The collected works of jmd8800


it has been a while since i've tinkered with older computers. i bought an ibook and it *just worked*. :) i have had a few alphas over the years. a 275mhz cabriolet, a couple of multias and a couple of PWS 500s

recently i picked up an alpha up2000+ motherboard with 2 833mhz 4mb cache cpus. 512MB memory is a bit shy but there is room for more. there are a couple of adaptec scsi cards in PCI slots however, i am using the onboard scsi connection. and lastly, one 2mb mach64, and a matrox g200 on order. i hope it works. this board is in the original PowerRac 320 case with floppy and IDE cdrom.

when i boot up, i have to hit the reset button once after power on in order to get the srm prompt. then i can enter commands like *show dev* and get correct responses. then i was successful in installing debian 5.0.3 until the machine reboots and then asks for login. this is where the keyboard does not work.

i am guessing the console needs to be set to graphics? and the correct command would be - set console graphics ? (somewhere i was thinking it was - set_console graphics). if so, can i do this after i do the boot with the reset button, or would i need to change the variable with a dedicated serial port connection?

lastly, if this fails an i hosed? or would this board default back to a serial port console? i don't see any of the old monitor ports to reflash with.

thanks for any info.
indeed the console was set to serial. one oddity i noticed and should have mentioned earlier is my srm prompt looks like this P00> is this cause for concern?

entering init restarted the machine and i got the usual mouse error and testing on restart. i could not log in to debian, however this may be due to the keyboard problems when i installed debian originally.

here is an answer to my question:

On multiprocessor machines, you will see 'P00>>' instead, or possibly some other number depending on which processor SRM is running.

i found this on the wiki.
the guy i picked this up from was running OpenVMS on several of these boxes. i do not know if Tru64 can be installed in the same manner as his OpenVMS workaround. i would like to try Tru64, but i cannot find the hobbyist license on the HP website any more. more than likely discontinued. :(

i am not very familiar with how Tru64 licensing works, but i got the feeling that it is machine specific. in that case it might not work on this board. or maybe it will see the board as a DS20.

for now i will toy around with debian or gentoo linux. that is what i am familiar with. i am just a hobbyist and i'm decorating my apartment in *turn of the century* computers. :)

There are a lot of people running Gentoo on their alphas in #alpha and #gentoo-alpha on Freenode. Join us!

i stopped by yesterday in my mid morning. both channels were quiet. surely everybody is busy doing things. i know i am, so i couldn't stick around. thanks mattst88 for the wiki on it was helpful to me. lots of other resources have long since disappeared since i last played with alphas.

Rumor has it that if you know who to go to you might be able to get an Enthusiast Pack still, but the last time I heard that was over a year ago. HP isn't pushing it, since they no longer sell Alpha hardware.

i missed an opportunity. :( maybe one will come up on ebay or something. of course, unless you know the part number you are at a loss to know what you are buying.

Resetting the console to graphics fixed the problem. i can enter text at the login screen and navigate around debian. /proc/cpuinfo shows the sytem as a single CPU machine, so i will have to recompile the kernel for SMP. i have not compiled a kernel in years ............ this should be interesting at my skill level. i do remember compiling a kernel on one alpha to make use of the sound card before the kernels became modular.

thanks to those who verified the set console command.

now to fix the fan in the power supply and swap out the mach64 for the matrox g200.
The BSDs are an option as i have never used any of the flavors much. I am looking for some sort of distributed computing effort such as boinc or (others welcome) once i get the kernel compiled for dual cpu. any suggestions on distributed computing efforts welcome.

when running single cpu in debian this machine drinks 240watts. i can only imagine what the meter will say when 2 are running.
The other CPU is already drawing power even if the kernel doesn't use it.

Ahh good point. In comparison my IBM Intellistation dual opteron 248 (2.2ghz) workstation uses 250W.
the power supply fan is fixed. now it sounds like a server should. music :)

after debian i pulled down the fedora port. i had trouble burning cds and getting disk #1 to pass the test. i went ahead with the install, but it always bombed out during fdisk. ahh well. on to gentoo.

it is a 4 day weekend. by the looks of the installation instructions, i might need it too. :)

matt.. this is a up2000+. dual 833 with 4mb cache. 512mb ram.

i think i'll be fine with the gentoo install. it will just take a while. and that is the point of gentoo. more control over your system. :) if not, i'll pop in to IRC. thanks for the write up on the up2000.
Sad day in LA.

I started the gentoo install last night. at 1am i let the kernel compile and went to bed. this morning i finished up and went to reboot. the boot started, then the machine suddenly rebooted again. this happened a couple of times.
i started looking around and found *show power* in SRM. the 3.3v listed closest to the top shows *FAILED* on both cpus. the LEDS on the board are all lit except for D7 and D10. The user manual says D7 and D10 are SROM related.

the guy i bought this system from ran these for years. i sent an email asking for possible solutions.

so the gentoo install is on hold. :(