Digital VAX, Alpha (Was RE: Mac "Workgroup Server" ...

Swift Griggs swiftgriggs at
Wed Apr 27 10:34:44 CDT 2016

On Wed, 27 Apr 2016, emu at wrote:
> > For that matter, by the same reasoning it should be doable (and  quite
> > possibly easier) to build an FPGA Alpha.  Is the Alpha  architecture manual
> > ("SRM") online?
> Is there any demand for it, besides of being fun?

I would assert that there may well be. I could be wrong, but consider 
these tidbits:

1. There are at least 3 commercial alpha emulators (Stromasys Charon, MSI 
   Avanti, and Alpha EmuVM). They seem to be staying in business. 

2. I work with a lot of clients using Tru64. The current hardware support 
   companies are recycling parts off ebay. I believe this is the reason 
   you see way-to-high prices for categorically ancient Alphas. I saw 
   someone wanting nearly $1300 for an alphastation 4/266.

3. I know for a fact the US government and a few other folks are pretty 
   well stuck with using Alphas for "certain" things. If the vendor was 
   OK'd by the gubment, there might be some money to be made there, too.

4. If some guy in Poland (Lotharek) was able to make an FPGA box that 
   emulates more than 9 different platforms (albeit probably simpler ones) 
   for under $200, then making an FPGA alpha for anywhere near that cost 
   would certain raise some eyebrows of clients I'm dealing with. If it 
   would all fit in 1U, then so much the better. 


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