Whatever a “Minicomputer” is, this was the first one. It cost almost $15,000 in 1974 making it a pretty, but pricey machine. During this period Digital produced a lot of machines featuring interfaces similar to this. I love the color combos and the excellent grid based design. Those toggle switches complete this bold yet welcoming example of top-shelf 70′s industrial design. The color scheme could be construed as somewhat garish for a computer, but remember, this was the 70′s and they were probably trying to “break the design mold” of this particular class of devices. Unfortunately, soon after these became obsolete the industry veered right back into beige/grey tones and boring, toggle-less interfaces. The only standout enterprise-level computer hardware that comes to mind after this were the Silicon Graphics machines of the 90′s and the Sun Systems stuff around the turn of the century. More info on this particular model is here. I like the “digital” logo and it fits nicely up there in the corner. But I couldn’t resist tweaking the text in the upper right to make it look like a poster. You can click the image to see the original version. I have some examples of similar Digital equipment in blue and green I will be posting soon.
Wanted to add that I love the style of the photo. It’s almost as if it’s a drawing, one of those old product shots that sort of blurs the line between photo and illustration. Wonder how they achieved this? Was it an intended effect or a byproduct of the printing method?