Digital Unix on an "a" model

HP/DEC/Compaq workstations/servers and operating systems (HP-UX, Tru64, OpenVMS, NonStop, etc.)
Forum rules
Any posts concerning pirated software or offering to buy/sell/trade commercial software are subject to removal.
User avatar
Vladio
Donor
Donor
Posts: 253
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:42 pm
Location: Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA

Digital Unix on an "a" model

Unread postby Vladio » Sun Aug 09, 2015 7:48 am

I'm thinking it's time to add a new-old computer to my collection, I like the old RISC machines. I picked up an SGI Octane 2, dual 600, a couple years ago and really enjoy using it. Next up on my list is something running either a Sparc, PA-RISC or Alpha processor(s). In reading up on the different DEC personal workstations that were made I saw that some were designated with an "a" for Windows NT or "au" for Digital Unix. My question is: can a box with an "a" designation be loaded with Digital Unix?
:Octane2: Octane 2, Dual 600MHz R14k's, 2GB, v12
:O2000: Origin 2200, Dual 300mhz, 2GB
:Onyx2R: Onyx2
Mac Pro dual quad Xeon 16GB 1TB
HP dual core 4GB 500GB
Dell Workstation Dual quad Xeon 8GB 500GB RAID
Imac | HP laptop | Compaq | Commodore 64 floppy | TI 99 38k Peripheral Expansion Box

User avatar
duck
Donor
Donor
Posts: 746
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2003 5:22 pm
Location: Jakobstad, Finland
Contact:

Re: Digital Unix on an "a" model

Unread postby duck » Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:20 am

My understanding is that SRM is for Unix and VMS while ARCS boots NT. Some firmwares include both, you just have to flip modes. So as long as an appropriate firmware is available, there's no real difference?

Not too sure though, please verify this independently, but if noone else steps up with better info perhaps this gives you some leads to start looking.
:Octane: halo, octane Image knightrider, d i g i t a l AlphaPC164, pond, soekris net6501, misc cool stuff in a rack
N.B.: I tend to talk out of my ass. Do not take it too seriously.

User avatar
uunix
Donor
Donor
Posts: 1808
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:48 pm
Location: Stourbridge / England / UK

Re: Digital Unix on an "a" model

Unread postby uunix » Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:27 am

How old do you want to go, my SUN BLADE 2000 was an excellent machine, Dual 900 MHz CPU, a PC Card, 4 Port Ethernet & XV500 Card. I may obtain a another one day (when I have the space) and rebuild it all.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Hey Ho! Pip & Dandy!
:Octane2: :O2: :Indigo: :Indy:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

User avatar
Vladio
Donor
Donor
Posts: 253
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:42 pm
Location: Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA

Re: Digital Unix on an "a" model

Unread postby Vladio » Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:01 am

duck wrote:My understanding is that SRM is for Unix and VMS while ARCS boots NT. Some firmwares include both, you just have to flip modes. So as long as an appropriate firmware is available, there's no real difference?

Not too sure though, please verify this independently, but if noone else steps up with better info perhaps this gives you some leads to start looking.


Great, thanks Duck! I'll look into this.


uunix wrote:How old do you want to go, my SUN BLADE 2000 was an excellent machine, Dual 900 MHz CPU, a PC Card, 4 Port Ethernet & XV500 Card. I may obtain a another one day (when I have the space) and rebuild it all.


I like old but something that still has functionality. Something I can install some apps to play around with. The Octane 2 I have is a lot of fun. I have Maya on it and am working to get around the activation issue with a new install of Photoshop and Illustrator. I'm just starting the looking process so I'll have to weigh age with functionality on the Dec's - I've been looking at a bunch of UltraSparc machines too. Gotta say, I do like them and, spec wise, one can really find something with a lot balls in it in terms of CPUs.
:Octane2: Octane 2, Dual 600MHz R14k's, 2GB, v12
:O2000: Origin 2200, Dual 300mhz, 2GB
:Onyx2R: Onyx2
Mac Pro dual quad Xeon 16GB 1TB
HP dual core 4GB 500GB
Dell Workstation Dual quad Xeon 8GB 500GB RAID
Imac | HP laptop | Compaq | Commodore 64 floppy | TI 99 38k Peripheral Expansion Box

User avatar
uunix
Donor
Donor
Posts: 1808
Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 12:48 pm
Location: Stourbridge / England / UK

Re: Digital Unix on an "a" model

Unread postby uunix » Sun Aug 09, 2015 11:12 am

Yet another classic ivelegacy...

But what did it all mean? Does Lady Gaga love boot more than you? Is that all she wears? Do you love computers more than her?

Now I'm not Jeremy Kyle, but I'd say you are a match made in heaven.. she can boot up her boots while you boot up your boot()s
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Hey Ho! Pip & Dandy!
:Octane2: :O2: :Indigo: :Indy:
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

User avatar
ClassicHasClass
Donor
Donor
Posts: 2109
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:12 pm
Location: Sunny So Cal
Contact:

Re: Digital Unix on an "a" model

Unread postby ClassicHasClass » Sun Aug 09, 2015 2:18 pm

duck wrote:My understanding is that SRM is for Unix and VMS while ARCS boots NT. Some firmwares include both, you just have to flip modes. So as long as an appropriate firmware is available, there's no real difference?

Not too sure though, please verify this independently, but if noone else steps up with better info perhaps this gives you some leads to start looking.


That is exactly right.

Note that some lower-spec machines can only be in one mode at a time and must be reflashed to switch; my 164LX is one of these. Since it exists to run Tru64, it runs the SRM console. Linux can also boot on the ARCS console, but most everything else needs SRM.
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
urbancamo
Posts: 186
Joined: Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:33 pm
Location: Windermere, UK
Contact:

Re: Digital Unix on an "a" model

Unread postby urbancamo » Sun Aug 09, 2015 3:09 pm

ivelegacy wrote:oh well, no doubts, they are fun, but ...

{
a lot of time ago I put an luna/88k in my wish list. Too hard to find, too expensive, too effort required made me so flighty of heart that I wanted to recant my wish to collect Luna because the peril was great: Gaga did true blood threats, something like ... "I will not kill you (I guess) but be sure I will bloody smash any Luna that gets in, there is no space for an other she here, especially if she will cost more than my boots"

So bad girl, she sings "boots are made for walking" (by Nancy Sinatra), she has up to 20 pairs of boots, but she does not understand my needs when I push a new toy into my wish list. Luckily she is books tolerant, with a pile of books, everywhere around the living room, kitchen, and bed room, so I converted my previous wish into datebook (88100/88200 ISA), but Amazon failed all the times, and every ebay search told me to "go fsck myself !!!". Then my search had success when I received an email from a vintage drugs dealer of NewYork who is used to have old books in his shelf: "we have the book you are looking for, just 25 bucks shipped". Oh, my goodness, christmas gift (and Gaga does not know that I am secretly cooking my Luna in VHDL (oh well, perhaps, just the 88100 CPU))
}

but ... what is your secret against vamp femme fatale, buddies ?
How can you collect workstations avoiding to be engaged into a bloody war against the girl/woman you live with, under the same roof ?


This is a class post. No mistaking. I thought it was the posting of someone on drugs or maybe slight deranged, but it all comes together in the end!

I don't have an answer for you my friend. However, the older I get the more I understand people less. I've had to deal with all sorts of family head-shaking, so please don't follow-me-leader.

If you are still reading, I'd say if your partner loves you they will understand you, or at least try to. It's very much give and take. There have been situations where I'll turn a blind eye when they do. That works quite well. Or you need to convince them of the value. Retro-computing can take up valuable space and seem like a waste of time and energy, but in the same breath I can say that virtually ever vintage computer I've bought has been sold for more.

I've also turned down many a purchase with my spouse's response in mind. This is also a valuable asset in maintaining a relationship. Make no mistake. It's a case of knowing when something is important and grasping the opportunity at that point. I have a few regrets when it comes to this scenario, but we all have to live with our decisions.

Be true to yourself. If you don't know what that means - self help.
Image, VAXstation 4000/90 x2, VAXstation 4000/VLC x2, AlphaServer 1000A, DEC AXP 3000/600 (desktop), DEC AXP 3000/600 x2 (rackmount), DEC AXP 3000/800 (rackmount), AlphaServer 300 4/266, Sun Ultra 5, LA75, PP404, Juki 6100, Brother HR10

User avatar
miod
Posts: 523
Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:44 am
Location: Clermont-Ferrand (France)
Contact:

Re: Digital Unix on an "a" model

Unread postby miod » Sun Aug 09, 2015 11:12 pm

Vladio wrote:I'm thinking it's time to add a new-old computer to my collection, I like the old RISC machines. I picked up an SGI Octane 2, dual 600, a couple years ago and really enjoy using it. Next up on my list is something running either a Sparc, PA-RISC or Alpha processor(s). In reading up on the different DEC personal workstations that were made I saw that some were designated with an "a" for Windows NT or "au" for Digital Unix. My question is: can a box with an "a" designation be loaded with Digital Unix?

Yes. The difference between `a' and `au' systems is that `a' systems shipped with AlphaBIOS, while `au' systems shipped with SRM. You can upgrade from AlphaBIOS to SRM by booting the SRM update, either from floppy or from a firmware upgrade CDROM.
:Indigo:R3000 (alas, dead) :Indigo:R4000 x4 :Indigo2:R4400 :Indigo2IMP:R4400 x2 :Indigo2:R8000 :Indigo2IMP:R10000 :Indy:R4000PC :Indy:R4000SC :Indy:R4400SC :Indy:R4600 :Indy:R5000SC :O2:R5000 x3 :O2:RM7000 :Octane:2xR10000 :Octane:R12000 :O200:2xR12000 :O200: - :O200:2x2xR10000 :Fuel:R16000 :O3x0:4xR16000 :A350:
among more than 150 machines : Apollo, Data General, Digital, HP, IBM, MIPS before SGI, Motorola, NeXT, SGI, Solbourne, Sun...

User avatar
jan-jaap
Donor
Donor
Posts: 4940
Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2004 11:35 am
Location: Wijchen, The Netherlands
Contact:

Re: Digital Unix on an "a" model

Unread postby jan-jaap » Mon Aug 10, 2015 5:52 am

ivelegacy wrote:My definitive solution is: to rent a garage (or to buy it for cheap), then moving all my office over there.

That means you'll be away for the evening / day when you're messing with your computers which can quickly escalate to "I never see you anymore / your computers are more important than me / ...".

Also, in the end computers don't like to live in garages. If the humidity doesn't kill them, the unavoidable rodents will.
: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)

User avatar
duck
Donor
Donor
Posts: 746
Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2003 5:22 pm
Location: Jakobstad, Finland
Contact:

Re: Digital Unix on an "a" model

Unread postby duck » Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:19 am

ClassicHasClass wrote:
duck wrote:My understanding is that SRM is for Unix and VMS while ARCS boots NT. Some firmwares include both, you just have to flip modes. So as long as an appropriate firmware is available, there's no real difference?

Not too sure though, please verify this independently, but if noone else steps up with better info perhaps this gives you some leads to start looking.


That is exactly right.

Note that some lower-spec machines can only be in one mode at a time and must be reflashed to switch; my 164LX is one of these. Since it exists to run Tru64, it runs the SRM console. Linux can also boot on the ARCS console, but most everything else needs SRM.


A-ha, þe olde noodle pulls through for once :-)

I had a vague niggling that ARCS could boot unix too, but that was linux then.
:Octane: halo, octane Image knightrider, d i g i t a l AlphaPC164, pond, soekris net6501, misc cool stuff in a rack
N.B.: I tend to talk out of my ass. Do not take it too seriously.

User avatar
ClassicHasClass
Donor
Donor
Posts: 2109
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:12 pm
Location: Sunny So Cal
Contact:

Re: Digital Unix on an "a" model

Unread postby ClassicHasClass » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:01 am

Right. NetBSD, Tru64, VMS, etc., need SRM. Only Linux, it seems, can tolerate ARCS.

My 164LX feels more "official" running Tru64, even though I do have NetBSD.
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...

ajw99uk
Posts: 261
Joined: Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:59 am
Location: Yorkshire, UK

Re: Digital Unix on an "a" model

Unread postby ajw99uk » Mon Aug 10, 2015 3:08 pm

ivelegacy wrote:but ... what is your secret against vamp femme fatale, buddies ?
How can you collect workstations avoiding to be engaged into a bloody war against the girl/woman you live with, under the same roof ?


Rule 1 - say yes to pretty much everything except "will you PLEASE get rid of those d----d computers?!?"
Rule 2 - obey the "one in / one out" rule (or at least don't break it with anything big)
Rule 3 - do not try to impose a similar rule on boots / hats / whatever your significant other collects
Rule 4 - be patient; having shared a study for several years, I now have it to myself for 'putering (with more/better shelving and a second table/desk)
Rule 5 - don't mess up your significant other's computer (learned the hard way, after inadvertently leaving a laptop unbootable due to an incomplete GRUB installation)

To give my wife credit, she put up with another room being stacked half full with various computing equipment for far longer than had been anticipated when we offered some temporary storage for a small part of the TNMOC collection. Managed to hand that back shortly before our daughter arrived. But occasionally I come unstuck - the arrival of the Fuel (my second SGI box) about six weeks later did not go down well, so I had to try to sell the Indigo2 (no offers, shucks ;).

I keep within reasonable limits by going for smaller stuff - a Saintsong EspressoPC in place of a large Compaq desktop, and two Raspberry Pis - and making judicious use of KVM and VNC to do as much as possible from one monitor (or occasionally two), or from a laptop in the sitting room. Last year the girls were away for a few days so I had a chance to set up the old Acorn RISCiX boxes on the dining table for a session, and early this year an Octane snuck in on the premise that it was for someone else who then found two elsewhere.
Fuel; Indigo2; Inspiron 531 WinXP/Win10/debian-buster; Inspiron 4100 debian-buster; RiscPC Kinetic/448MB/RISCOS4.39; RPi B/256MB RISCOS5.23; RPi2 Raspbian-buster; A5000/33MHz/FPA11/8MB/RISCOS3.11; A540/25MHz/FPA10/16MB/RISCOS3.11 or RISCiX1.21

User avatar
foetz
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6593
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2003 4:34 am
Contact:

Re: Digital Unix on an "a" model

Unread postby foetz » Mon Aug 10, 2015 6:13 pm

Vladio wrote:I like old but something that still has functionality. Something I can install some apps to play around with.

that's the main problem with everything but irix. for desktop use it's just nothing there with the exception of maybe some rather specific things you might have by accident such as cfd visualizers or some cad stuff.
for more common use solaris is your best bet. there you can have a quite recent firefox, openoffice and gimp but that's about it. with all others you're out of luck as far as the desktop goes unless you're fine with just a text editor and compiler i.e. a pure dev box.

User avatar
Vladio
Donor
Donor
Posts: 253
Joined: Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:42 pm
Location: Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA

Re: Digital Unix on an "a" model

Unread postby Vladio » Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:41 pm

foetz wrote:
Vladio wrote:I like old but something that still has functionality. Something I can install some apps to play around with.

that's the main problem with everything but irix. for desktop use it's just nothing there with the exception of maybe some rather specific things you might have by accident such as cfd visualizers or some cad stuff.
for more common use solaris is your best bet. there you can have a quite recent firefox, openoffice and gimp but that's about it. with all others you're out of luck as far as the desktop goes unless you're fine with just a text editor and compiler i.e. a pure dev box.



I had a feeling that was how it was going to be and have been leaning toward Sun. I could swear Alias had 3d software that ran on the Alpha but I'm sure that's a tough find (if I'm right about it being available).
:Octane2: Octane 2, Dual 600MHz R14k's, 2GB, v12
:O2000: Origin 2200, Dual 300mhz, 2GB
:Onyx2R: Onyx2
Mac Pro dual quad Xeon 16GB 1TB
HP dual core 4GB 500GB
Dell Workstation Dual quad Xeon 8GB 500GB RAID
Imac | HP laptop | Compaq | Commodore 64 floppy | TI 99 38k Peripheral Expansion Box

User avatar
foetz
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 6593
Joined: Mon Apr 14, 2003 4:34 am
Contact:

Re: Digital Unix on an "a" model

Unread postby foetz » Mon Aug 10, 2015 9:14 pm

Vladio wrote:I could swear Alias had 3d software that ran on the Alpha but I'm sure that's a tough find (if I'm right about it being available).

the renderman and mental ray renderers were available for the alpha as well as a full version of lightwave but for the alpha version of windows nt.
for a while alias was available for aix, hpux and solaris. those versions however were not complete one way or another.

as far as the desktop goes osf/tru64 had the smallest selection of available software.


Return to “HP/DEC/Compaq”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests