Digital Equipment Corporation

Introduction

This page is the loading dock for all things that relate DEC to learning and teaching during our target decades (1960-1990). Please add links to material you have online with a short description of what the visitor will find there. Set the link to open a new window. Make the title of your section a level two heading using the drop-down formatting menu above. Lines formatted as headings will appear in this page's Table of Contents to the right. If your want to add subheadings, use levels 3 and 4.

Educational Software and Supporting Curriculum Materials Published and Distributed by DEC

  • Huntington II Simulation Program - PH 1973. Copies of Student Manual, Teacher Manual and Resource Handbook (If anyone has a printed copy of this material, please make a clear scan of it and send to content@hcle.org)



LO*OP Center's DEC PDP-8i


I bought a PDP-8 from DEC in 1976 for LO*OP Center, my public access computer center in Cotati, CA. It was being advertised as the DEC “Classic” for Classroom Interactive Computer. Although it had only 8K of memory it ran a timeshare system for four users. Most of the time the Classic was available by the half hour for use by the public in our store front. When we had a school contract we loaded it into the back of a pickup truck and took it to a local elementary school for a week or two. Cotati was a dusty farm community and the computer suffered numerous disk failures. Each time I called for warranty service some poor technician had to trek the 1 1/2 hour drive up from San Francisco to swap out the drive. In frustration I telephoned Ken Olsen person-to-person (you could do that in those days) and told his secretary that I would wait when she advised me that he was unavailable at that moment. When Ken finally came on the line I explained to him that I was promoting the use of computers in schools but that the Classic had to be a lot more robust to survive in a classroom. The next technician to arrive taught me how to open the disk drive drawer and blow the dust away from the read-head. DEC minicomputers were well represented in schools across the USA and the company pioneered in developing and distributing early educational software. We plan to feature DECs seminal role in the History of Computing in Learning and Education Virtual Museum (hcle.org).


PDP-7 - a few quick links

(The information posted below gives valuable information about a piece of computer history. Can anyone add material that relates this to learning, teaching, formal or informal education? It's the stories about learning that differentiate HCLE from other museums and archives which document the computer industry. Liza Loop 2014-07-31)

The PDP-7 was a piece of hardware that introduced many colleges to more affordable, usable, and reliable "mini-computers", i.e. computers that were only size of a few refrigerators instead of filling an entire room.

Thanks to Living Computer Museum for helping preserve a rare piece of hardware, and for passing along its story.

Additional background at wikipedia.

Another example from Columbia University.

A hardware specific site from Sometron, including a list of each machine and its operator.

The PDP-7 was the machine used to develop the UNIX operating system - software which has outlasted the hardware.