Highlights from an extensive collection of early minicomputers, mainframes, and instrumentation remind us just how amazing smart phones are.
The Packard Bell 250 was the first machine in the collection. It is a 22-bit serial machine with an acoustic delay line memory. It was built around 1961 and predates true minicomputers, since it was rather slow and at $50,000 for a typical system it was too expensive. The basic I/O device was a Friden Flexowriter. This picture shows the PB250 housed in the same rack as its power supply (bottom) and a model 8001 Data General Supernova (middle).