Subject: Re: Test kernel available
To: Pierre-Michel Ricordel <>
From: Johnny Billquist <bqt@Update.UU.SE>
List: port-vax
Date: 01/16/2001 18:39:23
On Tue, 16 Jan 2001, Pierre-Michel Ricordel wrote:

> > Hmmm. A short crash course on DEC nomenclature perhaps...
> > CPUs are called Kx where x is some letter. Thus you have a PDP-11/70 CPU
> > which is called a KB-11C, while a VAX8600 CPU is called a KA-860. A PDP-10
> > CPU might be called KA-10.
> 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 :)

Some can be read out as "kindof" acronyms, while others are pure non-sense
(it seems).

DEQNA - Digital Ethernet Q-bus Network Adapter.
DEUNA - Digital Ethernet Unibus Network Adapter.
(These are just my guesses, but anyway, looks good. :-)

The followons were the DELUA and DELQA, which I guess could be read as DEC
Ethernet Lan x-bus adapter.

Like I said, all CPUs are K-something. KA seems to usually be the first in
a serie. But you also have some extra stuff for the CPU in the K series,
so I guess it isn't just the basic CPU, but anything that goes with the
CPU. You have for instance the FPP for the 11/23 which is called KEF-11.
You can probably dig out the designation for the EAE for the 11/20 as
another example of something called K...

RQDX? Well, the Q might be for Q-bus, but the rest takes a bit more
imagination. Tapes are always called T-something. TK means Tape Kartridge
I guess. You have TU, TE, TS and TA for other tape types in DEC.
Disks are R-something, such as RM, RP, RK, RA, RL, RD, RF and RZ. The
theory is that R stands for rotational. You also had some disks with
D-something, such as DF.

Hmmm, I seem to remember being in a discussion about this some time ago
somewhere else. Might have been the pdp-11 mailing list, but it might have
been alt.folklore.computers as well.

Maybe someone else remembers and can give a pointer. That thread expanded
a lot more on this than I've done here.


Johnny Billquist                  || "I'm on a bus
                                  ||  on a psychedelic trip
email:           ||  Reading murder books
pdp is alive!                     ||  tryin' to stay hip" - B. Idol