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The DEC Connection is an association dedicated to preserving the unique culture of Digital Equipment Corporation by reuniting the Digital family through face-to-face events, intra-personal and group communications, and joint activities. We want to preserve Ken Olsen's cultural, technical and management legacies. We promote events of local ex-DEC clubs. Membership is open to all former employees and contractors - JOIN HERE!   To submit content, email webmaster.


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DEC Tech Talks

via Zoom


Tom Stockebrand

Bob Anundson



DECtape (top and lower left) late 1960s, and DECtape II (lower right), 1978


VT05, 1970


VT52, 1975


VT100, 1978





Our last speakers:


Kerry Bensman



Gale "Jake" Jacobs


Link to where you can buy Avram's book

This is shaping up to be a great and well-received series! 


Tech Talk #8: April 18, 2023 - 2 pm Eastern/11 am Pacific -  A conversation with Tom Stockebrand, with Bob Anundson


Tom Stockebrand ("Stocky") is a highly-respected computing pioneer who contributed to Digital in amazing fashion over his 30-year tenure from 1960-1990.  Tom, who earned a mechanical engineering degree from Caltech, worked with Ken Olsen and others for 6 years at Lincoln Labs prior to joining Digital. There Tom worked on the predecessor to LINCtape, with giant 14" reels; then he helped morph it into the LINCtape used with Lincoln Labs' TX-2 computer. At Digital, Tom developed DECtape, which is, according to CHM, a very reliable block-addressed tape drive with a shirt pocket-sized tape reel (and probably the first commercial personal portable digital storage).  He followed this up by starting a group that created the Digital VT family of video terminals, beginning with the VT05 in 1970 and the VT50 introduced in 1974.  When Digital sold the terminals business in 1995, over 6 million VT units had been shipped -- an unqualified success by any standards.


Tom recently recorded an Oral History (this OH is a 3-1/2 hour interview) for the Computer History Museum (CHM) in Mountain View CA.  It covers his professional life history so, if you want to hear it just from Lincoln Labs through Digital, start the time slider mark at hour 1 and stop at hour 3.  That's still 2 highly engaging hours of Tom's history, most relevant to us.  Click here to view it on YouTube.


The purpose of this Tech Talk is not to repeat Tom's CHM OH, but to summarize 20-30 minutes of highlights of Tom's career, and leave a lot of time for DEC Connection members' questions and discussion.   Bob Anundson, who gave our first DEC Connection Tech Talk, was the product manager for Tom's products, and Bob will serve as an interviewer. Bob and Tom have remained friends since working together in the 1960s.  They will be assisted in the Q&A by Al Goldsworthy of our DEC Connection board.


Tom is clearly our senior DEC Connection member.  He recently introduced himself in this manner: 

New DEC Connection member Tom Stockebrand writes that he's an "old timer": Joined DEC in 1960 as badge 614, with 330 employees at the time. Retired in 1990. My groups or I developed several products over the years: DECtape, VT50-52, Ceramic substrates. Groups got fired for low sales in first years of introduction. Backpanel wiring machines. Lotsa good stories. Still alive and kicking at 91. Working on Python code projects using Raspberry Pies and Ham Radio.

We have announced Tom's session for mid-April because he is scheduled for a knee replacement this month.  We have plenty of time to think up some great questions for Tom, and if you'd like to give him some time to think about his response, please send your questions to starting now, and she will compile them for him to ponder during his rehab.


SO -- DO NOT MISS THIS GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY to meet this nice, intriguing, legendary, and genuinely modest fellow, and ask him all sorts of questions.  Tom Stockebrand was in the room where it happened!  (Apologies to Lin-Manuel Miranda...)


To sign up for Tom's talk on April 18, email us at Provide your name, and email address for the Zoom invite (which will be emailed about a week ahead of the event).  Remember you must be a paid-up DEC Connection member to participate in the Zoom session; though recordings are accessible to all afterwards.  Click HERE to join or renew your DEC Connection membership.



Generally, these sessions have run about an hour - 30-45 min. talk, 15-20 min. Q&A/discussion.


To sign up to deliver a DEC Tech Talk, please email with your name and a bit about your Digital background and what you'd like to present. We do have a few in the queue so you have a while to work on your pitch!  See the Tech Talks page for links to the video recording and presentations.


SAVE THE DATE!   We're holding another WooSox Family Day Baseball game/BBQ event at Polar Park in Worcester on June 11, 2023.  More info coming soon!



click on link above for details

  • John Lamb, Montreal ON, 23 January 2023

  • John Shebell, 75, Stow MA, 7 December 2022

  • John Kowall, 84, Mobile AL, 23 November 2022

  • Sherri (Long) Murdoch, Colorado Springs, 16 November 2022

  • Leta S. Levett, 70, Colorado Springs, 11 November 2022

  • Denny (Denzil J.) Doyle, 90, Ottawa ON Canada, 26 October 2022

  • Kanailal Raha, Kolkata, India, 26 October 2022

  • Colonel Anthony (Tony) M. Jezior, USA, (Ret.), 88, Cary NC, 14 October 2022

  • Ron Holton, Colorado Springs, 20 September 2022

  • Bill Burns, 79, Wilmington MA, 19 September 2022

  • Ruth Armknecht, 89, Atlanta GA, 5 September 2022

  • Ted Sares, 85, North Conway NH, 30 August 2022

  • Wade Culberson, Atlanta GA, 31 October 2021


David Mark's Zoom lecture on Digital History (14 June 2021) - here is link to recording on YouTube.  About 200 DECcies tuned in.  Link to their stories in the zoom chat is on our DEC Stories web page.


Where to Sell or Donate your old Digital hardware


Where to purchase official Digital logo products - from DEC Connection member Jack Rahaim.  Now a "Pop-Up" store, 2x per year.  Next coming in May!



It's that time of year when you may be thinking of donating older electronic equipment to a Charity.  For those who have already done this, let us hear from you on the organizations you would recommend.   For Massachusetts readers, it has come to our attention that there is a local cancer charity that you may want to put on your list.  This charity is 100% run by volunteer cancer scientists, survivors, and information technologists.

The name of the organization is Recycle Computers4 Cancer []
and it donates all proceeds to help Cancer patients and their families through the SMCAC (Scientific & Medical Coalition Against Cancer). They have securely erased all data on hard drives that are donated for the past 12 years, including major pharmaceutical companies, banks, individuals, law firms, and financial institution. Also, all computer donations are tax deductible with no donation considered
too small or large.  Equipment can be dropped off or arranged to be picked up. Items accepted for donation are listed at

For free pickup, fill out and send in the donation form at 

The contact for RC4C is Eric Grund at


November 2018:  Thanks to Jackie Kahle for submitting this article about Admiral Grace Hopper’s long association with DEC, and about her experiences when Adm. Hopper was her customer at DEC in Washington, D.C.


VAX and PDP-11 still live!

  -Thanks to Sue Yarger for sending in this note from the UK Register:

NASA dusts off FORTRAN manual, revives 20-year-old data on Ganymede - Analysing Galileo's Jovian moon results

  -And thanks to Jack MacKeen for this gem, same source:

Das blinkenlights are back thanks to RPi revival of the PDP-11 Retro computing fans wrap classic DEC fascia round world's fave hobby machine


HAPPY 60th ANNIVERSARY DIGITAL!  See article in the Telegram for pics and nostalgia.

HP Connection

and click on the link under “US Alumni Product Purchase Program”. Then follow the instructions to register for the program.


     HP Alumni also suggests reading feedback:

There are lots of moving parts involved in HP product discounts (and discounts on non-HP products). Suggest you refer your members to the HP Alumni Association pages on discounts:
  • Know someone who is leaving HP? Please pass the word to anyone leaving HP to use the HP Alumni Association's "ASAP Checklist" immediately. It has advice and mutual help -- developed by HPAA members -- on the many things you have to do before you lose access to HP's internal systems. Thanks to Curt Gowan for this info. Go to (HPAA membership not required.)




The first PBS showing of Digital_Man/Digital_World was 21 Feb 2012 in Indianapolis - here is a link to the 57-minute video on their website to watch on your computer!


The DVD of Digital_Man/Digital_World is no longer available.

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