[rescue] advice on rescuing an e10k

Jonathan C. Patschke jp at celestrion.net
Thu Oct 26 19:58:52 CDT 2006

On Thu, 26 Oct 2006, Ethan O'Toole wrote:

> I won't lie to you, the crays were FJWAER*!@#!@#ING heavy as all hell.

Ah, the memories!

In December of 2003, I helped Dave McGuire move house by about 130
miles.  Among the things we moved:

   * A DEC PDP/11-70
   * A Cray J916 w/ two additional cabinets (I/O and disks)
   * A couple (maybe three) Cray EL94s.
   * Two or three VAX-7000s plus a couple racks of Storageworks kit.
   * A few racks full of PDP/8e systems.

The J916 is an impossibly heavy piece of machinery.  It was roughly a
half-ton, and the liftgate on the truck Did Not Like That At All,
especially as neither Dave nor I are particularly light, and at least
one of us had to ride up/down with it.  It and the 11/70 were the most
stressful pieces of equipment to move.  The Cray due to its sheer weight
(never mind the thought of having ruined a Cray if you dropped it), the
11/70 because it was a decdatasystem style machine, vaguely desk-shaped,
hard to get a grab on, and populated with -core-.

I think we did the whole move (all that plus household goods, lab
equipment, and more pedestrian RISC systems and storage hardware) over
the course of three days.  I certainly recall it being less than a week.
We had assistance for two trips, but Dave and I did most of it
ourselves.  "Grueling" would be a good term.

The only mishap we had was loading one of the 7000s.  The end of the
the liftgate was tapered, as per usual, and the truck was parked on a
very slight grade.  Dave went up on the liftgate, and I stayed on the
ground to apply force to keep the 7000 upright as the lift went up.
We'd underestimated the grade, and not long after the liftgate
straightened out, the little bastard lept right into my arms.
Thankfully we'd pulled almost all the cards and all the (very heavy)
power supplies.

I caught it, and Dave was fast enough on the switch to lower the gate so
that I didn't topple over, but that was very nearly a brown shorts / red
shirt moment.

So yeah, you can do this sort of thing yourself, but keep your wits
about you.  Also, I have no idea how far you can break down an E10k for
transport.  If you have to ship the whole thing assembled, I would
suspect it makes a J916 look like a PC.  I would suspect that the Sun
site-planning guide describes uncrating and assembling the system, which
would give you a good idea of how far it breaks down.

Speaking of 7000s, I have a pair of DEC-7630s that I've been trying to
be rid of for some amount of time.  IIRC each has 512MB memory and more
than enough SCSI / Ethernet / CI to keep most folks happy.  I've just
come to the conclusion that I'd rather have my truck in the garage than
a bunch of equipment I never use.

Jonathan Patschke                         Texas Capitol Clearance 2006
Elgin, TX                                      October 23 - November 7
USA                                            ALL INCUMBENTS MUST GO!

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