP-10. So that has a big influence, I think, on the
> ​q​
> uestion
> ​ ​
> above.


​Certainly if you include the virtual address extension - aka VAX to the
PDP-11 family - which was birthed in '76.​  Then I would agree the
PDP11/VAX/UNIX combo had case for a larger *footprint*  for making
timesharing "common" from 70-79 -- which is the time period mentioned in
the Wikipedia article.

But I do think to fair to the Wikipedia authors, the 10 and 20 families
during the 1970s were the pretty much the machines that defined the idea of
timesharing to most small colleges and smaller universities until UNIX
takes its stride.

CDC and IBM had a footprint in large and well funded places.  But even in
those schools, the 10/20 was still king in the CS Dept, until UNIX
displaced it.
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