[rescue] Re: UNIX PC/3b1?

rescue at sunhelp.org rescue at sunhelp.org
Wed Jun 6 20:31:47 CDT 2001

   My 3B1 was the first Unix box I ever owned. I think I paid $700 for it
in 1990, at a time when 3/60s were still commonly in commercial use and
worth well over $1000 on the used market. It was ...!amc-gw!picarefy
for a while and then became picarefy.picarefy.com when I got a Netcom UUCP
account with domain parking and MX record.

   In 1992, I got my first Sun, a 3/60, and it became the flagship
(picarefy.picarefy.com). What's scary is that that same 3/60 is *still* my
flagship machine -- a couple attempts to replace it in 1999 foundered on
NetBSD 1.4 bugs and hardware support issues, so the 3/60 came back out
because it just plain works.

   The 3B1 continued in service for several more years as terminal server
and print server. Serial was the only way of transferring files around
between the 3/60 and my various PCs, and the 3B1 offered far more port
expandability than anything else I owned. Eventually it wound up decked
out with five serial ports (one built in and four on a pair of "combo"
(serial/RAM) cards). As for the print side, the 3/60 doesn't have a
parallel port and the 3B1 does. Eventually, I got an Ethernet card for it
as well but it didn't get much use as my collection expanded with more
capable machines. It did remain the one way to talk to a few oddball units
that didn't grok Ethernet, but since I didn't use those machines much
either, eventually the whole complex went out of service.

   I still have it. (Only three machines have ever escaped my grasp: two
went to a museum, and the third, a 3B2/310, went to a friend interested in
learning Unix and started her on a path which has led her to a junior
backbone admin position!) It may become part of the Unix Zoo
(www.unixzoo.sh) and/or take part in a distributed game/simulation that I'm
working on bit by bit.

   --James B.

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