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


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

Main photos from Adrian Wise’s site which has much interesting detail on the series 16 machines:

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


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.