Steven JW Kennedy

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Posts Tagged ‘VAX/VMS’

Ken Olsen, co-founder of Digital Equipment Corporation Dies

Posted by Steven Kennedy on February 14, 2011

A friend gave me a call late last week to talk and during the call let me know that Ken Olsen, the co-founder of Digital Equipment Corporation, DEC to those of us who are old enough to have used their computers.

For those to young to remember DEC produced the PDP and VAX line of mini computers. Mini computers were the next generation computers of their day, taking over from Mainframe systems. I first ran in to Mini computers at University, an HP mini (I’ve forgotten the model) and a PDP, both in the engineering lab.

When I started working for a living I started as a software engineer working on aircraft flight programs but after 2-3 years I transitioned in to what is known today as IT. It was as a member of the ‘IT’ department that I first came across, programmed and managed both PDP and VAX computers. I continued managing VAX for a number of years, through the introduction of Personal Computers, both WinTel and Apple and their integration with VAXes using DEC Pathworks. The introduction of email using Decmailworks and the use of DECNet for communication between computers. When I eventually left the engineering side of IT in 2003 VAXes where still in use even though by that time DEC was no more, having been sold to Compaq which was subsequently acquired by HP.

The VAX line of computers, and the associated operating system, VMS, was one of the best multi-tasking operating systems I worked with. This in conjunction with it’s clustering capability made it a very nice platform to work and run.


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