Subject: DECronyms - was Test kernel available
To: Michael Kukat <>
From: Lord Isildur <>
List: port-vax
Date: 01/16/2001 11:34:08
SHAC - shared host adapter controller (its a CI adapter on a chip)
DEQNA - Digital Equipment Qbus Network Adaptor
DELQA - ? ? it superseded the DEQNA, is LQA LAN Qbus Adaptor? 
KZQSA - Z=scsi QSA - Qbus Storage Adaptor
KZTSA - Z=SCSI TSA Turbochannel Storage Adaptor
Kx - processors
KAn* - VAX processors
(KL , dec10/20 , KN, RISC (mips and axp), PDP i dont remember, dunno about
older stuff like PDP6's and 8's and so on) 
Tx - tape transports/ their controllers
TK - TK's, never saw a hint to what the K stands for if anything
TS, TU, TZ - more tapes

In general there seems to be no single nomenclature, but rather just
a meta-convention of using acronyms with some non-globally-standard
conventions for further specifying some core hardware and its interfaces,
or some basic functionality and its interfaces. It seesm that there was a
sort of common mindset about the _kind_ of names to give things, but that 
perhaps even individual engineers were giving names , along these _general_
themes, to their designs themselves, with no central authority to name
things 'consistently'.. it seems like a plausible idea considering that
DEC was a company of hackers and engineers! The centrally controllers
names were the part numbers.. there, the prefix indicates the

On Tue, 16 Jan 2001, Michael Kukat wrote:

> Hi !
> On Tue, 16 Jan 2001, Pierre-Michel Ricordel wrote:
> > About DEC nomenclature, I always wondered why the names of DEC
> > hardware have such strange names : KA860, TK70, DELQA, DEQNA, RQDX, SHAC,
> > KZQSA, KFQSA, and so on...
> > Obviously these are not acronyms (at least in english :)
> > 
> > Is there a meaning/story/legend/folklore about the origin of these names ?
> Sometimes they can be found out
> DEMPR -> Digital Ethernet MultiPort Repeater
> DESTA -> Digital Ethernet Station Terminal Adapter (or so)
> Sometimes you get these cryptic strings from the titles of the manuals, but
> e.G. KZQSA needn't make sende. SHAC also has a real meaning, SGEC means
> "second generation ethernet controller", The Q in DELQA stands for QBus, DELUA
> is the Unibus version, and the "A" here could stand for "Adaptor".
> But you're right... funny thing, i also thought about this very long :)
> ...Michael
> -- 
> In TV, there are bluescreens to put a faked reality behind a real played scene,
> in Windows, you sometimes see the real scene, when the fakes go out for lunch.