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Minivac 601

The Minivac 601 digital computer kit from Scientific Development Corporation (SDC), Watertown, Massachusetts, was sold for $85.00 in 1961. The Advertisement stated that the Minivac 601 was created as a private project by Dr. Claude E. Shannon, Donner Professor of Science at MIT, and was developed by the SDC staff.

Minivac 601 was an educational aid for helping to learn how binary arithmetic and computer assembler languages worked. Although it gained fast acceptance amongst educational institutions and home hobbyists, large corporations were unwilling to buy it as a device to help their employees learn more about how computers worked. The firm selling the product repainted the device from red and blue to gunmetal-grey, changed the tolerance on some of the switches (at a very nominal cost) and renamed the device the Minivac 6010. They also increased its price to $479. All of these changes made the device acceptable to corporations as a legitimate learning device and not as just a toy. Hundreds of Minivac 6010's sold to businesses at that price.

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