Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 15th Apr 2007 16:59 UTC, submitted by shykid
Hardware, Embedded Systems "In the first purchase of his collection, Sellam Ismail loaded the trunk of his car with old computers he stumbled upon at a flea market for USD 5 apiece. He soon had filled his three-car garage with what others would consider obsolete junk. Years later, his collection of early computers, printers and related parts is piled high across shelves and in chaotic heaps in a 4500-square-foot warehouse near Silicon Valley. And it is worth real money."
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RE[2]: Cool
by yak8998 on Mon 16th Apr 2007 05:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Cool"
yak8998
Member since:
2006-07-28

I'm more into the kind of stuff you have in the modern part of your collection. I like the older computers, but I would rather gather up 90s systems that are a little more usable.

I have...
SGI o2
sgi indy
dec alphastation 433a
hp pa-risc something or other (haven't touched it yet)
sgi octane 2000 (8cpu rack server)
origional compaq-branded alpha (forgot how fast)

and theres a few old DEC mainframes at work waiting for me if I ever take the time to go pick them up. I think the one is a 4000.

I just need more room, I've had to pass on some sweet stuff. I'm actually keeping the rack at my girlfriend's right now.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Cool
by jcgf on Mon 16th Apr 2007 16:17 in reply to "RE[2]: Cool"
jcgf Member since:
2005-11-14

dec alphastation 433a



I have a dec alphastation 433au that I am trying to get rid of and can't bring myself to take it to be recycled. Do you know anyone who wants it bad enough to pay shipping from saskatchewan? It's "free" otherwise. It's running freebsd 4.11 now. It has a dead battery and will ship sans hdd (ultimate data security, reformats aren't enough). Only annoying thing is it loses time and boot device info when the power is removed. Of course being an alpha, you never need to turn it off anyways, but I'd imagine that a battery could be found easily.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[4]: Cool
by ajacques on Mon 16th Apr 2007 19:35 in reply to "RE[3]: Cool"
ajacques Member since:
2007-04-16

Hi, I'm in Montréal. I've been dying to get my hands on an Alpha box to revive my high school memories of OpenVMS (no kidding). If you're interested, I'd definitely be glad to pay for shipping.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Cool
by Doc Pain on Tue 17th Apr 2007 12:19 in reply to "RE[2]: Cool"
Doc Pain Member since:
2006-10-08

"I'm more into the kind of stuff you have in the modern part of your collection. I like the older computers, but I would rather gather up 90s systems that are a little more usable."

You mentioned SGI systems (O2, Indy). I've worked at some of them at university (Indy, Octane) and they're still fun to use. Video editing and OpenGL programming are their main field of use, and, of course, playing DooM. The MIPS processors are even faster at iteration count than Sun's Sparc ones. And surely wou'll have noted the nice design of these machines, no comparisons to the ugly stuff PC vendors sell today. With a little work, these machines can be made running without any hearable sound. If you're used to have your computer running silently, most "modern" PCs are to be considered crap in terms of noise. The "troughput" (real operations per cycle unit) is very good, MIPS R16k @ 500 MHz with 1.692 vs. AMD Athlon @ 1333 MHz with 0.672. SGI also made nice multiprocessor systems (and I mean multiprocessor, with real processors with own memory, own channels etc., not just cores) which made parallel processing with IRIX fun. And yes, IRIX is still usable. So, this was a long ode to SGI oh joy. :-)

BTW, do you know the SGI Crimson? It can "easily" be turned into a fridge. :-)

DEC (and Compaq) really made fantastic systems, the Alpha architecture was really impressing.

"and theres a few old DEC mainframes at work waiting for me if I ever take the time to go pick them up. I think the one is a 4000."

I have to state that I began my "career" in a data processing center (but sadly not for a long time) where mainframes (robotron EC1055M) were the usual means of high performance computing. Today you can laugh about them (huge boxes for 256 kB RAM etc.), but you still can learn from the principles they realized, and the software engineers who got complex tasks solved with these machines. But I cannot have them at home, so they're doomed. :-(

"I just need more room, I've had to pass on some sweet stuff."

Ah yes, I know this problem. It's a typical collector's problem. :-)

Consider the second important problem when you have two places of storage (house, garage). What you need is always there where you are not, e. g. you want to repair a machine in your house, but the hard disk you need resides in the garage...

Reply Parent Score: 2