Honeywell's DDP-116, the first 16 bit mini

#1

I do like a front panel! Here we have illuminated push-buttons, not toggle switches and lamps.

and I like it even more when there’s a short bootstrap routine printed out and taped on the front:

This is the DDP-116, from 1965, the first commercial 16-bit machine, selling nearly 200 units. Built to match the price of the PDP-5, using transistors for logic and core for memory, it was set back a bit by the PDP-8 coming out at a lower price.

The machine was invented because marketing wanted a machine to sell for $30k - that was the only constraint! (From this oral history of Gardner Hendrie)

More photos and info here
https://www.computerhistory.org/revolution/minicomputers/11/336

Main photos from Adrian Wise’s site which has much interesting detail on the series 16 machines:
http://www.series16.adrianwise.co.uk/history/ddp_116.html
http://www.series16.adrianwise.co.uk/index.html

(Edit: from a G+ post archived here.)

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#2

They seem to have been consistent in their naming scheme, I did summer intern stints operating DPS-6:s in the 1980s.

Honeywell is a bit unknown in Europe, and have left the computer business long since (spun off to Honeywell-Bull, which I think has disappeared by now, too [edit: seems that Groupe Bull is still alive]), but they were similar to General Electric in doing a little bit of everything. I say were because they seem to have been subjected to a series of takeovers (including by GE!) and mergers and reorganizations, so much in that is it is hard to follow what they are actually doing these days. I guess the closest comparison in Europe would be something like Philips.

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