I'm slowly building a collection of mostly retro computers. Here are the inhabitants of my lab. The machine photos were done with a Silicon Graphics IndyCam.

NameArchitectureOSPurpose
jasperMac mini (CDuo)OS XDesktop
tvillingAMD x86GNU/LinuxGeneral
edgarDEC AlphaGNU/LinuxDoorstop
tbdBeBox (PPC)BeOSIt's Cool
hadrianBeBox (PPC)BeOSIt's Cool
  
NameArchitectureOSPurpose
brendaMIPS R4600IRIXIt's Cool
obsidianNeXT (m68k)NeXTSTEPIt's Cool
kokopelliAMD x86Windows XP / BeOSDoorstop
oppdagelsesreisendeAMD x86GNU/LinuxDoorstop
 

Some cool systems that I don't have but would like to add are on my wanted page.



Name: jasper
Arch: Apple Mac mini, Core Duo 1.83GHz
OS: OS X
Uptime: 24 days 12 hours 16 minutes (current), 44 days 3 hours 49 minutes (peak)
Notes: My main desktop, of a sort. It now lives in my stero cabinet so I have to connect by VNC. Used for email, weather reports, general geekiness, and all things multi-media. Now acts as a media center computer as well and is my first real DVD player. Allowed me to put
tvilling in the basement, keeping it's fan noise and heat far away from me. All-in-all a nice system. A few quirks and difficulties but, alas, that seems to be status quo for personal computers. (the graphic above is a NeXTStation, like obsidian, and a mini. The operating system on the mini was directly derived from that on the NeXTStation)


Name: tvilling
Arch: AMD bi-Athlon MP 2000+ w/SCSI and DVI
OS: GNU/Linux with rare use of Windows XP
Uptime: 60 days 9 hours 22 minutes (current), 116 days 2 hours 58 minutes (peak)
Notes: Formerly my main desktop, then web and email server, now it is just a file server as well as controlling my stero with
software I developed. Linux was pretty peppy as a desktop with this horsepower (though Linux was peppy on oppdagelsesreisende too).

 
Name: edgar
Arch: DEC Alpha 166MHz
OS: GNU/Linux
Uptime: 0 days 00 hours 00 minutes (current), 780 days 19 hours 55 minutes (peak)
Notes: Formerly my web server. This thing has a couple inches of heatsink and fan because it needs it.
   Rebooted itself for unknown reasons at about 2007/04/02 16:00Z and again on 2007/04/05 or 2007/04/06. Both times it returned to the PROM, which I think might be better than expected. The second time I unplugged the system to prevent damage. It will no longer load the PROM. Sounds similar to hard disk seeking can be heard coming from the power supply while no drives are attached. Power supply failure suspected. - RIP -


Names: unnamed and hadrian
Manufacturer: Be Inc
Model: BeBox
Arch: Dual PowerPC 603
OS: BeOS
Notes: Because one processor per person is not enough. A system designed for multi-media performance and a responsive and clean user interface. An incredible number of I/O ports to accompany the two processors with LED processor-load meters on the front of the machine. It simply doesn't get any cooler than this. More details
here and here. Photos from bebox.nu.
   I attempted to install BeOS DR6 on unnamed, but boot would freeze when attempting to boot. The BeOS logo appeared as normal and the boot menu could be used to show that the install CD was a recognized database. Eventually I gave up but have hope that the system may someday work.
   hadrian has been setup with BeOS 5 for attempted use as a primary system. This eventually died as I migrated to using IMAP, for which no BeOS client exists, to manage my email and was unable to find a working X-Server to allow me to run demanding tasks remotely on tvilling.


Name: brenda
Arch: Silicon Graphics Indy R4600 133MHz
OS: IRIX 6.2
Notes: This thing is cool. 'Nuf said.


Name: obsidian
Arch: NeXT Computer NeXTStation Color
OS: NEXTSTEP 3.2
Notes: This thing is pretty cool too. Fairly responsive. Especially for running on a 25MHz processor.
Screenshots: A couple shots of OmniWeb 2.7-beta-3 doing a little
political campaigning and visiting old friends. It only took about a minute to render each of the pages.

 
Name: kokopelli
Arch: AMD Duron 700
OS: Windows XP
Uptime: 0 hours 00 minutes (current), 81 days 11 hours 5 minutes (peak)
Notes: HTPC/Windows Terminal Server. My parents got a new computer and I was lucky enough to get the old one as a hand-me-down for those rare occasions when I need Windows. Dual booting tvilling was problematic because the SCSI drives take so long to be identified at boot. I'd usually end up missing the boot selection screen, so kokopelli eliminates the issue.
   Lo and behold, I found, kokopelli has an ATI All-In-Wonder (as does tvilling), so it was an obvious HTPC solution to sit in the bottom of the stereo cabinet. tvilling lost it's DVD drive to kokopelli since I didn't have a proper DVD player and kokopelli is working well as a media center in development. Windows XP is setup for remote access when needed. My hope is to add BeOS back on, and that it will simply rock as a media OS and Windows XP will eventually take the back stage.
   At the moment, the Windows XP installation is my alarm clock. Using software I wrote to control my Yamaha RX-V 2400, it turns on my bedroom speakers and plays from a couple playlists while working the volume to give me an effective and enjoyable wakeup. The rxv2400 control software will be placed on sourceforge after a little more development and testing. Alpha copies are available for anybody who would like to help. It may work with other Yamaha receivers with RS-232.
   Crashed unexpectedly while playing an audio stream the last week of April, 2007. Subsequent usage resulted in additional crashes and software errors which may or may not be related. Could not complete a full-system virus scan due to crashes. The nature of all crashes was complete and unannounced unresponsiveness of the system. Network pings were not responded to, no video was driven, and keyboard lights would not toggle. Further investigation on 2007/06/01 showed an increasing number of controller and parity errors on the IDE controller and drives. Attempts to remedy the problem were made through repeated runs of chkdsk /f and chkdsk. The system became so inoperable that it was powered down pending replacement and eventual data recovery. Discovered some time later that the fan on the IO controller doesn't really spin anymore. - RIP -

 
Name: oppdagelsesreisende
Arch: AMD K6 233
OS: GNU/Linux
Notes: Alas this poor machine has more screws out than in at this stage. As my less-than-faithful college computer this system received a replacement power supply (went bad), processor (AMD bug), processor fan (slowed down), and motherboard (not sure if anything was wrong but after several overheats the spare board made sense). The memory was replaced in an upgrade and an additional hard disk was added. The hard disks had issues but Linux handled them fairly well. My hospice care for this computer reached an end with a subtle pop as the power supply failed. I took it as a sign that, even though the processing power was enough for my needs, I should stop keeping the poor thing on life support. Originally named kaysicks, this system ran Red Hat Linux, DOS, WindowsNT 4.0, Windows95, Windows98, OS/2 v3, Debian GNU/Linux, and suffered the torment of a college student with no respect for doing system work by the books.

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Last modified: 2006-02-04 22:53:55 Central Standard Time