[rescue] DEC KA730, was Re: Electronics Recycling Day

Steven M Jones smj+rescue at crash.com
Mon Nov 16 20:27:35 CST 2009

This might be straying off-topic for Rescue. If there's follow-up to 
this, is it reasonable to move it to the classiccmp list? I'm on both 
under different addresses...

> Steven M Jones wrote:
>> I'm sure DEC was happy to OEM both configurations, but I was not under
>> the impression that the 11/725 was an OEM-only variant. [...]

> Carl R. Friend responded:
>    The notion of "off-by-five" for OEM kit had been around for
> quite a while by the time that the VAX came on the scene.  For
> instance, the pdp11/35 was the OEM version of the 11/40.  [...] but
> I do not believe that one could actually *buy* a DEC-branded and
> configured 11/725 from them (the 11/751 may be a different animal).

I'm familiar with the convention as used for many pdp-11 family members. 
Was the 11/725 marketed that way? I didn't get any exposure to VAX 
product pricing and whatnot until much later. However somewhere in 
storage I have a set of DEC-internal sales materials in puffy brown 
binders from the mid/-/80s that may shed light on this... Don't ask me 
when I'll unearth them again, but eventually I have a scanner with ADF 
that will make their acquaintance. I know they cover positioning and 
pricing options for 16-, 32-, and 36-bit systems.

This is probably hairsplitting, but I think the core boardset+backplane 
box - did they use the term System Building Block (SBB) at that point? - 
was the same except for the numbering and color. Of course the customer 
buying an 11/40 would typically order it as a system in a rack with 
peripherals, but I always assumed they could buy it "loose" too.

While the 11/725 and 11/730 used the same boardset, they're 
differentiated more by the packaging used than anything else. An 11/730 
was typically delivered in a rack of one kind or another; the 11/725 
was, as far as I'm aware, characterized by the deskside package that was 
the only way it could be ordered.

However I wasn't buying DEC gear at the time, and would welcome any 
first-hand knowledge from the list...

> Steve Jones wrote:
>> Of course an outfit like ADP would've been the perfect customer to
>> take the 11/725 as-is, slap their logo and software on it, and ship
>> it to some customers who'd never crack it open...

> Carl Friend replied:
> [...] when I was there they were a PDP-10 shop and marketed the KS-10
> as an "ADP Onsite" to folks [...]

That's exactly the example I had in mind, having learned about the 
Onsites when I thought I'd try to pick up a 2020 a decade or so ago.

Interesting to note that years later I acquired a Motorola m88k system 
(M8120) that was rebadged by ADP. No hard drive was included, though I 
believe I did eventually manage to get the matching (empty) drive 
housing out of the seller.


More information about the rescue mailing list