ajerimez wrote:I might be able to get my hands on a DECstation 5000/260 - just the system unit, no keyboard, mouse, monitor, or drives. Aside from the basics that can be gleaned from Wikipedia and a few fan pages, I know next to nothing about these systems.
Any practical advice? What are some of the more interesting apps that can be run on these machines? And where would be the best place to find parts & accessories - eBay doesn't seem to have much? Any input is very much appreciated.
You're a lucky man, the 260 being the high end model. 10+ years ago I would have sold my family to get one... the best I could snatch was a 240. Of course by today's standards the 40MHz 260 will fell as slow as the 33MHz 240
This machine uses a combined DB15 keyboard/mouse port, which was also used on several VAXstation models (35x0, 38x0, 4000/60 and 4000/9x) ; the keyboard itself is the regular LK-201 or LK-401, and the mouse is the regular VS-XXX , which are both quite easy to find on eBay or elsewhere; the important part being the DB15 cable, which will be more difficult to find.
Of course, with no keyboard connected, the machine will default to a 9600 8N1 serial console on the first DB25 serial port.
One thing to look for, after all these years, is the quality of the memory sticks. Since quite a few years now, I've seen more and more 16MB sticks becoming more sensitive to dust, and eventually dying. Be sure to clean the memory sticks and connector as best as you can.
You will not find precompiled modern software for MIPS Ultrix. And since Ultrix lacks support for shared libraries, many modern ``desktop'' software will not build on Ultrix (assuming the code is portable enough in the first place).
I am not sure there are Linux distributions available for pmax systems. Your best choice of operating system for this machine is probably NetBSD/pmax, although not all choices of frame buffers are supported (which will only matter if you manage to get a keyboard and mouse for that system, anyway).
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among more than 150 machines : Apollo, Data General, Digital, HP, IBM, MIPS before SGI
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