||The 2116B, shown above,
is a later model of the 2116A, which was HP's
HP's first computer was developed
as a controller for HP's programmable
instruments. The 2116A was the largest single mechanical package
HP had ever built to date,
and it marked HP's first use
of integrated circuits. At the time, most computers had to be pampered
in air-conditioned rooms on spring-loaded floors. HP
assumed that the 2116A, an instrumentation computer, should pass
the same environmental tests as the instruments it would team with,
and be rugged and reliable. This approach transformed the 2116A
into the first go-anywhere, do-anything computer.
Introduced in 1966, the first 2116A was sold to Wood's Hole Oceanographic
Institution, which used it aboard a research vessel in a salt-air
environment for over 10 years. With 4K of magnetic core memory (minimum
system configuration) expandable to 32K, the 2116A cost $25,000
to $50,000, depending on options.
- Read an article on the 2116A originally
published on hpNOW, an internal HP web site.
These images show how the computer opens to allow access to different