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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)

repurposing "home"[edit]

The ADM-3A manuals are unambiguous: control/home moves the cursor to the upper left. Home-keys were used in many terminals. There doesn't appear to be any reliable source for either of the statements about home (chdir or regex). Likewise, there's no source for the "dominant terminal" statement. Lacking a WP:RS, the entire paragraph can be deleted. TEDickey (talk) 20:23, 6 September 2014 (UTC)

Teletype Model 33[edit]

ADM-3A replaced Teletype Model 33 at many locations~~ Xb2u7Zjzc32 (talk) 00:48, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

Yes, and? --jpgordon::==( o ) 03:33, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

key labels for arrow keys[edit]

The given source is problematic, because the reproduction quality is so low that only someone who knows what they are looking for can find the pictures of the arrow keys (and those are small enough that they can be mistaken for existing dirt on the pages). The apparent reference is to figure 3-1 and the (equally poor) depiction in text on the follow page. A useful source would be a photograph of the keyboard. The reason for the original tag was that no usable reliable source was found in written discussion. TEDickey (talk) 10:27, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

The arrow key labels are clearly legible at full size on the photo accompanying the article.— Preceding unsigned comment added by OMPIRE (talkcontribs)

interesting (does not work for all browsers, by the way). It would be nice if there were a usable written source TEDickey (talk) 09:02, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

ADM-3 and ADM-3A[edit]

This page appears to discuss both the ADM-3 and ADM-3A, and, in some places, to do so in ways that don't make it clear what it's referring to. The ADM-3A, as per the Computerworld reference, appears to have come out in 1976; the ADM-3 may have come out prior to 1976. Guy Harris (talk) 21:07, 13 July 2016 (UTC)

1975 for the ADM-3 (according to the Terminals Wiki). That Wiki does cite some reliable sources in itself, which IMO infers that it is also a reliable source. The ADM-3 wasn't as significant device as the ADM-3A because the former didn't have cursor addressability or even lowercase. The 1976 date is also more credible that 1974 because the VT52 which was one of the very first mixed case/cursor addressable units came out in 1975, I don't believe that LSI beat DEC to market. Shritwod (talk) 08:20, 14 July 2016 (UTC)
Wikipedia cites reliable sources, too, but it's not a reliable source itself; as such, I refuse to consider the Terminals Wiki any more a reliable source than Wikipedia itself - if it makes a claim with a reliable source, we should use that source as the reference, not the Terminals Wiki (and using the Terminals Wiki page as the reference also adds a useless and annoying extra level of indirection). Guy Harris (talk) 09:02, 14 July 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Works, although it needed a real title - I gave it one. Guy Harris (talk) 06:12, 1 October 2016 (UTC)