[rescue] Cheapass MicroFax (sic)

Dave McGuire mcguire at neurotica.com
Fri Jan 24 14:21:23 CST 2003

On Friday, January 24, 2003, at 10:16 AM, Bill Martin wrote:
> Good news!  (or good promises, at least.)  They found the front cover 
> (it says "MicroVAX 3300", Dave McGuire nailed it), and think they have 
> another TK70.  They say they'll ship both to me today.  Looks like I'm 
> gonna end up with a really cool machine.
> Many thanks to Dave McGuire, Jochen Kunz and Dave Fischer for their 
> info and leads to other info sources.  And also thanks to Al Potter, 
> who posted about the original eBay listing.

   Good luck with your new machine!

> I can't seem to find the QBus HOWTO, though I'm sure I've seen it 
> somewhere back when I was looking for Unibus info.  And silly me, I 
> thought the pdp11-field-guide was just about pdp11s.

   ...or you can just post here.  There are lots of DECheads here.  The 
pdp11 field guide covers many boards which can be used in both PDP11 
and VAX systems.

> The label says "Series BA215" and the case has six slots showing.  
> (Haven't gotten inside it yet.)  Curious that it would have dual, but 
> non-redundant PSUs.  Double the failure possibilities?

   Well, ordinarily that would be an issue.  But these machines don't 

   Seriously.  They just *do not break*.

   This reminds me of a story.  About 12 years ago I was working at a 
gov't contractor facility in Princeton, NJ during severe weather.  The 
building was hit by lightning...squarely on a power switching box for 
an air conditioning unit.  The damage:

   - about 30 PCs completely destroyed (some of which produced smoke)
   - six laser printers destroyed
   - two Emulex Performance4000 terminal servers smoked
   - about a hundred PC and terminal keyboards destroyed
   - two SGI 4D/20 workstation power supplies destroyed
   - Nortel phone switch smoked
   - nearly every color monitor in the building needed to be "deeply" 

   ...this amounted to pretty much everything that was plugged into a 
power outlet in the building.

   Except, of course, two MicroVAX 3600s (KA650, RA82).  One indicated a 
spurious interrupt (or something along those lines) in the error log, 
and the other didn't notice at all.  They didn't even reboot.


Dave McGuire           "Wear whatever you want...Just don't be surprised
St. Petersburg, FL        if you wind up with a blow-gun dart in your
                            prosthetic boobies."    -Kurt Huhn

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