[TUHS] Peter H. Salus comments on introduction of VAX

Kenneth Stailey kstailey at yahoo.com
Sun Oct 19 06:07:08 AEST 2003

Admittedly the page is a rant from 1997 but it does have a few tidbits.

Page is here:


Excerpt about VAX:

<< And it's over 20 years since Gordon Bell came up with his ideas for a DEC
family with a 32-bit architecture. That was implemented by Bill Demmer, Larry
Portner, and Bill Strecker as DEC's VAX line: Virtual Address Extension. Bell's
notion allowed DEC to produce a line of computers that continues today, and
certainly occupied a number of desktops over 15 years ago.

When the VAX was ``pre-announced,'' the Unix architects at Bell Labs had become
disillusioned with DEC, they didn't like VMS and they thought that the VAX had
an ``offensively fat instruction set.'' Anyway, Steve Johnson and Dennis
Ritchie were working on their Unix port to the Interdata. (Which Steve referred
to as the ``Intersnail.'')

So DEC approached Charlie Roberts at AT&T in Holmdel, NJ. Tom London, John
Reiser and Ken Swanson were interested; they got a VAX in early 1978. In three
months they ported Version 7 to the VAX. Roberts told me: ``We got the machine
in January, they had it running in April, and by August it really worked.'' >>

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