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VAX: /vaks/ n. 1. [from Virtual Address eXtension] The most
   successful minicomputer design in industry history, possibly
   excepting its immediate ancestor, the PDP-11.  Between its release
   in 1978 and its eclipse by killer micros after about 1986, the
   VAX was probably the hacker's favorite machine of them all, esp.
   after the 1982 release of 4.2 BSD UNIX (see BSD).  Esp.
   noted for its large, assembler-programmer-friendly instruction set
   --- an asset that became a liability after the RISC revolution.
   2. A major brand of vacuum cleaner in Britain.  Cited here because
   its alleged sales pitch, "Nothing sucks like a VAX!" became a
   sort of battle-cry of RISC partisans.  It is even sometimes claimed
   that DEC actually entered a cross-licensing deal with the
   vacuum-Vax people that allowed them to market VAX computers in the
   U.K. in return for not challenging the vacuum cleaner trademark in
   the U.S.

It is sometimes claimed that this slogan was *not* actually used by the Vax vacuum-cleaner people, but was actually that of a rival brand called Electrolux (as in "Nothing sucks like..."). It has been reliably confirmed that Electrolux (a Swedish company) actually did use this slogan in the late 1960s; it has apparently become a classic example (used in textbooks) of the perils of not knowing the local idiom.

It appears, however, that the Vax people thought the slogan a sufficiently good idea to copy it. Several British hackers report that their promotions used it in 1986--1987, and we have one report from a New Zealander that the infamous slogan surfaced there in TV ads for the product as recently as 1992!