Can you beleive this S^&^!

From: Jay West <>
Date: Sat Nov 20 21:18:55 2004

Upon closer examination:

1) It's missing a board in the MEMPRT slot. Probably means the memprt board
is missing, but could be the boards were shuffled around by someone who
didn't know what they are doing too and it's another board missing. If it's
the DCPC or M.E.M. board missing (the only other two boards slots in that
area) - well, not a great system to say the least. Makes me suspect someone
pulled the board for other use.

2) There appears to be one controller and one memory board. This machine
only has 64K (I didn't bother to look up the exact board number - this could
be a 64KB or 64KW board - HP labeled them both ways over time). Regardless,
64KB or KW, either way, isnt a lot for an RTE6/VM system. Odd. Almost
suspicious. Every RTE6 systems I've gotten my hands on has had almost a full
complement of memory. Also, for small memory cables, smaller daisy chain
cables were usually used. While not a clear indicator, my first blush gut
feeling is someone has pulled memory cards from this unit.

3) Two front panel switches are broken. This is very bad. I don't believe
those switches are repairable, and switches 2 & 3 are quite common targets
for boot loader use. Wouldn't be fun to try and live without them.

4) The machine is an F series, but, it's missing the Floating Point box.
Without it, it ain't really an F machine to me anyways. The floating point
unit on the F is a rackmount box racked right along side the cpu. No
floating point box, and you almost can just consider it an E series machine
which is common as dirt.

5) There is clearly something braindead with this unit. It may be as simple
as the battery backup option is installed but no battery is connected. But
the "all register select lights on" in the picture is a yellow flag for

6) Very low on the I/O card cage. BACI board is good, but as I've found, can
be problematic unless you have a 246X terminal to go with it. Using a
regular terminal on a BACI board works for most diagnostics, but definitely
doesn't work right for RTE and all the RTE utilities. Bus I/O isn't one of
the more fun cards to play with.

7) Seller lists "lots of hardware and software docs on CDROM". Do I smell a
bitsavers copier?

8) There is a lot of stuff he lists on the ebay ad that is correct and
detailed knowledge. But there is a lot of other things mentioned in the ad
copy that indicate someone who doesn't have a CLUE. Either one is perfectly
fine, but the dichotomy is a yellow flag to me.

All this for $800 bucks? Ludicrous. Based on a long history of acquisitions
of HP 21MX gear, I would estimate the cpu with the above deficiencies to go
for about $120 to $160 on ebay, and that's allowing for uninformed
overzealous bidders. Honestly, I think such a machine is worth around $40

$800... hell... even $200 for a machine in that state is just... insane.

Received on Sat Nov 20 2004 - 21:18:55 GMT

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