Getting into VAXing

From: Dave McGuire <>
Date: Wed Jun 28 18:51:20 2000

  Zane. You wimp. An 8350 is a fairly friendly BIbus system.
Nothing weird about it. It's perhaps not the best "first" VAX, but
it's certainly not as daunting as something like an 11/780 or an
8800. There's certainly more to VAX life than the desktop machines.

  If this guy is motivated, and the machine is in reasonably good
shape, and maybe with a little help from us, I'll bet he can get this
machine up & running with only a little bit of sweat.

           -Dave McGuire

On June 28, wrote:
> 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
> VAXen.
> > 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.
> Zane
Received on Wed Jun 28 2000 - 18:51:20 BST

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