applicationDEC 433MP

From: Bruce Lane <>
Date: Tue Jan 23 01:33:40 2001

At 23:26 22-01-2001 -0700, Mark Gregory wrote:

>- the machine has 2 memory boards, which give a maximum of 32 megs of ECC
>RAM, with 40 x 1 meg SIMMs. Can the system use more than 2 memory boards, to
>go to 64 megs? Or can the 1 meg SIMMs be replaced by 4 meg SIMMs?

        Unfortunately not. I tried it.

>- on powerup, the system BIOS reports 640K of main memory, and 13312K of
>extended memory; there are 25 x 1 meg SIMMs installed, so I'm expecting 20
>megs after subtracting the ECC SIMMS. Any ideas why the BIOS isn't seeing
>all of the available RAM?

        I seem to recall that the machine maxes out at 16MB. Period. If anyone
knows differently, I'd like to hear about it myself!

>- the system has 2 x 486/33 processor cards installed - one base CPU card,
>and one CPU/SCSI card. The system can hold up to 4 processor cards; were
>there any OSes that could use 4 processors at a time? Is it worth hunting
>down two extra CPU cards?

        Not really. The SMP used in those machines was truly exotic, a one-time
only thing that Intel bought out so they could kill it. I don't even know
of an OS, outside of a very specialized version of SCO Unix (which is what
those machines originally ran) that will use the two CPUs.

>- there's a TZK10-AA tape drive in the system. What tape cartridges does
>this drive use?

        Probably a DC6150, 6250, or 6525.

>- the processor cards use Intel 80486 DX chips at 33 Mhz. I dimly recall
>that the 80486DX2/66 is a drop in replacement for the 80486DX33. Can I get a
>quick speed boost by swapping the processor chips?

        Possibly, but be sure to add appropriate CPU fans.

>- finally, how popular were these machines? They're nicely built and
>engineered, but I had never heard of them before I found this one, and the
>MicroPDP-11 that I got with it ... but that's another story.

        I have no clue how popular they were, but I can tell you that I'm not
overly thrilled with mine. Being of the PC persuasion in its architecture,
it insists on having a keyboard connected in order to boot. I'm going to
try faking it out with a dummy plug (with a resistor between Vcc and
ground). If that works, I may use it as a netboot or maintenance node.

        If not, I will announce its availability so that it may seek a new home.
Yours, perhaps? ;-)

Bruce Lane, Owner and head honcho, Blue Feather Technologies // E-mail:
Amateur Radio: WD6EOS since Dec. '77 (Extra class as of June-2K)
"I'll get a life when someone demonstrates to me that it would be
superior to what I have now..." (Gym Z. Quirk, aka Taki Kogoma).
Received on Tue Jan 23 2001 - 01:33:40 GMT

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