Subject: Re: VAXstation 4000/90 Success!
To: None <>
From: Robert Schaefer <>
List: port-vax
Date: 07/13/2002 13:44:55
----- Original Message -----
From: "Andy Ball" <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, July 13, 2002 12:57 PM
Subject: Re: VAXstation 4000/90 Success!

> Hello Matt,
>   M> Armed only with the DOS attitude, "If it fails the
>    > first time, try running it again, it might work this
>    > time"...
> I love it when persistance pays off! :-)

Ant it's the only method for fixing all sorts of windoze problems.

>   M> Currently, I have 64MB installed as 4x 16MB SIMMs in
>    > slots 1, 3, 6 & 8. If I wanted to add more memory, what
>    > are my options?
> I'm not fortunate enough to have a VAX 4000, so I would have
> to check the documentation.  Generally speaking on a 32-bit
> machine, a bank is four byte-wide (30 pin, 8 or 9 bit) SIMMs
> or a single word-wide (72 pin, 32 or 36 bit) one. That said,
> there are an awful lot of variables when it comes to the
> structure and timing of memory, and there's always the
> designer wildcard (if they used page interleaving for
> example, you might need a pair of word-wide SIMMs).
> Hopefully someone here is more familiar with your machine,
> and can provide a more useful answer.

The m90 takes a special SIMM, only fits the m90, m60, and a flavor of
VAXstation 3100 IIRC.  There are only 4MB and 16MB SIMMs, so at least you
won't have to get rid of a bunch of 4MB sticks when you upgrade.

The max is 2 banks of 4x 16 MB for a grand total of 128MB RAM.  It doesn't
sound like a lot, but this is the pinnacle of CISC computing.  (You want to
roll to the left, compare to an int, and reset a bit?  Yah, we have an
instruction to do that.)  The SIMMs are not exceptionally common, but I see
them on epay from time to time.  When I upgraded the dealers were bailing at
~$1(US)/MB, and the second 64MB kit I got was actually a lot less than that.
Watch out when you install them, the banks are laid out oddly.
1-2-1-2-2-1-2-1 I believe.

>   M> Anyway, I can start playing now, and the machine
>    > certainly feels quite nippy for its age.
> Having 64Mb of RAM probably helps :-)

Having 128MB help even more.  Until I picked up my DEC 3000/800, this was
probably my fastest computer!

The surest cure for the SYS error is to not reboot the computer.  Barring a
power failure, there shouldn't be any reason to.

> Regards,
>   - Andy Ball.