[rescue] Closet cleaning IV
mcguire at neurotica.com
Sat Sep 13 13:19:18 CDT 2003
On Saturday, September 13, 2003, at 01:58 PM, Andrew Weiss wrote:
>> * VAX Hardware Handbook 1982-83 (covers lots and lots of hardware
>> details of
>> 11/730, 11/750, 11/780, and 11/782)
> Well I got this yesterday... and man I have to say I am now a true
> believe in all things VAX. I was reading through the architecture
> stuff alone and there is stuff in there that Linux is just now trying
> to add. (re: a recent Linux Journal article on events based kernel
> scheduling for Telecom and real-time applications)... and this book is
> a VAX book from 1982.
Yes. :) The VAX architecture is widely thought of as the most
elegant processor architecture. Ever.
I think I'd consider it "perfect" if it were 100% orthogonal, it
incorporated a few little architectural features from the CDC 6000
family (like paired auto-loading address & data registers), and vector
operations as standard features.
> Preemptive multi-tasking, demand paged virtual memory, etc. etc. etc.
Yes. :) Actually, VAXen had that stuff long before 1982...more like
VAXen are minicomputers. Minicomputers evolved from mainframes,
where a lot of concepts that we think of as "new" have been around for
Keep in mind...today's microprocessors (indeed, EVERYTHING we have
today, with the exception of current mainframes) evolved from a
calculator chip that Intel developed for a Japanese calculator
manufacturer (called Busicom) in 1969...the i4004. A *calculator*
chip. In short, the world thinks of today's computer technology
(ignoring mainframes for the moment) as something which has been
evolving since the 1940s...when in actuality, it's been evolving since
the early 1970s. Not as "advanced" as one might think, and with a
not-so-noble lineage. (not the fact that it was Intel, but the fact
that it was designed to be a calculator chip rather than a
An example of this is SMP. Multiprocessor computers are hailed as
some great, modern, recent (in the grand scale, past 5-7yrs or so)
technological achievement. Bullshit! There were multiprocessor
computers in the computing mainstream in 1960.
I've been slowly writing an article about this over the past year or
so. Perhaps I'll finish it someday.
> Very nice stuff.... only problem is ... now I want one..... and they
> use way too much juice...
No...*some* VAXen use a lot of juice. There are VAXen that were
build in 1978, and there are VAXen that were built in the past couple
of years. Modern high-tech VAXen don't pull much power at all.
A very common misconception about VAXen relates to the VAX-4000/x00
series. Most of those machines (from the model 400 on up) are of
relatively modern design, and despite their physical size and their use
of a high-current IEC power connector, they don't pull much power at
all. And you can barely hear them running.
I've heard listmembers whine "Oh this VAX4000-400 pulls SO much
power, boo hoo" ...have they MEASURED it? No? Well, I have. Mine
pulls less than two amperes. I have lamps in my house that pull more
power than that.
> somehow my dumpster dived Vaxstation just doesn't seem like it's
> gonna cut it.
What model is it? I might be interested in adopting it if you get a
> Methinks a 4000/90 would be good.
They are nice (and FAST) but still command a pretty good pile of
Dave McGuire "You don't have Vaseline in Canada?"
St. Petersburg, FL -Bill Bradford
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