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Thursday 8 May 2014

PDP-11/44: Hope

So, if all goes well...this weekend I should end up with the replacement H7140 PSU for my 11/44 chassis. In the intervening months since I got the system, I've cleaned up the boards a bit, fully washed and cleaned the backplanes, checked for any bent pins that were touching and straightened the few that were (as my eyesight isn't the greatest let's hope I didn't miss any important ones!). The board contacts were cleaned to an extent...they seem to just be a bit tarnished but I don't see anything that should cause a problem electrically. Most of the leaves have been pulled from the backplane (don't ask), thankfully as the 11/44 only sat outside a short while (less than a day) none got embedded in the backplane!


My RL11 is still the cleanest board with half a DEUNA set as the dirtiest...but I don't see anything that poses an /electrical/ problem. Any dust shouldn't be /highly/ conductive. No IC legs look utterly awful save for an 8085 I already replaced. Before power-up I will look over each board again very thoroughly (assuming the PSU even WORKS).

The last remaining problems are: no disks (don't have the UDA50 yet, don't have an RL11 emulator yet), and needing to find the pinout for the console. I'm betting it's differential like on the DLV11-J/SLUs for the 11/23+ but the docs didn't seem to mention much. Maybe my PDP-11 books will have more board info. I also unfortunately don't have the Floating Point board...but that SHOULDN'T be too hard to find.

Here's pictures of the chassis:



Populated with cards:


Board model numbers:


More will follow once I have the new PSU. If anyone has console pinouts, let me know!

Sunday 13 April 2014

PXE Insanity

This is not exactly anything retro but it still has a use! It's also COOL

Windows Server 2008 R2 (failing to) boot in a VM via iSCSI! My DHCP server shoves out an IP, Server 2008 R2 responds and serves up PXELINUX. From there PXELINUX acts as a "jumping-off point" to access All The Things™ I could need to boot to install a system. Unfortunately...this only works with x86/amd64 right now. To do something similar with a VAX or Sun (i'd first need to get new NVRAMs!) I'd need to write an actual executable if I wanted a menu. MOP is very simple...bootp would be a bit more complex as I have no idea how to setup a generic profile.

Next...I think I'll do some video capture tests. I'll probably install the capture box using this very PXE setup!

Monday 27 January 2014

Premier billet

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