Feeds

Microsoft founder opens PDP fetish site

Tap an old box

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen has expressed his undying love for DEC's PDP computer in a very public fashion - he's created a website dedicated to the machine.

PDP Planet went live today as a way to commemorate the venerable line of DEC systems. The site includes scintillating photos of PDP computers - some of which have their motherboards and backplanes exposed. In addition, the site has some racy restoration stories and allows you to "log-in" to a pair of PDPs that have been brought back to life.

"Registered users from around the world can telnet into a working DECsystem-10 or an XKL Toad-1, create or upload programs, and run them - essentially stepping back in time to access an 'antique' mainframe," Allen said in a statement. "Demonstrating how computing was conducted before the convenience of today's powerful desktop, laptop and palm devices, PDP Planet will give users an appreciation of how it felt to be an early programmer."

Here's hoping Allen never decides to set up a site to let users know how it felt to be an early Windows user, since the experience is bad enough for modern folks.

Such barbs aside, we're always impressed to see Allen - and Bill Gates, for that matter - do their part to preserve computing history. Allen's online PDP site complements the awesome physical and virtual archive at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View.

The PDP stands as one of the great machines in computer and server history. It ignited a trend to put powerful computers in the hands of business of all sizes, instead of just government and corporate giants. It also freed up compute power to individuals.

"PDP Planet fulfills my dream to find a way to preserve the achievements of early computer engineers," said Allen. "With running versions of these machines via the website, we now have a place that recognizes the efforts of those creative engineers who made some of the early breakthroughs in interactive computing that changed the world."

We recommend looking at this article on the PDP-6. It's stored on the website of then DEC chief engineer and now Microsoft fellow, Gordon Bell - a man who has become synonymous with improving the price/performance of computers.

You'll find PDP Planet here. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
AWS pulls desktop-as-a-service from the PC
Support for PCoIP protocol means zero clients can run cloudy desktops
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.