digital equipment corporation · maynard, massachusetts


AT&T designed their UNIXPC (models 7300 and 3B1) for office computing, with software to provide answering machine and automated telephony applications at a time consumer computers didn't generally do that, and a windowing system for more general use like document editing. Unfortunately, they priced it accordingly, with the biggest model (the 2MB RAM 67MB disk shown here) costing around $8000. It flopped.

However, there was a full SVR2 UNIX system underneath, and in 1987 the remaining machines were put on "fire sale" where this machine was purchased for about $1500 with an additional $200 for development software. This was the first time a full home UNIX box was available at an affordable price for the people who had been using BSD VAXen and Suns at school and work, and they became very popular in that market.

The machine has a built-in 300 and 1200 baud modem, a serial port that also goes to 1200 baud, a Centronics parallel port, and a perfectly good monochrome bit-mapped display that unfortunately doesn't have enough pixels for my idea of a useful windowing system. It was quickly provided with an expansion card with two 2400 baud serial ports and an external modem, providing a twice as fast connection to those VAXen, and then a Seikosha dot matrix printer.

In addition to being a home terminal and providing personal archiving to floppies, it was used for local programming as well as writing documents or software to transfer to the bigger machines.

Feel free to contact me, David Gesswein djg@pdp8online.com with any questions, comments on the web site, or if you have related equipment, documentation, software etc. you are willing to part with.  I am interested in anything PDP-8 related, computers, peripherals used with them, DEC or third party, or documentation. 

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