Category Archives: Blog

AlphaServer 4100: Photo Tour – DEC StorageWorks BA-356 Storage Shelf

What a mouthful of a name. What the bloody hell does all that mean? The Unit is a Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) StorageWorks (name of the product line) Storage Shelf. Basically it’s a SCSI box. The model number (BA-356) is … Continue reading

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AlphaServer 4100: Progress (hopefully)

Well I finally get back to the AS4100 and removed the PSUs. I took the opportunity to inspect the second PSU that didn’t go pop while I was in the mood. The PSUs are very easy to open, 2 Torx-10 … Continue reading

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Raspberry Pi VAXcluster: Foundations Part 2 – Compiling SimH

Assuming you have installed all the packages you need from part 1, we will proceed to get the source code for SimH and compile the VAX Simulator. Downloading SimH The SimH sources are available from http://simh.trailing-edge.com/. I find the easiest … Continue reading

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Rasberry Pi VAXcluster: The Foundations Part 1 – Preparing Raspberry Pi for SimH

What you need to get started: A Raspberry Pi board A suitable SDHC with a Linux operating system (or ‘distro’ as they are known) image installed for Raspberry Pi. You will need a decent slab of free space for most … Continue reading

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AlphaServer 4100: Where next?

Right. I’ve stopped moping about the 4100, I’m going to kick ass and take names and see if I can cure it’s ills. With the machine down to 1 PSU potentially, it’ll only run with 2 CPUs. That means pulling … Continue reading

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How To: Disassembly of a StorageWorks BA-356 SBB Drive Caddy

The good news is… I did mange to get this out yesterday, which is a video showing how to dismantle a StorageWorks BA-356 drive caddy. Just in case you never worked it out… The video is also available via the … Continue reading

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AlphaServer 4100: Never Assume…

Today I re-assembled the AlphaServer 4100 I picked up from a friend yesterday (we knocked it down into parts to transport it). It had been stored in a garage in less than stellar conditions and although a thorough inspection of … Continue reading

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Raspberry Pi VAX Cluster: Cutting out the fluff?

Well money matters have not worked out as planned so my grand plan for a Raspberry Pi VAX cluster is being rethought. This exercise has been good for making it better bang-for-the-buck and also cutting out some of the crap … Continue reading

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Rasberry Pi VAXcluster: Detailed Plan Part 1 – Initial Structure Planning

So I wrote my original RetroChallenge 2012 Summer Challenge proposal over a week ago and I’ve had a lot of time to think about the project since then. I have decided to modify my plan slightly, I think it’s an … Continue reading

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Rasberry Pi VAXcluster: Retrochallenge 2012 Entry

Background I have long been interested in recreating older platforms on new hardware. During the last year I have really fallen very much for Digital Equipment Corporation’s line of machines and operating systems. In particular RSX-11M (PDP-11) and VMS (VAX … Continue reading

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