Antonio Carlini a.carlini at ntlworld.com
Wed May 11 18:17:57 CDT 2016

On 12/05/16 00:05, Adrian Graham wrote:
> My memory's getting skewed with age, clearly. I can remember RKG's (Royal
> Kingdom of Geordies) finest 2 engineers upgrading the 8350s to 8550s and the
> passage of time has me convinced it was 'only' a backplane swap. I was
> purely a code monkey back then. One thing that definitely happened was the
> MD of this company was going to have his new VAXen removed again because
> they didn't have blinkenlights.

The VAX 8200/8250/8300/8350 was a low-end BI-based system.
Put in one CPU and you had a VAX 8200; put in two and  you had a VAX8300.
There was a mid-life kicker, which was a slightly faster CPU and that 
gave you
the 8250/8350. I'm sure I put three CPUs in the one I had back at DEC and
it booted and (this is where I'm hazy) called itself a VAX 8370.

The VAX 8500 ("Flounder", someone was definitely "having a larf"...) was 
a VAX 8550 with
NOPs in the microcode. Customers noticed and the NOPs were removed. That 
made the
VAX 8530 iirc. The VAX 8550 was the faster variant in the same box. 
These systems
had a PRO variant for the console. They all used the NMI backplane and 
so were
similar to (but not iirc upgradeable to) the VAX 88x0 series ("Polarstar").

These were all much taller boxes than the VAX 8200 series.

BTW: well done for remembering RKG :-)


Antonio Carlini
arcarlini at iee.org

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