yet another pdp-11 in fgpa

Eric Smith eric at brouhaha.com
Wed Jun 23 12:48:45 CDT 2010


arcarlini at iee.org wrote:
> I've read somewhere that it [PDP-11/74] was full of flat ribbon cables 
> and would
> have been a beast to maintain.
>    
I've heard that too, but it doesn't make sense.  Lots of machines were 
full of cables of various sorts, including flat cables, and that didn't 
inherently make them especially hard to maintain.  It sounds like an 
excuse that the marketing department generated, not engineering.

Naturally a four-processor system would be harder to maintain than a 
one-processor system.  If they didn't make at least some minimal 
provisions for serviceability, then it would be more than 4x as hard.  
However, with some serviceability provisions, it becomes only slightly 
harder.  If you read the few docs that exist on the 11/74, the designers 
most definitely did include serviceability provisions.

The 11/74 probably would have been *easier* to maintain than the 
VAX-11/780 was.

Eric




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