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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | Alpha Systems Forums | Alpha Hardware Forum
Author AlphaServer DS10 - free to good home
R Price
Member

Posts: 36
Location: Canada
Joined: 09.12.10
Posted on December 01 2011 00:09
So, with help from some other forum members I've got my rx2600 up and running and it does all I need for Hobbyist use at my limited but slowly growing skill and knowledge level. This makes the AlphaServer redundant, as I just don't need 2 OpenVMS systems.

If anyone can make use of the collection described below send me a PM and we'll work out the details.

Obviously shipping on all this would cost a fortune, over $100 I'm sure, as it would fill 2 pretty large boxes. So local pick-up is preferred. Given my location, approximately 160 km north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada this limits potential recipients to the Georgian Triangle and/or Greater Toronto area but if anyone wants it they are free to come pick it up.

Or I can deliver it if the drive isn't too far, say less than 100 km, maybe a little further if it is a place I've never been and the drive looks interesting. I've had some fun tinkering with this machine over the last year while I deal with my cancer adventure, an experience which has helped me in many ways, especially by forcing me to re-learn a few lessons about helping others. So I'm pretty motivated to put some effort into getting the machine into a good home where someone can make use of it.

However, if there is anyone willing to pay for the shipping I will gladly ship it all within Canada.

I would also be reluctantly willing to ship it all to the US if someone is really interested, though I'm sure customs/duty/brokerage fees would be a killer so consider yourself warned on that front.

If I'm shipping it I would strongly prefer to ship the whole works as I won't have any use for any of the spares/accessories without the AlphaServer and all of it is useful for an OpenVMS hobbyist, with the probable exception of the sound cards and extra RAM.

Anyhoo, the good part:

AlphaServer DS10 XP900, includes:
1 - 617 MHz CPU
1 GB RAM (4x256)
1 - 40x DVD burner
1 - U320 SCSI controller
1 - 36 GB 15K HD
2 - 74 GB 15K HD
1 - Radeon 7000, 64 MB, works w/ OpenVMS
1 - OrangeMicro USB 2.0 card, NEC chipset, 5 ports (4 ext, 1 int) works w/ OpenVMS


I'll also throw in some spares/accessories which work with this machine:

1 - DIGITAL Software Library, Dec 1997, in original boxes. This includes OpenVMS 7.1 and a great honking whack of associated software and documentation on several CDs.
1 - HP Smart Array 5304 RAID card w/ 256 MB cache, works w/ OpenVMS
2 - SCSI cables to go w/ above
1 - CD-ROM drive, Top Gun Blue, works OK but I installed the DVD burner because it is noticeably faster.
1 - 3D Labs OxygenVX 32 MB graphic card, works w/ OpenVMS


Other bits I'm not so sure about:

2 - Creative Ensoniq sound cards, 1 w/ ES1371 chip, 1 w/ ES1373 chip. I could not make these work w/ OpenVMS but a more clever person might be able to, I don't know.

2 GB (4x512) of ECC RAM to fit AlphaServer. I ran the system with this RAM installed for several months with no trouble. I began experiencing random crashes so I swapped in the RAM that is in the machine now and the problem went away. You're welcome to this RAM as it doesn't fit anything else I have and may in fact be good. But I doubt it.

1 - 12/24 GB tape drive, Top Gun Blue, no idea if this works
1 - floppy drive, Top Gun Blue, no idea if this works
Edited by R Price on December 01 2011 00:18
Author RE: AlphaServer DS10 - free to good home
eMGee
Member

Posts: 87
Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 28.03.10
Posted on December 20 2011 14:01
That is a very nice configuration, I must say! Is it still available? Would you be willing to consider (internationally) shipping some parts else?

The CPU, is that installable in an originally 466 MHz DS10? The NEC USB card would be great. The Smart Array SCSI RAID HBA would also be nice. Alternatively, I have rx2600 parts to trade. Interested?

By the way, about the DVD burner. What brand/model is it? I have some laying around here, I wonder if I could make one or more of those work in my DS10.



Author RE: AlphaServer DS10 - free to good home
eMGee
Member

Posts: 87
Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 28.03.10
Posted on December 20 2011 14:02
I forgot to ask: The 3D Labs Oxygen VX1, it doesn't support/provide ‘Open3D’ (i.e. hardware OpenGL acceleration) under VMS, right?


Author RE: AlphaServer DS10 - free to good home
R Price
Member

Posts: 36
Location: Canada
Joined: 09.12.10
Posted on December 21 2011 09:31
The AlphaServer is gone. I found a reasonably local - within 150 miles - recipient who wanted it. Some nerdy kid studying CompSci at university, y'know the type smiley. Seriously though, she is a nice, bright, out-going kid and was pretty happy to get a system that will let her get hands on with something which will let her learn something more than the what she'd get from just working with the Windows, Mac and *NIX systems which predominate these days. And I was pretty pleased to see it go to someone who will really get something out of it. Kind of a nice Christmas present for myself.
Edited by R Price on December 21 2011 09:33
Author RE: AlphaServer DS10 - free to good home
eMGee
Member

Posts: 87
Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 28.03.10
Posted on December 21 2011 14:11
Well done! Let's hope she becomes another happy VMS user, or at least see what VMS is all about and what it has to offer.


Author RE: AlphaServer DS10 - free to good home
R Price
Member

Posts: 36
Location: Canada
Joined: 09.12.10
Posted on December 27 2011 13:20
eMGee - re your questions about the USB 2.0 card and Oxygen VX1:

The USB card in the Alpha was an Orange Micro card I bought 9 or 10 years ago for my G4 Power Mac. It was a 5V card with an NEC chipset. It just worked in the AlphaServer, no configuration or AUTOGEN voodoo necessary. I tried a 5V VIA chipset USB card, branded "Vantec" in the AlphaServer and it did not work.

I have another NEC card, this one 3.3V and branded "Adaptec" in the rx2600 and it also just works, just like the Orange Micro branded NEC card in the AlphaServer.

I don't know if this proves definitively that only NEC based USB cards work with OpenVMS but my experience seems to be so.

I have no idea if the Oxygen VX1 provided 3D support or not. It came installed in the AlphaServer and worked fine except for some flickering with the LCD monitor I was using. I had a 64 MB Radeon 7000 and it worked better so that is what I used.



The DVD burner was also salvaged from my dead Mac. It was the cheapest thing on sale the day I bought it, I believe the brand was "Lite-On", though I think it was manufactured by LG, as so many of these devices seem to be. I never tried burning discs with OpenVMS but reading, booting and installing from it were no problem.

I don't know if the CPU would work in a 466 MHz machine. There are jumpers on the motherboard for setting the CPU speed and I believe 466 MHz is one option. I would like to have seen if I could squeeze it up to 667 MHz but with no supporting documentation I did not mess with that stuff, just to be safe.

The Smart Array card is nothing special. Lots of them available for peanuts on eBay. Other than letting me combine the two 73 GB drives in an array it didn't do much. Boot times were noticeably slower and as far as I could tell disc I/O was not any better for the sort of low stress tinkering I'm likely to get up to.
Edited by R Price on December 28 2011 01:03
Author RE: AlphaServer DS10 - free to good home
eMGee
Member

Posts: 87
Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 28.03.10
Posted on January 01 2012 09:57
R Price wrote:
eMGee - re your questions about the USB 2.0 card and Oxygen VX1:

The USB card in the Alpha was an Orange Micro card I bought 9 or 10 years ago for my G4 Power Mac. It was a 5V card with an NEC chipset. It just worked in the AlphaServer, no configuration or AUTOGEN voodoo necessary. I tried a 5V VIA chipset USB card, branded "Vantec" in the AlphaServer and it did not work.

That's good to know, thanks, I'll keep that in mind!


I have another NEC card, this one 3.3V and branded "Adaptec" in the rx2600 and it also just works, just like the Orange Micro branded NEC card in the AlphaServer.


Did you need extra USB ports? I've been using a hub myself, on one of my rx2620s and that works nicely under VMS. (I haven't tested if the hub decreased overall bandwidth, though.)


I don't know if this proves definitively that only NEC based USB cards work with OpenVMS but my experience seems to be so.

I recall reading somewhere else that NEC-based USB chipsets are indeed recommended.


The DVD burner was also salvaged from my dead Mac. It was the cheapest thing on sale the day I bought it, I believe the brand was "Lite-On", though I think it was manufactured by LG, as so many of these devices seem to be. I never tried burning discs with OpenVMS but reading, booting and installing from it were no problem.

I see, I'll see what I can get to work in one of my DS10s one of these days. I might just have a spare Lite-On DVD-R/RW drive somewhere.


I don't know if the CPU would work in a 466 MHz machine. There are jumpers on the motherboard for setting the CPU speed and I believe 466 MHz is one option. I would like to have seen if I could squeeze it up to 667 MHz but with no supporting documentation I did not mess with that stuff, just to be safe.

No problem, I'll look into it a bit more and ask around a bit. 466 MHz suits me fine for now.


The Smart Array card is nothing special. Lots of them available for peanuts on eBay. Other than letting me combine the two 73 GB drives in an array it didn't do much. Boot times were noticeably slower and as far as I could tell disc I/O was not any better for the sort of low stress tinkering I'm likely to get up to.

I had a Smart Array 6400 series (SA6402-128) in an rx2600 a few months ago. It worked nicely, though I never really compared speeds. I did remember that RAID level 0 would be nice and snappy, with a few hundred megabytes per second for both reading and writing under several operating systems (including Linux IA-64).



Edited by eMGee on January 01 2012 09:57
Author RE: AlphaServer DS10 - free to good home
R Price
Member

Posts: 36
Location: Canada
Joined: 09.12.10
Posted on January 01 2012 13:11
eMGee wrote:
Did you need extra USB ports? I've been using a hub myself, on one of my rx2620s and that works nicely under VMS. (I haven't tested if the hub decreased overall bandwidth, though.)


The only USB devices I have connected at the moment are the the keyboard and trackball. I did have a couple of hard drives in USB enclosures and an SSD with a miniUSB port plugged in to the card but the SSD seems to have finally died and the hard drives are now connected to the SAS/SATA RAID card mentioned in my P600 thread in the Integrity section.So the USB card isn't doing anything at the moment.


I see, I'll see what I can get to work in one of my DS10s one of these days. I might just have a spare Lite-On DVD-R/RW drive somewhere.


From the info I have been able to find it sounds like many ATAPI CD/DVD drives will work fine with the AlphaServer and OpenVMS.
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