DEC WT78

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This is a DEC “WT78” which I think is similar or identical to a DEC VT78. The naming is confusing, because the manuals call this unit a “DECstation”.

I haven’t yet opened this up to investigate it, but it came with a Word Processing Training Manual and a Word Processing User Manual.

Sitting on top of the unit was a “BC80D-5K” cable, to connect the WT78 to the RX02 floppy disk drive.

I tried to power this on for the first time on 19-OCT-2017. The drives spin, but no signs of life from the WT78. After removing power, I discovered that the 3A mains inlet fuse was blown. Unfortunately I didn’t check the fuse before applying power, so I don’t know if the fuse was already blown.

Is the VT78 the same as a WT78?

Here’s a quote from the VCFED DEC forum:

Q: “Do you know what were the differences between the VT78 and the WT78? Was it just software differences, i.e., the exlcusion of compilers, etc., and inclusion of the word processing software?”

A: “The VT/78 was an early micro (6100 based) PDP-8 that came with floppies and ran the standard OS/8 software, including PAL/8, Fortran, etc.

The WT/78 is the same hardware, except for some labeling. I believe it was shipped with a version of WPS, the menu based “office software” operating system.

Later 6120 based Decmates have the brain-dead terminal interface, and various attempted software kludges that CJL is so offended by.

So, yes, I think your characterization is correct. I wish I knew of an authoritative place to confirm what software shipped with the WT/78, but everything I have seen so far supports the theory that it came with office (rather than scientific) software.”

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Manuals

Below are links to some manuals (there will likely be other manuals that are relevant as well).

VT78 Family Field Maintenance Print Set (MP00468)

DECstation User’s Guide (EK-VTX78-UG-001)

DECstation Technical Manual (EK-VTX78-TM-002)