Feeds

Microsoft founder opens PDP fetish site

Tap an old box

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

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. ®

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.