Subject: Re: Alphas, memory, and NLX...
To: None <,>
From: Ross Harvey <>
List: port-alpha
Date: 04/27/2000 15:36:37
> From: "Kevin P. Neal" <>
> So, a coworker of mine is offering to sell me an IBM PC 365 on the
> cheap. It's a 200 MHz PPro, uses "FPM or EDO 168-pin DIMMs", and has an
> NLX form factor motherboard.
> I like buying equipment that I can swap parts around on. Obviously
> it makes things easier later on. 
> Is there an Alpha motherboard that runs NetBSD, doesn't cost a
> mint, and has an NLX form factor? This board has a riser and PCI
> cards come off of the riser.
> Are there any Alpha boards that use this kind of memory? 
> I'm going to need to put a video card in the machine. Any suggestions
> on PCI video cards that can do at least 1280x1024x24@72 Hz or
> better, will work in a PC or Alpha (SRM), and (as a bonus) will work
> on Digital UNIX?
> The IBM board has the ability to wake itself up on events. Anybody
> know of any gotchas that might bite an Alpha using that power supply?
> Are there any Alphas that can wake themselves up?
> Thanks for the help.
> -- 
> Kevin P. Neal                      
> "35. Yekcim Esuom budgeted $100 for renting a truck. How far can he..."
> A Survey of Mathematics with Applications, 5th ed, Angel+Porter, p 293

My suggestion: run away screaming.

That's a really oddball memory card. In general, the old standard
was 72-SIMM/FPM/5V, the next major standard was/is 168-DIMM/SDRAM/3.3V,
and it remains to be seen what the following big move will be, tho there
are some obvious candidates.

Everything in between represents a really dumb choice on someone's part
-OR- an intentionally proprietary lock-em-in move .. and since it was obvious
for years that the desired new std was 168-DIMM/SDRAM/3.3V, each half-way
measure threatened to unleash an exponentially growing explosion of interim

Fortunately .. for the most part .. we didn't have to suffer with everything
in between, that is, other than the stupid distraction with EDO that delayed
the more important move to SDRAM.

Everything and the inbetween:


Alpha for the most part stayed with 072SIMM:FPM:5V way too long, but did
eventually move straight to 168DIMM:SDRAM:3.3V, although not until it was
so obvious that you could hardly even buy anything else. Note that today
FPM or SIMM and SDRAM or DIMM are just taken to mean the first and the
last items in my list. (Which could have, BTW, been longer had I considered
even dumber but occasionally produced stuff...)

So .. my advice .. don't buy that box, don't even take it if offered to
you for free.  It's just mid-90's junk at this point, without even any
retro cachet value. Sure, there is nothing wrong with it's p6 (p-pro) cpu,
it was nice, except that no p6 chipset took sdram .. but .. it's just not
worth it considering how cheap something like my abit dual-celery bp6 was.)