VAX 9000 (was: Re: Sun 386i available)

Allison ajp166 at
Thu Dec 15 18:55:01 CST 2005

>Subject: VAX 9000 (was: Re: Sun 386i available)
>   From: Adrian Graham <witchy at>
>   Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 00:16:54 +0000
>     To: "General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts" <cctalk at>
>Your mail name reminded me of a conversation I had today with an ex-Digit
>with regard to the Vax 9000 and its reliability record which is less than
>good. Apologies if this question has been asked before and is in the
>archives, but did you work with VAX9000s back in the day?
>My reason for asking is that I believed the VAX9000 would be watercooled
>(its codename was Aquarius) but shipped machines were aircooled and I'm
>wondering why there was a change in policy?

Water was new to DEC required special people to fix it and some sites
didn't like the idea or could not support water for the system.  NY some
of the older buildings took near a year to get adaquate power for smaller
machines.  Water, forget about that.

Reminds me of a site in Salt Lake City, water flooded top floor and 
sustem on second floor was crushed when the building pancaked from 
the flood.

>All ex-digits can reply of course :)

It was a good machine that held up well in use.  The bulk of them
succumed when installed (phase rotation had the blowers backward!)
and the usual field circus tricks. 

>The person I was talking to today explained that their 9000s were removed
>and replaced with 7000s....must've been a hell of a drain on Digit

Didn't want to support machine that was so unique parts and skills wise.
There was (may still be) a PDP1 in Yellowknife doing bookeeping for 
a mill. Field service offered them all sorts of inducements during 
the 80s to replace it.  I believe they system cost over a half million
to replace with software and stuff tossed in.  It was just too costly
to fix the PDP1 if it broke. 


>On 15/12/05 23:39, "9000 VAX" <vax9000 at> wrote:
>> On 12/15/05, Patrick Finnegan <pat at> wrote:
>>> On Thursday 15 December 2005 18:08, 9000 VAX wrote:
>>>> fedex rate a 30'x25'x25' box
>>> I'm assuming that was supposed to be private.. but I must say, that's
>>> one huge box! (Or did you mean inches ala " not feet ala '? :)
>> Yes, private and yes, inches. I was thinking about a program I was
>> working on. Actually I thought twice before typed ', and still the
>> wrong one is chosen.
>> vax, 9000
>>> Pat
>>> --
>>> Purdue University Research Computing ---
>>> The Computer Refuge                  ---
>Binary Dinosaurs creator/curator
> - the UK's biggest private home computer

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