Merriam-Webster, Inc. is an American company that publishes reference books and is known for its dictionaries. In 1828, George and Charles Merriam founded the company as G & C Merriam Co. in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1843, after Noah Webster died, the company bought the rights to An American Dictionary of the English Language from Webster's estate. All Merriam-Webster dictionaries trace their lineage to this source. In 1964, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. acquired Inc. as a subsidiary. The company adopted its current name in 1982. In 1806, Webster published A Compendious Dictionary of the English Language. In 1807 Webster started two decades of intensive work to expand his publication into a comprehensive dictionary, An American Dictionary of the English Language. To help him trace the etymology of words, Webster learned 26 languages. Webster hoped to standardize American speech, since Americans in different parts of the country used somewhat different vocabularies and spelled and used words differently.
Webster completed his dictionary during his year abroad in 1825 in Paris, at the University of Cambridge. His 1820s book contained 70,000 words, of which about 12,000 had never appeared in a dictionary before; as a spelling reformer, Webster believed that English spelling rules were unnecessarily complex, so his dictionary introduced American English spellings, replacing colour with color, waggon with wagon, centre with center. He added American words, including skunk and squash, that did not appear in British dictionaries. At the age of 70 in 1828, Webster published his dictionary. However, in 1840, he published the second edition in two volumes with much greater success. In 1843, after Webster's death, George Merriam and Charles Merriam secured publishing and revision rights to the 1840 edition of the dictionary, they published a revision in 1847, which did not change any of the main text but added new sections, a second update with illustrations in 1859. In 1864, Merriam published a expanded edition, the first version to change Webster's text overhauling his work yet retaining many of his definitions and the title "An American Dictionary".
This began a series of revisions. In 1884 it contained 118,000 words, "3000 more than any other English dictionary". With the edition of 1890, the dictionary was retitled Webster's International; the vocabulary was vastly expanded in Webster's New International editions of 1909 and 1934, totaling over half a million words, with the 1934 edition retrospectively called Webster's Second International or "The Second Edition" of the New International. The Collegiate Dictionary was introduced in 1898 and the series is now in its eleventh edition. Following the publication of Webster's International in 1890, two Collegiate editions were issued as abridgments of each of their Unabridged editions. With the ninth edition, the Collegiate adopted changes which distinguish it as a separate entity rather than an abridgment of the Third New International; some proper names were returned including names of Knights of the Round Table. The most notable change was the inclusion of the date of the first known citation of each word, to document its entry into the English language.
The eleventh edition includes more than 225,000 definitions, more than 165,000 entries. A CD-ROM of the text is sometimes included; this dictionary is preferred as a source "for general matters of spelling" by the influential The Chicago Manual of Style, followed by many book publishers and magazines in the United States. The Chicago Manual states. Merriam overhauled the dictionary again with the 1961 Webster's Third New International under the direction of Philip B. Gove, making changes that sparked public controversy. Many of these changes were in formatting, omitting needless punctuation, or avoiding complete sentences when a phrase was sufficient. Others, more controversial, signaled a shift from linguistic prescriptivism and towards describing American English as it was used at that time. Since the 1940s, the company has added many specialized dictionaries, language aides, other references to its repertoire; the G. & C. Merriam Company lost its right to exclusive use of the name "Webster" after a series of lawsuits placed that name in public domain.
Its name was changed to "Merriam-Webster, Incorporated", with the publication of Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary in 1983. Previous publications had used "A Merriam-Webster Dictionary" as a subtitle for many years and will be found on older editions; the company has been a subsidiary of Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. since 1964. In 1996, Merriam-Webster launched its first website, which provided free access to an online dictionary and thesaurus. Merriam-Webster has published dictionaries of synonyms, English usage, biography, proper names, medical terms, sports terms, Spanish/English, numerous others. Non-dictionary publications include Collegiate Thesaurus, Secretarial Handbook, Manual for Writers and Editors, Collegiate Encyclopedia, Encyclopedia of Literature, Encyclopedia of World Religions. On February 16, 2007, Merriam-Webster announced the launch of a mobile dictionary and thesaurus service developed with mobile search-and-information provider AskMeNow. Consumers use the service to access definitions and synonyms via text message.
Services include Merr
Vehicle identification number
A vehicle identification number is a unique code, including a serial number, used by the automotive industry to identify individual motor vehicles, towed vehicles, motorcycles and mopeds, as defined in ISO 3779 and ISO 4030. VINs were first used in 1954 in the United States. From 1954 to 1981, there was no accepted standard for these numbers, so different manufacturers used different formats. In 1981, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration of the United States standardized the format, it required all on-road vehicles sold to contain a 17-character VIN, which does not include the letters I, O, Q. There are vehicle history services in several countries that help potential car owners use VINs to find vehicles that are defective or have been written off. See the Used car article for a list of countries where this service is available. There are at least four competing standards used to calculate the VIN. FMVSS 115, Part 565: Used in United States and Canada ISO Standard 3779: Used in Europe and many other parts of the world SAE J853: Very similar to the ISO standard ADR 61/2 used in Australia, referring to ISO 3779 and 3780 Modern VINs are based on two related standards issued by the International Organization for Standardization in 1979 and 1980: ISO 3779 and ISO 3780, respectively.
Compatible but different implementations of these ISO standards have been adopted by the European Union and the United States, respectively. The VIN comprises the following sections: The first three characters uniquely identify the manufacturer of the vehicle using the world manufacturer identifier or WMI code. A manufacturer who builds fewer than 1000 vehicles per year uses a 9 as the third digit, the 12th, 13th and 14th position of the VIN for a second part of the identification; some manufacturers use the third character as a code for a vehicle category, a division within a manufacturer, or both. For example, within 1G, 1G1 represents Chevrolet passenger cars; the Society of Automotive Engineers in the U. S. assigns WMIs to manufacturers. The first character of the WMI is the region. In practice, each is assigned to a country of manufacture, although in Europe the country where the continental headquarters is located can assign the WMI to all vehicles produced in that region. In the notation below, assume that letters precede numbers and that zero is the last number.
For example, 8X–82 denotes the range 8X, 8Y, 8Z, 81, 82, excluding 80. The fourth to ninth positions in the VIN are the vehicle descriptor section or VDS; this is used, according to local regulations, to identify the vehicle type, may include information on the automobile platform used, the model, the body style. Each manufacturer has a unique system for using this field. Most manufacturers since the 1980s have used the eighth digit to identify the engine type whenever there is more than one engine choice for the vehicle. Example: for the 2007 Chevrolet Corvette, U is for a 6.0-liter V8 engine, E is for a 7.0 L V8. One element, consistent is the use of position nine as a check digit, compulsory for vehicles in North America and China, used consistently elsewhere; the 10th to 17th positions are used as the'vehicle identifier section'. This is used by the manufacturer to identify the individual vehicle in question; this may include information on options installed or engine and transmission choices, but is a simple sequential number.
In North America, the last five digits must be numeric. One consistent element of the VIS is the 10th digit, required worldwide to encode the model year of the vehicle. Besides the three letters that are not allowed in the VIN itself, the letters U and Z and the digit 0 are not used for the model year code; the year code is the model year for the vehicle. The year 1980 was encoded by some manufacturers General Motors and Chrysler, as "A", yet Ford and AMC still used a zero for 1980. Subsequent years increment through the allowed letters, so that "Y" represents the year 2000. 2001 to 2009 are encoded as the digits 1 to 9, subsequent years are encoded as "A", "B", "C", etc. On April 30, 2008, the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration adopted a final rule amending 49 CFR Part 565, "so that the current 17 character vehicle identification number system, in place for 30 years, can continue in use for at least another 30 years", in the process making several changes to the VIN requirements applicable to all motor vehicles manufactured for sale in the United States.
There are three notable changes to the VIN structure that affect VIN deciphering systems: The make may only be identified after looking at positions one through three and another position, as determined by the manufacturer in the second section or fourth to eighth segment of the VIN. In order to identify the exact year in passenger cars and multipurpose passenger vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 or less, one must read position 7 as well as position 10. For passenger cars, for multipurpose passenger vehicles and trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 lb or less, if position seven is numeric, the model year in position 10 of the VIN refers to a year in the range 1980–2009. If position sev
Arabic numerals are the ten digits: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. It is the most common system for the symbolic representation of numbers in the world today; the Hindu-Arabic numeral system was developed by Indian mathematicians around AD 500 using quite different forms of the numerals. From India, the system was adopted by Arabic mathematicians in Baghdad and passed on to the Arabs farther west; the current form of the numerals developed in North Africa. It was in the North African city of Bejaia that the Italian scholar Fibonacci first encountered the numerals; the use of Arabic numerals spread around the world through European trade and colonialism. The term Arabic numerals is ambiguous, it may be intended to mean the numerals used by Arabs, in which case it refers to the Eastern Arabic numerals. Although the phrase "Arabic numeral" is capitalized, it is sometimes written in lower case: for instance in its entry in the Oxford English Dictionary, which helps to distinguish it from "Arabic numerals" as the Eastern Arabic numerals.
Alternative names are Western Arabic numerals, Western numerals, Hindu–Arabic numerals, Unicode calls them digits. The decimal Hindu–Arabic numeral system with zero was developed in India by around AD 700; the development was gradual, spanning several centuries, but the decisive step was provided by Brahmagupta's formulation of zero as a number in AD 628. The system was revolutionary by including zero in positional notation, thereby limiting the number of individual digits to ten, it is considered an important milestone in the development of mathematics. One may distinguish between this positional system, identical throughout the family, the precise glyphs used to write the numerals, which varied regionally; the first universally accepted inscription containing the use of the 0 glyph in India is first recorded in the 9th century, in an inscription at Gwalior in Central India dated to 870. Numerous Indian documents on copper plates exist, with the same symbol for zero in them, dated back as far as the 6th century AD, but their dates are uncertain.
Inscriptions in Indonesia and Cambodia dating to AD 683 have been found. The numeral system came to be known to the court of Baghdad, where mathematicians such as the Persian Al-Khwarizmi, whose book On the Calculation with Hindu Numerals was written about 825 in Arabic, the Arab mathematician Al-Kindi, who wrote four volumes, On the Use of the Indian Numerals about 830, propagated it in the Arab world, their work was principally responsible for the diffusion of the Indian system of numeration in the Middle East and the West. In the 10th century, Middle-Eastern mathematicians extended the decimal numeral system to include fractions, as recorded in a treatise by Syrian mathematician Abu'l-Hasan al-Uqlidisi in 952–953; the decimal point notation was introduced by Sind ibn Ali, who wrote the earliest treatise on Arabic numerals. A distinctive West Arabic variant of the symbols begins to emerge around the 10th century in the Maghreb and Al-Andalus, which are the direct ancestor of the modern "Arabic numerals" used throughout the world.
Woepecke has proposed that the Western Arabic numerals were in use in Spain before the arrival of the Moors, purportedly received via Alexandria, but this theory is not accepted by scholars. Some popular myths have argued that the original forms of these symbols indicated their numeric value through the number of angles they contained, but no evidence exists of any such origin. In 825 Al-Khwārizmī wrote a treatise in Arabic, On the Calculation with Hindu Numerals, which survives only as the 12th-century Latin translation, Algoritmi de numero Indorum. Algoritmi, the translator's rendition of the author's name, gave rise to the word algorithm; the first mentions of the numerals in the West are found in the Codex Vigilanus of 976. From the 980s, Gerbert of Aurillac used his position to spread knowledge of the numerals in Europe. Gerbert studied in Barcelona in his youth, he was known to have requested mathematical treatises concerning the astrolabe from Lupitus of Barcelona after he had returned to France.
Leonardo Fibonacci, a mathematician born in the Republic of Pisa who had studied in Béjaïa, promoted the Indian numeral system in Europe with his 1202 book Liber Abaci: When my father, appointed by his country as public notary in the customs at Bugia acting for the Pisan merchants going there, was in charge, he summoned me to him while I was still a child, having an eye to usefulness and future convenience, desired me to stay there and receive instruction in the school of accounting. There, when I had been introduced to the art of the Indians' nine symbols through remarkable teaching, knowledge of the art soon pleased me above all else and I came to understand it; the numerals are arranged with their lowest value digit to the right, with higher value positions added to the left. This arrangement is the same in Arabic as well as the Indo-European languages; the reason the digits are more known as "Arabic numerals" in Europe and the Americas is that they were introduced to Europe in the 10th century by Arabic-speakers of North Africa, who were using the digits from Libya to Morocco.
Arabs, on the other hand, call the base-10 system "Hindu numerals", referring to their origin in India. This is not to be confused with what the Arabs call the "Hindi numerals", namely the Eastern Arabi
In computing, a computer keyboard is a typewriter-style device which uses an arrangement of buttons or keys to act as mechanical levers or electronic switches. Following the decline of punch cards and paper tape, interaction via teleprinter-style keyboards became the main input method for computers. Keyboard keys have characters engraved or printed on them, each press of a key corresponds to a single written symbol. However, producing some symbols may require pressing and holding several keys or in sequence. While most keyboard keys produce letters, numbers or signs, other keys or simultaneous key presses can produce actions or execute computer commands. In normal usage, the keyboard is used as a text entry interface for typing text and numbers into a word processor, text editor or any other program. In a modern computer, the interpretation of key presses is left to the software. A computer keyboard distinguishes each physical key from every other key and reports all key presses to the controlling software.
Keyboards are used for computer gaming — either regular keyboards or keyboards with special gaming features, which can expedite used keystroke combinations. A keyboard is used to give commands to the operating system of a computer, such as Windows' Control-Alt-Delete combination. Although on Pre-Windows 95 Microsoft operating systems this forced a re-boot, now it brings up a system security options screen. A command-line interface is a type of user interface navigated using a keyboard, or some other similar device that does the job of one. While typewriters are the definitive ancestor of all key-based text entry devices, the computer keyboard as a device for electromechanical data entry and communication derives from the utility of two devices: teleprinters and keypunches, it was through such devices. As early as the 1870s, teleprinter-like devices were used to type and transmit stock market text data from the keyboard across telegraph lines to stock ticker machines to be copied and displayed onto ticker tape.
The teleprinter, in its more contemporary form, was developed from 1907 to 1910 by American mechanical engineer Charles Krum and his son Howard, with early contributions by electrical engineer Frank Pearne. Earlier models were developed separately by individuals such as Royal Earl House and Frederick G. Creed. Earlier, Herman Hollerith developed the first keypunch devices, which soon evolved to include keys for text and number entry akin to normal typewriters by the 1930s; the keyboard on the teleprinter played a strong role in point-to-point and point-to-multipoint communication for most of the 20th century, while the keyboard on the keypunch device played a strong role in data entry and storage for just as long. The development of the earliest computers incorporated electric typewriter keyboards: the development of the ENIAC computer incorporated a keypunch device as both the input and paper-based output device, while the BINAC computer made use of an electromechanically controlled typewriter for both data entry onto magnetic tape and data output.
The keyboard remained the primary, most integrated computer peripheral well into the era of personal computing until the introduction of the mouse as a consumer device in 1984. By this time, text-only user interfaces with sparse graphics gave way to comparatively graphics-rich icons on screen. However, keyboards remain central to human-computer interaction to the present as mobile personal computing devices such as smartphones and tablets adapt the keyboard as an optional virtual, touchscreen-based means of data entry. One factor determining the size of a keyboard is the presence of duplicate keys, such as a separate numeric keyboard or two each of Shift, ALT and CTL for convenience. Further the keyboard size depends on the extent to which a system is used where a single action is produced by a combination of subsequent or simultaneous keystrokes, or multiple pressing of a single key. A keyboard with few keys is called a keypad. Another factor determining the size of a keyboard is the spacing of the keys.
Reduction is limited by the practical consideration that the keys must be large enough to be pressed by fingers. Alternatively a tool is used for pressing small keys. Standard alphanumeric keyboards have keys that are on three-quarter inch centers, have a key travel of at least 0.150 inches. Desktop computer keyboards, such as the 101-key US traditional keyboards or the 104-key Windows keyboards, include alphabetic characters, punctuation symbols, numbers and a variety of function keys; the internationally common 102/104 key keyboards have a smaller left shift key and an additional key with some more symbols between that and the letter to its right. The enter key is shaped differently. Computer keyboards are similar to electric-typewriter keyboards but contain additional keys, such as the command or Windows keys. There is no standard computer keyboard. There are three different PC keyboards: the original PC keyboard with 84 keys, the AT keyboard with 84 keys and the enhanced keyboard with 101 keys.
The three differ somewhat in the placement of function keys, the control keys, the return key, the shift key. Keyboards on laptops and notebook computers have a shorter travel distance for the keystroke, shorter over travel distance, a reduced set of keys, they may not have a numeric keypad, the function keys may be placed in locations that differ from their placement on a standard, full-sized keyboard. The switch
An alphabet is a standard set of letters that represent the phonemes of any spoken language it is used to write. This is in contrast to other types such as syllabaries and logographic systems; the first phonemic script, the Proto-Canaanite script known as the Phoenician alphabet, is considered to be the first alphabet, is the ancestor of most modern alphabets, including Arabic, Latin, Cyrillic and Brahmic. Peter T. Daniels, distinguishes an abugida or alphasyllabary, a set of graphemes that represent consonantal base letters which diacritics modify to represent vowels, an abjad, in which letters predominantly or represent consonants, an "alphabet", a set of graphemes that represent both vowels and consonants. In this narrow sense of the word the first "true" alphabet was the Greek alphabet, developed on the basis of the earlier Phoenician alphabet. Of the dozens of alphabets in use today, the most popular is the Latin alphabet, derived from the Greek, which many languages modify by adding letters formed using diacritical marks.
While most alphabets have letters composed of lines, there are exceptions such as the alphabets used in Braille. The Khmer alphabet is the longest, with 74 letters. Alphabets are associated with a standard ordering of letters; this makes them useful for purposes of collation by allowing words to be sorted in alphabetical order. It means that their letters can be used as an alternative method of "numbering" ordered items, in such contexts as numbered lists and number placements; the English word alphabet came into Middle English from the Late Latin word alphabetum, which in turn originated in the Greek ἀλφάβητος. The Greek word was made from the first two letters and beta; the names for the Greek letters came from the first two letters of the Phoenician alphabet. Sometimes, like in the alphabet song in English, the term "ABCs" is used instead of the word "alphabet". "Knowing one's ABCs", in general, can be used as a metaphor for knowing the basics about anything. The history of the alphabet started in ancient Egypt.
Egyptian writing had a set of some 24 hieroglyphs that are called uniliterals, to represent syllables that begin with a single consonant of their language, plus a vowel to be supplied by the native speaker. These glyphs were used as pronunciation guides for logograms, to write grammatical inflections, to transcribe loan words and foreign names. In the Middle Bronze Age, an "alphabetic" system known as the Proto-Sinaitic script appears in Egyptian turquoise mines in the Sinai peninsula dated to circa the 15th century BC left by Canaanite workers. In 1999, John and Deborah Darnell discovered an earlier version of this first alphabet at Wadi el-Hol dated to circa 1800 BC and showing evidence of having been adapted from specific forms of Egyptian hieroglyphs that could be dated to circa 2000 BC suggesting that the first alphabet had been developed about that time. Based on letter appearances and names, it is believed to be based on Egyptian hieroglyphs; this script had no characters representing vowels, although it was a syllabary, but unneeded symbols were discarded.
An alphabetic cuneiform script with 30 signs including three that indicate the following vowel was invented in Ugarit before the 15th century BC. This script was not used after the destruction of Ugarit; the Proto-Sinaitic script developed into the Phoenician alphabet, conventionally called "Proto-Canaanite" before ca. 1050 BC. The oldest text in Phoenician script is an inscription on the sarcophagus of King Ahiram; this script is the parent script of all western alphabets. By the tenth century, two other forms can be distinguished, namely Aramaic; the Aramaic gave rise to the Hebrew script. The South Arabian alphabet, a sister script to the Phoenician alphabet, is the script from which the Ge'ez alphabet is descended. Vowelless alphabets, which are not true alphabets, are called abjads exemplified in scripts including Arabic and Syriac; the omission of vowels was not always a satisfactory solution and some "weak" consonants are sometimes used to indicate the vowel quality of a syllable. These letters have a dual function since they are used as pure consonants.
The Proto-Sinaitic or Proto-Canaanite script and the Ugaritic script were the first scripts with a limited number of signs, in contrast to the other used writing systems at the time, Egyptian hieroglyphs, Linear B. The Phoenician script was the first phonemic script and it contained only about two dozen distinct letters, making it a script simple enough for common traders to learn. Another advantage of Phoenician was that it could be used to write down many different languages, since it recorded words phonemically; the script was spread by the Phoenicians across the Mediterranean. In Greece, the script was modified to add vowels, giving rise to the ancestor of all alphabets in the West; the vowels have independent letter forms separate from those of consonants. The Greeks chose letters representing sounds. Vowels are significant in the Greek language, the syllabical Linear B scri
Aircraft seat map
An aircraft seat map or seating chart, is a diagram of the seat layout inside a passenger airliner. They are published by airlines for informational purposes, are of use to passengers for selection of their seat at booking or check-in. Seat maps indicate the basic seating layout, the numbering and lettering of the seats, the location of the emergency exits, galleys and wings. Airlines which allow internet check-in present a seat map indicating free and occupied seats to the passenger so that they select their seat from it. In addition to the published seat maps from airliners, there are a number of independent websites which publish seat maps along with reviews of individual seats, noting the good or bad seats. Most of the airlines publish the seat configurations for their aircraft, but the quality of these seat maps is sometimes questionable; some of the details and information about seats are confusing. Airlines do not publish seat maps for every aircraft, only for the larger aircraft and for the ones flying on frequent routes.
When passengers complete an online booking, or check in online, they are also presented with an aircraft seat map. However, this data is sourced from the original text-only seat maps on computer reservation systems such as Sabre where the seatmap is held as a two-dimensional array and as such can only display a grid of seats, as opposed to the more ingenious layouts now used in First and Business Class. Nichols et al. have reported that when people book seats on-line, they exhibit a leftward preference for seats on an aircraft, but a rightward preference for seats at the theatre. In addition to those published seat maps which can be found on airline websites, there are some other websites that publish aircraft seat maps for all commercial carriers. Seat maps that can be found on these sites have more details and on some websites you can find comments from other passengers with advantages and disadvantages about each seat; the accuracy and editorial independence of specialised websites showing seat maps have been questioned.
SeatGuru has come under scrutiny since it was sold to the online booking agent Expedia for $1.2m, Expedia now use the SeatGuru information when selling seats. As a result, SeatGuru has received some criticism for presenting seat maps which are inaccurate and where no one from the company has travelled on the aircraft. On many aircraft, the rightmost seats have letter designations HJK, skipping the letter I; this is. Digital Equipment Corporation was the first to implement this, avoiding I, O and S; the remaining letters are called the DEC alphabet. Aircraft with a seating structure of 2+2 may letter the seats as "ACDF" to keep with the standard of A/F being window and C/D being aisle on short-haul aircraft. In First and Business class cabins, the seat letters for the window seats will be the same as in economy, with some letters skipped in between as there are fewer seats per row. For example, if economy cabin is ten across, labeled ABC-DEFG-HJK, the Business Class cabin might be labeled AC-DG-HK for a six across layout, with A-DG-K for a four across First Class.
One notable exception to this is Delta Air Lines, who uses sequential letters regardless of cabin layout on all aircraft. Some airlines omit the row number 13, reputedly because of a widespread superstition that the number is unlucky; this is the case with Lufthansa, for example. Emirates used to have a row 13, but on their latest A380 aircraft have removed it. British Airways is less superstitious, their seat maps for A320 aircraft shows a row 13. Delta Air Lines includes row 13 in many of their seat maps. Seat configurations of Airbus A380 Wide-body aircraft Seating plan
Digital Equipment Corporation
Digital Equipment Corporation, using the trademark Digital, was a major American company in the computer industry from the 1950s to the 1990s. DEC was a leading vendor of computer systems, including computers and peripherals, their PDP and successor VAX products were the most successful of all minicomputers in terms of sales. DEC was acquired in June 1998 by Compaq, in what was at that time the largest merger in the history of the computer industry. At the time, Compaq was focused on the enterprise market and had purchased several other large vendors. DEC was a major player overseas. However, Compaq had little idea what to do with its acquisitions, soon found itself in financial difficulty of its own; the company subsequently merged with Hewlett-Packard in May 2002. As of 2007, PDP-11, VAX, AlphaServer systems were still produced under the HP name. From 1957 until 1992, DEC's headquarters were located in a former wool mill in Maynard, Massachusetts. DEC was acquired in June 1998 by Compaq, which subsequently merged with Hewlett-Packard in May 2002.
Some parts of DEC, notably the compiler business and the Hudson, Massachusetts facility, were sold to Intel. Focusing on the small end of the computer market allowed DEC to grow without its potential competitors making serious efforts to compete with them, their PDP series of machines became popular in the 1960s the PDP-8 considered to be the first successful minicomputer. Looking to simplify and update their line, DEC replaced most of their smaller machines with the PDP-11 in 1970 selling over 600,000 units and cementing DEC's position in the industry. Designed as a follow-on to the PDP-11, DEC's VAX-11 series was the first used 32-bit minicomputer, sometimes referred to as "superminis"; these systems were able to compete in many roles with larger mainframe computers, such as the IBM System/370. The VAX was a best-seller, with over 400,000 sold, its sales through the 1980s propelled the company into the second largest computer company in the industry. At its peak, DEC was the second largest employer in Massachusetts, second only to the Massachusetts State Government.
The rapid rise of the business microcomputer in the late 1980s, the introduction of powerful 32-bit systems in the 1990s eroded the value of DEC's systems. DEC's last major attempt to find a space in the changing market was the DEC Alpha 64-bit RISC instruction set architecture. DEC started work on Alpha as a way to re-implement their VAX series, but employed it in a range of high-performance workstations. Although the Alpha processor family met both of these goals, for most of its lifetime, was the fastest processor family on the market high asking prices were outsold by lower priced x86 chips from Intel and clones such as AMD. DEC was acquired in June 1998 by Compaq, in what was at that time the largest merger in the history of the computer industry. At the time, Compaq was focused on the enterprise market and had purchased several other large vendors. DEC was a major player overseas. However, Compaq had little idea what to do with its acquisitions, soon found itself in financial difficulty of its own.
The company subsequently merged with Hewlett-Packard in May 2002. As of 2007, some of DEC's product lines were still produced under the HP name. Beyond DECsystem-10/20, PDP, VAX and Alpha, DEC was well respected for its communication subsystem designs, such as Ethernet, DNA, DSA, its "dumb terminal" subsystems including VT100 and DECserver products. DEC's Research Laboratories conducted DEC's corporate research; some of them are still operated by Hewlett-Packard. The laboratories were: Western Research Laboratory in Palo Alto, California, US Systems Research Center in Palo Alto, California, US Network Systems Laboratory in Palo Alto, California, US Cambridge Research Laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US Paris Research Laboratory in Paris, France MetroWest Technology Campus in Maynard, Massachusetts, USSome of the former employees of DEC's Research Labs or DEC's R&D in general include: Gordon Bell: technical visionary, VP Engineering 1972–83. DEC supported the ANSI standards the ASCII character set, which survives in Unicode and the ISO 8859 character set family.
DEC's own Multinational Character Set had a large influence on ISO 8859-1 and, by extension, Unicode. The first versions of the C language and the Unix operating system ran on DEC's PDP series of computers, which were among the first commercially viable minicomputers, although for several years DEC itself did not encourage the use of Unix. DEC produced used and influential interactive ope