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PDP-8 Frequently Asked Questions (posted every other month)
Section - Who's Who?

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You can't beat the book Digital at Work (Digital Press, 1992) for short
writeups on the people inside DEC who made the PDP-8!

C. Gordon Bell is generally credited with the original design of the
PDP-8 (as well as designing the PDP-4, 5 and 6).  He was also involved
with recommending what became the PDP-11 when that design was competing
with the design that probably became the NOVA, and as vice president of
research, he oversaw the development of the DEC VAX family.

Alan Kotok worked with Bell in working up the original specifications
of the PDP-8.

Edson DeCastro was a key man in the design of the PDP-5 through the
PDP-8/L, then founded Data General to build the Nova.

Ben Gurley designed the early DEC machines, starting with the
PDP-1.  The actual design work on the -8, however, was done by Ed
deCastro, who later founded Data General to build the Nova.

Warren K. Smith was manager of applications engineering for Flip-Chip
modules between 1969 and 1975.  Much of the M-series TTL module family
dates from this period.

Saul B. Dinman, product line manager for the module product line from
1966 to 1969 designed the PDP-8/S and built the engineering prototype,
largely in his spare time.  Most of his time was devoted to the K-series
of industrial automation modules.  Later, he founded GRI Computer Corp,
where he designed the GRI 909 16-bit minicomputer.

Ken Olson ran DEC from the beginning.

Jozsef Lukacs and Janos Bogdany designed the Hungarian TPA1001
implementation of the PDP-8 instruction set, and Laszlo Szonyi and
Pal Karadi designed the TPA/i.

Ed Yourdon, who later became well known as a programming methodology
guru, helped hack up the PAL III assembler for the -8 from PAL II.

Richard Merrill invented FOCAL and wrote the original (1968) and classic
FOCAL-69 interpreters for the PDP-8.  He also did early translations of
the interpreter to PDP-7/PDP-9 code and perhaps the earliest PDP-11
version.  In addition, he wrote the EDIT-8 paper-tape based text editor
based on the FOCAL built-in text editor.

Richard F. Lary developed the RL Monitor System, and then went on to
develop OS/8, with help from Ed Friedman and another programmer named
Paul, under the management of Chuck Conley.

Charles Lasner developed P?S/8, and he is widely known as a leader in
the movement to preserve these historic machines.  He created the
alt.sys.pdp8 newsgroup.

George Thissell oversaw the development of OS/8 FORTRAN-IV, with Denny
Pavlock as part of the team.

Wesley Clark developed the LINC while working at Lincoln Labs; this was
the first 12 bit minicomputer built with DEC parts.

Mary Allen Wilkes Clark developed the early LAP programs for the LINC.

Don Witcraft wrote the TSS-8 scheduler, command decoder and UUO
handler, after working on the first swapping monitor for the PDP-10.
John Everett wrote the disk handler, file system, TTY handler
and  680-I service routine for TSS-8, after working on the Disk Monitor
System and PAL-D, the first disk-based version of PAL.

Roger Pyle and John Everett wrote the PDP-8 Disk Monitor System, and
John Everett adapted PAL-III to make PAL-D for DMS.  Bob Bowering, author
of MACRO for the -6 and -10, wrote an expanded version, PAL-X, for TSS-8.

Jimmy Dykes was the program manager for Harris in the contract development
of the Harris 6120 microprocessor; he later moved to GE Semiconductor.
Robert M. Smith was involved in the DEC side of this joint venture, after
having designed a number of OMNIBUS interfaces during the 1970's.

Douglas W. Jones wrote this FAQ, but prior to the summer of 1992, he'd
never used a PDP-8.  He has also written a report on how to photocopy
and archivally bind ailing paperback books such as DEC's handouts, a
PAL-like cross assembler in C, and a UNIX-based PDP-8 emulator.


End of PDP-8 Frequently Asked Questions (posted every other month)

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM