PDP-11/20, was Re: ebay question

From: William Maddox <wmaddox_at_pacbell.net>
Date: Thu Feb 26 02:37:24 2004

> PS. There is a NICE PDP-11 waiting to sold at VCM. Note I don't have the
> cash for it, or a way to get shipped safely here.

If you compare the picture of this machine with with the 11/20 on Guy Sotomayer's site,
the front panel of the machine on VCM looks like it has been (inexpertly) modified. In fact,
it looks like it has holes in it at the lamp positions, not even neatly lined up, as if drilled with
a hand drill. I asked the seller about this, and he told me that the machine had LEDs, not
lamps, but claimed that it came that way. I inquired about what appeared to be drilled
holes, and asked for some better closeup pictures, but never received any. I suspect that
this machine was the victim of a lamp-to-LED "upgrade" by a previous owner, unless it was
some kind of prototype that was never meant to be sold to a customer.

Here is a picture of what I think a PDP-11/20 is supposed to look like, with a smooth front
panel surface like the PDP-8/L of similar vintage:


I considered buying the machine anyway, and made the seller a respectable offer upon the condition
that he could show me that the machine was in fact stock, and discussions ended at that point.
I got the impression that the seller was holding out to find a buyer who was perhaps less
finicky about condition or who wouldn't ask such probing questions. ;) In any case, the asking
price seems to factor in a great deal of "collectibility" due to rarity and condition that may not be

Received on Thu Feb 26 2004 - 02:37:24 GMT

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