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Re: Tandem 4440/A ??

To: Eric Jorgensen <>
Subject: Re: Tandem 4440/A ??
From: "R.Charles Sweeten" <>
Date: Mon, 5 Jul 1999 08:55:52 -0500 (CDT)
In-reply-to: <>

You'd be correct on the video.  The connector is not in line with the rest
of the EISA bus.  I suspected that it may not be actually EISA, but I'd
thought that I'd seen other EISA boards with an offset slot like that.

As for the memory, there's no guarantee, of course, that the memory that I
found in the system is the memory that worked in it.  It looked
authentic/orginal, but oh well.  It has 8 chips on the stick and would
be seen in my PS/1{requires parity} and came up in a generic 486 I was
playing with.

So, is there no reference point for these machines?  No web page with docs
or anything?  Or is this a "you want it, then do it" kind of thing?

Thanks for the info,


On Sun, 4 Jul 1999, Eric Jorgensen wrote:

>       I've personally never heard of them, but they sound strikingly similar
> to the original Jazz platform. 
>       Are you sure the video is EISA? The Jazz frame buffer uses an EISA type
> card edge connector but it is not in line with the backplane - mostly
> because it's a proprietary interface.
>       Also - chances are that 13w3 uses the SGI pinout, which is
> substantially different from the Sun pinout. If your Sun monitors are
> analog signaled (not ECL as would be found on Sun3 systems) they might
> work, after the connector has been rewired. 
>       The most notable difference, aside from the pin assignment, is that Sun
> uses composite sync and SGI does not. This could be a problem if your
> Sun monitors expect composite sync. 
>       Also, if this is Jazz derived, the memory would most definately be
> parity. The Magnum 4000/pc (reference Jazz design) is tremendously picky
> about it's memory.  
>       Incedentally, Mips Co. has been clock doubling for ages, but it took
> Intel to make it popular. the 50Mhz refers to the external clock - the
> chip is 100Mhz internally. Until Intel started doing it, most other chip
> makers didn't think an internal clock was something to brag about. At
> least, this was the case with Mips and I believe AMD AM29000 chips. 
>       $5 is a pretty good deal - that's how much my Magnum cost me. 
>  - eric
> > I recently aquired two (2) computer systems that I can't seem to find any
> > information on.  The are tagged "Tandem" and the model number is stated as
> > "4440/A".  They are MIPS R4000 based{50Mhz??} and have the phrase
> > "ARCSystems" printed all over the place.  They're EISA all the way.  This
> > leads me to believe that Linux/MIPS should work.
> > 
> > I have several questions, if I may.
> > 
> > Have you ever heard of theses??  I haven't been able to find any info on
> > them from Tandem's site.
> > Could they be another make and resold by Tandem??  If so, do you know what
> > they are or who made them?
> > They have a custom serial/ethernet card and a custom sound/mouse card.
> > Any idea if those are supported by Linux/MIPS??
> > They appear to have 4meg EISA based graphics cards with 13W3 connector
> > outputs.  Any idea if THOSE are supported by Linux/MIPS??  If so, can you
> > point me at the information on the cards?{I've got some mono Sun monitors.
> > would they work?}
> > When booting, does the system output to tty01 as well as the console??
> > Do you know what kind of memory they take??  One had two sticks left in
> > it{hiding under a 105Mb scsi drive.  hehehe} and it seems to be regular
> > old RAM.  Not even parity.  Does this sound right?
> > 
> > I would love to have any reference to these machines that you could point
> > me at?  They seem to have been scuttled but dont look in bad shape.  I'd
> > REALLY like to turn both of them into working linux boxes.{it would just
> > have a high kewl-factor}  And the fact that I only paid $5 apiece only
> > sweetens the deal.

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