The  PDP-12  (Programmed Data Processor) was created by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) in 1969 and was marketed specifically for science and engineering.  [1]  It was the 3rd in the LINC family and its uses for applications in chemistry, applied psychology, patient monitoring and industrial testing.  [2]  It is the combination of the LINC computer and the PDP-8 and can run programs for the computer.  [3]  It features a single central processor with two distinct operating modes, each with its own set instruction that allows it to run both computers’ programs.  [4]

Because it is the combination of two different computers. It can be a laboratory oriented machine  [5]  with several facilities for I / O , and with the capability to support multiple peripheral devices.  [4]  The basic package with dual LINCtape drives, a scope display and I / O ports for interfacing with external laboratory equipment and peripherals.  [6]  In addition to a display-based OS other software packages Were included for data acquisition and display, Fourier analysis and mass spectrometry . [2]

Operating Systems

Although an OS / 8 variant named OS / 12 was the predominant PDP-12 operating system,  [7]  there were two prior ones:

  • LAP6-DIAL (Display Interactive Language Assembly)
  • DIAL-MS (Mass Storage, this is an 8K version of LAP6-DIAL)

Production and training

Less than a year after its introduction in the PDP-12 already had over 400 orders placed  [2]  and in total 725 units were manufactured before being discontinued in 1972.  [6]

Since It was used as laboratory equipment in December offert a two-week “hands-on” programming run with the purchase of the computer. You Could take the class at the hand plant in Maynard, Massachusetts gold in Palo Alto, California in the USA or You Could take the class in Reading in the United Kingdom , Cologne in Germany or Paris , France .  [8]


  1. Jump up^  “Exhibits – Living Computer Museum” .  www.livingcomputermuseum.org  . Retrieved 5 July 2016 .  see Mini-Computer section and press see more, then press see more again
  2. ^ Jump up to: c   Digital Equipment Corporation. “Nineteen Fifty-Seven to the Present” (PDF) . Retrieved 11 July 2016 .
  3. Jump up^   ed, Raúl Rojas, (2001).  Encyclopedia of computers and computer history  . Chicago [ua]: Fitzroy Dearborn. ISBN  1579582354 .
  4. ^ Jump up to: b   PDP-12 Users Manual  . Maynard, Massachusetts: Digital Equipment Corporation. 1969.
  5. Jump up^  LINC = L aboratory IN strumentation C omputer
  6. ^ Jump up to: b   “The PDP-12” .  www.cca.org  .
  7. Jump up^  “Digital Equipment Corporation PDP-8: Frequently Asked Questions” .
  8. Jump up^   Digital Equipment Corporation (1972).  Software Package and Services  (PDF) . Maynard, Massachusetts: DEC.

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