Wanted stuff (Was: Pretty good week)

From: Sam Ismail <dastar_at_wco.com>
Date: Sat Feb 28 15:19:37 1998

On Sat, 28 Feb 1998, Tony Duell wrote:

> > What does PDP mean, exactly? Is it something like the PC standard?
> PDP = Programmed Data Processor. It was the name that DEC used instead of
> the word 'Computer' for various reasons, most of them lost in the folklore.

According to _Computer: A History of the Information Machine_ by Martin
Campbell-Kelly and William Aspray (BasicBooks, ISBN: 0-465-02989-2 [hard]
0-465-02990-6 [paper]), Len Olsen is quoted as choosing the name
Programmed Data Processor because nobody would believe that "in 1960
computers that could do the job could be built for less than $1 million."

BTW, this book is a good read. It starts with the requisite story of
Babbage and goes into the computers that sprang out of the war effort
(EDVAC, EDSAC, etc) then goes into the Univac story, launches into the IBM
story and carries on for several chapters, then starts winding down with
the microcomputer revolution. Strangely enough they give a couple
sentences of mention to HP. Some of the information that is presented in
this book is suspect, and some is plain wrong. A minor annoyance to an
otherwise decent tome.
Sam Alternate e-mail: dastar_at_siconic.com
Computer Historian, Programmer, Musician, Philosopher, Athlete, Writer, Jackass

                   Coming Soon...Vintage Computer Festival 2.0
                   See http://www.siconic.com/vcf for details!
Received on Sat Feb 28 1998 - 15:19:37 GMT

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