|WikiProject Computing / Hardware||(Rated C-class, High-importance)|
PRIME Computer reference
From the article:
'"VAX" is originally an acronym for virtual address extension, both because the VAX was seen as a 32-bit extension of the older 16-bit PDP-11 and because it was (after Prime Computer) an early adopter of virtual memory to manage this larger address space.'
Why do we call out Prime here? There's nothing special about Prime. Lots of computers had virtual memory, and using it to manage an increase of address space is nothing new. The PDP-6/10 family went from 18 to 22 bit physical addresses and 23 bit virtual addresses as well and used several different forms of virtual memory to manage it. All existed before Prime. IBM had similar developments before Prime.
- My guess is that they were talking specifically about machines considered "minicomputers" or "superminicomputers"; there were definitely machines and OSes that did paged or segmented virtual memory before the VAX, such as the GE 645 under Multics, the IBM System/360 Model 67 under TSS/360/CP/CMS/etc., the Burroughs B5000 under MCP, etc.
- But Prime wasn't the first minicomputer company to offer virtual memory; apparently Norsk Data's Nord-1 had it in 1969. Guy Harris (talk) 20:52, 11 August 2014 (UTC)
I think we really should say something about the widespread use of the plural form 'vaxen', as it was (and to an extent still is) quite widespread, and has also been quite infuential on computer/geek culture (e.g. talking about 'UNIX boxen' as plural for 'UNIX box').
You only have to read this talk page to see the plural used twice. Unfortunately I'm not sure quite what we can say about it. I'm sure getting references to its use will be easy. But anyone know where and how this form came to be? Roybadami (talk) 22:00, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
- I'm not sure it's up to Wikipedia to document slang. The official word from DEC - and I can probably find references for this; there was an official announcement about it - was that "VAX" is a name of a type of computer; hence it is not a noun, more like an adjective. Hence "VAX computer" is the singular, and "VAX computers" is the plural form. Jeh (talk) 23:55, 8 January 2015 (UTC)