Getting into VAXing

From: <(>
Date: Wed Jun 28 18:42:02 2000

Um, I suppose I'm fairly 'into' VAXen, and I definitly like messing with
VMS. I've one thing to say about this system. *I* wouldn't touch it!
Getting the stuff to get it up and running would likely be a real pain
(although I do have a system console for one).

If you want to mess with VAXen then get a 3100 series MicroVAX or
VAXstation, or a 4000 series VAXstation. If you're more interested in VMS,
then you might also consider an Alpha. Then once you've got one system up
you can consider getting other systems such as Q-Bus VAXen, or maybe a big

> So far, I've mostly stuck with micros (Apple, Commodore, Atari, etc.)
> But I noticed someone auctioning a VAX 8350 for about $50 over on Ebay,
> and I wondered, would it be relatively straightforward for a VAX newbie
> like me to:
> a. ship

Probably have to be crated.

> b. get it running

Nightmarish I suspect

> c. find software (Unix, Vms, etc) and hardware (disk drives, tape drives,
> etc.)

VMS is the *ONE* True OS!!! Info on the truely great Hobbyist licenses can
be found at the following page.

But if you insist on being sick and twisted

Hardware? Just about anywhere.

> d. keep it running (does it require specialized maintenance)

Probably pretty easy. While I've not messed with this particular model I've
found the VAXen I've got to be very reliable. Except the ones using old MFM
Hard drives (and that's a hard drive issue). I do suspect this model
probably requires a climet controlled computer room, but really don't know.

> My only experience with VAXen was at a terminal in college and at a couple
> of jobs. The machine itself was always kept in its own, airconditioned,
> halon-fire-extinguisher equipped, raised floor room.
> So, should I jump into the fray?

YES!!! But, not with this system. Personally I think probably your best
system to start with would be a VAXstation 4000 of some sort. A personal
VAX with 24MB is quite nice, a personal Alpha with about 112MB is quite
nice (the amount of RAM is probably the biggest thing to consider). 1-2GB
of Disk space and a CD-ROM would also be recommended.

Received on Wed Jun 28 2000 - 18:42:02 BST

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