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Re: Is this list alive?

On 12/16/2012 07:11 PM, Aaron J. Grier wrote:
> alpha-wise, I'm down to the 1000A, a 3000/400, and some multias of
> various repair.  The 1000A continues to be my primary machine; the rest
> are collecting dust.

  I'm amazed that the 1000A is still running.  They're the only Alphas
I've ever found to be less reliable than the Multia.  I'm glad to hear
at least ONE of them was decent.

> The 1000A 5/400 is still usable for my purposes.  it's certainly more
> stable and faster than a pentium pro contemporary.  updating the aging
> storage subsystem away from SCSI (add gig-E for iSCSI or add a SATA
> controller for local disk) in an attempt to cut power consumption seems
> like it would be beating a dead horse.

  They're capable of quite a bit of work, despite industry's effort to
"obsolete" them.  ("obsolete" has been verbed!)

  But...why move away from SCSI?  I'll bet even older SCSI drives will
last a good bit longer than the consumer-grade drek flooding the market
now.  And non-consumer-grade SATA/SAS drives cost a fortune.  It'll take
a good long while to recoup that kind of cost in reduced power consumption.

> part of me realizes I should just suck it up and migrate all the
> services over to (potentially virtual) amd64 systems, but there are
> still aspects of the DEC systems (like BIOS vs SRM, chassis
> construction, motherboard layout) that I feel are still a level above
> commodity x86 boxes.

  Ugh, why?  I parse "commode" in "commodity".  That hardware is
crap...unless you buy really high-end stuff, but you can buy a new car
for what some of those machines cost.  And in the end you still have to
deal with crap like the BIOS.

  My next major infrastructure upgrade will be from UltraSPARC-III+ to
UltraSPARC-T2.  Going 2-3 years between reboots, I'm not in too much of
a rush to even do that.

> the multias are pathetic, not stable, but they don't take up much space,
> and I have higher priority (larger) systems to dispose of first...  :)

  Eh.  Multias.  I had such high hopes for those machines when I first
read about them.

> I would think a more modern alpha (EV68CB or later) with plenty of
> memory and modern disk would be good for at least another half decade,
> but they seem to be pretty rare.

  They're showing up on the market occasionally.  It's only a matter of

  Man I'd bet that even current NetBSD, which has a good bit of bloat,
would run like a scalded dog on one of those machines.  Zooom!


Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
New Kensington, PA

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