Slightly OT: What to do with a DEC 3000/300?

From: Roger Merchberger <>
Date: Tue Oct 9 19:29:19 2001

I *think* these are slightly newer than the 10-year rule, but they're a
rather "odd" machine, so I'll post anyway...

I just purchased a "new" computer for my wife (Compaq 300Mhz PentiumII
dual-processor server -- $50 USD - can't complain -- she needs to run
office software now, so it'll be staroffice & linux)......

Anywho, I now have a "spare" DEC Model 3000/300, 150Mhz Alpha 21064 (or 66,
can't remember now), 64Meg RAM, (2) 2-Gig DEC (barracuda) drives, 19"
monitor, 2Meg framebuffer, TurboChannel slots, etc. etc.

This machine will not (easily) run anything but Tru64 Unix or
OpenVMS/Alpha... primarily due to it's TurboChannel architecture.

My wife was using Tru64 Unix V.5.0 - it was easiest to set up, had
Nutscrape preinstalled, and with my extensive Linux/Solaris background,
made it a relative cakewalk to set up & maintain... but Emacs & sc *aren't*
office software... I had installed OpenVMS/Alpha V7.2 on the machine, but I
had problems with the dual-booting, due to boot flags that there was no way
I could get my wife to remember... (She's a "click here", "mouse there"
kinda person. She's not a geek, that's why she married *me*... ;-) so I
deep-sixed the VMS install (which never did work outside of single-user
mode) on that box.

I've *wanted* to learn VMS, but my current VAX makes it difficult, mainly
because it's "Beefed" to the max -- VaxStation 3100/m38, 32Meg RAM, 1Gig
HD, VMS 7.1 (full distro - like 11 CD's) 2Meg 8-plane framebuffer & 17"
monitor. I have successfully installed & hobby licensed VMS 7.1 on the
machine - that's as far as I got, mainly due to that blasted 8-plane
framebuffer. None of the text editors that I can find work right - they
can't figure out how to run the terminal "text-mode"... so I can't modify
the config files to try to get DECWindows running, which makes it
impossible to read my dox, because they're only on CD-ROM -- it's a vicious
cycle... :-(

I also have a distro of Ultrix/VMS for that box, and had gotten that
running well, but 1) was dog-slow, and 2) I don't really need YAUB (Yet
Another Unix Box) -- I wanted VMS!

Anyway, I've heard that 64Meg RAM was awfully tight to run VMS on an Alpha,
but is it still faster than Tru64 Unix? (The machine was no screamer, but
it was still faster than my wife... ;-) Or should I just sell it to someone
willing to give it a good home? (I have too many computers now - and I'm
trying to purchase a [smaller] house so may be moving soon... I *need* to
consolidate my collection & am downsizing machines which I will never have
time to tinker with...)

Advice?? Ideas?? Thanks!!

Roger "Merch" Merchberger
Received on Tue Oct 09 2001 - 19:29:19 BST

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Oct 10 2014 - 23:34:18 BST