Over the past couple weeks, I’ve taken on the task of gathering up a number of classic machines that have been sitting around my house in non-running condition and bringing them back to life. All of them are in pretty good shape hardware-wise (some needing new hard drives) but without any installed software to run them, which always makes me appreciate my 8-bit machines that need nothing more than OS ROMs to get them booted. So, this will be a journal, I HOPE, of the journey back to functionality for 3 1/2 machines that are currently collecting dust:
* DEC 3000-M600 (circa 1994) – This machine sports a 175 MHz Alpha AXP 21064 processor with 64 MB RAM and a 1 GB SCSI hard drive. I picked it up this summer at the Vintage Computer Festival Midwest for the grand sum of $30 (including 17″ Digital monitor, keyboard, and mouse). It was running a Purdue University installation of OpenVMS 6.1 and, of course, did not include any re-installation media or current license for the software.
* Amiga 3000 (circa 1990) – This machine has been upgraded to a 25 MHz 68040 processor and 80 MB FastRAM. It also includes ethernet, CV-64 3D graphics, and Sunrize Studio16 cards. I picked it up this spring, along with a keyboard and mouse, with the transportation help of fellow classic computing folks. I don’t remember what OS was installed when I received the machine, and it also came without re-installation media.
* Spectre GCR (circa 1989) – This is where the 1/2 comes in. The Spectre is an add-on device for Atari ST/TT computers that provides Macintosh hardware emulation using installed OS ROMs from a Mac Plus or similar 128K machine. I acquired the Spectre just last month on eBay, complete with installed ROMs, docs, and software. I will be working with it attached to my Atari TT030.
* HP 9000 712/60 (circa 1994) – This is a late addition to the list for this project. It needs to be rebuilt as well, so I might as well take care of them all! The 9000 boasts a 60 MHz PA7100LC RISC processor and 32 MB RAM. I brought this home from the office over a year ago after it sat in storage at the office for about 6 years. Prior to that, I had actually used it for work purposes, and I believe it had HP-UX 10 on it. You guessed it – no re-installation media could be found.
So, those are the machines I plan to bring back to life, and my end goal for this project is to get them all networked and particating in some common task. I haven’t yet figured out what that task will be. I also hope to post pictures any anything else interesting as I go.
3 1/2 neglected classic machines: This is their story…