The DEC AlphaServer 8200 that Pontus Pihlgren sent to me has arrived today. It was very well packaged on a pallet. It took me about an hour to partially disassemble it to reduce the weight, get it off the pallet, bring it inside, and reassemble it.

The AlphaServer 8200 is configured with two CPU modules (each with two 300 MHz EV5 Alpha processors), two 1GB memory modules, and a PCI/EISA I/O module, with a PCI/EISA card cage attached.

In addition, I have a spare CPU module, and a spare I/O module.

It took me a while to get the system to the point where it would successfully complete its firmware initialization; in the end, there turned out to be three problems:

  • Some modules didn't make proper contact with the backplane on all pins; I used a contact cleaner to fix this problem.
  • The memory modules showed some errors; this was fixed by taking out and reseating all the SIMMs in the memory modules.
  • One of the CPU modules (the one I now keep as a spare) seems to have a different firmware version on board than the other two; because of this, it can not be configured into the system.

Because you cannot have any empty module slots in this system (if you have an empty slot, you need to put a terminator in it's place), it took a fair bit of juggling things around to determine these three problems.

I installed Tru64 UNIX (version 5.0A) on one disk, and OpenVMS 8.4-2L1 on another.

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  • 8200_a
  • 8200_b
  • 8200_c
  • 8200_d
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  • 8200_g
  • 8200_h
  • IMG-20161124-WA0007

The two DEC 4000 AXPs that were part of the same shipment arrived a day later; these are dual-cpu (160MHz EV4) systems with 256 MB memory. Apparently, the label on the pallet could not be scanned properly in one of the warehouses, delaying its delivery by a day. Unfortunately, one of the CPU's, and two of the memory modules turned out to be faulty, so the systems only have 128 MB of usable memory each, and one of the systems has only a single CPU.

  • 2016-11-25-13.37.38
  • 2016-11-25-13.46.21
  • 2016-11-25-15.00.19
  • d4k_h