[LMB] OT: sort-of -- Internet/computer access for the poor

Peter Granzeau pgranzeau at cox.net
Sat Sep 24 19:50:51 BST 2011

At 08:59 PM 9/23/2011, fred smith wrote:
>On Fri, Sep 23, 2011 at 12:16:47PM -0600, William A Wenrich wrote:
>> Don't forget Digital/DEC in your list. Before the IBM PC, before the MAC,
>> even before the Apple Lisa, DEC had the LSI-11 chip set that ran the PDP-11
>> operating system. With some slight tweaks (say change PIP to copy), they
>> could have repackaged it for consumer use. It was far more powerful than the
>> Intel 8086 chipset. However,  the LSI-11 was only built as a rack mount.
>> Management refused to put it in a commercial case because, "DEC doesn't make
>> toy computers."

DEC's approach to computing seems to have been embodied in their Rainbow 100 computer, which used a proprietary disk format.  Since the drives installed in the computer were incapable of formatting disks, they had to be purchased from DEC, pre-formatted.  At the time, DEC had a "family" of similar desk computers, one using the LSI-11 chip, one using a chip which emulated the PDP-8, and the Rainbow 100, which used an Intel 8086.

And blank disks could be formatted for the Rainbow 100 using a Radio Shack TRS-80 Model 4 with external 80 track drives; I had a friend who did it for the Rainbow 100s used at his work.

Regards, Pete
pgranzeau at cox.net 

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