Alphaservers for free in Athabasca, Alberta

Jon Elson elson at
Tue Aug 6 10:38:55 CDT 2019

On 08/06/2019 03:42 AM, Dave Wade via cctalk wrote:
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: cctalk <cctalk-bounces at> On Behalf Of Grant Taylor via
>> cctalk
>> Sent: 06 August 2019 04:25
>> To: cctalk at
>> Subject: Re: Alphaservers for free in Athabasca, Alberta
>> On 8/5/19 8:40 PM, ben via cctalk wrote:
>>> Now why could it not be a nice little PDP 11.
>> I thought that it could be if it was running emulation software.
>> Or was that more that the VAX-11 could emulate a PDP-11 up to a specific
>> version & hardware combination?  (Read: Did this functionality not get carried
>> forward to the Alphas?)
> I think it went from the VAX fairly early in the model range. I don't believe that any of the MicroVax machines implemented this.
> The VAX Architecture manual
The VAX 11/780 definitely had PDP-11 emulation, apparently 
in the microcode.  I'm kind of guessing the 750 and 730 also 
had this.  As far as I know, no later machines had hardware 
(microcode) emulation, and did it all by software.  It 
didn't take very long for DEC to recompile all the VMS 
utilities into native VAX executables.  I think we started 
with VMS 3.x and very quickly updated to a 4.1 VMS version.  
I was not aware of any PDP-11 code in them, but I did not 
look very closely.


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