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HP/DEC/Compaq workstations/servers and operating systems (HP-UX, Tru64, OpenVMS, NonStop, etc.)
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R-ten-K
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Unread postby R-ten-K » Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:10 pm

.... for blinkenlights factor, nothing can match the system console of an IBM 360/370. :-)

And the hundreds of blinkenlights in a thinkingmachines were a sight to behold. I miss cool designs like that, the only thing that I have seen remotelly interesting, blinkenlightwise, were the load LED-meters in the original BeBox.
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VenomousPinecone
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Unread postby VenomousPinecone » Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:14 pm

R-ten-K wrote:And the hundreds of blinkenlights in a thinkingmachines were a sight to behold.


I bet! never got to see one IRL. :cry:

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Unread postby skywriter » Fri Sep 22, 2006 4:50 pm

VenomousPinecone wrote:
R-ten-K wrote:And the hundreds of blinkenlights in a thinkingmachines were a sight to behold.


I bet! never got to see one IRL. :cry:


almost closed a deal on a CM-2 but they wouldn't sell me a running on paper, but we knew the tech and he'd put together a working on... it was just a tad to expensive.

i would love to have that curved disk array though.

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R-ten-K
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Unread postby R-ten-K » Fri Sep 22, 2006 10:05 pm

I did not use a CM-2 directly, but I have been in a machine room that was employing one. It was quite cool to see the lights behave like some sort of swarm, it gave the machine an organic presence. I did however run code on a CM-5, but it was a totally different machine class even thought the tools pretty much abstracted both of the CM machines. I did not get to see that machine itself (for the most part I never had a valid excuse to be in the machine room).

Another machine that was cool to see working was the Intel Paragon, the side of the machine had a square for each node and a 2D array of links that represented the network, each link had an LED bar and it was cool to see the data "traveling" along the machine. I had the misfortune of having to use that machine though... together with the early R8K machine were one of the machines that kept me the most awake due to the massive amounts of hand massaging the compiler generated code needed to get any sort of decent performance. But I digress.....
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skywriter
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Unread postby skywriter » Sat Sep 23, 2006 10:29 pm

R-ten-K wrote:Another machine that was cool to see working was the Intel Paragon


paragon was sort of interesting. but for cabinet style i like the Convex(before HP bought it). again i had an opportunity to get once, but three phase doused that deal. i've had versal crays in my sights, but software/OS is always the problem with old machines. they did do a nice job of archiving the old DEC PDP-10 software; even getting all those diagnostics was pretty impressive.

SAQ
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blinkinlights

Unread postby SAQ » Sat Sep 23, 2006 10:57 pm

Glock wrote:If you're in serious need for a blinkenlights-fix, I recommend you check out the IMSAI 8080. Now that's old-school!


not really - true it had bus lights and switches, but being a micro you didn't have direct console readout/control of the various registers like you get with IBM 7090-era stuff.

What did the various LEDs on the CMs indicate?

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skywriter
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Unread postby skywriter » Sun Sep 24, 2006 5:19 am

compute node activity i believe, i'll look at my hillis book, but the web problable has the answer quicker than that it going to happen :) . not like on the old consoles that showed a data/adress and control bits.

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Dr. Dave
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Unread postby Dr. Dave » Sun Sep 24, 2006 7:42 am

skywriter wrote:compute node activity i believe, i'll look at my hillis book, but the web problable has the answer quicker than that it going to happen :) . not like on the old consoles that showed a data/adress and control bits.


No, not like the Altair/IMSAI days in the hobbyist computing field.

("OK, was it up, down, down, up, up, down, up, down, or up, down, down, up, down, down, up, down... damn I need a beer... and a wife...")
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Once you step up to the big iron, you learn all about physics, electrical standards, and first aid - usually all in the same day

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R-ten-K
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Unread postby R-ten-K » Sun Sep 24, 2006 4:56 pm

skywriter wrote:paragon was sort of interesting. but for cabinet style i like the Convex(before HP bought it). again i had an opportunity to get once, but three phase doused that deal.


Heh, that is another machine I have also used, an exemplar with them PA-7100 so I assume it was right before or around the time they were bought by HP (they used HP-UX so I assume that was the case). The whole narrow side of the machine were a succession of vertical LEDs that represented system load, also every few seconds the whole column of LED would do a KITT-like reset with a light bar going up and down cleaning the state of the load bar, it was like a BeBox on steroids. Usually you wanted to have those LEDs blinking so management got the warm and fuzzy feeling that we were working hard on something :-). The Vector Convex, I never got to play with them.. but they were just boring big black/gold cabinets. Evil looking things :-)

Three phase has never been a deal-breaker, I have always being able to convert them to a 220 dryer circtuit. I had a VAX-6000 and a AlphaServer GS60e opertating in my garage that way, both were 3-phase to 48vDC machines.... fun times.

For a while during my undergrad we had a VAX operating by a "pirate" rerouting of the co-op dryer room into our appartment, fun times, fun times....
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R-ten-K
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Re: blinkinlights

Unread postby R-ten-K » Sun Sep 24, 2006 5:03 pm

SAQ wrote:
What did the various LEDs on the CMs indicate?



In the CM-2, it was the mask state for every 8-PE's, I believe which made each atomic hypercube. Since it was a SIMD machine, it had to execute both the IF and ELSE parts of conditionals, since the condition would be true for X PEs, then they would have their mask set to ON, while the rest of the PEs (N-X) would have their mask set to OFF. Then during the ELSE part, it would be the opposite. The state of that mask gets sampled every second, I seem to recall, and it is then either ORed, or ANDed into its corresponding LED.

The CM-5, each LED was tied to each SPARC node, and I think it had thre modes, solid RED if it was loaded, blinking if it was communicating, and off it was idle.
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Unread postby hamei » Sun Sep 24, 2006 5:36 pm

R-ten-K wrote: Three phase has never been a deal-breaker, I have always being able to convert them to a 220 dryer circtuit.

Dryers are single-phase. 220v != 3 phase. You coulda built a converter easily enough tho, sky. Three-phase motor and a rope will do the trick.

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R-ten-K
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Unread postby R-ten-K » Sun Sep 24, 2006 6:13 pm

hamei wrote:
R-ten-K wrote: Three phase has never been a deal-breaker, I have always being able to convert them to a 220 dryer circtuit.

Dryers are single-phase. 220v != 3 phase.


Huh, thanks! That explains all the smoke that we got when we first fire them machines... NOT! :P

You coulda built a converter easily enough tho, sky. Three-phase motor and a rope will do the trick.


...or you can just build a simple diode bridge and be done with it, in like... 5 minutes. :-) 10 if your soldering iron is too slow to warm up.
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Unread postby skywriter » Sun Sep 24, 2006 6:59 pm

hamei wrote:
R-ten-K wrote: Three phase has never been a deal-breaker, I have always being able to convert them to a 220 dryer circtuit.

Dryers are single-phase. 220v != 3 phase. You coulda built a converter easily enough tho, sky. Three-phase motor and a rope will do the trick.


hammy if you knew what my electric bill was without computers running you would know why i shy away from them, i do know about 3 phase converters i also used to work in the power group as DEC. did everything at one time. even EMI :)

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skywriter
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Unread postby skywriter » Sun Sep 24, 2006 7:03 pm

R-ten-K wrote:
skywriter wrote:paragon was sort of interesting. but for cabinet style i like the Convex(before HP bought it). again i had an opportunity to get once, but three phase doused that deal.



the one i was after had a 'convex' cabinet very cool looking. i just don't have time for collecting computers anymore. i would rather put it into hopping up the car.


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