[rescue] long shot... anybody got a Gateway 486?

JP Hindin jplist2008 at kiwigeek.com
Fri May 3 11:37:46 CDT 2013

On Wed, 1 May 2013, Dan Sikorski wrote:
> >> The nCUBE2 has a little battle damage. The previous owner took it to a
> >> basement and it slipped going down the stairs. Internally it's in good
> >> shape and I've powered it up without smoke and clean voltages, but all of
> >> the buttons on it are broken off - I don't actually know what they do. I
> >> have the host processor with software and interface card (a Sun 4/470 in
> >> this unit's case), but until recently had absolutly no idea how to even
> >> talk to the nCUBE. A helpful chap posted simultaneously to my YouTube
> >> channel and classiccmp a bunch of documentation from a Russian university,
> >> so I'm trying to find time to pull them back out - reverify its in working
> >> state - and see if I can talk to it.
> >
> > Since I was involved with the original rescue of your nCUBE2; trust me
> > when I say it wasn't clear to us what those buttons did when they were
> > intact.  As I remember they were rather abstract symbols, it wasn't even
> > clear to us if they were used to power up the system.  It was a real
> > bummer to find that we had damaged those buttons when we moved the
> > machine.  We didn't notice the damage until it was way too late.
> Hey, I'M that previous owner, and those broken buttons probably saved my life
> when we were moving it down the stairs with me under it!

I'm not complaining - believe me, Stuff Hath Happened to me on pickups
too. :)

> Anyway, they were four plastic parts that broke off, labeled with words, the
> top three were buttons, the bottom one no button just a status indicator.  The
> top one was start, the one below it stop as i recall.  I've looked in the past
> to find pictures of the buttons when they were intact, but i don't think any
> of my pictures were close enough to make the buttons out.  I know that the

I can't find a single picture of a unit from the rear, so I've got no
idea, unfortunately. While someone did pass me some documentation, they're
all pure text. Better than nothing, certainly.

> 4/470 that came with it had some software on it to talk to the nCUBE (and as i
> recall, using it required programming in FORTRAN), but it was all far over my
> head to do anything with it at all.  From what i can remember reading, the
> 4/470 was a pretty unusual host for the nCUBE/2, most were smaller VME
> workstations.  Also, mind you, 64 processors was a small configuration for
> that machine, only a single processor board.

The documentation I found made it look like people usually used SGIs as
front-ends. My Onyx 10000 "Terminator" has a VME cage in it, so perhaps
that's how... although why you'd front-end an nCUBE with a monster SGI I'm
not sure. Perhaps some of the older SGIs has VME cages too?

> the board is in the right slot, or that the machine is entirely intact.  But,
> you didn't pick up that machine without expecting a challenge, right? ;)

What's the point if they don't work on the first try? :)

 - JP

More information about the rescue mailing list