[rescue] Blade 100 - X86 CPU option?

Andrew M. Hoerter amh at POBOX.COM
Sat Feb 3 11:17:30 CST 2018

On Sat, Feb 03, 2018 at 11:31:50AM -0500, Dave McGuire wrote:

>  That reminds me of a fun conversation with a guy at the museum a few
>weeks ago.  We were talking about VAXen, and he asked why the product
>failed.  Now...in the museum, we adopt a very formal manner, and I would
>never call an idiot an idiot to his/her face in there. (as opposed to
>outside the museum, where I do so with glee)  But I had to explain, as
>patiently as possible, that with hundreds of thousands of systems
>shipped (some of which cost in the six digits) over nearly thirty years,
>with some still in production use today, by what possible metric could
>that be considered a "failed product"?

I'd hazard a guess that the true thrust of his question was, why did
the VAX "lose" in the broad marketplace, such that the average
computer on a desk today is a PC and not a VAX.  Not a totally dumb
question for someone who lacks historical context: RISC v. CISC, the
rise of workstations, the explosion of the microcomputer market
(mostly postdating the VAX's development), etc.

Obviously, as a product the VAX is most certainly not a failure.  In
some ways it's the evolutionary apex of one branch of hardware design.
But I can understand how the modern perspective would dismiss it as
being some old, "failed" thing from the 70s.  The current x86 dark age
tends to obscure all that came before.

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