Snopes on Ken Olsen

From: Ethan Dicks <>
Date: Tue Sep 21 23:05:17 2004

On Tue, Sep 21, 2004 at 08:05:51PM -0700, Vintage Computer Festival wrote:
> If we go back to the original argument by Ken Olsen, which is that there's
> no reason to have computers in the home, Ken was not only completely
> wrong, but disastrously wrong, as history has proven.

There's a story that Dave Ahl tried to convince DEC management (possibly
Ken Olsen himself) that it would be possible to package up an inexpensive
PDP-8/a rig that would easily fit in the trunk of a car, and would be
useable as a "home computer". It would have competed favorable with
IMSAIs, etc, on price, and would have blown them away in terms of product
quality. The answer to Dave's proposition was a variant of Ken's famous

Even a 4K PDP-8 can run some interesting stuff.

Of course in those days, whether it was an IMSAI or a PDP-8, the TTY was
an expensive peripheral.


Ethan Dicks, A-130-S      Current South Pole Weather at 22-Sep-2004 04:00 Z
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Received on Tue Sep 21 2004 - 23:05:17 BST

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