Simulation vs breadboarding (was Replacing failedpowersupplieson qbus PDP-11s)

arcarlini at arcarlini at
Wed Feb 11 13:10:48 CST 2009

cctalk-bounces at wrote:
>>> Aquarius project?
>> Every computer company had an Aquarius project at some point.
>> That damn song...
> Perhaps.  In the case of DEC, it was because it was their
> first watercooled machine.  It had a somewhat reduced
> performance counterpart codenamed "Aridus" (as in "dry").
> That one shipped as the VAX 8800 series; Aquarius was canceled.

The VAX 88x0 was Polarstar (or at least the > 2 CPUs variant was).
The VAX 8700/8800 was Nautilus (conceptually the same as polarstar but
many backplane bits and the console [I think] changed along the way).
The VAX 8500 was Flounder (?) and apparently became Skipjack once they
took the NOPs out of the microcode ...

The VAX 9000 was Aquarius (and ended up as Aridus, I don't know what
other than not piping water through it). Millstone would have been
better methinks.
IIRC it was a $4B project that sold of the order of 500 machines @ ~ $1M


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