Digital Equipment Corporation PDP–7/A - S#112

S#112. Image courtesy of Edinburgh Computer History Society, click for larger image
Image ©2009 Edinburgh
Computer History Society

Click any image for a larger version
S#112 during delivery. Image courtesy of Edinburgh Computer History Society, click for larger image
S#112 during delivery
Image ©2009 Edinburgh
Computer History Society

Edinburgh University (UK)

The PDP–7 Service list (1972) shows that machine #112 was shipped to Edinburgh University in February 1966 and consisted of the following options –

OptionS#ShipDEC #Notes
14900007301680000004K memory upgrade to 8K
1750000540168030862Information collector expansion.
177B0000460268030862Extended arithmetic element
340000025 000000Precision Incremental CRT Display
347C000007 000000340 Display Subroutine Interface
354000008 015882Unknown option
370000112 000000Photomultiplier Light Pen
5500000800168030862DECtape control, (up to 4x 555's)
KA71000012 000000I/O device package
KA77000012 000000Processor unit
KB030000290168030862Device selector expansion
TU550003680168030862Single DECtape transport
TU550003980168030862Single DECtape transport
TU55003416 080544Single DECtape transport

For descriptions of the above options see the full PDP–7 options list.

If you know of any information about any of the PDP–7 systems worldwide, options, location of existing systems, spare parts, ancillary bits, software, tapes or manuals, then please contact us.

Documents associated with PDP–7/A S#112 - (see below)

A document was found at the Edinburgh Computer History Project which briefly describes the use that the Edinburgh University's PDP–7/A Computer was put to.  The website however went offline for a while following technical problems, it is currently online but not in a very accessible form, we have copy of the relevant document.
"A PDP7 with a model 340 (?) vector graphics display and later a Honeywell 316 were linked to the 4130 through a "high–speed" data link (into the ATU of the 4130 for devotees).  The PDP7 was used by John Oldfield and his group for early CAD system research."

120 PDP–7 and PDP–7/A systems were forecast to be built in total, but the 1972 18–bit service list available (6.5Mb pdf download) only has details of the 99 known PDP–7 and PDP–7/A systems in the list at that time.  We do not have any information about the possible remaining 21 systems, who they were delivered to or even if they actually existed.

The PDP–7 appeared to have sold well into Government research and University sectors with 11 systems shipped to the UK alone, almost 10% of the forecast production run!  Serial numbers are concurrent for both PDP–7's and the PDP–7/A's, so the missing 21 could be of either type; however we are reasonably confident that the 99 systems shipped were the only ones that were ever built.

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