SuperTerm Maintenance Manual

Paul Koning paulkoning at
Thu Feb 1 11:56:34 CST 2018

> On Feb 1, 2018, at 12:51 PM, Eric Smith via cctalk <cctalk at> wrote:
> 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.)

My college experience (1973-1975) with consoles started with a ASR-33, then an LA30, and finally an LA36.  The LA30 was, amazingly enough, even less reliable than the ASR-33.  The LA36, on the other hand, was rock solid (as was the LA120, which I didn't see until after I went to DEC).

As for CRTs, it all depends on the design assumptions.  Lots of operating system console interfaces are designed on the assumption you have hardcopy consoles, and if so a CRT is a bad idea.  But you can certainly make CRT consoles and have it work -- consider the CDC 6000 series.


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