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Communications of the ACM

The evolution of the DECsystem 10


The DECsystem 10, also known as the PDP-10, evolved from the PDP-6 (circa 1963) over five generations of implementations to presently include systems covering a price range of five to one. The origin and evolution of the hardware, operating system, and languages are described in terms of technological change, user requirements, and user developments. The PDP-10's contributions to computing technology include: accelerating the transition from batch oriented to time sharing computing systems; transferring hardware technology within DEC (and elsewhere) to minicomputer design and manufacturing; supporting minicomputer hardware and software development; and serving as a model for single user and timeshared interactive minicomputer/microcomputer systems.

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