Dont want to start a flame war here but

From: Truthan,Larry <>
Date: Tue Nov 16 09:00:40 1999


I have a MicroVax I

I have been able to communicate to it using a terminal emulator into one of
its serial ports.

I believe it has VMS 4.X? loaded, But it has been too long since I last had
it running. I was able to list devices, But now I forget the login process.

I have always wanted to get more mainstream with a version Unix for this
Box. What can you tell me of freeBSD Unix? What is it's distribution media?
This unit has the 5.25 floppies, which I dont recall ever being able to boot
(Only because I don't know VMS, nor do I know what programs or utilities I
have on Floppy that are "Bootable").

Where do I start? Learn VMS or Learn hardware requirement for, and get

Hardware is rock solid.


Larry Truthan

-----Original Message-----
From: Bruce Lane []
Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 1999 9:41 AM
To: Discussion re-collecting of classic computers
Subject: Re: Dont want to start a flame war here but

At 23:21 15-11-1999 -0500, somebody wrote:

><Just curious. What motivates someone to collect old minis and
><I can see it being nice to look at for a while, but something as big as a
><very cumbersome to have around the house (let alone an apartment). And


        You seem to be under the mistaken impression that all minis and
are huge monsters. While this may be true of most mainframes, and some
minis, there are many that are not much bigger than a large tower PC.

        My reasons for collecting the beasties are, like Allison's, a mix of
practical and a dislike of modern "commoditized" hardware that seems to be
built specifically not be reparable at the component level.

        I have here mostly MicroVAX, MicroPDP, and some Sun SPARCs (not
classics yet -- give it another year or so). The MicroVAXen run NetBSD (a
free Unix OS) exceptionally well, are built like the proverbial tank, and
are readily reparable in the rare event that something goes flooey.

        I have one MV III that will become my news and FTP server. Once
NetBSD 1.5
gets released, it is likely that either one of my 3100's or the DECStation
RISC box I have will become a mail server. Web will be handled either by
another MV III or a Sun box. I've yet to decide for certain.

        The MicroPDP's I have are idle at the moment. I want to find a
decent Unix
load for them. Failing that, I will probably trade them off to one or more
of my fellow list members for other goodies.

        Others have asked me why I don't just go with a bunch of PCs running
Linux. The answer is 'Robustness.' While some PCs have gotten much more
reliable, hardware-wise, I've yet to see any such system that's built to
the same standards as the DEC hardware. Even Sun, in many cases, makes use
of more plastic than I'd usually prefer to see.

        Technical and design excellence is a top priority with me, even if
costs a little more to use or the rest of the world has abandoned it. Case
in point: My cellphone is an older Motorola 'flip' style, one of their
first-generation digital TDMA units. It only works digital on AT&T's
network, hasn't been manufactured for several years, and lacks the fancy
LCD and whizzy features of the modern units.

        HOWEVER -- it's built very well, and it fits my hand and face far
than any of the "toy" cellphones being pushed by the resellers.

        BTW, off-topic, but if anyone knows of a "sports" or "rugged duty"
cellphone, I'd sure like to hear about it. None of the "smaller and
lighter" craze units I've seen even come close.

Bruce Lane, Owner and head honcho, Blue Feather Technologies // E-mail:
Amateur Radio: WD6EOS since Dec. '77
"Our science can only describe an object, event, or living thing in our
own human terms. It cannot, in any way, define any of them..."
Received on Tue Nov 16 1999 - 09:00:40 GMT

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