AlphaServer 2100 restoration blog

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mister_wavey
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AlphaServer 2100 restoration blog

Unread postby mister_wavey » Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:05 am

Hi guys

I'll be updating http://alphaserver2100.blogspot.co.uk/ with progress as I try and restore a neglected & mould-covered 2100 (with 1GB RAM and 2x EV5 CPUs).

Cheers,
Stuart

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smj
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Re: AlphaServer 2100 restoration blog

Unread postby smj » Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:57 am

Welcome! I remember getting paid to install and configure Checkpoint Firewall-1 on an AS2100 in late '95 or early '96. Funny, I remember thinking it was enormous but the one on your blog doesn't seem very much bigger than an AS1000... Probably a mental thing, comparing them to the DEC 3000 series.

Reading over your blog... 3.5" floppy drives use their own 34 (?) pin connectors, not the larger IDE cables. Close inspection of the slots on the backplane would probably show if there were enough corrosion or foreign matter to bridge a connection from side to side. I've seen reference to using fine sandpaper wrapped around a credit card to try to clean contacts, but your board looks pretty clean in the photos. I wouldn't worry about it unless you ever noticed corrosion on the card edge fingers of boards when you were cleaning them.

Has anybody in #vms mentioned TOD batteries or NVRAM batteries? I don't recall whether or not such are even part of the AS2100, but worth checking - many machines will misbehave if such batteries are flat.
Then? :IRIS3130: ... Now? :O3x02L: :A3504L:- :A3502L: :1600SW:+MLA :Fuel: :Octane2: :Octane: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: ... Other: DEC :BA213: :BA123: Sun, DG AViiON, NeXT :Cube:

mister_wavey
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Re: AlphaServer 2100 restoration blog

Unread postby mister_wavey » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:51 am

Thanks for the welcome and the pointers! I shall certainly check them out.

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Re: AlphaServer 2100 restoration blog

Unread postby Pontus » Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:12 pm

Welcome!

Wow, yours is pretty rusted up.

My 2100 (in storage) had a brother that got shopped up and sent to a fellow called Peter in the UK. I know he used the PSU but the other parts might be unused. If you like I could try to get you in touch with Peter. I'm also on #vms as pontus.

/P
:Onyx2R: :IRIS3130: :Crimson: :4D310: :Onyx2: :O2000: :O200: :PI: :Fuel: :Indigo: :Octane: :O2: :Indigo2IMP: :Indigo2: :Indy: :1600SW: :320: :pdp8e:
:BA213: <- MicroVAX 3500 :BA213: <- DECsystem 5500 :BA215: <- MicroVAX 3300
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SAQ
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Re: AlphaServer 2100 restoration blog

Unread postby SAQ » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:34 pm

smj wrote:Welcome! I remember getting paid to install and configure Checkpoint Firewall-1 on an AS2100 in late '95 or early '96. Funny, I remember thinking it was enormous but the one on your blog doesn't seem very much bigger than an AS1000... Probably a mental thing, comparing them to the DEC 3000 series.


The pedestal ones are almost twice the size. The rackmount 2100 is about the size of a pedestal 1000, but that's because it doesn't have any drives.

I had a 2100RM for a bit, got rid of it because it was slow, big, and unreliable (water damage? drop? Don't know what happened to it, but I was glad I didn't pay anything).
"Brakes??? What Brakes???"

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theinonen
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Re: AlphaServer 2100 restoration blog

Unread postby theinonen » Mon Nov 12, 2012 11:37 pm

Those are beautiful systems. More like gigantic tower case on wheels, when the newer systems are just rack systems in pedestal chassis. I had one with maxed out processors/memory and other goodies, but had to get rid of it as it started to shutdown itself at startup.

Lost all computer storage when the company I worked was sold to another one and had to take all the systems to my small home, so had to give up on some systems. I still have AS4100 and Compaq ES40 as bigger systems, but those are nowdays rarely powered on.

I could have sent you some spares for the cost of postage, but unfortunately it is little late now for that.

mister_wavey
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Re: AlphaServer 2100 restoration blog

Unread postby mister_wavey » Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:49 pm

Pontus wrote:Welcome!

Wow, yours is pretty rusted up.

My 2100 (in storage) had a brother that got shopped up and sent to a fellow called Peter in the UK. I know he used the PSU but the other parts might be unused. If you like I could try to get you in touch with Peter. I'm also on #vms as pontus.

/P


I'd love it if you could put me in touch, thx! wavey at wavey.org

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Re: AlphaServer 2100 restoration blog

Unread postby Pontus » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:25 pm

I sent a mail to Peter asking if it would be ok to share his address. Meanwhile, enjoy not one, not two but three AlphaServer 2100 in the back of a Volvo:

http://www.update.uu.se/~pontus/slask/alpha2100.jpg
:Onyx2R: :IRIS3130: :Crimson: :4D310: :Onyx2: :O2000: :O200: :PI: :Fuel: :Indigo: :Octane: :O2: :Indigo2IMP: :Indigo2: :Indy: :1600SW: :320: :pdp8e:
:BA213: <- MicroVAX 3500 :BA213: <- DECsystem 5500 :BA215: <- MicroVAX 3300
Pictures of my collection: www.pdp8.se

mister_wavey
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Re: AlphaServer 2100 restoration blog

Unread postby mister_wavey » Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:48 pm

Pontus wrote:I sent a mail to Peter asking if it would be ok to share his address. Meanwhile, enjoy not one, not two but three AlphaServer 2100 in the back of a Volvo:

http://www.update.uu.se/~pontus/slask/alpha2100.jpg


yowsers! :)

ramq
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Re: AlphaServer 2100 restoration blog

Unread postby ramq » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:42 pm

Volvo... I remember hauling a VAX11/750 in a Volvo, back in the days.

FWIW I've played with two AS2100 myself, but those were 4/266 systems if I remember correct.
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recondas
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Re: AlphaServer 2100 restoration blog

Unread postby recondas » Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:44 am

ramq wrote:Volvo... I remember hauling a VAX11/750 in a Volvo, back in the days.
No Alphas or other silicon involved, but I once helped a buddy shoehorn a Chevy V8 into one of them early '60s Volvos that looks kinda like a '39 Ford (if you squint just right). Tight fit, but it really upped the processing power. :D
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Welcome to ARMLand - 0/0x0d00
running...(sherwood-root 0607201829)
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mister_wavey
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Re: AlphaServer 2100 restoration blog

Unread postby mister_wavey » Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:59 am

Updated the blog with images of the rust removal: http://alphaserver2100.blogspot.co.uk/2 ... -gone.html

@smj, I couldn't find any reference to TOD or NVRAM batteries for the AlphaServer series, but thanks for helping!

@theinonen I think they're very beautiful too. Hopefully this one will also get there!

Any offers/sale of parts gratefully accepted. CPU modules especially.

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jan-jaap
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Re: AlphaServer 2100 restoration blog

Unread postby jan-jaap » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:11 am

mister_wavey wrote:Updated the blog with images of the rust removal

I'll be damned. Thanks man! I had a rodent problem in the garage when some of my systems were stored there, and the bloody mice peed in my Crimson and Onyx which created corrosion also :evil: . I was thinking of finding some accessory to the Dremel to undo this, but I'll have to give this a shot first.
:PI: :Indigo: :Indigo: :Indy: :Indy: :Indy: :Indigo2: :Indigo2: :Indigo2IMP: :Octane: :Octane2: :O2: :O2+: Image :Fuel: :Tezro: :4D70G: :Skywriter: :PWRSeries: :Crimson: :ChallengeL: :Onyx: :O200: :Onyx2: :O3x02L:
To accentuate the special identity of the IRIS 4D/70, Silicon Graphics' designers selected a new color palette. The machine's coating blends dark grey, raspberry and beige colors into a pleasing harmony. (IRIS 4D/70 Superworkstation Technical Report)

robespierre
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Re: AlphaServer 2100 restoration blog

Unread postby robespierre » Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:11 am

thanks, I will look into it also. For some reason the VME I/O plate in Personal IRISes is especially subject to corrosion (some reaction with the adhesive on the plastic strip there)
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SAQ
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Re: AlphaServer 2100 restoration blog

Unread postby SAQ » Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:32 pm

recondas wrote:
ramq wrote:Volvo... I remember hauling a VAX11/750 in a Volvo, back in the days.
No Alphas or other silicon involved, but I once helped a buddy shoehorn a Chevy V8 into one of them early '60s Volvos that looks kinda like a '39 Ford (if you squint just right). Tight fit, but it really upped the processing power. :D


PV544. The 122S/Amazon is even better - it's the one with tailfins (and, along with the 1800 series, the best looking Volvos ever made). 240/740/940 wagons are the best for hauling stuff, though.
"Brakes??? What Brakes???"

"I am O SH-- the Great and Powerful"

:Indigo: :Octane: :Indigo2: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: :PI: :O3x0: :ChallengeL: :O2000R: (single-CM)


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