[rescue] Wanted: 16M 72-pin parity SIMMs & Dell GXa CPU board/RAM

Jonathan C. Patschke jp at celestrion.net
Sun Dec 26 18:12:50 CST 2004

On Thu, 23 Dec 2004, Mike Nicewonger wrote:

> On a side note the W6Li is a nice board.

So long as you don't try to flash them.

Mine were labeled (silkscreened, even!) "REV. 1", so, you know, naturally,
I thought it was a "revision 1" board.

I went to Micronics' web site, downloaded the updated firmware for the
revision 1 board, booted from the flash program, and I saw:

   Me:  Okay, get on with it.
   Me:  Alright then, let me abort it.

Heated calls were made to $supportNumber.  This was just after the got
bought, so I go bounced between a whole bunch of different numbers
before I finally wound up at Diamond Multimedia, who were supposedly the
owners of this part of Micronics.

   Them:  You downloaded the wrong file.  That's not our problem.
     Me:  My board says "REV. 1" on it.  How could it be the wrong file.
   Them:  Describe your board.
     Me:  <description>
   Them:  That's a revision 2 board.  You downloaded the wrong file.
     Me:  Hello!  Silkscreen!  Revision 1.  Right there!
   Them:  Wrong file.  Not our problem.
     Me:  Have you thought to maybe ABORT THE FLASH if it detects the
          wrong device?
   Them:  It's not our problem if you download the wrong file
     Me:  *head explodes*

This was in 1999, when these boards, while not current, weren't cheap[0].
I had three of them, and two had died (I flashed them in parallel).  I
still have one of the boards (and all 6 processors), and every time I
look at that board I want to shoot something.

Yeah, real nice boards.

[0] And I was in college at the time.  That 6-CPU project[1] cost me all
     my spending money at the time.  That was about when I started to
     scream "Fuck PCs" every time someone brought up the notion of using
     crap-ass x86 hardware to do real work.  Those W6li boards were the
     best the PC world had to offer only a year or two earlier, and they
     weren't worth pissing on.
[1] My roommate and I were heavy into Persistence of Vision for doing 3D
     raytracing.  We wanted to build a job-submission system where we
     could submit a large render and have it interleave frames over the
     individual processors.  This meant that his PC wouldn't be occupied
     for several days at a time rendering a single movie.
Jonathan Patschke ) "I've built my whole system with [-fomit-frame-pointer]
Elgin, TX        (  cause it was recommended...as I don't care if a program
USA               ) crashes, not interested in finding out why."
                  (                    --Tim, Another Satisfied Gentoo User

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