DEC Server

From: Andreas Freiherr <>
Date: Thu Sep 4 04:03:01 2003 wrote:
> Decserver 100's are terminal servers for going from terminals that use
> 3 wires (rcv,xmt, gnd) to ethernet. The connection is for an AUI, which
> normally goes to thick-wire ethernet, but can adapt to normal ethernet.
> The biggest problem, as I recall, is they only speak LAT, so if you want
> to hook up terminals to something that doesn't run DECNET/LAT you have
> a tough time. Of course, us VMS guys don't care.
> That's what I remember. Anybody else, please correct me if the memory
> is wrong...
> Joe Heck

No reason for a correction: it was indeed DECnet and LAT only. Somebody
please fill me in, but I think the DECserver 300 was the first to talk
Telnet, starting at firmware V2.0?

Except, perhaps, that thickwire was the "normal Ethernet" at those times.

Unlike some later / third-party models, the original DECservers always
had to download their operating system from a host on the network.
Commonly, the host was a VAX or PDP-11, but software for other machines
(including DOS PCs, provided they were running DECnet-DOS) existed. If
you turn power on without a load host on your network, you may,
depending on local settings on the DECserver, see messages on the
console port (any of the eight terminal ports) reporting "load failures".

DECnet (MOP, to be more precise) was used for software download and
upline dumps (the latter was rare, I remember having excellent stability
and very long uptimes with all DECservers except the MUXserver 100)
exclusively, while LAT was used for the actual sessions (connections
from terminal ports to hosts on the net). LAT is *not* part of DECnet
(which is often claimed), it's a separate protocol. However, it was
common to run LAT on a host that also would run DECnet.

The DECserver 100 hardware is, BTW, based on a Motorola 68000, and there
is even a low-level monitor program included in the load software, so
you can retrieve hex dumps from the DECserver's memory etc.

Hope that helps. In case you don't want your unit any more, throw it at
me! ;-)


Andreas Freiherr
Vishay Semiconductor GmbH, Heilbronn, Germany
Received on Thu Sep 04 2003 - 04:03:01 BST

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