* Posts by Hoofhearted

1 post • joined 15 Feb 2011

DEC: The best of systems, the worst of systems


Too many war stories

After 27 years in Field Service I've seen every thing from the first an only 8K PDP-5 in the world,(we had to add a extra SWR switch to address the upper 4K) to a CSS designed 11/05 machine that made Michelob bottles. For me the 11/45/55/70 were some of the best PDP's ever made. The great thing about the PDP was that when you went to a site that you had never been to before. You could never tell what might be hanging off the Unibus. Pumping machine language into the switch register to massage the periph's was such fun. As it was said then, I could 12737 with the best of them. Everything on the system could be gotten to from the SWReg, PDP8's were okay, but a bit slow. VAX780's were a dream come true for FS people that had logical snap to be able to fix them. Alpha's were really a gas. We had a saying "Intel, Alpha inside" those old Pentiums would burn your finger until Intel got DEC to tell how to cool them down.

For a few years I was support for the RA81, spent a pile of Ken's money fixing the original design. Dropped 67 Mil swapping HDA's with FCO13, but I did manage to kill the ECC epidemic with a single piece of wire. The Ground Strap FCO eliminated gound noise on the pre-amps from 40 Miilvolts to zero, which made for a nice reference.


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