SuperTerm Maintenance Manual

Eric Smith spacewar at
Thu Feb 1 11:51:27 CST 2018

On Thu, Feb 1, 2018 at 10:19 AM, Mike Norris via cctalk <
cctalk at> wrote:

> The SuperTerm was manufactured by Intertec Data Systems c. 1978, it was a
> 180 CPS dot matrix printer (RS232), quite often used as a console printer
> in place of a LA36,

I know it sounds snarky, and admittedly my sample size is small, but it
seems to me that it was quite _rarely_ used as a console printer in place
of a LA36. Of the DEC machine rooms I saw back in the day (DECsystem-10,
PDP-11, VAX-11/7xx), most used an LA36 or LA120 as the console terminal,
but I also saw one Teletype Model 43 and one VT52. (It was not good
practice to use a CRT as the system console, IMO.)

I saw Intertec Intertube CRT terminals and SuperBrain microcomputers a fair
bit outside the machine rooms, but never saw a SuperTerm, though I'd seen
advertising for it. Given that it cost slightly more than an LA120, if I'd
had to make the choice, I'd have bought an LA120.  Also typically DEC
offered good deals on buying a complete system, at least for the sort of
large systems you'd find in a machine room, so substituting another
vendor's console terminal would cost more than just the delta in price
between the DEC terminal and the other vendor's terminal.

It's possible that some of the console terminals I saw could have had LA36
internal upgrades produced by Intertec or other companies. The only
advantage was that an LA36 could be upgraded to higher speed. The various
third-party graphics upgrades for the LA36 obviously weren't worthwhile for
a console terminal except in so far as they included the speed upgrade.

However, a scan of the SuperTerm maintenance manual definitely would be
good to archive for posterity.

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