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

William Barnett-Lewis wlewis at mailbag.com
Wed May 12 20:46:43 CDT 2004

Nathan Raymond nate at portents.com
> 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...

Glad it was of help to someone.

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

Hmm. I wonder if there isn't something in the cdrom specification that 
is played fast and loose by some of the manufacturers that the HP ROM 
expects to be exactly correct? That or it's termination black magic time 

>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:
> http://www.vigyan.com/~blbates/sgi/hardware_notes/CDROMpoll.html

A good list. Thank you.

>> 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?

boot -s with the cdrom and used disk  to slice the disk up and make the 
file systems. Then installed the base system, mv'd everything our of 
/me, edited the fstab and rebooted again. Nothing fancy, didn't need the 
last reboot, but I wanted fsck to run against both so... Certainly 
easier than adding disks to some of the boxes I've used.

> 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.

If you already have the copy they'll probably send you a password. 
You'll need your host name, license number (Lxxx-xxxx), and mathid to 
give them and they'll generate you a license.

If you need more info, feel free to contact me off list.

> 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?)

The 712's, and later 715's like mine, used the Artist graphics system. 
It was an 8 bit color system that through software dithering (HP Color 
Recovery) gives a psuedo-24 bit color system. It's noticeable when 
you're looking at some photos but otherwise it's a pretty good job. 
IIUC, the VRAM upgrade only allowed the 712 to do 1280x1024 rather than 
1024x768 and didn't increase the color depth at all which means there 
was no 24 bit color solution for the 712 - not surprising since I'm sure 
HP wanted people to buy the more expensive machines...

Now, if you need true 24 bit color, then you can use a NeXT Dimension, a 
715 with a CRX-24 or HCRX-24 graphics card, a Sun SS-5 with the s24 on 
the afx bus, a SS-10 or 20 (single cpu only) with SX, or trying to find 
one of the various pc video cards with a NS driver that will do that depth.

> --
> Nathan Raymond

Live like you will never die, love like you've never been hurt, dance
like no-one is watching.
				Alex White

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