VAX 4000-100 in Saskatchewan, Canada
jim at photojim.ca
Sun Apr 27 09:57:17 CDT 2008
I've been on the list for awhile (several months). I have quite a few
classic computer toys - a pair of Commodore VIC-20s (one with 40K and
the other with 37K RAM - if only I could have had them that decked out
in the day :) ), some Commodore 64s, a Commodore 128, an Amiga 500, a
20, a Sun UltraSparc 1/170E, and a couple of VAXen. Yup, VAXen. To my
left as I write this is maroochydore, the VAXstation 4000/60 with 104 MB
RAM ( :) ) running OpenBSD 4.2. It ain't fast, but it works and it's
I also have a VAX 4000/100 that has been a bit of an enigma. I've had
it for about three years (probably longer) but never really gotten it
running. I played with putting OpenVMS on it but the learning curve was
too steep (as much because of a shortage of time in my life as
anything). Yesterday I played with it for awhile and tried to get it to
boot the OpenBSD kernel over the network. The machine definitely talks
to the network and requests the MOPBOOT.SYS file, and my network boot
server (a mighty and dangerous Compaq Presario with a Pentium 133
processor and 96 MB of RAM... please insert oohs and ahhs here) happily
delivers the file, but the VAX never boots. This is the same
MOPBOOT.SYS that got maroochydore started on its path to autonomous
booting, so I'm puzzled.
And... I'm time-poor. maroochydore now has all of this RAM because I
discovered that the SIMMs in the VAX 4000-100 fit it. Yesterday
maroochydore had 32 MB of RAM (which isn't bad for a VAX - although it
only had 8 MB when I got it). Now it has 104 MB, which is the maximum
it's capable of having.
Anyway... now I have this VAX 4000-100. It has a little less RAM than
it did yesterday (2x16MB + 6x4MB = 56 MB, still not awful). It has
three DSSI disks that spin up and sound healthy (the way a Canadair
CRJ700 sounds healthy on its way from the mighty Regina International
Airport to Toronto Pearson, anyway). But I want to retain my hair.
I even have an AUI to UTP adapter so that you can use it on a modern
Ethernet network. You can also use it on a thinnet network if you
prefer, of course.
The problem is that this may be the heaviest large-desktop-sized
computer ever invented. I haven't weighed it, but it wouldn't shock me
if it's in the 30 kg/60 pound range. This makes shipping it somewhat
So, if there is anybody in or near Regina, Saskatchewan that is
interested in it, please get in touch with me. If you're interested and
you're on the Regina-Calgary-Kamloops BC-Vancouver or
Vancouver-Seattle-Spokane WA-Missoula-MT-Sidney MT-Regina routes, talk
to me as I'll be driving those routes in May and, depending on how full
my car is, may be able to bring the beast to you if you can arrange to
meet with me and my schedule.
I enjoy the list. Keep it up.
More information about the cctalk