(DEC) A computer manufacturer and software vendor.
Before the killer micro
revolution of the late 1980s, hackerdom was closely symbiotic with DEC's pioneering time-sharing
machines. The first of the group of hacker cultures nucleated around the PDP-1 (see TMRC
). Subsequently, the PDP-6
were all foci of large and important hackerdoms, and DEC machines long dominated the ARPANET
The first PC from DEC was a CP/M
computer called Rainbow
, announced in 1981-82.
DEC was the technological leader of the minicomputer era (roughly 1967 to 1987), but its failure to embrace microcomputers
early cost it heavily in profits and prestige after silicon
got cheap. However, the microprocessor
design tradition owes a heavy debt to the PDP-11 instruction set
, and every one of the major general-purpose microcomputer operating systems
so far (CP/M, MS-DOS
) were either genetically descended from a DEC OS, or incubated on DEC hardware
or both. Accordingly, DEC is still regarded with a certain wry affection even among many hackers too young to have grown up on DEC machines. The contrast with IBM
Quarterly sales $3923M, profits -$1746M (Aug 1994).
DEC was taken over by Compaq Computer Corporation