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.

See the video below and more on Wikipedia.


Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Join 35,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers – CircuitPython.org


Maker Business — How (some) chips get made

Wearables — Sample code is your new best friend

Electronics — Solder braid quick fix

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: Mu 1.2.0 Released, WSL Out of Beta and so much more! #CircuitPython @micropython @ThePSF @Raspberry_Pi

Adafruit IoT Monthly — Jellyfish Lanterns, Matter 1.0, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — MakeCode Thank You!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — JP’s Product Pick of the Week 11/22/22 EyeSPI Breakout @adafruit @johnedgarpark #adafruit #newproductpick

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !



2 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. I used the micro version. microVAX 3300, 3100. They used real VMS operating system though, yes, so user friendly, so flexible.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.