The MIT Lincoln Laboratory TX-2 computer was the successor to the Lincoln TX-0 and was known for its role in advancing both artificial intelligence and human-computer interaction. Wesley A. Clark was the chief architect of the TX-2.[1]

Circuit module from the TX-2.
DeveloperMIT Lincoln Laboratory
Product familyTX
Release date1958 (1958)


The TX-2 was a transistor-based computer using the then-huge amount of 64K 36-bit words of core memory. The TX-2 became operational in 1958.[2][3] Because of its powerful capabilities Ivan Sutherland's revolutionary Sketchpad program was developed for and ran on the TX-2.[4][5] One of its key features was its possibility to directly interact with the computer through screen.[6]

The compiler was developed by Lawrence Roberts while he was studying at the MIT Lincoln Laboratory.[7]

Relationship with DEC

Digital Equipment Corporation was a spin-off of the TX-0 and TX-2 projects. A TX-1 was planned as the successor for the TX-0, but the project was deemed too ambitious and was scaled back to the TX-2. The TX-2 Tape System was a block addressable 1/2" tape developed for the TX-2 by Tom Stockebrand which evolved into LINCtape and DECtape.

Role in creating the Internet

Dr. Leonard Kleinrock developed the mathematical theory of packet networks which he successfully simulated on the TX-2 computer at Lincoln Lab.


  1. Joseph November (2012). "The LINC Revolution". Biomedial Computing, Digitizing Life in the United States. The Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 144.
  2. Computers and People. Berkeley Enterprises. 1961. p. 312.
  3. Boast, Robin (2017-03-15). The Machine in the Ghost: Digitality and Its Consequences. Reaktion Books. pp. 131–132. ISBN 9781780237879.
  4. Reilly, Edwin D. (2003) Milestones in Computer Science and Information Technology Greenwood Publishing Group ISBN 9781573565219 pg 261
  5. Kalay, Yehuda E. (2004) Architecture's New Media: Principles, Theories, and Methods of Computer-aided Design MIT Press ISBN 9780262112840 pg 66
  6. Naughton, John (1999): A brief history of the future: the origins of the internet, London, p. 71

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