[vcf-midatlantic] Which terminal for Prime 6550?

David Gesswein djg at pdp8online.com
Sat Apr 2 08:51:51 EDT 2016

On Sat, Apr 02, 2016 at 01:03:46AM -0400, Evan Koblentz via vcf-midatlantic wrote:
> Ps. Because of limited space, it would be very convenient if the 785 and 
> 6550 could share a terminal. If anyone finds that philosophically 
> objectionable then speak now. :)
I'll just describe how I typically saw machines of that size in case your
not familiar. This just what I saw, not how it was always done.

Normally there would be an operator/system administrator terminal. It was 
frequently either a printing terminal like a DECwriter or a normal terminal 
with a printer.  This was to capture the critical messages from the system 
and also provided a log of what was done with the system. This wasn't
normally like the mainframes where operator(s) would always be overseeing
the machine. They would either be overseeing multiple systems or have
other responsibilities so much of the time nobody would be at the console.
They would also do much of the work from their office if they had one since
the machine rooms were normally not that comfortable with either excessive
or insufficient cooling and the noise.

These machines would normally have a number of serial ports that would go 
off the the users.

When multiple computers were around using a switch box to switch the terminal
between systems (and also switch peripherals) was common. This was more
common for users.


I'm sure some places switched the operator terminal between systems.

I don't have an objection to having one terminal on display. Adding a
switch box with lables of the systems (Dymo embossed to envoke the
period, poorly hand written for more common) would add another touch.

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