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Re: DECStation update...

Subject: Re: DECStation update...
From: (Paul Antoine)
Date: Fri, 9 May 1997 08:39:45 +1000 (EST)
In-reply-to: <> from "Stu Allen" at May 8, 97 01:28:50 pm
Organization: Softway Pty Ltd
Stu Allen wrote:

> > <image of a machine sitting in a corner all by itself, plugged in but
> >  not turned on!>
> > 
> That is _amazling_ accurate ... it's sitting under the table in the corner
> of my "computer lab" at home.  It's probably for the best though - if it
> were up on top it could see all the other machines that get to actually do
> something! :-)

That's very wise; you don't want a jealous computer on your hands... :-)

> > So it would strike me as entirely possible that the 5100 is very
> > similar to a 3100.
> > 
> That would make a lot of sense, since as I remember DEC positioned this beast
> as the replacement for the 3100, or at least to _us_ they did!  I'm actually
> the one who bought the thing in the first place, and had originally gotten
> quotes on a 3100 and was all set to order one when the 5100 came out, so I
> ended up with this instead.

Ahhh... this is even better.  Can you remember why it was that they thought
the 5100 was better?  Was it just that it has an R3K CPU??  I suspect it may
just be an R3K 3100...

> Based on what's been on the list, and my experiece with the previous 
> kernels, I've suspected all along that a PROM call was probably the 
> culprit.  Of course, the lack of any output is also a clue!

Well, once we get the 3100 PROM calls working, you may be pleasantly

> I _do_ have a working Ultrix 4.5 system on this box, complete with GCC and
> friends, so I would be more than happy to try compiling and running a 
> "PROM finder" program.

Cool - we'll do this as the next step once the 3100 code is known not
to work.

> OK this is from my memory of when I last opened the beast, and that was 
> over a year ago.  One thing for certain - there is no QBUS (or any other
> bus) in the box.  (I think the web page is wrong on this point BTW.)  

Ohhh... I think I've confused the 5100 with the 5400... 

> The only slot it has is for a serial interface card, which I believe was 
> specific to this one system.  It added like 4 async and 1 sync interface
> I believe (it already has 4 async ports).  Everything else is on the
> motherboard - Ethernet (10Base2 & AUI), SCSI, etc.

That would be consistant too... if it's a server version of the 3100, then
one obvious criticism of the 3100 was the lack of serial ports for 'real'
server uses. Remember when machines had *lots* of serial ports if they
were servers to drive all those dumb terminals??? :-)  Our Pyramid at
University had 64!!

> I'll try and open it up again tonight if I get a chance.

Cool... look at the major chips, and note the numbers etc.

> Oh - one other clue - the command to boot using TFTP follows the 2100/3100
> convention, which perhaps suggests that the PROM is similar to the 3100's.

Yet more evidence...

> It's funny really.  This box only has 8 (!) meg of RAM (I think - can't 
> remeber!) and 2 207 meg hard disks, so chances are it will never really do
> anything "useful".  But it sure will be cool to see it running Linux!

You may find that it takes 3100 memory... and as the disks are scsi...

Paul M. Antoine,                                        Net:
Softway Pty Ltd                                         WWW:
PO Box 305, Strawberry Hills, NSW 2012, Australia       Tel: +61 2 9698 2322
Level 2, 79 Myrtle St, Chippendale, NSW 2008, Australia Fax: +61 2 9699 9174

"It is the lack of acceptance of diversity which threatens to 
 destroy society, NOT the free expression of it." - Me.

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