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Thread: how many PDP8 installations then and now?

  1. #1

    Default how many PDP8 installations then and now?

    Often I find the number of >50.000 of "true" PDP8 computers. They are many sites that give that number like

    http://homepage.divms.uiowa.edu/~jones/pdp8/faqs/

    But now I found an artikel:

    https://www.computerwoche.de/a/dec-7...g-mini,1199095

    In this text is a quotation from Geoffrey Shingles, that says there where 450000 PDP8/A installations:

    Energisch bestritten wurde von DEC-Europa-Marketingchef Goeffrey Shingles, die DEC-Station 78 bedeute eine Ablöse für die PDP-8A und Omnibus-Maschinen. "Die PDP 8 A hat mit 450 000 Installationen ihre Marktlücke bereits nachgewiesen", erklärte Singles.

    I can't bring this together. Does anybody here knows more about the numbers of PDP8?

    And what's about the numbers of still existing PDP8?

    Greetings
    Volker

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnupublic View Post
    Often I find the number of >50.000 of "true" PDP8 computers. They are many sites that give that number like

    http://homepage.divms.uiowa.edu/~jones/pdp8/faqs/

    But now I found an artikel:

    https://www.computerwoche.de/a/dec-7...g-mini,1199095

    In this text is a quotation from Geoffrey Shingles, that says there where 450000 PDP8/A installations:

    Energisch bestritten wurde von DEC-Europa-Marketingchef Goeffrey Shingles, die DEC-Station 78 bedeute eine Ablöse für die PDP-8A und Omnibus-Maschinen. "Die PDP 8 A hat mit 450 000 Installationen ihre Marktlücke bereits nachgewiesen", erklärte Singles.

    I can't bring this together. Does anybody here knows more about the numbers of PDP8?

    And what's about the numbers of still existing PDP8?

    Greetings
    Volker
    Volker,

    There are production records around for "real" (so non-harris MPU) PDP-8s and I think the 50,000 figure is accurate. However once the Harris 6100 and Intersill 6102 PDP8 on a chip appeared who knows how many "PDP8s" were made. I mean I have 1 x SBC6120 plus 2 x 6102 chips and the boards and bits to make another 2 but 450,000 seems to be stretching it. The same with howmany still exist. I know that in the UK the Science Museum has a few....

    Dave
    Dave
    G4UGM

    Looking for Analog Computers, Drum Plotters, and Graphics Terminals

  3. #3
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    I am guessing that someone added a zero to the number. No way had they sold 450000 in 1978.

    As to how many survive? A few thousand at most and a lot less of those are in running condition. I have 6 and only two of those are operating. (I need to do something about that!).

    I doubt there were 450000 even including the LSI based 8's.
    Doug Ingraham
    2nd owner of Straight 8 SN1173
    5 other PDP-8's including an 8/i and a DECSet 8000
    SOL-20

  4. #4

    Default

    I dunno, if you factor in embedded applications, Lord only knows how many miscellaneous things out there might've used a 61x0.
    Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
    Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Proteus/2, Moog Satellite, Oberheim SEM
    "'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by commodorejohn View Post
    I dunno, if you factor in embedded applications, Lord only knows how many miscellaneous things out there might've used a 61x0.
    Have you got any embedded examples? I can't think of anything that used the Harris or Intersil parts other than the DEC PC devices. By this I mean the VT78 and the DECMates.
    Doug Ingraham
    2nd owner of Straight 8 SN1173
    5 other PDP-8's including an 8/i and a DECSet 8000
    SOL-20

  6. #6

    Default

    Nah, I'm just spitballing. Just kinda figured that given the -8 line saw use in various embedded applications, the 61x0 line would've been a natural choice to replace them. But this is definitely not my area of expertise.
    Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
    Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Proteus/2, Moog Satellite, Oberheim SEM
    "'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

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    The 6100 was fairly popular for remote telemetry (i.e. battery-powered) applications, as it was a CMOS device. Probably not what one thinks of as a genuine "PDP-8". Then, think of the DECStations (VT78) and WPS systems.

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    I don't have any production numbers at hand.
    However, if we talk large PDP-8 systems, then 50.000 seems reasonable.
    The DECmate, DECmate II, DECmate III and variants were fairly successful, so with them (and god knows what else used the 61x0), I would not be surprised if it had hit 400.000. Compared to PCs that still a low number.

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