classics I threw away or sold ... foolishly

Sean Caron scaron at
Thu May 19 11:31:27 CDT 2016

On Thu, 19 May 2016, Swift Griggs wrote:

>> DEC microVAX III BA23 (w/ SCSI)
>> DEC microVAX I BA23
> I think thre is a DEC microVAX II still sitting powered down in a corner
> here at my office.

I got lucky on the list maybe a year ago and Bob Rosenbloom helped me get 
my Q-bus VAX itch scratched again ... I've got a microVAX III+ now and a 
microVAX III as well. I've done a pretty good job of rebuilding my stash 
of Q-bus spares ... but I'm still down a SCSI board and I've never seen 
another microVAX I around... Ah, well, the KA655 is more functional ;)

>> IBM PS/2 Mod 95
> Ugh. That thing is yuuuuge. There is only so much PS/2 I can take. I
> prefer the small/cute workstations.

I loved this box and it was the only desktop PS/2 (really, the only Intel 
x86-based machine) I had ever intended to really preserve as an exhibit. 
It had the P60 processor complex (with FDIV bug!) and I had just totally 
loaded it down with all my best MCA finds accrued over the years. XGA-2, 
dual SCSI buses, dual Ethernet, Token Ring, etc. I even found a MCA FDDI 
card I had intended to install in the machine, but never got round to it. 
OS/2 would drive the little front panel LCD in a cool way. Probably won't 
have the chance to get another one without paying mad money these days.

Now, huge was the PC Server 500! ;)

>> IBM PS/2 L40 SX
> Whoa. A PS/2 laptop. I never even knew there was such a beast. Plus it's
> got an interesting shape and keyboard. Huh.

It was a neat little thing and it had probably the best laptop keyboard I 
have ever used. Just awesome. It sat in the trunk of my car for years and 
got carelessly chucked out during a clean-out. I miss it now ... it was 
just about the perfect vintage for a DOS box for a number of applications 
and it was rock-solid, too. Arg.

>> PM 6100 AV DOS Compatible (for real!)
> Bizzare. Did it have some kind of PC card inside?

Yeah, this one was a custom build using a PM6100av as a base, with the 486 
DOS card out of a 6100 DOS Compatible that I scrapped out. It was a tight 
fit, but it all worked! Fun little novelty for the time ;)

I still have a (plain) PM6100 DOS Compatible (with dead PSU) and also a 
PDS Reply 486 DOS card for the Quadra 800 ... I haven't been able to get 
either one of them working again, to my chagrin ... I'm still working on 
it. It's tricky to line up just the right version of the System with the
right version of the DOS card software.

>> Intergraph Series 2400 (x2)
> I always wanted to play with an Intergraph box. I was too busy obsessing
> over SGI's boxes, though.

The primary value in these to me was that they were built on the rather 
obscure Clipper CPU. I never was able to use them because I didn't have a 
monitor, keyboard and mouse and there wasn't enough documentation around 
to even figure out if and how to use a serial console with them ... my 
recollection is that Intergraph was not very hobbyist-frendly. I never had 
any CLIX media and no other OS ever supported them. I do wish I still had 
an example of a Clipper CPU (and I pop up and look for them occasionally) 
but to make up for it, karma gave me a cheap MVME181 a few years back so I 
suppose my collection is down one strange RISC chip and up another ;)

>> a BA123 cabinet once (what was I thinking?)
> What in the world is this thing? You call it a cabinet but it looks just
> like the MicroVAX II I just mentioned. Is it some kind of fancy case
> upgrade for a VAX ?

Oh, just an empty BA123 enclosure ... no boards or drives but otherwise 
complete with Q-bus backplane, PSU, console bulkhead ... pic here:

The guts were the aforementioned lost microVAX III ... I had moved the 
cards and disk into a smaller BA23 cabinet so it took up less space and
used less power ... I was running it fairly regularly at the time ;)



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