Qbus HDLC controller -- a "what is it" board

From: Ethan Dicks <erd_6502_at_yahoo.com>
Date: Tue Sep 25 12:38:03 2001

--- Jonathan Engdahl <engdahl_at_cle.ab.com> wrote:
> Here's something else from my junk box that somebody might know what to
> do
> with:
> Four half-width Qbus boards, built by Applied Computer Consultants, Santa
> Barbara, CA...

I just asked my old boss from Software Results and he thinks this might
have been known as an IRMA. ACC at least had a product for DEC boxes
that presented the appearance of being a 3270-ish device. I don't know
if that means that this board emulates a 3274 (PU Type 2) or not, but
from your description, there's enough stuff there to pull it off. The
SNA COMBOARDs did it with an 8Mhz 68000 w/128-512Kb of RAM and either a
Z8530 (newer designs) or COM5025 (older designs). We had our own DMA
engine built from PALs that looked like a block of memory space to
the 68K processor... made programming really easy! (Especially on the
Q22 bus - it was just a direct map of the Qbus to 68K space - no wierd
translations on the board side - I've used a COMBOARD-Q to test RAM in
a PDP-11).

There were several companies from the late 1970s through the early 1990s
that produced DEC<->IBM products - Software Results, ACC, Sympact,
and a few more. Eventually, DEC got into it as well, making life hard
for us small fry that only had a few products. It wasn't always like
that; prior to 1984, DEC used to throw us leads because they didn't
have anything that would do what a COMBOARD could do. Grow the market
enough and people will come from all corners to get a slice of it.

If there are no other takers, I'm interested, purely from the historical
standpoint of working for a competitor and being curious how they did
it. I have no software or docs and will probably never power it up, but
I can at least show people that for DEC<->IBM comms, "there's more than
one way to do it". ;-)


P.S. - Yes, I know I still owe you a box of quad handles.

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Received on Tue Sep 25 2001 - 12:38:03 BST

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