DEC PDP-10 (DECSYSTEM 2020) S/N 4657

On April 23-24, 1999, in a cooperative effort, The Rhode Island Computer Museum and the Retro-Computing Society of Rhode Island placed in preservation the last commercially operating Digital Equipment Corporation DECSYSTEM 2020 (KS-10) computers in the New England area.

Approximately 20 years old, these machines were finally powered down on Thursday, the 21st. On Friday, crews dismantled the cabling and prepared individual pieces for shipment. On Saturday, the 23rd, the equipment was taken from its fourth floor location at the Strategic Planning Institute in Cambridge, MA and loaded onto two trucks for transport. On the 24th, the computers were off-loaded into temporary storage.

RCS/RI received some of the spare disk drive sets and one system is held by a private enthusiast in New Hampshire. A second system will be privately preserved, but hosted by RICM along with its own system. Eventually, these two systems will be restored to a working configuration, perhaps with Internet access.

Special thanks must to be accorded to Megan Gentry, who led the recovery team and coordinated the tri-state rescue effort; and the other participants, Carl Friend, Allison Parent, Chris Tucker, Merle Peirce, Richard Maliska, Don Mastrovito, Alla Andreyava, K. Ramm, Rich Grosz, Devon McCullough and Bob Houk.

As one participant said, "This has been a chance for me to actually see and touch equipment that I had only read about."