The historical significance of DEC and the PDP-7, 8, 11 and VAX

Liam Proven posted a good summary of the importance of the PDP and VAX series of computers on his blog.

Earlier today, I saw a link on the mailing list to a project to re-implement the DEC VAX CPU on an FPGA. It’s entitled “First new vax in …30 years?”

Someone posted it on Hackernews. One of the comments said, roughly, that they didn’t see the significance and could someone “explain it like I’m a Computer Science undergrad.” This is my attempt to reply…

Um. Now I feel like I’m 106 instead of “just” 53.

OK, so, basically all modern mass-market OSes of any significance derive in some way from 2 historical minicomputer families… and both were from the same company.


  1. 2021-07-08 10:13 pm
  2. 2021-07-08 11:39 pm