A minicomputer, or colloquially mini, is a class of smaller computers, developed in the mid-1960s and sold for much less than mainframe and mid-size computers from IBM and its direct competitors. In a 1970 survey, The New York Times suggested a consensus definition of a minicomputer as a machine costing less than US$25,000, with an input-output device such as a teleprinter and at least four thousand words of memory, capable of running programs in a higher level language, such as Fortran or BASIC; the class formed a distinct group with its own software architectures and operating systems. Minis were designed for control, human interaction, communication switching as distinct from calculation and record keeping. Many were sold indirectly to original equipment manufacturers for final end use application. During the two decade lifetime of the minicomputer class 100 companies formed and only a half dozen remained; when single-chip CPU microprocessors appeared, beginning with the Intel 4004 in 1971, the term "minicomputer" came to mean a machine that lies in the middle range of the computing spectrum, in between the smallest mainframe computers and the microcomputers.
The term "minicomputer" is little used today. The term "minicomputer" developed in the 1960s to describe the smaller computers that became possible with the use of transistors and core memory technologies, minimal instructions sets and less expensive peripherals such as the ubiquitous Teletype Model 33 ASR, they took up one or a few 19-inch rack cabinets, compared with the large mainframes that could fill a room. The definition of minicomputer is vague with the consequence that there are a number of candidates for the first minicomputer. An early and successful minicomputer was Digital Equipment Corporation's 12-bit PDP-8, built using discrete transistors and cost from US$16,000 upwards when launched in 1964. Versions of the PDP-8 took advantage of small-scale integrated circuits; the important precursors of the PDP-8 include the PDP-5, LINC, the TX-0, the TX-2, the PDP-1. DEC gave rise to a number of minicomputer companies along Massachusetts Route 128, including Data General, Wang Laboratories, Apollo Computer, Prime Computer.
Minicomputers were known as midrange computers. They grew to have high processing power and capacity, they were used in manufacturing process control, telephone switching and to control laboratory equipment. In the 1970s, they were the hardware, used to launch the computer-aided design industry and other similar industries where a smaller dedicated system was needed; the 7400 series of TTL integrated circuits started appearing in minicomputers in the late 1960s. The 74181 arithmetic logic unit was used in the CPU data paths; each 74181 had a bus width of hence the popularity of bit-slice architecture. Some scientific computers, such as the Nicolet 1080, would use the 7400 series in groups of five ICs for their uncommon twenty bits architecture; the 7400 series offered data-selectors, three-state buffers, etc. in dual in-line packages with one-tenth inch spacing, making major system components and architecture evident to the naked eye. Starting in the 1980s, many minicomputers used VLSI circuits.
At the launch of the MITS Altair 8800 in 1975, Radio Electronics magazine referred to the system as a "minicomputer", although the term microcomputer soon became usual for personal computers based on single-chip microprocessors. At the time, microcomputers were 8-bit single-user simple machines running simple program-launcher operating systems like CP/M or MS-DOS, while minis were much more powerful systems that ran full multi-user, multitasking operating systems, such as VMS and Unix, although the classical mini was a 16-bit computer, the emerging higher performance superminis were 32-bit; the decline of the minis happened due to the lower cost of microprocessor-based hardware, the emergence of inexpensive and deployable local area network systems, the emergence of the 68020, 80286 and the 80386 microprocessors, the desire of end-users to be less reliant on inflexible minicomputer manufacturers and IT departments or "data centers". The result was that minicomputers and computer terminals were replaced by networked workstations, file servers and PCs in some installations, beginning in the latter half of the 1980s.
During the 1990s, the change from minicomputers to inexpensive PC networks was cemented by the development of several versions of Unix and Unix-like systems that ran on the Intel x86 microprocessor architecture, including Solaris, FreeBSD, NetBSD and OpenBSD. The Microsoft Windows series of operating systems, beginning with, now included server versions that supported preemptive multitasking and other features required for servers; as microprocessors have become more powerful, the CPUs built up from multiple components – once the distinguishing feature differentiating mainframes and midrange systems from microcomputers – have become obsolete in the largest mainframe computers. Digital Equipment Corporation was once the leading minicomputer manufacturer, at one time the second-largest computer company after IBM, but as the minicomputer declined in the face of generic Unix servers and Intel-based PCs, not only DEC, but every other minicomputer company including Data General, Computervision and Wang Laboratories, many based in New England collapsed or merg
The Hewlett-Packard Company or Hewlett-Packard was an American multinational information technology company headquartered in Palo Alto, California. It developed and provided a wide variety of hardware components as well as software and related services to consumers, small- and medium-sized businesses and large enterprises, including customers in the government and education sectors; the company was founded in a one-car garage in Palo Alto by Bill Hewlett and David Packard, produced a line of electronic test equipment. HP was the world's leading PC manufacturer from 2007 to Q2 2013, at which time Lenovo ranked ahead of HP. HP specialized in developing and manufacturing computing, data storage, networking hardware, designing software and delivering services. Major product lines included personal computing devices and industry standard servers, related storage devices, networking products, software and a diverse range of printers and other imaging products. HP directly marketed its products to households, small- to medium-sized businesses and enterprises as well as via online distribution, consumer-electronics and office-supply retailers, software partners and major technology vendors.
HP had services and consulting business around its products and partner products. Hewlett-Packard company events included the spin-off of its electronic and bio-analytical measurement instruments part of its business as Agilent Technologies in 1999, its merger with Compaq in 2002, the acquisition of EDS in 2008, which led to combined revenues of $118.4 billion in 2008 and a Fortune 500 ranking of 9 in 2009. In November 2009, HP announced the acquisition of 3Com, with the deal closing on April 12, 2010. On April 28, 2010, HP announced the buyout of Inc. for $1.2 billion. On September 2, 2010, HP won its bidding war for 3PAR with a $33 a share offer, which Dell declined to match. Hewlett-Packard spun off its enterprise products and services business as Hewlett Packard Enterprise on November 1, 2015. Hewlett-Packard held onto the PC and printer businesses, was renamed to HP Inc. Bill Hewlett and David Packard graduated with degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University in 1935; the company originated in a garage in nearby Palo Alto during a fellowship they had with a past professor, Frederick Terman at Stanford during the Great Depression.
They considered Terman a mentor in forming Hewlett-Packard. In 1938, Packard and Hewlett begin part-time work in a rented garage with an initial capital investment of US$538. In 1939 Hewlett and Packard decided to formalize their partnership, they tossed a coin to decide whether the company they founded would be called Hewlett-Packard or Packard-Hewlett. HP incorporated on August 18, 1947, went public on November 6, 1957. Of the many projects they worked on, their first financially successful product, was a precision audio oscillator, the Model HP200A, their innovation was the use of a small incandescent light bulb as a temperature dependent resistor in a critical portion of the circuit, the negative feedback loop which stabilized the amplitude of the output sinusoidal waveform. This allowed them to sell the Model 200A for $89.40 when competitors were selling less stable oscillators for over $200. The Model 200 series of generators continued production until at least 1972 as the 200AB, still tube-based but improved in design through the years.
One of the company's earliest customers was Walt Disney Productions, which bought eight Model 200B oscillators for use in certifying the Fantasound surround sound systems installed in theaters for the movie Fantasia. They worked on counter-radar technology and artillery shell fuses during World War II, which allowed Packard to be exempt from the draft. HP is recognized as the symbolic founder of Silicon Valley, although it did not investigate semiconductor devices until a few years after the "traitorous eight" had abandoned William Shockley to create Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957. Hewlett-Packard's HP Associates division, established around 1960, developed semiconductor devices for internal use. Instruments and calculators were some of the products using these devices. During the 1960s, HP partnered with Sony and the Yokogawa Electric companies in Japan to develop several high-quality products; the products were not a huge success, as there were high costs in building HP-looking products in Japan.
HP and Yokogawa formed a joint venture in 1963 to market HP products in Japan. HP bought Yokogawa Electric's share of Hewlett-Packard Japan in 1999. HP spun off Dynac, to specialize in digital equipment; the name was picked so that the HP logo "hp" could be turned upside down to be a reverse reflect image of the logo "dy" of the new company. Dynac changed to Dymec, was folded back into HP in 1959. HP experimented with using Digital Equipment Corporation minicomputers with its instruments, but after deciding that it would be easier to build another small design team than deal with DEC, HP entered the computer market in 1966 with the HP 2100 / HP 1000 series of minicomputers; these had a simple accumulator-based design, with two accumulator registers and, in the HP 1000 models, two index registers. The series was produced for 20 years, in spite of several attempts to replace it, was a forerunner of the HP 9800 and HP 250 series of desktop and business computers; the HP 3000 was an advanced stack-based design for a business computing server redesigned with RISC technology.
The HP 2640 series of smart and intelligent terminals introduced forms-based interfaces to ASCII terminals, introduced screen labeled functio
Unix is a family of multitasking, multiuser computer operating systems that derive from the original AT&T Unix, development starting in the 1970s at the Bell Labs research center by Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, others. Intended for use inside the Bell System, AT&T licensed Unix to outside parties in the late 1970s, leading to a variety of both academic and commercial Unix variants from vendors including University of California, Microsoft, IBM, Sun Microsystems. In the early 1990s, AT&T sold its rights in Unix to Novell, which sold its Unix business to the Santa Cruz Operation in 1995; the UNIX trademark passed to The Open Group, a neutral industry consortium, which allows the use of the mark for certified operating systems that comply with the Single UNIX Specification. As of 2014, the Unix version with the largest installed base is Apple's macOS. Unix systems are characterized by a modular design, sometimes called the "Unix philosophy"; this concept entails that the operating system provides a set of simple tools that each performs a limited, well-defined function, with a unified filesystem as the main means of communication, a shell scripting and command language to combine the tools to perform complex workflows.
Unix distinguishes itself from its predecessors as the first portable operating system: the entire operating system is written in the C programming language, thus allowing Unix to reach numerous platforms. Unix was meant to be a convenient platform for programmers developing software to be run on it and on other systems, rather than for non-programmers; the system grew larger as the operating system started spreading in academic circles, as users added their own tools to the system and shared them with colleagues. At first, Unix was not designed to be multi-tasking. Unix gained portability, multi-tasking and multi-user capabilities in a time-sharing configuration. Unix systems are characterized by various concepts: the use of plain text for storing data; these concepts are collectively known as the "Unix philosophy". Brian Kernighan and Rob Pike summarize this in The Unix Programming Environment as "the idea that the power of a system comes more from the relationships among programs than from the programs themselves".
In an era when a standard computer consisted of a hard disk for storage and a data terminal for input and output, the Unix file model worked quite well, as I/O was linear. In the 1980s, non-blocking I/O and the set of inter-process communication mechanisms were augmented with Unix domain sockets, shared memory, message queues, semaphores, network sockets were added to support communication with other hosts; as graphical user interfaces developed, the file model proved inadequate to the task of handling asynchronous events such as those generated by a mouse. By the early 1980s, users began seeing Unix as a potential universal operating system, suitable for computers of all sizes; the Unix environment and the client–server program model were essential elements in the development of the Internet and the reshaping of computing as centered in networks rather than in individual computers. Both Unix and the C programming language were developed by AT&T and distributed to government and academic institutions, which led to both being ported to a wider variety of machine families than any other operating system.
Under Unix, the operating system consists of many libraries and utilities along with the master control program, the kernel. The kernel provides services to start and stop programs, handles the file system and other common "low-level" tasks that most programs share, schedules access to avoid conflicts when programs try to access the same resource or device simultaneously. To mediate such access, the kernel has special rights, reflected in the division between user space and kernel space - although in microkernel implementations, like MINIX or Redox, functions such as network protocols may run in user space; the origins of Unix date back to the mid-1960s when the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bell Labs, General Electric were developing Multics, a time-sharing operating system for the GE-645 mainframe computer. Multics featured several innovations, but presented severe problems. Frustrated by the size and complexity of Multics, but not by its goals, individual researchers at Bell Labs started withdrawing from the project.
The last to leave were Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Douglas McIlroy, Joe Ossanna, who decided to reimplement their experiences in a new project of smaller scale. This new operating system was without organizational backing, without a name; the new operating system was a single-tasking system. In 1970, the group coined the name Unics for Uniplexed Information and Computing Service, as a pun on Multics, which stood for Multiplexed Information and Computer Services. Brian Kernighan takes credit for the idea, but adds that "no one can remember" the origin of the final spelling Unix. Dennis Ritchie, Doug McIlroy, Peter G. Neumann credit Kernighan; the operating system was written in assembly language, but in 1973, Version 4 Unix was rewritten in C. Version 4 Unix, still had many PDP-11 dependent codes, is not suitable for porting; the first port to other platform was made five years f
The Motorola 68000 is a 16/32-bit CISC microprocessor, which implements a 32-bit instruction set, with 32-bit registers and 32-bit internal data bus, but with a 16-bit data ALU and two 16-bit arithmetic ALUs and a 16-bit external data bus and marketed by Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector. Introduced in 1979 with HMOS technology as the first member of the successful 32-bit Motorola 68000 series, it is software forward-compatible with the rest of the line despite being limited to a 16-bit wide external bus. After 39 years in production, the 68000 architecture is still in use; the 68000 grew out of the MACSS project, begun in 1976 to develop an new architecture without backward compatibility. It would be a higher-power sibling complementing the existing 8-bit 6800 line rather than a compatible successor. In the end, the 68000 did retain a bus protocol compatibility mode for existing 6800 peripheral devices, a version with an 8-bit data bus was produced. However, the designers focused on the future, or forward compatibility, which gave the 68000 design a head start against 32-bit instruction set architectures.
For instance, the CPU registers are 32 bits wide, though few self-contained structures in the processor itself operate on 32 bits at a time. The MACSS team drew on the influence of minicomputer processor design, such as the PDP-11 and VAX systems, which were microcode-based. In the mid 1970s, the 8-bit microprocessor manufacturers raced to introduce the 16-bit generation. National Semiconductor had been first with its IMP-16 and PACE processors in 1973–1975, but these had issues with speed. Intel had worked on their advanced 16/32-bit Intel iAPX 432 since 1975 and their Intel 8086 since 1976. Arriving late to the 16-bit arena afforded the new processor more transistors, 32-bit macroinstructions, acclaimed general ease of use; the original MC68000 was fabricated using an HMOS process with a 3.5 µm feature size. Formally introduced in September 1979, initial samples were released in February 1980, with production chips available over the counter in November. Initial speed grades were 4, 6, 8 MHz. 10 MHz chips became available during 1981, 12.5 MHz chips by June 1982.
The 16.67 MHz "12F" version of the MC68000, the fastest version of the original HMOS chip, was not produced until the late 1980s. The 68k instruction set was well suited to implement Unix, the 68000 and its successors became the dominant CPUs for Unix-based workstations including Sun workstations and Apollo/Domain workstations; the 68000 was used for mass-market computers such as the Apple Lisa, Macintosh and Atari ST. The 68000 was used in Microsoft Xenix systems, as well as an early NetWare Unix-based Server; the 68000 was used in the first generation of desktop laser printers, including the original Apple Inc. LaserWriter and the HP LaserJet. In 1982, the 68000 received an update to its ISA allowing it to support virtual memory and to conform to the Popek and Goldberg virtualization requirements; the updated chip was called the 68010. A further extended version, which exposed 31 bits of the address bus, was produced in small quantities as the 68012. To support lower-cost systems and control applications with smaller memory sizes, Motorola introduced the 8-bit compatible MC68008 in 1982.
This was a 68000 with a smaller address bus. After 1982, Motorola devoted more attention to the 88000 projects. Several other companies were second-source manufacturers of the HMOS 68000; these included Hitachi, who shrank the feature size to 2.7 µm for their 12.5 MHz version, Rockwell, Thomson/SGS-Thomson, Toshiba. Toshiba was a second-source maker of the CMOS 68HC000. Encrypted variants of the 68000, being the Hitachi FD1089 and FD1094, store decryption keys for opcodes and opcode data in battery-backed memory and were used in certain Sega arcade systems including System 16 to prevent piracy and illegal bootleg games; the 68HC000, the first CMOS version of the 68000, was designed by Hitachi and jointly introduced in 1985. Motorola's version was called the MC68HC000, while Hitachi's was the HD68HC000; the 68HC000 was offered at speeds of 8–20 MHz. Except for using CMOS circuitry, it behaved identically to the HMOS MC68000, but the change to CMOS reduced its power consumption; the original HMOS MC68000 consumed around 1.35 watts at an ambient temperature of 25 °C, regardless of clock speed, while the MC68HC000 consumed only 0.13 watts at 8 MHz and 0.38 watts at 20 MHz.
Apple selected the 68HC000 for use in the Macintosh Portable. Motorola replaced the MC68008 with the MC68HC001 in 1990; this chip resembled the 68HC000 in most respects, but its data bus could operate in either 16-bit or 8-bit mode, depending on the value of an input pin at reset. Thus, like the 68008, it could be used in systems with cheaper 8-bit memories; the evolution of the 68000 focused on more modern embedded control applications and on-chip peripherals. The 68EC000 chip and SCM68000 core expanded the address bus to 32 bits, removed the M6800 peripheral bus, excluded the MOVE from SR instruction from user mode programs. In 1996, Motorola updated the standalone core with static circuitry, drawing only 2 µW in l
HP-UX is Hewlett Packard Enterprise's proprietary implementation of the Unix operating system, based on UNIX System V and first released in 1984. Recent versions support the HP 9000 series of computer systems, based on the PA-RISC instruction set architecture, HP Integrity systems, based on Intel's Itanium architecture. Earlier versions of HP-UX supported the HP Integral PC and HP 9000 Series 200, 300, 400 computer systems based on the Motorola 68000 series of processors, as well as the HP 9000 Series 500 computers based on HP's proprietary FOCUS architecture. HP-UX was the first Unix to offer access control lists for file access permissions as an alternative to the standard Unix permissions system. HP-UX was among the first Unix systems to include a built-in logical volume manager. HP has had a long partnership with Veritas Software, uses VxFS as the primary file system, it is one of six commercial operating systems that have versions certified to The Open Group's UNIX 03 standard. HP-UX 11i offers a common root disk for its clustered file system.
HP Serviceguard is the cluster solution for HP-UX. HP Global Workload Management adjusts workloads to optimize performance, integrates with Instant Capacity on Demand so installed resources can be paid for in 30-minute increments as needed for peak workload demands. HP-UX offers operating system-level virtualization features such as hardware partitions, isolated OS virtual partitions on cell-based servers, HP Integrity Virtual Machines on all Integrity servers. HPVM supports guests running on HP-UX 11i v3 hosts – guests can run Linux, OpenVMS 8.4 or HP-UX. HP supports online VM guest migration, where encryption can secure the guest contents during migration. HP-UX 11i v3 scales as follows: 256 processor cores 8 TB main memory 32 TB maximum file system 16 TB maximum file size 128 million ZB—16 million logical units each up to 8ZB. "HP-UX 11i v3". Retrieved 2017-10-31; the 11i v2 release introduced kernel-based intrusion detection, strong random number generation, stack buffer overflow protection, security partitioning, role-based access management, various open-source security tools.
HP classifies the operating system's security features into three categories: data and identity: Release 6.x introduced the context dependent files feature, a method of allowing a fileserver to serve different configurations and binaries to different client machines in a heterogeneous environment. A directory containing such files had its suid bit set and was made hidden from both ordinary and root processes under normal use; such a scheme was sometimes exploited by intruders to hide malicious data. CDFs and the CDF filesystem were dropped with release 10.0. HP-UX operating systems supports a variety of PA-RISC systems; the 11.0 added support for Integrity-based servers for the transition from PA-RISC to Itanium. HP-UX 11i v1.5 is the first version. On the introduction of HP-UX 11i v2 the operating system supported both of these architectures. HP-UX 11i supports HP Integrity Servers of HP BL server blade family; these servers use the Intel Itanium architecture. HP-UX 11i v2 and 11i v3 support HP's CX series servers.
CX stands for carrier grade and is used for telco industry with -48V DC support and is NEBS certified. Both of these systems are discontinued. HP-UX supports HP's RX series of servers. Prior to the release of HP-UX version 11.11, HP used a decimal version numbering scheme with the first number giving the major release and the number following the decimal showing the minor release. With 11.11, HP made a marketing decision to name their releases 11i followed by a v for the version. The i was intended to indicate the OS is Internet-enabled, but the effective result was a dual version-numbering scheme. 1.0 First release for HP 9000 Series 500. HP-UX for Series 500 was different that HP-UX for any other HP machines, as it was layered atop a Series 500 specific operating system called SUNOS. 1.0 AT&T System III based. Support for the HP Integral PC; the kernel runs from ROM. 2.0 First release for HP's early Motorola 68000-based workstations 5.0 ROM-based AT&T System V for the HP Integral PC. Distinct from a HP-UX 5.x for Series 200/300.
3.x HP 9000 Series 600/800 only. Note: 2.x/3.x were developed in parallel with 5.x/6.x, so, for example, 3.x was contemporary with 6.x. The two lines were united at HP-UX 7.x. 6.x Support for HP 9000 Series 300 only. Introduced sockets from 4.3BSD. This version introduced the above-discussed context dependent files, which were removed in release 10 because of their security risks. 7.x Support for HP 9000 Series 300/400, 600/700 /800 HP systems. Provided OSF/Motif. 8.x Support for HP 9000 Series 300/400 600/700/800 systems. Shared libraries introduced. 9.x 9.00, 9.02, 9.04, 9.01, 9.03, 9.05, 9.07, 9.08, 9.09, 9.09+, 9.10. These provided support for the HP 9000 800 systems. Introduced System Administration Manager; the Logical Volume Manager was presented in 9.00 for the Series 800. 10.0 This major release saw a convergence of the operating system between the HP 9000 Series 700 and Series 800 systems, dropping suppor
NEC Corporation is a Japanese multinational provider of information technology services and products, headquartered in Minato, Japan. It provides IT and network solutions to business enterprises, communications services providers and to government agencies, has been the biggest PC vendor in Japan since the 1980s; the company was known as the Nippon Electric Company, before rebranding in 1983 as NEC. NEC was the world's fourth largest PC manufacturer by 1990, its NEC Semiconductors business unit was the worldwide semiconductor sales leader between 1985 and 1990, the second largest in 1995, one of the top three in 2000, one of the top 10 in 2006. It remained one of the top 20 semiconductor sales leaders before merging with Renesas Electronics. NEC is a member of the Sumitomo Group. NEC was #463 on the 2017 Fortune 500 list. Kunihiko Iwadare and Takeshiro Maeda established Nippon Electric Limited Partnership on August 31, 1898 by using facilities that they had bought from Miyoshi Electrical Manufacturing Company.
Iwadare acted as the representative partner. Western Electric, which had an interest in the Japanese phone market, was represented by Walter Tenney Carleton. Carleton was responsible for the renovation of the Miyoshi facilities, it was agreed that the partnership would be reorganized as a joint-stock company when treaty would allow it. On July 17, 1899, the revised treaty between Japan and the United States went into effect. Nippon Electric Company, Limited was organized the same day with Western Electric Company to become the first Japanese joint-venture with foreign capital. Iwadare was named managing director. Ernest Clement and Carleton were named as directors. Maeda and Mototeru Fujii were assigned to be auditors. Iwadare and Carleton handled the overall management; the company started with the production and maintenance of telephones and switches. NEC modernized the production facilities with the construction of the Mita Plant in 1901 at Mita Shikokumachi, it was completed in December 1902. The Japanese Ministry of Communications adopted a new technology in 1903: the common battery switchboard supplied by NEC.
The common battery switchboards powered the subscriber phone, eliminating the need for a permanent magnet generator in each subscriber's phone. The switchboards were imported, but were manufactured locally by 1909. NEC started exporting telephone sets to China in 1904. In 1905, Iwadare visited Western Electric in the U. S. to see their production control. On his return to Japan he discontinued the "oyakata" system of sub-contracting and replaced it with a new system where managers and employees were all direct employees of the company. Inefficiency was removed from the production process; the company paid higher salaries with incentives for efficiency. New accounting and cost controls were put in place, time clocks installed. Between 1899 and 1907 the number of telephone subscribers in Japan rose from 35,000 to 95,000. NEC entered the China market in 1908 with the implementation of the telegraph treaty between Japan and China, they entered the Korean market, setting up an office in Seoul in January 1908.
During the period of 1907 to 1912 sales rose from 1.6 million yen to 2 million yen. The expansion of the Japanese phone service had been a key part of NEC's success during this period; this expansion was about to take a pause. The Ministry of Communications delayed a third expansion plan of the phone service in March, 1913, despite having 120,000 potential telephone-subscribers waiting for phone installations. NEC sales fell sixty percent between 1912 and 1915. During the interim, Iwadare started importing appliances, including electric fans, kitchen appliances, washing machines and vacuum cleaners. Electric fans had never been seen in Japan before; the imports were intended to prop up company sales. In 1916, the government resumed the delayed telephone-expansion plan, adding 75,000 subscribers and 326,000 kilometers of new toll lines. Thanks to this third expansion plan, NEC expanded at a time when much of the rest of Japanese industry contracted. In 1919, NEC started its first association with Sumitomo, engaging Sumitomo Densen Seizosho to manufacture cables.
As part of the venture, NEC provided cable manufacturing equipment to Sumitomo Densen. Rights to Western Electrics duplex cable patents were transferred to Sumitomo Densen; the Great Kantō earthquake struck Japan in 1923. 140,000 people were killed and 3.4 million were left homeless. Four of NEC's factories were destroyed, killing 105 of NEC's workers. Thirteen of Tokyo's telephone offices were destroyed by fire. Telephone and telegraph service was interrupted by damage to telephone cables. In response, the Ministry of Communications accelerated major programs to install automatic telephone switching systems and enter radio broadcasting; the first automatic switching systems were the Strowger-type model made by Automatic Telephone Manufacturing Co. in the United Kingdom. NEC participated in the installation of the automatic switching systems becoming the general sales agent for ATM. NEC developed its own Strowger-type automatic switching system in a first in Japan. One of the plants leveled during the Kanto earthquake, the Mita Plant, was chosen to support expanding production.
A new three-story steel-reinforced concrete building was built, starting in 1925. It was modeled after the Western Electric Hawthorne Works. NEC started its radio communications business in 1924. Japan's first radio broadcaster, Radio Tokyo was founded in 1924 and started broadcasting in 1925. NEC imported the broadcasting equipment from Western Electric; the expansion of radio broadcasting into Osaka and Nagoya marked the emergence of
A workstation is a special computer designed for technical or scientific applications. Intended to be used by one person at a time, they are connected to a local area network and run multi-user operating systems; the term workstation has been used loosely to refer to everything from a mainframe computer terminal to a PC connected to a network, but the most common form refers to the group of hardware offered by several current and defunct companies such as Sun Microsystems, Silicon Graphics, Apollo Computer, DEC, HP, NeXT and IBM which opened the door for the 3D graphics animation revolution of the late 1990s. Workstations offered higher performance than mainstream personal computers with respect to CPU and graphics, memory capacity, multitasking capability. Workstations were optimized for the visualization and manipulation of different types of complex data such as 3D mechanical design, engineering simulation and rendering of images, mathematical plots; the form factor is that of a desktop computer, consist of a high resolution display, a keyboard and a mouse at a minimum, but offer multiple displays, graphics tablets, 3D mice, etc.
Workstations were the first segment of the computer market to present advanced accessories and collaboration tools. The increasing capabilities of mainstream PCs in the late 1990s have blurred the lines somewhat with technical/scientific workstations; the workstation market employed proprietary hardware which made them distinct from PCs. However, by the early 2000s this difference disappeared, as workstations now use commoditized hardware dominated by large PC vendors, such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Fujitsu, selling Microsoft Windows or Linux systems running on x86-64 processors; the first computer that might qualify as a "workstation" was the IBM 1620, a small scientific computer designed to be used interactively by a single person sitting at the console. It was introduced in 1960. One peculiar feature of the machine was. To perform addition, it required a memory-resident table of decimal addition rules; this saved on the cost of logic circuitry. The machine was code-named CADET and rented for $1000 a month.
In 1965, IBM introduced the IBM 1130 scientific computer, meant as the successor to the 1620. Both of these systems came with the ability to run programs written in other languages. Both the 1620 and the 1130 were built into desk-sized cabinets. Both were available with add-on disk drives and both paper-tape and punched-card I/O. A console typewriter for direct interaction was standard on each. Early examples of workstations were dedicated minicomputers. A notable example was the PDP-8 from Digital Equipment Corporation, regarded to be the first commercial minicomputer; the Lisp machines developed at MIT in the early 1970s pioneered some of the principles of the workstation computer, as they were high-performance, single-user systems intended for interactive use. Lisp Machines were commercialized beginning 1980 by companies like Symbolics, Lisp Machines, Texas Instruments and Xerox; the first computer designed for single-users, with high-resolution graphics facilities was the Xerox Alto developed at Xerox PARC in 1973.
Other early workstations include the Terak 8510/a, Three Rivers PERQ and the Xerox Star. In the early 1980s, with the advent of 32-bit microprocessors such as the Motorola 68000, a number of new participants in this field appeared, including Apollo Computer and Sun Microsystems, who created Unix-based workstations based on this processor. Meanwhile, DARPA's VLSI Project created several spinoff graphics products as well, notably the SGI 3130, Silicon Graphics' range of machines that followed, it was not uncommon to differentiate the target market for the products, with Sun and Apollo considered to be network workstations, while the SGI machines were graphics workstations. As RISC microprocessors became available in the mid-1980s, these were adopted by many workstation vendors. Workstations tended to be expensive several times the cost of a standard PC and sometimes costing as much as a new car. However, minicomputers sometimes cost as much as a house; the high expense came from using costlier components that ran faster than those found at the local computer store, as well as the inclusion of features not found in PCs of the time, such as high-speed networking and sophisticated graphics.
Workstation manufacturers tend to take a "balanced" approach to system design, making certain to avoid bottlenecks so that data can flow unimpeded between the many different subsystems within a computer. Additionally, given their more specialized nature, tend to have higher profit margins than commodity-driven PCs; the systems that come out of workstation companies feature SCSI or Fibre Channel disk storage systems, high-end 3D accelerators, single or multiple 64-bit processors, large amounts of RAM, well-designed cooling. Additionally, the companies that make the products tend to have good repair/replacement plans. However, the line between workstation and PC is becoming blurred as the demand for fast computers and graphics have become