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Resurrecting the VAXen (Part 1)

Subtitle:  An exercise in frustration.

Years ago, I bought several VAX workstations with the intention to use them to learn VMS.  For the last few years, I’ve been too busy to fool with them for any length time, but now I have some time to try again.  As with any old hardware, it’s can be a frustrating experience getting things working again.  Lots of bit rot and hardware failures.

Currently, I have 4 VAXen in my possession:

  • VAXStation 3100/76 (hostname:  mithrandir)
  • VAXStation 4000/60 (hostname:  isildur)
  • VAXStation 4000/90 (hostname:  anarion)
  • InfoServer 150*

The InfoServer is a bit of a strange beast.  These were originally designed as media servers that could serve up both disk space and CD-ROM drives to remote machines.  It’s a scaled down VAXStation 3100, but is not usable as a VAXstation on it’s own.  Hoffman labs has a good write up.

I also have a TZ87 Tape Drive, and an RRD42 CD-ROM drive.

Before installing OpenVMS, I going to install either NetBSD or OpenBSD, so that I could vet that the hardware is functional still.  This also gives me time to get an OpenVMS Hobbyist license, and appropriate media.

KA46-A V1.2-343-V4.0
08-00-2B-1D-84-06
80MB
                                       
?? 001  10      SCSI  0048

>>> 

Hot damn!

I’ve split this project into multiple blog entries: