The Digital VAX 11/780 is 45 years old #VintageComputing #Digital #History
The VAX-11/780 was the first member to ship of the VAX family of larger computers. The VAX series was conceived as the successor to the successful PDP-11 series of minicomputers; in order to make the VAX seem more PDP-11 friendly, they retained the -11 moniker for the first VAXen, and provided the ability to execute PDP-11 object code – hence the -11/780 designation.
It was announced on October 25th, 1977 at DEC‘s Annual Meeting of Shareholders. The VAX-11/780 was given the codename “Star” and its operating system, VAX/VMS, was codenamed “Starlet”. VAX/VMS Version V1.0 shipped in 1978, along with the first revenue-ship 11/780s.
Did you use a VAX 11/780?
Your author did – at Boeing Aerospace in the late 1980s, simulating military systems.
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I used 11/780s (and others in the family, such as the 11/782 and 11/785) from 1985-1991. My company had a policy of “we choose the software we want, then buy the hardware that runs it”, so we had a large variety of computing hardware running under a variety of operating systems. The VAXen were everyone’s preferred systems, because everyone’s favorite software ran on them, plus the operating system (VMS) was very user-friendly compared to all the others.
I used the micro version. microVAX 3300, 3100. They used real VMS operating system though, yes, so user friendly, so flexible.