Subject: Re: Most perverted DEC system: DECsystem 5500
To: Michael Kukat <>
From: Lord Isildur <>
List: port-alpha
Date: 10/30/2002 08:14:28
wow, this is pretty impressive! unless...someone has put a VAX processor 
in there instead! what does it report itself as on startup? 


On Wed, 30 Oct 2002, Michael Kukat wrote:

> Hello,
> okay, i aquired a DECsystem 5500 at eBay now. After fixing a burned operator
> panel, this thing seems to work nice. But i saw an _EXTREMELY_ perverted
> curiosity:
> Trying to boot Ultrix/RISC: ?FILESTRUCT somewhat
> Trying to boot NetBSD/pmay: ?FILESTRUCT somewhat
> Okay. I know this message from a VAX trying to boot from a non-FILES11-disc.
> So i thought: okay. Getting rid of this message is easy: Throw in a
> FILES11-disc. The system will crash, but for testing, if my CD-ROM is okay,
> this is enough. So i inserted Ultrix/VAX.
> And i didn't believe it: This beast boots Ultrix/VAX!!! Extremely slow, but
> boots. Okay, the kernel halts when starting, but this thing executes VAX code.
> Same with VMS/VAX. It starts booting and terminaltes with %SYSBOOT-F-Unknown
> Processor or so. But it executes VAX code. As a final test: Booting NetBSD/vax
> on it. The bootloader display the usual text, the counter goes down, okay but
> then, it fails with stray interrupts. But this is the definitive prove that a
> DECsystem 5500 with a MIPS R3000 inside is capable of executing VAX code, maybe
> even emulate a VAX.
> So, should we, besides port-pmax, also port NetBSD/vax on this machine? Just as
> a nice gag? Okay. I have the hardware now, so i will have a look into the
> kernel to drive DS5500 support, according to the website, it is still in
> progress. I don't know if i find the time to port NetBSD/vax on it also, but i
> will have a look into NetBSD/pmax.
> But, besides this funny story... Is there a way to boot the official
> Ultrix/RISC from CD on this machine? "B DIA3" doesn't work, and the RZ devices
> aren't recognized in several forms, but are displayed in "SHOW DEV".
> ...Michael
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