Highway interface [warning contains an ebay ref], but is an old VMS network interface

Tom Moss tomjmoss at googlemail.com
Thu Oct 13 05:07:41 CDT 2016

For a moment there I thought I was getting work emails sent to my personal

I happen to work for a company that is contracted to build and maintain
Highway Control systems for Highways England (Formerly Highways Agency)

I can't say I've seen anything that old in production now, but we used to
have PDP-8s and 11s long before I joined the company.

Until fairly recently we were using Alphastation DS10s and DS15s to control
Variable Message Signs (a staple of British motorways, basically a large
orange dot-matrix display on an overhead gantry for anyone who hasn't seen
them, they privide traffic and weather information, and are used to set
speed limits and close lanes), MIDAS systems (Inductive loops in the road
for measuring the flow of traffic), traffic cameras, and I believe the
Tamar Bridge and Dartford-Thurrock River Crossing too.

There's a new-ish HP Integrity server running OpenVMS still, no idea what
it's for. We're mainly a x86 + Linux shop now.

We still have 7 of these Alphas on the scrap pile, which I've spent a
couple of weeks trying to get permission to save.


On 13 October 2016 at 09:44, Peter Coghlan <cctalk at beyondthepale.ie> wrote:

> >
> > I'm sure there are fellow roadgeeks on this list, so I find VMS(*) in
> this
> > context to be thoroughly ambiguous. :)
> >
> Well, at least you can be fairly sure it's not this one:
> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_milking
> I wonder if this has any hardware in common with VAX vacuum cleaners?
> Regards,
> Peter Coghlan.

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