Columbia University Computing History   

The Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-1

The DEC PDP-1; Photo: (defunct).
The Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-1, 1960, with Type 30 Direct View Display, a 16-inch diameter CRT with 1024 × 1024 addressable points and a light pen: the first graphics terminal and DEC's first general-purpose computer. I am not aware that Columbia University ever had a PDP-1, but I know first-hand it had a PDP-4 (Physics, Pupin Hall), PDP-7 (Electrical Engineering, Mudd) — both of these went to the dumpster despite my efforts to have them transferred to the Computer History Museum — and numerous PDP-8s, PDP-11s, and even a PDP-12 or two. The PDP-7 was the subject of my graduate computer architecture class with Ted Bashkow, and it was hands-on. I saw a fully operational PDP-1 at the Digital Equipment Corporation museum in Marlboro, MA, about 1980 (this, after many moves and changes of hands, would become the Computer History Museum.
Columbia University Computing History Frank da Cruz / This page created: July 2002 Revised: 3 April 2021