My Favorite Computers


Before My Time

Two historical computers fascinated me. The Differential Analyzer was a mechanical analog computer constructed by visionary scientist Vannevar Bush (right).

Eckert and Mauchly's ENIAC computer was one of the first electronic digital computers. (more details)

Early Computers

CDC 6600

Seymour Cray started Control Data Corporation.

Nobody did timesharing as well as CDC in the 1970s. They had PLATO, an international network with 3D multiuser games and instant messaging ("TERM-talk"). They installed a 2000 port timesharing system for all of Minnesota's highschools in the mid '70s. Was the ARPAnet that big then? (more details)

CDC 6600

PDP-11/70, VAX 780

Gordon Bell at Digital Equipment Corporation fostered the minicomputer. From 1978 to the mid 1980s, I programmed DEC's PDP-11 and VAX systems at Caltech and Bell Telephone Laboratories.

Dave Cutler wrote the VMS operating system for the VAX, but ultimate Bell Lab's UNIX system was what flourished on the minicomputer and the workstation. (more details)

PDP 11/70

Windows PC

The PC has been around for ages. Like the mammals, it started small and lived in the shadows of the minicomputer and the unix workstation. But after a few mass extinctions, it has become the dominant form of computer today.

With its wide-spread acceptance, the PC has created a social revolution as well as providing the incentive for radically improved performance per dollar. (more details)

Windows PC

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Copyright 2003 Don P. Mitchell. All rights reserved.