I’m Lorenzo, and I’ve built the DEC Mini just because I irresistibly knew I wanted one as soon as the idea crossed my mind.
I also created the Commodore PET Mini just out of love, a 3D-Printable mini computer project of which I’m so proud, and that sadly turned out to be a little memorial piece for Chuck Peddle, the designer of the authentic Commodore PET and the almighty MOS 6502 processor, no less.
The Commodore PET Mini is cute, but it’s tiny and doesn’t have a working keyboard (well, a contributor actually did it!). It was after being inspired by the Callisto 2 by Solar Hardware Computers, another full-sized 3D-Printable computer that looks amazing, that the idea of using the board of a full-sized keyboard for a new computer came alive.
The DEC VT line of computers not only forged standards in the telecommunications industry, but they certainly also took the industrial design of computers to a whole new level, where the looks and the function started to work together for a better human-machine interaction. Nowadays it seems natural to buy, use and love computing devices for their looks, not only for their capabilities. It would only seem logic to say that the interface revolution started in the hardware, not in the software.
Paying tribute to the designers and engineers of that golden era of computing is the ultimate purpose of the DEC Mini, just like it is for the Commodore PET Mini.