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Thread: Dec wt78

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Silver Spring, MD, USA


    Seems like a marketing/packaging gimmick to entice office-folk.

    You might make inquiries at:

    (See tiny mail address at bottom pf page.)

  2. #12


    I emailed him the question of what the differences were.

    I would assume it would be the same hardware but with different software. From :

    "The VT78 came with a FORTRAN, a BASIC compilers, the PAL-8 assembler and various other utilities."

    Probably the WT78 omitted these and included the word processing programs, but could also run end-user programs such as legal management software packages. I know mine did as it was in a laywer's office in Portland, OR, and came with a legal management software package manual.

    I reassembled the items that I had apart and cleaned everything up. It's now just a static artifact. The DECPrinter III is not pictured as it is in the worst shape and hasn't been attended to yet. Pictures attached.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by MossyRock; June 19th, 2017 at 03:38 PM.

  3. #13


    Vince responded to my question about what the differences are between a VT78 and a WT78, and he gave me permission to post his response in this thread:

    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."

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Salisbury Maryland


    So imagine that’s basically just a primitive word processor, still it would be a great system to have and play around with a word processor that’s running on a PDP-8, got lots of newer system that can compile and run DEC code but a signal function DEC word processor that’s floppy disk base would be sweet! Would the operating system be in ROM with the disk just as a storage medium? Or would you have to load the operating system each time you start the workstation?
    I would want to have one of those systems just for that function. Wonder how it would compare to an early PC running Word Star? Can’t think it would compete with a later product like Microsoft Works.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Westchester County, NY


    The VT/WT78 does do more than run WPS. It's not a single function word processor. It does run OS/8 and therefore can run the basic interpreter and fortran compiler. It is the forerunner to the VT278 (Decmate) which I have a few of and does the same (but the 278 has a full 32kW of memory). Although the VT278 has the screwed-up device 03/04 interface, it still runs OS/78 just fine. Albeit slow, the 278 will run Adventure.

    I would like to find a VT78 myself someday. I have the experience of working on CRTs safely and would be able to keep it going. Such things don't seem to show up in the metro NYC area though.


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