Where to get a Vax or microvax

tony duell ard at p850ug1.demon.co.uk
Mon Jun 29 23:51:06 CDT 2015

> >> Well, ok, if your list was intended as a "first VAX" only list, then
> >
> > That is what I believe the OP was asking for,
> Yes. But I would never dream of suggesting a VAX-11/780 as a "first VAX"
> either... I think most people would not even know what to do if
> presented with 500 Kg of computer... Not to mention all the subsystems
> you need to figure out, learn, connect and get running...

It depends a lot of who you are. As I said in my first posting, the ideal VAX for you is 
not the ideal VAX for me. Personally, I would have considerd an 11/780 as my first VAX,
I know what it is like, I can read the printset, I have a good idea what to expect in the 
circuitry. For me, a VAXstation would have no interest at all.

> It's not exactly like a workstation or a PC.

That is surely a Good Thing :-)

> > The 6000 series are quite big cabinets and as a first VAX it's hard for me to
> > see the great advantage over a microVAX or a VAXstation.
> They are small compared to a VAX-11/780.

True, about the same size as the 11/750. They are still not small, and I can't see
what they would have to offer.

> The 11/782 would become very big, and use even more power. Not that an
> 11/780 are small to start with, but we're talking about roughly doubling
> the size and power consumption here... Not to mention being a very odd

Yes, it's close to being a pair of 11/780s running in parallel.

> machine from a multiprocessor point of view as well. Not something I
> would recommend unless you are seriously interested in that specific
> machine.

Nor would I, but if I had the space (I don't!) I would love one...
> The 11/730 and 11/725 are probably among the last machines I would ever

Sure it's slow, and there is a major design misfeature -- I mean who seriously uses
DRAM as a control store, and then has to halt the CPU to refresh it every few ms. But
IMHO fitting the complete VAX CPU onto 3 hex boards using standard ICs (apart from
the memory ECC which used the same gate arrays as the 11/750) is an interesting, at
least, bit of work.

> want to have. We all have different dreams... The 8650 is sweet. I could
> possibly like a 9000 even more...

As I keep on saying, and I hope the OP considers this, the ideal VAX depends
on who you are. As I want to get inside the CPU with a logic analyser, there are
really only 2 series for me to consider. One large, the other slow. As I am short
of space and not time it is obvious what I looked for.


More information about the cctech mailing list