Hacker's Dictionary: DEC

:DEC:: /n./  Commonly used abbreviation for Digital Equipment
   Corporation, now deprecated by DEC itself in favor of "Digital".
   Before the {killer micro} revolution of the late 1980s,
   hackerdom was closely symbiotic with DEC's pioneering timesharing
   machines.  The first of the group of cultures described by this
   lexicon nucleated around the PDP-1 (see {TMRC}).  Subsequently,
   the PDP-6, {PDP-10}, {PDP-20}, PDP-11 and {VAX} were all
   foci of large and important hackerdoms, and DEC machines long
   dominated the ARPANET and Internet machine population.  DEC was the
   technological leader of the minicomputer era (roughly 1967 to
   1987), but its failure to embrace microcomputers and Unix early
   cost it heavily in profits and prestige after {silicon} got
   cheap.  Nevertheless, the microprocessor design tradition owes a
   heavy debt to the PDP-11 instruction set, and every one of the
   major general-purpose microcomputer OSs so far (CP/M, MS-DOS, Unix,
   OS/2, Windows NT) were either genetically descended from a DEC OS,
   or incubated on DEC hardware, or both.  Accordingly, DEC is still
   regarded with a certain wry affection even among many hackers too
   young to have grown up on DEC machines.  The contrast with {IBM}
   is instructive.

                          --- The Hacker's Dictionary v3.3.2