The computer hardware hall of fame

From mainframes and minis to PCs and PDAs, our picks for the greatest, most enduring computer hardware of all time.

Digital Equipment Corp. PDP-11 (1970)



This venerable line of minicomputers went through many permutations from its introduction in 1970 until its end-of-life 1997. The first PDP-11 was a 16-bit machine that replaced the popular PDP-8 and introduced a new Macro-11 assembly language that found favor with programmers. A decade later those early models were still favorites in educational institutions, due in part to the PDP-11's ability to emulate different systems. The PDP-11 declined in the 1980s, running up against its 16-bit limit as the cost of large memory fell.

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