[rescue] How to actually get an HP and NextStep 3.3 happy together...

Nathan Raymond nate at portents.com
Wed May 12 15:01:19 CDT 2004

Thanks very much for this information!  I was able to get NS 3.3 installed
on my 712/100 very quickly as a result, and I thought I'd share some
additional info from my experience, and I had a few questions...

On Fri, 2 Apr 2004, William Barnett-Lewis wrote:

> Now that I appear to have everything running happily, I thought I'd
> post a few comments here on the process so that 1) you folks will know
> that I'm done creebing every week or so about the problems I'm having
> and 2) to get it into a forum that Google will search for others who
> may need the information.
> 1) HP's are apparently very fussy about the CD-ROM drive used to boot
> from. It must be a _2x or slower_ drive that understands 512 blocks.

Not true - I did an install using a TEAC CD-532S 32x drive and it went
perfectly smoothly.  I then started to install all the developer tools,
and it went fine until I got to the Developer Libs package, which always
terminated on an error.  Because of a click sound the Teac drive made at
the same time the error came up, every time, I assumed the drive was
having trouble reading the (brand new, pristine) CD-ROM, so I pulled out
my 8x4x32x HP CD-RW drive, rebooted, and the Developer Libs and everything
else installed perfectly off that (again, at 32x speed).  I'm guessing my
TEAC drive isn't at 100% health.

> Even then, it may just be the luck of the draw. It wouldn't even see the
> IPL from a Plextor 4x drive. It would see the IPL and boot but give
> time-out errors from a AppleCD 300 (OEM Sony CDU561-25). It boots
> without any qualms, quibbles, or hesitations from a Toshiba XM-4101B
> half-hieght drive from a Sparcstation 4 that I had to jury rig into an
> external case.

I had previously used that TEAC drive to install IRIX on my Indy when no
other CD drive I had would work (I didn't have the HP CD-RW at the time),
and IRIX can be pretty picky... in fact, I'd say that this list is
probably a good starting point to finding a drive that would work for
installing NEXTSTEP on an HP workstation:


> 2) SCSI IDs don't matter. Once you have a drive that the HP likes, it's
> irrelevant what ID any given SCSI device has. I ended up using the
> default ID's listed in the HP service manual for the 715. Note this is
> contrary to the advice at: http://www.openpa.net/next.html I suspect
> that he had a drive that was marginal to the HP rom and _that_ caused
> his odd read errors rather than anything to do with the ID number.


> 3) Large Drives - in this case greater than 2 gb are a bit of a problem
> but not as bad as could be. In 3.3, 2 gb is as large as this version
> understands so the installer partitioned my 4 gb ST15150N into two 2 gb
> partitions. No need to putter with disktab entries. However, it only
> automatically mounts sd0a as /. It is up to the user to add sd0b and
> it's mount point to /etc/fstab. I mount it on /me so that I have the
> full 2 gb for the user account.

What steps did you take before adding the sd0b mount point to /etc/fstab?

> 4) It's really quite amazing how snappy a 64 mhz PA-RISC with 256 mb of
> ram is with this OS. Framemaker, the Lighthouse Apps, Omniweb, etc are
> all quite useable. It will be interesting to see how Framemaker holds up
> with a serious document though.

Agreed - I was pleasantly shocked to see how fast a 100Mhz PA-RISC with
256k L2 cache and 192MB RAM is running NS 3.3.

> 5) I found an app, PopOver, that will download to Mail.app from a Pop3
> account. Is there a similar one for uploading to a pop3 server? Or a
> good tutorial for setting up Nextstep probably very antiquated Sendmail
> to do so?

Hmm good question, some places to check might be:




> 6) I am definitely going to have to save my pennies for a copy of
> Mathmatica for Nextstep from Blackhole Inc. He's advertising
> "Price: We now have permission from Wolfram Research to reproduce and
> distribute Mathematica for the NeXT platform for $49.95 to cover our
> costs. We will include flyers for Wolfram's latest products on other
> platforms with each order. We are psyched to be able to offer this and
> for anyone owning an earlier version of Mathematica for the NeXT
> platform you will be able to upgrade to 3.0.2 for $29.95 per seat.
> 10/22/03 If interested just email us or order! "
> http://www.blackholeinc.com/catalog/software/Software/Scientific/Mathematica.shtml

Cool!  I already have a copy of Mathematica 3.0 (including the full manual
etc.), except I didn't realize at the time I aquired it that it was tied
to a given machine name for the license.  I tried to transfer the license
by calling up Wolfram five years ago, but they refused to transfer the
license because they couldn't contact the original owner (and I didn't
have their contact info anymore).  I wonder if I have to "upgrade" my copy
through Blackhole or if I can just call up Wolfram and they'll be a bit
kinder this time.

> Hopefully this is of help to someone else. Thank you to all of you here who
> helped me get this machine up and running in the very best rescue manner.

Yes, thanks...

BTW, I really like the HP 9000 712 series with it's combination of
standard VGA and PS2 connectors, good speed, quiet fan, and small form
factor.  No, it doesn't have the expansion of my SGI Indy (in terms of
processor, graphics, storage, video, or networking cards), but it's a step
up from my NeXTstation Turbo Color in several ways... which reminds me,
does anyone know whether I can use a 13W3 to VGA adapter for the monitor
cable coming out of the soundbox?  The gender is the opposite of the 13W3
to VGA adapters I have...

Oh and is the video on the HP 712 (with VRAM upgrade installed) dithered
true color under NS 3.3?  Looks like it... does that mean that the only
way to get true true color is to get a NeXT Cube with the NeXT Dimension
board?  (And does the NeXT Dimension with it's i860 graphics processor
offloading the Display PostScript from the CPU compensate for the slower
68040 architecture vs. the 100Mhz PA-RISC architecture in the HP 712?)

Nathan Raymond

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