Computing (FOLDOC) dictionary
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Laboratory INstrument Computer
computer (LINC) A computer which was originally designed in
The machine was developed to fulfil a need for better
laboratory tools by doctors and medical researchers. It would
designed for individual use.
Charles Molnar did the engineering. The first LINC was
finished in March 1962.
In January 1963, the project moved to MIT
, and then to
alpha-numeric data entry), two LINCtape
drives and a small
display. It originally had one kilobit
, but this was expanded to 2 Kb later. The computer
Over 24 LINC systems had been built before late 1964 when
DEC began to sell the LINC commercially.
DEC produced a rather frightening hybrid of the LINC and
PDP-8 called a LINC-8. This really was not a very
satisfactory machine, but it used the new PDP-8 style DEC
cards and was cheaper and easier to produce. It still
didn't sell that well.
In the late 1960s, Clayton brought the design to its pinnacle
with the PDP-12, an amazing tour de force of the LINC concept;
along with about as seamless a merger as could be done with
the PDP-8. This attempted to incorporate TTL logic
machine. The end of the LINC line had been reached.
Due to the success of the LINC-8, Spear, Inc.
that it used MECL
II logic. MECL logic was known for its
blazing speed (at the time!), but the Spear computer ran at
very modest rates.
In 1995 the last of the classic LINCs was turned off for
the final time after 28 years of service. This LINC had
been in use in the Eaton-Peabody Laboratory of Auditory
Physiology (EPL) of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear
On 15 August 1995, it was transferred to the MIT ComputerMuseum
where it was put on display.
["Computers and Automation", Nov. 1964, page 43].