Subject: Re: non important question.
To: Tom I Helbekkmo <tih@Hamartun.Priv.NO>
From: Gunnar Helliesen <>
List: port-vax
Date: 03/29/1996 01:37:42
On Thu, 28 Mar 1996, Tom I Helbekkmo wrote:

> On Wed, 27 Mar 1996, Gunnar Helliesen wrote:
> Sounds like the one I'm running NetBSD/VAX 1.1B on here.  It's an
> H9642 cabinet with two BA23s mounted sideways, as you say, a TS05
> 9-track (front loading) above them, and an RA81 below.  The manual
> calls it a MicroVAX II 630QE -- I've upgraded mine to a 650, though.
> 26" wide, 36" deep, 42" tall, weight 650 lb.  :-)

That's the one. I used to be a system manager on your machine, but then 
it ran VMS and was called node MVAX2 (imaginative!). We always used to call 
those machines "model Q5". Q3 was the "normal", brown box (Q-bus accessed 
from the side, cabinet called BA123 or something, got the manuals at work, 
can check them out). Q2 was the smallest uVAX II, very small CPU 
enclosure mounted standing in a very small cabinet. Q-bus accessed from 
the rear, a real pain (literally)! Best way to change/move cards was to 
pull the whole CPU enclosure out of the cabinet to work on it.

First time I saw a Q2 was when I was sent to Stavanger to install a sync 
card (KMV11?) to connect the machine to our office via DECnet over X.25 
(@4800 baud). Real high-tech then... with knuckles bleeding and a lot of 
swearing I finally gave up and pulled the machine out of the cabinet.

Those KMV11 cards were a real pain too, they loaded their microcode from 
VMS at boot-time. If the card crashed (believe me, it happened) you 
usually had to shut down and power-cycle the machine to get it loaded and 
running again. Still, the KMV11 was childs play compared to the 
Hyper-Channel Unibus interface we used to have in our 11/780, it drew so 
much current that the Unibus cabinet regularly blew the fuse in our 
computer room. Finally had to rebuild the electrical system over a 
weekend. Those were the days, I miss large computer rooms!

Ooops, excuse my ranting and raving, guess I got way off-topic this time. 
Too bad alt.folklore.computers is so full of noise these days, it's real 
fun to discuss "the old days". Anyway, the reason I love NetBSD/VAX is 
because it's a brilliant excuse to collect old VAXen and keep feeding and 
nursing them (besides beeing a very modern and nice Unix in it's own 

Now, if only I could get that 3300 up and running... (talked to DEC today: 
"KA640 CPU? Harr, harr, harr. You must be joking! That's ancient stuff, 
we threw them away years ago!")



Gunnar Helliesen   | Bergen IT Consult AS  | NetBSD/VAX on a uVAX II
Systems Consultant | Bergen, Norway        | Jaguar Enthusiast/Ford owner   | | Vicki who? What .sig virus?