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4<head><!--#set var="title"        value="Scientifical calculators and mini computers"
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21<div id="content">
22    <h2><!--#echo var="title" --></h2>
23
24    <p>Today's kids think of the latest mobile devices when talking about "mini computers".
25           In contrast, in the 1960s and the early 70s, a computer was always huge (like our
26           <a href="univac9400.shtm">UNIVAC mainframe</a>), thus a 300kg computer was "mini".
27           Early computers are well worth seeing due to their enormous size and the nice
28           transparent auxillary devices.
29       <br />There is a very important computer family that finally lead to (today's)
30           personal computers: The development of the "Mini" computers from Digital Equipment
31           Corporation (DEC), series PDP-8 and PDP-12 (both 12-bit architecture). The museum
32           owns a complete production run from that devices: From the PDP-8 (also called
33           Classic-8), year of manufacture 1965 to the PDP-8a (1975, this one is less
34           important so it is located in the archive). PDP means Programmed Data Processor.
35        </p>
36        <div class="box left clear-after">
37        <img src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/dec/flip-chip-module.jpg" width="400" height="173" alt="Flip-Chip-Module" />
38                <p>The manuals of these computers are very detailed, with full circuit
39                   documentation. There never have been any other computer with such an
40                   elaborate documentation. For restoration purposes these manuals are
41                   indispensable. Even in those days, other manufacturers kept their
42                   blueprints in secret for fear of unauthorized re-use (e.g. HP).
43                 
44                </p>
45        </div>
46       
47        <p>For further reading see the story about <a class="go" name="backlink-dec"
48        href="/en/devices/dec-history.shtm">Rise and Fall of DIGITAL (Equipment Corporation)</a>.</p>
49
50    <!--alter Text: The legendary Classic PDP 8 from the company DEC (year of manufacture 1965) can be admired among others. Furthermore you can see the PDP 8L or <a class="go" href="/en/devices/pdp_8I.shtm">PDP 8I</a> (year of manufacture 1967, a lot of periphery) and the laboratory computer <a class="go" href="/en/devices/lab_8e.shtm">LAB8e</a> (1971).
51    Because of constantly growing claims for storage capacity, backing storage (19-zoll drawers for 4kB with a weight of 20kg) was offered. The PDP 8I could not administrate more than 32kB.
52    <br />THe PDP 8L, a trimmed-down version of the PDP 8I, cannot hold more than 8 kB.</p> -->
53
54    <h3>Classic PDP-8</h3>
55        <div class="box left clear-after">
56                <img src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/dec/pdp-8.jpg" width="400" height="474" alt="PDP 8 Classic" />
57                <img style="clear:left" src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/dec/pdp-8,pannel.jpg" width="400" height="300" alt="PDP-8 Bedienungspannel" />
58                <img style="clear:left" src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/dec/pdp8-fluegel.jpg" width="400" height="345" alt="PDP-8 Flügel" />
59       
60       
61                <p>PDP computers were especially used by scientists. By using self-made
62                   (CPU) interface boards, already existing (experimental) equipment could easily
63                   migrated to the new hardware. DEC even offered prefabricated boards to
64                   encourage own extension development.
65                   The figure above shows a typical second generation module (1965) without ICs
66                   from the classic PDP-8 on the left. In the middle is a smaller third generation
67                   module with ICs (from 1967) which was used in the PDP-8i, PDP-8L and PDP-12.
68                   On the right is an empty module just suitable for being equipped by the
69                   user for interfaces to own periphery.<br>
70
71       
72         One of the museum highlights: The complete PDP-8 system with processor,
73         a big tape deck TU-580 (originally belonged to the PDP-5, manufactured in 1963),
74         punch card reader/puncher PC-01, hard-disc DF-32 with immovable heads
75         and a teletype as printer. The Classic PDP-8 is considered the world's first mass-produced
76         "minicomputer". Due it's use of ICs, unlike its predecessors, it is considered
77                 a second-generation computer.
78        </p>
79                 
80                <p>This computer features various different logic and register modules. All logic
81                is only built with NAND and NOR gatters. Registers are constructed with flip-flop
82                circuits. The extensive wiring of the modules (see picture) is called
83                <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wire_wrap">Wire wrapping</a>. This kind of
84                connections were used in all bigger computers until the 1980s, since it is an
85                easy way to connect two points which are not mounted on the same board or on the
86                same level. In the early days this wiring was manually performed and later executed
87                by machines. Even today there are still some wire-wrap-connections in testing
88                environments.
89                <br>
90                The picture shows the uncovered computer with opened right wing where you can easily
91                see the wire-wrap connections.</p>
92       
93                <p class="small">Top: Complete PDP-8 system, <br/> center: console of the computer <br/> below: open computer, the right wing is extended. Here you can see the wire-wrap connections.<br><br>
94                The processor and the tape reader are on loan from the <a href="http://www.fitg.de"> "FITG"</a>, Frankfurt (Germany)</small>
95               
96                </div>
97         <!-- The <b>Classic PDP 8</b> from DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation, Massachusetts):
98         He is considered to be the world's first mass-produced "minicomputer" (1965). "Mini" is relative: Only too very
99         strong men can lift the computer. It is better to have four people to carry it!.
100         Without ICs or their ancestors the device is counted among the seccond-generation calculators.
101         <br/>You can also get a view from the "Flip-Chip"-card from the <a class="go" href="/en/devices/pdp-8-left-flank.shtm">left flank</a>
102         (<u>flank</u>). The core memory is set above (storage capacity 4kB).-->
103   
104   
105 
106  <h3>PDP-8I</h3>
107    <div class="box left">
108        <img src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/dec/pdp8i.jpg" alt="DEC PDP-8I" width="400" height="666" />
109        </div>
110        <div style="margin-left:400px; min-width: 450px;">
111                <div class="box center auto-bildbreite">
112                        <img style="float:none" src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/dec/8i-pannel.jpg" width="400" height="292" alt="PDP 8i operator panel" />
113                        <p class="bildtext small">Left: The PDP-8i system with two-DECtapes TU 55, hight-speed paper tape reader/punch
114                                PC 04, 563 CALCOM plotter (top) and a TELETYPE (not shown). Above: the computer console</p>
115                </div>
116        </div>
117     
118          <p>In 1967 the first series 74xx TTL ICs (transistor-transistor logic) came on the market.
119             DEC was at the bleeding edge, releasing the 8i ("with <b>i</b>ntegrated circuits"). No one
120                 knew about the stability of the new ICs (later bugs). Therefore UNIVAC used the well established
121                 DTL technology even two years after. Fortunately, the TTL ICs proved to be as stable as the DTL
122                 series. Since the integration degree was much higher, less space has been needed for computers.
123                 <br>DEC's first calculator with integrated circuits was very expensive. The CPU on alone
124                 (in the picture: Left case, middle) cost US$ 27,000 without peripherals at that time.
125         <br>The main memory had a capacity of 8kB. While computing a "large" problem, it was possible to swap
126         programs or data to files on magnetic tape and read in afterward be reread. DEC developed
127         an intelligent operating system (OS/8) which worked very efficiently with such little memory.
128         It is very interesting to watch this computer working.</p>
129         <p>If you have not been in the presence of this computer, you should know that it is quite large.
130         With the plotter, it stands at a height of almost 7' (2m) and weighting at more than 600 lbs (300kg).</p>
131         <p>The peripherals consist of two TU-55 (tape drives), a PC-04 (high speed paper tape reader),
132         Calcomp 563 plotter (at the top) and of course a teletype (not pictured).
133        </p>
134
135                 
136        <h3 id="pdp8L">PDP-8L</h3>
137        <div class="box desc-left borderless">
138                <img src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/dec/pdp-8L.jpg" width="400" height="360" alt="DEC PDP-8L" />
139                <p class="small">PDP-8L (build in 1968) with HSR Paper Tape Reader</p>
140        </div>
141        <div class="box clear-after">
142                <p>Many DEC customers did not need the high memory capacity or installable options.
143                Therefore DEC developed the stripped-down computer PDP 8L (<b>L</b>ow-cost) with
144                only a few pre-wired installed options in the lower price range.
145                The core memory had only 4kB capacity, it was extendable to 8kB with an external cabinet.
146                <br>Our PDP-8L has many extensions: HSR (High Speed) paper tape reader, TC01 Tape Control
147                with two drives TU55 and additional memory.
148                <br>DEC invented the interpreted programming language <b>FOCAL</b> (Formulating Online
149                Calculations in Algebraic Language), which allowed the user an interactive
150                programming environment (like a Unix shell). This language is similar to BASIC, but
151                slightly simpler. FOCAL required no operating system and ran smoothly with 4kB core
152                memory and lacking mass storage.
153        </div>
154 
155
156 <h3 id="pdp12">PDP-12, LAB-12</h3>
157 <div class="box left">
158      <img src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/dec/pdp-12.jpg" width="400" height="485" alt="DEC LAB-12" />
159 </div>
160 <div class="box center" style="min-width: 840px;">
161          <img src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/dec/pdp-12-konsole.jpg" width="400" height="256" alt="LAB-12 Bedienungspannel" />
162 </div>
163 
164                        <p>The PDP-12 was released in 1969. Just 755 units were sold worldwide. It was the last series that
165                        could operate in LINC-Mode (it could be switched to either LINC-8
166                        or PDP-8). This is a laboratory computer, equipped with AD and DA
167                        converter as standard. Such computers were usually kept up to date
168                        with hardware updates. The memory of this device was gradually
169                        increased from 8kB up to 32kB (DW 08E storage extension).
170                        <br>Besides the tape drives, the computer was also equipped with
171                        an 8-inch floppy drive. Afterwards they were removed again in
172                        favor of two removable disk drives. Finally they even tied the
173                        device to 10BASE-T ethernet, using a selfmade controller with an
174                        handwritten TCP/IP stack on a selfmade operating system.
175                        Thus this device can demonstrate the era from paper tapes up to
176                        today's storage standard.<br>
177                        Check out the console in a large scale:
178<a class="popup" href="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/dec/konsole,dunkel.jpg">PDP-12 console (dark picture)</a> 
179or: <a  class="popup" href="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/dec/konsole,hell.jpg">PDP-12 console (ligh picture)</a>
180                        </p>
181               
182        <div class="desc-right borderless">
183      <img src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/dec/pdp-12-innen.jpg" width="297" height="676" alt="DEC LAB-12-Flip-Chips" />
184          <p class="small">The picture on the left shows the PDP-12 inner life with all 462 Flip-Chip-Boards.</p>
185        </div>
186
187        <p>By having all the following options, our computer was very comfortable
188        (the number in parentheses indicates the number of neccessary boards):</p>
189
190        <dl>
191                <dt>AD12 [A-D-Control] (12 modules):
192                <dd>The AD12 includes 16 channels of input, 10bit output resolution and features
193                    up to 60kHz signals at 30dB down.
194               
195                <dt>DM12 [Data Break Multiplexer for KF12-B] (6 modules):
196                <dd>The DM12 provides the capability of operating up to three data break devices.
197                    The Data Break facility allows an I/O device to transfer information directly
198                        with the PDP-12 core memory on a cycle-stealing basis. This is particulary
199                        well suited for high-speed devices which transfer large amounts of information
200                        in block form. Peripheral I/O equipment  could reach a maximum transfer rate
201                        of 6,5 Mbit/sec.
202               
203                <dt>DP12A [TTY-Dataphone] (4 modules):
204                <dd>The DP12 options permit interfacing additional Teletypes and Modems. They are
205                    capable of accepting data asynchronously up to 100,000 baud. The units are
206                        designed for US-ASCII and meet the EIA-standard (RS232) requirements.
207               
208                <dt>DR12 [Relays and Control] (1 module):
209                <dd>The relay buffer is a six-bit register connected to six relays that are mounted
210                    on the data terminal panel. They can be used for controlling experiments or
211                        external equipment not otherwise directly interfaced with the PDP-12 Computer.
212                        The states of the relays can be examinede at any time via the register.
213               
214                <dt>KE12 [Extended Arithmetik Element] (14 modules):
215                <dd>The EAE enables the CP (the DEC operating system) to perform arithmetic
216                    operations at higher speed. The ALU is extended by asynchronous logic such as a
217                        12-bit Multiplier Quotient Register and a 5-bit Step Counter.  These components
218                        are used by auxillary CPU instructions (opcodes).
219                       
220                <dt>KF12 [Multi Level] (54 modules):
221                <dd>The Multi-Level Automatic Priority Interrupt is designed to reduce the CPU
222                    overhead during the servicing of program interrupts. Up to 15 levels of interrupts
223                        can be accomodated with each level having an unique vector address. The interrupts
224                        can be accepted from other options (CPU extensions) or from up to six external
225                        devices. Storing of priority and vectoring of interrupt service routines is
226                        performed with a Stack.
227                       
228                <dt>KT12 [Time-Sharing Option] (2 modules):
229                <dd>This module provides the additional logic circuits required for the PDP12 Time
230                    Sharing System. Having satisfied the minimum equipment, it perimts up to 16 users
231                        to operate their individual programs in an apperantly simultaneous manner. The
232                        system is controlled by a group of subprograms called "TSS/12 Monitor".
233                       
234                <dt>KW12-A [Real Time Clock] (19 modules):
235                <dd>The RTC can be used to generate Program Interrupts over a range of intervals of
236                    2.5us to 40.96s; detect external and internal events in order to count them,
237                        measure them against a time base, measure the interval between them, use them as
238                        time base standard or control sample times of A/D conversions. In our system
239                        this module was used to connect the german longwave time signal radio station
240                        DCF77 in order to recieve the atomic clock time from the German master clocks
241                        in Frankfurt.
242        </dl>
243       
244        <p>The computer is equipped with further cabinets which allow much more peripherals:</p>
245       
246        <div class="desc-right no-copyright borderless">
247       <img src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/dec/pdp-12anwendung.jpg" width="400" height="366" alt="Typical PDP-12 in scientific environment" />
248           <p class="bildtext small">Typical picture in the 1970s: PDP-12 in the scientific domain. [Source: "digital products and applications, 1971"]</p>
249        </div>
250       
251        <dl>
252                <dt>AA50P [12 Bit DAC Controller]
253                <dd>Cabinet to upgrade the number of digital-analog converters (half filled in our setup)
254               
255                <dt>BA12 [Peripharal Expander]
256                <dd>Cabinet for peripheral extension, e.g. paper tape reader/puncher, PC05, card
257                    readers, etc.
258               
259                <dt>DW08A [I/O Bus Converter]
260                <dd>Cabinet to connect "negative bus system" units. The "negative logic level" was used
261                    at the time of germanium transistors (PNP), for example the DF32 disk drive with
262                        fixed heads.
263
264                <dt>DW08E [I/O Bus Converter]
265                <dd>This plug-in for the smaller PDP-8e converts the PDP-8, -8i and -12 bus to the
266                    OMNIBUS system from the PDP-8e. Thus all 8e interfaces could be connected, e.g. the
267                        RK8E interface (Digitl RK05) or Plessey PM DD/8 disk drives.
268               
269                <dt>BM812 [Memory Expansion Box]
270                <dd>Memory expansion box that is capable of expending either a PDP8i or PDP12
271                    from 8kB to 32kB with MM8e-stacks (like in the PDP-8e).
272        </dl>
273       
274        <div class="desc-left auto-bildbreite borderless" style="margin-bottom: 0;">
275      <img src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/dec/talk-to-me.jpg" width="163" height="209" alt="Demo-12 Demoprogramm" />
276          <p class="bildtext small">So logs the PDP-12-demo program</p>
277        </div>
278       
279        <p>This system is fully developed. This was a common approach at that time: At first the
280           computer was purchased in the basic version which was barely affordable. Afterwards
281           more options were installed step-by-step. That way the enormous acquisition costs
282           were distributed over several years and the computer was always up to date.<br>
283           We have very good programs [Demo-12 running on DIAL], which shows with extreme illustrative the performance of the computer. This includes an on-screen analog clock with real-time display and the game
284"SPACE WAR". Some of will be soon available on our special page [in working].
285    </p>
286        <div class="cols" style="clear:left;">
287        <div class="leftcol">
288        <p class="small">(Google-translation!):We have a PDP-12 price list from the year 1973, a period in which the PDP-12 was already an outdated model. Our fully-equipped computer was a PDP-12 LDP (Laboratory Data Processor), here specifically a "clinical lab12", sold at a price of DM 206.700. Most of the options listed above were built in. (In 1973 3,50DM corresponds to 1$).<br>
289        This computer was equipped with 4kB Memory Core. So one needs in adition a "Memory Extension Control" for 16.600 DM and a 4kB Memory Module for 25.100 DM. The price for the unimposing Peripheral Expander BA12 was 5.400 DM (equivalent to a midsize car) and "High-Speed Paper Tape Reader/Punch" incredible 16.200 DM.</div>
290        <div class="rightcol">
291        <p class="small">
292
293        A Disk Cartridge Drive RK05 where sold for DM 21.200, where one needs in addition the "Positive I/O Bus to Omnibus Converter" DW8E (6750 DM). Similarly is the Converter DW08A and the Cabinet AA50 for additional D/A Controller. The 3 plugged D/A modules were calculated with 1.680 DM per unit.
294        The memory expansion to 32K does not appear on the list, but the price for this option was about 50.000 DM including the controller.<br>
295
296        In the sum it is a staggering number of 387.690 DM, which is today corresponding about 500,000 € or 600.000 $!</p>
297</small>
298</div>
299</div>
300<div class="clear">
301</div>
302
303         <h3 id="8e">Lab-8e, PDP-8e</h3>
304        <div class="box left">
305                <img src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/dec/lab8e.jpg" width="400" height="461" alt="DEC LAB-8e" />
306        </div>
307        <div class="box center" style="min-width: 840px;">
308                <img src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/dec/pdp-8e,pannel.jpg" width="400" height="300" alt="PDP-8e operator panel" />
309        </div>
310    <div class="bildtext">
311            <p>The successor of the PDP-8i was the PDP-8e (1970). This computer came with an
312             internal bus system, so you could easily attach any peripherals using interface cards. This
313             feature made the "mini"-computer all-purpose. This computer type was offered with diverse
314             A/D- and D/A-converters and connection facilities as a laboratory computer for analogue
315             devices (shown in the picture). The peripherals are:</p>
316            <ul>
317                <li>VR 12 (oscilloscope display)</li>
318                <li>PC 04 (High speed paper tape reader/puncher)</li>
319                <li>3 x TU 56 (double tape drive)</li>
320                <li>A/D- and D/A-converter</li>
321            </ul>
322        </div>
323    <div class="box left clear-after">
324                <img src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/dec/8e-module.jpg" alt="8e-Module" width="400" height="175"/>
325                <p>The picture on the left shows a board for own peripheral interfaces. In this unit,
326                   bus amplifiers, etc. are already mounted. You could install your own ICs in front of
327                   them and connect them with Wire-Wrap or soldered wires.
328                   On the right is a typical module with a lot of ICs. Both modules are only partially
329                   visible.
330                </p>
331    </div>
332
333    <h3>WANG 2200 with bulky peripheral hardware</h3>
334    <p>Next, the first system that looks like today's computer is presented: <a class="go" href="/en/devices/wang2200.shtm">WANG 2200</a>, year of manufacture 1973. This computer, with so many peripheral devices, is probably unique in Germany. The peripherals: paper tape reader, punch card reader,  triple 8-inch disc drive, hard disc system with 38cm diameter disks (the device weights 100kg and cost 24000 DM, but only holdy 5MB), special BASIC-language keyboard, etc.</p>
335    <p>WANG quickly recognized that the future of computers needed screens. However the concurrent HP
336    computers had only a single-line LED display until 1975.</p>
337
338    <div class="box center">
339       <a href="/en/devices/wang2200.shtm" name="backlink-wang2200"><img src="/shared/photos/rechnertechnik/wang2200.jpg" width="592" height="402" alt="Wang 2200" /></a>
340    </div>
341
342    <p>The first personal computer was also build by WANG: the PCS II (1975). The first PC that was affordable for everybody was the PET 2001 from Commodore. It came on the market in 1977 and was as cheap as today's PCs, but had 8kB and had decent applications. Many more home computers followed, the market got out of hand and therewith this collection of computers ends.</p>
343     
344     <p>See further details at <a class="go" href="/en/details2.shtm" title="Details 2">the tabular overview of
345     mid range data processing equipment and proffessional early computers</a>.</p>
346</div>
347
348
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