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Gordon’s Personal View of Personal Computing: before the PC. Vintage Computer Society 27 September 1998 Gordon Bell gbell@microsoft.com http://www.research.microsoft.com/~gbell. Apple II. First personal computer. Micral.

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gordon s personal view of personal computing before the pc

Gordon’s Personal View ofPersonal Computing: before the PC

Vintage Computer Society

27 September 1998

Gordon Bell

gbell@microsoft.com

http://www.research.microsoft.com/~gbell

whirlwind c1953 1st generation 16 bit word 4 kb memory 8 k drum
Whirlwind c1953 … 1st generation, 16-bit word; 4 KB memory; 8 K drum

Whirlwind begot TX-O/TX-2 begot DEC PDP-1 Real time, first compiler, ECAD, text editor

tx 0 console c1959 one of the first transistorized personal computers
TX-0 Console c1959… one of the first transistorized personal computers

Speech, handwriting recognition, neuro data analysis, etc. Interactive editors, debuggers, etc.

pdp 5 c1964 pdp 8 predecessor
PDP-5 c1964: PDP-8 predecessor

Process control, real time experiments. Fortran ran in 4 K, 12 bit words

pdp 8 first mini
PDP-8: first mini

First OEM computer. OS/8 (from timesharing) begot RT-11 begot CPM

there is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home
There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.

Ken OlsenPresident, Chairman and founder of Digital, 1977

minis and timesharing contributions
Minis and timesharing contributions
  • SpaceWar demonstrated the importance of interactive graphics
  • Editors, calculators, interactive debuggers, interpreters were in use
  • Mail and chat used timesharing
  • Minis established embedded computers