What extremely rare (non-prototype) computers do you wish you could find?

For friendly off topic discussion not covered in a forum above.
Forum rules
No politics, please.
User avatar
Irinikus
Posts: 445
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2016 4:25 am
Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Re: What extremely rare (non-prototype) computers do you wish you could find?

Unread postby Irinikus » Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:34 am

johnnym wrote:I think a fully upgraded Starfire - assuming they're extremely rare today - would be exactly what I wish to find these days! :D (plus a supply of free energy...)


An awesome system indeed!

263e2308197cd8e81bcb028136a3492c.jpg
263e2308197cd8e81bcb028136a3492c.jpg (9.33 KiB) Viewed 448 times


It has the styling of some of the early Cray's. (before Cray's became a bunch of generic cabinets)
Image ... Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
Image ... Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
Image ... Image
Image ... Image
Image ... Image Image Image
Image ... Image, Image, Image, Image Image ... Image, Image, Image, Image, Image, Image, Image
Image ... Image Image Image ... Image Image

User avatar
Irinikus
Posts: 445
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2016 4:25 am
Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Re: What extremely rare (non-prototype) computers do you wish you could find?

Unread postby Irinikus » Mon Oct 23, 2017 9:40 am

Besides the Cray 2, the Cray T90 has to be one of my absolute favourites.

15-crayT90.jpg
15-crayT90.jpg (101.62 KiB) Viewed 436 times


I really miss the days when super computers were singular units rather than clusters of generic racks.

If any of you have ever taken a close look at a Cray 3 module, you would see that this was an ingenious way of packaging dies in a very high density format.

103_0367_sm.jpg
103_0367_sm.jpg (18.02 KiB) Viewed 436 times


103_0376_sm.jpg
103_0376_sm.jpg (19.4 KiB) Viewed 436 times


103_0378_sm.jpg
103_0378_sm.jpg (23.83 KiB) Viewed 436 times



Imagine what could be achieved if modern day processors were packed using this format? You could probably fit a Cray Titan into a form factor the size of a Cray T90!
Image ... Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
Image ... Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
Image ... Image
Image ... Image
Image ... Image Image Image
Image ... Image, Image, Image, Image Image ... Image, Image, Image, Image, Image, Image, Image
Image ... Image Image Image ... Image Image

User avatar
itsvince725
Posts: 182
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2016 2:03 pm
Location: Quakertown, Pennsylvania, USA

Re: What extremely rare (non-prototype) computers do you wish you could find?

Unread postby itsvince725 » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:16 am

I just thought of another one I didn't know existed until very recently: an AlphaBook, made by Tadpole. I've seen SPARCbooks and their RS/6000 PPC laptop but never an AlphaBook.
:Indigo2: :Indy:

User avatar
skywriter
Posts: 3292
Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2003 5:22 am
Location: Trump-proof bunker
Contact:

Re: What extremely rare (non-prototype) computers do you wish you could find?

Unread postby skywriter » Thu Nov 30, 2017 2:29 pm

A DECsystem 1090, and an IBM 3090.
:Skywriter:

DECUS Member 368596

User avatar
ClassicHasClass
Donor
Donor
Posts: 2131
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:12 pm
Location: Sunny So Cal
Contact:

Re: What extremely rare (non-prototype) computers do you wish you could find?

Unread postby ClassicHasClass » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:29 pm

itsvince725 wrote:I just thought of another one I didn't know existed until very recently: an AlphaBook, made by Tadpole. I've seen SPARCbooks and their RS/6000 PPC laptop but never an AlphaBook.


I have a PrecisionBook (PA-RISC), which is nearly as hard to find. It's basically a SPARCbook with HP innards; I believe the AlphaBook is the same basic idea.
smit happens.

:Fuel: bigred, 900MHz R16K, 4GB RAM, V12 DCD, 6.5.30
:Indy: indy, 150MHz R4400SC, 256MB RAM, XL24, 6.5.10
:Indigo2IMP: purplehaze, 175MHz R10000, Solid IMPACT
probably posted from Image bruce, Quad 2.5GHz PowerPC 970MP, 16GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.4.11
plus IBM POWER6 p520 * Apple Network Server 500 * RDI PrecisionBook * BeBox * Solbourne S3000 * Commodore 128 * many more...

User avatar
itsvince725
Posts: 182
Joined: Sun Nov 06, 2016 2:03 pm
Location: Quakertown, Pennsylvania, USA

Re: What extremely rare (non-prototype) computers do you wish you could find?

Unread postby itsvince725 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 6:57 pm

Oh wow, that one I didn't even know about! I guess that means every major commercial RISC platform of the mid 90s got a laptop except MIPS...
:Indigo2: :Indy:

User avatar
johnnym
Donor
Donor
Posts: 202
Joined: Sun Sep 04, 2016 9:53 pm

Re: What extremely rare (non-prototype) computers do you wish you could find?

Unread postby johnnym » Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:58 pm

itsvince725 wrote:Oh wow, that one I didn't even know about! I guess that means every major commercial RISC platform of the mid 90s got a laptop except MIPS...

Don't forget this one. :) Although it must have been constructed closer to the end of the 90ies:
We built the laptop over a six month period using parts from of the O2 [sic], which was built at the same time.
:Indy: :O2: :Octane: :Octane2: :O200: = :O200: - :O200: = :O200: (O200 cluster w/2 GIGAchannel cabinets)
[ ( hp ) ] 712/80 c3000 (dead) :hpserv: (J5600) c3700 c3750 c8000 rp2470 :rx2600: (rx2620) rx4640
| d | i | g | i | t | a | l | AXPpci33 AlphaStation 200 AlphaStation 255 PWS 500au AlphaServer DS20E AlphaServer DS25
C O B A L T Qube 2 Qube 3 RaQ RaQ 2 RaQ 4r RaQ XTR

heavyfuel
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:51 pm

Re: What extremely rare (non-prototype) computers do you wish you could find?

Unread postby heavyfuel » Fri Dec 01, 2017 9:14 am

Irinikus wrote:
johnnym wrote:I think a fully upgraded Starfire - assuming they're extremely rare today - would be exactly what I wish to find these days! :D (plus a supply of free energy...)


An awesome system indeed!

263e2308197cd8e81bcb028136a3492c.jpg

It has the styling of some of the early Cray's. (before Cray's became a bunch of generic cabinets)


If Wikipedia is correct, it was actually designed by Cray.

Here's a video of the Starfire in operation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jnWCYIvMck

By the way, does the Starfire qualify as a mainframe, with all its fault tolerance features?

Or just a high-performance server system? Or could it be regarded as a supercomputer too? Someone said it was once on the TOP500 list...

User avatar
josehill
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3355
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2005 9:53 pm
Location: New England, USA
Contact:

Re: What extremely rare (non-prototype) computers do you wish you could find?

Unread postby josehill » Fri Dec 01, 2017 11:22 am

heavyfuel wrote:If Wikipedia is correct, it was actually designed by Cray.


Wikipedia is correct. The internals are from Cray, though I don't remember how much of the cosmetic exterior is from Cray vs SUN. There are elements of the external design that resemble older Crays, but there are some differences.

At the time, there definitely were people who thought SGI made a big mistake when it sold the Starfire line to Sun.

By the way, does the Starfire qualify as a mainframe, with all its fault tolerance features?

Or just a high-performance server system? Or could it be regarded as a supercomputer too? Someone said it was once on the TOP500 list...


It was sold as a high-performance server system. There are some pretty significant differences in design objectives between a mainframe and a high-end Unix server like the Starfire. While it wasn't unusual for high-end server manufacturers to market their systems as having "mainframe-like" qualities, they really are a different species of system. The Starfire was much more of a direct competitor to SGI Origin 2000 systems than to traditional mainframes.

Without trying to look it up to verify, I'm 99% sure that some of the largest Starfires made it onto the TOP500 list, though they didn't last very long on the list.

User avatar
kjaer
Posts: 428
Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 7:47 pm
Location: Seattle, WA
Contact:

Re: What extremely rare (non-prototype) computers do you wish you could find?

Unread postby kjaer » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:07 pm

I worked on E10k when it was current. The architecture is derived from Cray CS6400, yes, but it has plenty in it that came from Sun. Cosmetically it's all Sun.

It has some interesting RAS features but it's not even close to being "fault tolerant". It's definitely not "a mainframe".

Actually the thing I remember most (apart from the profound limitations on a successful dynamic reconfiguration) is it being fantastically expensive to reboot. We had some big teething problems with VxVM, VxFS, JNI, and EMC PowerPath in the early days, resulting in more sev-zero system-down phone calls than I think I've ever had in my career at any time before or since. "You want us to try changing this and reboot? Are you sure the reboot is absolutely necessary? We can certainly do that, but you're waiting on the phone with us while we wait the 75 minutes it to boot. Or you can come up with a plan that avoids the reboot." On a large system domain, even the least-thorough POST mode can take 40 minutes.
:OnyxR: :IRIS3130: :IRIS2400: :Onyx: :ChallengeL: :4D220VGX: :Indigo: :Octane: :Cube: :Indigo2IMP: :Indigo2: :Indy:

User avatar
josehill
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3355
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2005 9:53 pm
Location: New England, USA
Contact:

Re: What extremely rare (non-prototype) computers do you wish you could find?

Unread postby josehill » Fri Dec 01, 2017 3:45 pm

kjaer wrote:I worked on E10k when it was current.

Back when I worked for GlobalMegaPharmaDrugCo, we had an E10k for serving our in-house, multi-tier chemistry database applications (Oracle, Java, tons of custom code), and we paired it with an Origin 2000 that served as a compute server. I had accounts on both, but I only admin'd the SGI. In practice, we ran the Origin as if it were a giant workstation, bouncing and reconfiguring it as requested by the scientists without the usual corporate change-control processes, even though it was a bigger system than the E10k, whereas doing anything on the E10k needed planning and sign-offs from people on three continents.

User avatar
thunderbird32
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2012 7:33 pm
Location: Joliet, United States
Contact:

Re: What extremely rare (non-prototype) computers do you wish you could find?

Unread postby thunderbird32 » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:31 pm

Here's a list of machines I've had an eye out for, for a long time:

Apple Lisa (not actually that rare, just super expensive)
Axil S/420 (really any Axil or Integrix clone system)
Bull Escala DPX/20 (or any PPC Bull system, really)
Canon Object.Station
Castle Technology Iyonix PC
Data General Aviion (m88k)
DeskStation Tyne
Fujitsu HALstation 300
Hitachi 3050RX (any model)
IBM 6150 RT
IBM ThinkPad Power Series (any model)
IBM Power Series 440 (or any Power Series desktop)
Microsoft Jazz/Acer Pica (any from these platforms)
Motorola Powerstack
MIPS Magnum (or the Control Data equivalent)
Omron Luna 88K
Ross Hyperstation
Siemens-Nixdorf RM-200/RM-300
Solbourne S4000DX (there's been one on eBay forever, but I'm suspicious of its condition)
Sony NEWS (any)
Sumitomo Sumistation
Sun 386i
Tadpole AlphaBook
Tadpole PrecisionBook
Xerox Daybreak (I'd love to have an Alto, but honestly those should be in museums/left to the professionals)
Digital Personal Workstation 500au
HP Visualize C3700 (HP-UX 11.11)
IBM RS/6000 7011-250 (AIX 4.3.3) | IBM RS/6000 7044-170 (AIX 5.3)
Sun SPARCclassic (SunOS 4.1.4) | Sun Ultra 1 (Solaris 2.6)

User avatar
marshallh
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 12:53 pm

Re: What extremely rare (non-prototype) computers do you wish you could find?

Unread postby marshallh » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:55 pm

Looking for a Ultra64 GIO board for Indy, but that's pretty much impossible so I will just make my own :D

User avatar
Raion-Fox
Donor
Donor
Posts: 1536
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2014 5:01 pm
Location: near King George, Virginia
Contact:

Re: What extremely rare (non-prototype) computers do you wish you could find?

Unread postby Raion-Fox » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:58 pm

Send me the blueprints please!
:O3x02L: R16000 700MHz 8GB RAM kanna
:Octane: R12000 300MHz SI 896MB RAM yuuka
:Octane2: R12000A 400MHz V6 2.5GB RAM
:Tezro: Quad R16000 700MHz V12 8GB RAM murasaki
:Indy: (Acclaim) R4600 133MHz XL Graphics 32MB RAM
:Indy: (Challenge S) R4600 133MHz (MIPS III Build Server)

I am probably posting from yangxiaolong, HP Z230 with Xeon E3-1230v3, 16GB RAM, GeForce 750ti, and running NetBSD and Windows 8.1 Embedded.
Owner and operator of http://irix.pw

jpstewart
Donor
Donor
Posts: 439
Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 3:31 pm
Location: Southwestern Ontario, Canada

Re: What extremely rare (non-prototype) computers do you wish you could find?

Unread postby jpstewart » Wed Dec 27, 2017 3:58 pm

thunderbird32 wrote:Data General Aviion (m88k)
IBM 6150 RT

Those two are also on my own wish list. But what I'd really like is one of Intergraph's workstations with their Clipper CPU (not the later PC-based stuff) running the CLIX operating system. There are a couple of Intergraph boards on ebay, but that's all I've ever seen.
:Indigo2IMP: :Octane: :Indigo: :O3x0:
Sun SPARCstation 20, Blade 2500, T5240, Ultra2
HP C8000


Return to “Everything Else”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Ahrefs [Bot], Yahoo [Bot] and 3 guests