Paul Allen, a co-founder of Microsoft, launched a Web site Tuesday that highlights old Digital Equipment Corp. (DEC) mainframe and minicomputers from his collection.
Dubbed PDPplanet.com, the site provides images of the DEC systems in Allen's collection, includes highlights from their restoration, and offers a detailed timeline of the company's early computers. The collection includes machines such as the PDP-8/S, DECSYSTEM-20, and Toad 1.
DEC was one of the early giants in computer manufacturing and operating system software design, but came on hard times after the microcomputer appeared. In 1998, DEC was acquired by Compaq, which in turn was bought by Hewlett-Packard in 2002.
"My work at Computer Center Corporation [where he and Bill Gates labored to enhance PDP-10 software] and my previous exposure to computer timesharing at Lakeside High School were my first forays into computing," said Allen in a statement. "Those experiences during my teen years began my interest in programming and technology, and changed my life."
Registered users to the site can telnet into a working DECsystem-10 or an XKL Toad-1, create or upload programs, and run them.