From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Computing (Rated Stub-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Computing, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of computers, computing, and information technology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Stub-Class article Stub  This article has been rated as Stub-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
Note icon
This article has been automatically rated by a bot or other tool as Stub-Class because it uses a stub template. Please ensure the assessment is correct before removing the |auto= parameter.

Metal cage? Rugged??? Say what?[edit]

I seriously question the second sentence of the article.

one of the most rugged chassis ever to be employed in any computing equipment, being constructed with a very thick metal frame (over an inch at the thickest bits).

I believe that the case is not metal, and the word "rugged" is not correct.

I have two of these terminals, and I repaired many in the early 1980s. All of the ones that I've seen had lightweight plastic cases. I remember reading that they are Bakelite.

These things are not "rugged". While collecting the two that I have, I received one that was destroyed during shipping when the weight of the picture tube caused the top of the clamshell case to snap. I'd use the word "brittle." From my early repair work, I've seen that the majority of the weight is in the vacuum picture tube and in the large laminated-steel-core Transformer.

Finally, the density of the "thick metal frame" would put the weight far over the mere claimed 32-lb weight. I have a milling machine. Believe me. Just the vise for the mill weighs 42 lbs, and it has much less metal than the case would have if it were cast metal.

So, here's what I've been able to find. In a copy of the maintenance manual one reads that the case is "molded" and that the weight is 25 lbs. An operators manual says that the weight is 32 lbs. There were at least two versions of this terminal. The later ones used integrated chips and probably had a smaller transformer. The earlier ones had a board full of TTL chips, which would have required a larger transformer. So it's possible that both references are correct.

KerryVeenstra 17:55, 12 November 2007 (UTC)


This page needs more info on the history of this terminal. I could only find this reference about it being introduced in 1975 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:57, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

vi (editor)[edit]

Is it right, that VI was developed on the ADM-3A? A lot of key mappings make a lot of sense if that is true ... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:03, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

Looks like it:

SeanJA (talk) 19:52, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

But not a WP:RS. For that matter, vi was written well before any direct experience by any of vim's developers TEDickey (talk) 21:39, 9 March 2012 (UTC)

Control Key[edit]

The article spends a lot of text explaining the position of the control key on that terminal, and on modern keyboards, and giving pointers on how people can change the location of their control key. Actually, the control location was not specific to that terminal, it was the standard of the time. As far as I know, all DEC keyboards had the control key at that location, and early PC keyboards (XT/AT) also had it there. So, it does not make much sense to spend all that text talking about it here. Either create a dedicated article, or move the section to the article about the first PC keyboard where it was moved to the bottom. See for example IBM PC keyboard. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:24, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

"all DEC keyboards" has a problem: most of DEC's video terminals were released after ADM-3a. Likewise PC keyboards (all in this case, not merely "most"). The comment above has no WP:RS, but appears to be simply a personal reflection. In particular, there were no standards. There were other terminals with different layouts; the usual comment seems to be contrasting the locations of control- and escape-keys (some keyboards including DEC's lacked an escape key, e.g., LK201). For some keyboards, control was above escape, for example. But bringing DEC into the discussion is much like introducing IBM PC's - DEC wasn't a major player in that area until it introduced the VT100 (in the following year). Here are a few interesting links [1], [2] TEDickey (talk) 20:10, 10 March 2012 (UTC)

Tektronix graphics add-on[edit]

In one of the two ADM3A terminals I used some 20 years ago there was an additional circuit board mounted on top of the original board, about the same size. The terminal was able of drawing according to the Tektronix Plot-10 standard commands. Sadly to say, the terminal is since long lost so I'm unable to collect any more information about the extra card. However, I think it might be of interest to note and possibly to do some extra research into. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:58, 30 June 2013 (UTC)