[rescue] Ridge 32/330 up and running!

J. Alexander Jacocks jjacocks at gmail.com
Sun Mar 29 09:28:30 CDT 2015

Fantastic find, Josh!  It really does look like it's in great shape.

Do you have any links to the history of Ridge?  That's a name that's
entirely escaped my notice, somehow.

- Alex

On Sun, Mar 29, 2015 at 1:32 AM, Josh Dersch <derschjo at gmail.com> wrote:

> And, of course, right after I send this out, after having run flawlessly
> all day, one of the +12V rails has gone poof.  Looks like I have some more
> debugging on my hands :)
> - Josh
> On 3/28/15 10:17 PM, Josh Dersch wrote:
>> Hey all --
>> Last summer I picked up a Ridge 32/330 that became available locally.
>> This is a fairly obscure early RISC machine intended to be a competitor to
>> the VAX, it uses a 32-bit CPU at 12.5Mhz built from discrete components
>> (spanning three large PCBs).  Mine's outfitted with 8mb of ECC memory,
>> Pertec, SMD and SCSI QIC controllers, and Ethernet.
>> You can see some pictures of this beast at:
>> https://plus.google.com/117997069161125071032/posts/JtsR3BokUxp?pid=
>> 6063976811386454738&oid=117997069161125071032
>> I got it running late last year after rebuilding the QIC tape drive and
>> dealing with some intermittent failures due to a couple of low-quality DIP
>> sockets.  I now have a set of dedicated 20A circuits installed in my
>> basement so I can run it for longer periods of time without worrying about
>> burning my house down, so I'll be running it for the next couple of weeks
>> just for fun to keep the basement warm and run up my electrical bill :).
>> It's currently running RX/V 1.1 (Ridge's UNIX variant) and it's on the
>> Internet (indirectly, since exposing a 25-year old UNIX directly to the
>> 'net seems like a bad idea).  I thought maybe some people here might be
>> interested in checking it out since it's pretty obscure, if you want an
>> account to play around, drop me a line and I can hook you up.  I don't know
>> of any other Ridge machines out there (running or not) -- if you have one
>> let me know, there's very little information out there on these things.
>> I'll add that I'm looking for an external SMD cabinet and cabling so that
>> I can image the original SMD disk that was in the Ridge when I got it; it
>> looks like it contains a valid partition table, but it will not boot.  I
>> didn't want to wipe it so the Ridge is currently running off of a spare
>> drive -- I'd like to hook it up externally to dump an image from the
>> running RX/V system.  If anyone has one to loan (preferably within driving
>> distance of Seattle) let me know.
>> Once that's done, it's time to figure out how to get the Eagle that came
>> with it running again...
>> And a huge thanks to Al Kossow for archiving the OS media that's on
>> Bitsavers, without which this machine would be a very large boat anchor
>> taking up many cubic feet in my basement.  (If anyone has any media or docs
>> for this that aren't on Bitsavers, let me know -- I'm in particular looking
>> for an ROS distribution on QIC media...)
>> - Josh
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