[rescue] rescue projects VAX-4000/500, DEC PDP-8e, DEC PDP-11/44, etc...

Mark G. Thomas Mark at Misty.com
Tue Sep 7 22:21:40 CDT 2004


I've got a number of rescue projects that I'm having trouble determining 
how to proceed with.  Maybe listmembers can give me some suggestions or
ideas.  In some cases, I am looking for components, but maybe someone here
has a lead on something that would help me.  I'm open to trades and small
amounts of cash if it's something really useful.

- Pair of Vax 4000-500 machines, plus loaded DSSI R400X storage box.
       I have one KZQSA SCSI controller, so was able to get, boot, and 
       install OpenVMS from a CDROM drive.  Now what?  I have a T-1, so
       now I'm wondering if this might be useful for some sort of 
       MUD project or some sort of nostalgic online thing.  I'm not sure
       that multiple different users can log in though with the hobbyist
       license.  Hmmm.  What to do with a Vax...  If I were to keep it online,
       I'd want to find a controller capable of a SCSI hard drive, so I could
       use one or two low-power SCSI hard drives instead of this huge thing of
       DSSI drives.

- PDP 11/44.  It's got lots of async ports, but I don't know what I would
       be able to find for cheap or free to attach as disk storage.  Might
       be fun to bring up some OS on, if I can figure out how to attach 
       a hard drive.  A better QBus SCSI controller might make life more
       interesting for the 11/44 as well as the 4000-500.  Emulex makes 
       some nice ones, but they still seem to be $500+ from dealers.  Maybe
       another route would be some other kind of PDP11-friendly DEC disk, 
       but it's got to be cheap or free.  There is probably some sort of
       controller in it, but I haven't even inventoried the cards yet.

- PDP 8/e.  It's got some minor-seeming logic problems, but is hard to work
       with since I'm short on switch handles.  An extender board would sure
       make problem diagnosis easier, assuming there is such a thing for 
       these. I keep hoping a front panel *with* switches will turn up on 
       ebay, or that I'll stumble on some other source.  Right now my main
       frustration is the front panel switches.

- Alpha 3000-500S.  It seems to work, but having just forked out $35 or so
       for OpenVMS VAX media, I'm not sure I want to do the same for the Alpha
       media.  This might be more interesting if I could use the video/keyboard
       console, and I even have a LK-whatever keyboard, but I'm lacking an
       adapter cable and mouse.  I've got OSF media and keys -- version 3.0
       or so, but it's not y2k happy.  It looks like this OS is now tru64,
       but unlike with Suns and Solaris, it doesn't look like I can just go
       and download current OS from a web site.  NetBSD might be the way to
       go, but then again, I can run NetBSD on just about anything, so why 
       this machine...

Any comments or suggestions?


Mark G. Thomas (Mark at Misty.com)
http://www.misty.com/  http://mail-cleaner.com/

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