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AT&T UNIX PC enthusiasts out there?

Teletech

Experienced Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2022
Messages
193
Update:
Taking both machines apart and rubbing bits together...
The 2MB motherboard works fine and after some grinding noises the second hard drive boots.
Careful examination shows a broken wire on the video cable of the non-booting machine.
The second machine's HDD drops to the shell rather than starting the GUI and the root password is null, so now I'm in as root on the second machine but don't know how to start the GUI or make a bootable floppy. Still, good progress.
 

agentb

Experienced Member
Joined
Apr 22, 2021
Messages
323
Location
Philly, USA
Good progress indeed. Root account doesn’t start the gui. You can start gui manually with ‘ua’ or login as ‘install’
 

Teletech

Experienced Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2022
Messages
193
Looks like the no-password HDD has... issues.
A lot of coffee grinder noise and the machine goes off and FSCKs to itself for prolonged periods.
I might get motivated and swap PCBs with the good one in case it's electronics, I might just give up on that drive and put it on a shelf.
I notice some folks use the Gesswein emulator but it looks like the DREM-3 is also an option. The Gesswein unit is nice since it will image drives, so clearly I need one in general, but the DREM seems a lot cleaner and more purpose-built for what it does and also does floppy emulation. So, what are people using and how do you like it?
I will say, there are a lot of places where I love to use real drives, but the 3B1/7300, (Convergent s/50) have enough challenges with the heat and power of a real drive that I'm not sure it's worth it in this case.
I'll see how my 67MB machine runs and decide from there. :)
In other news, it turns out I have a friend who worked for Convergent (the actual designers of the 7300) and he is intimately familiar with the software and some of the ways it's broken! I'm looking forward to sitting down with him and some 3b1s to get some history and tips.
 

Al Kossow

Documentation Wizard
Joined
Sep 1, 2006
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2,907
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Silicon Valley
:)
In other news, it turns out I have a friend who worked for Convergent (the actual designers of the 7300) and he is intimately familiar with the software and some of the ways it's broken!
one can only hope they kept a copy of the sources
 

agentb

Experienced Member
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Apr 22, 2021
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323
Location
Philly, USA
it turns out I have a friend who worked for Convergent
Always happy to hear more stories from people who worked at Convergent! They had some pretty interesting and cutting edge systems back then. Still wondering if anyone with a MegaFrame will ever pop up.
DREM-3 is also an option
I don't have any experience with the DREM. All I know is it's a bit more expensive. I prefer having the reliability of a MFM emulator in this case -- one more thing to rule out of things acting oddly. Regarding floppy emulation, gotek with FlashFloppy has worked great for me.
 

agentb

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Apr 22, 2021
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Philly, USA

hornbetw

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 27, 2013
Messages
256
Location
Philadelphia,PA area
Teletech, maybe you could check with Randy Kindig at the Floppy Days Podcast to see if he'd be interested in interviewing your friend. Randy likes to run interviews with the people who "were there". It would be interesting to others to hear what your friend has to say. :)
 

agentb

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Apr 22, 2021
Messages
323
Location
Philly, USA
the heat and power of a real drive that I'm not sure it's worth it
Funny you should mention this. I got my 3b1 with real 40MB full height drive working the other day and wow, I wasn’t ready for the real thumps you feel in the keyboard from the HD accessing. Some serious hits! I can see why you might need some decent sized caps in the power supply and why they upgraded the PS going from the 7300 to humped 3b1. Admittedly I haven’t used a full height drive in decades, but it was eye-opening.
 

shirsch

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2008
Messages
523
Location
Burlington, VT
Large full-height MFM drives have a serious amount of mass flying around during seeks. I've seen them physically shift on the bench top during testing.
 

czunit

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2015
Messages
238
Popping in on this thread: I've got a 3b1 system with the rodime drive, tape drive (good luck ever using that Chris :) and oddly enough an Ethernet card. It works, I do fire it up every once in awhile to say hello, but right now I'm focusing on getting my Sun386i's running again (major pain)
 

czunit

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2015
Messages
238
Yah. Even more rare would be the software that actually makes it work. I think the disk images on the internetz are corrupted.
 

agentb

Experienced Member
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Apr 22, 2021
Messages
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the disk images on the internetz are corrupted.
I originally thought that too and removed data from the header of archive files 2-5 and patched all 5 files into one big tar/cpio, which worked. That file is here. Turns out the images weren’t corrupted, but there was extra data at the start of each file which is floppy header block info, assuming these images were to be dd’d to floppy so the first 1024 bytes would be the floppy header and data after that was the continuation of the cpio INSTALL file, something like that. Edit: Looking back at the files, they look a track (4k, 8sec/trk) small so maybe it was they *didn’t* have the first track and you were supposed to dd to the floppy data partition device not the full raw floppy device. Regardless, what’s on bitsavers cpio’s properly.
 
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czunit

Experienced Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2015
Messages
238
Ah, nice job! So if I kermit this over to my 7300 how would I unpack it? cpio the files to floppies, untar it to a directory and install?

If I have to use floppies as a medium I may hook up the Gotek floppy emulator to the 7300, does it treat the floppy as a normal high density (1.2mb) floppy like from a PC/AT?
 

agentb

Experienced Member
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Apr 22, 2021
Messages
323
Location
Philly, USA
If you transferred it over via kermit, you can then gunzip it (gzip -d ETHERNET+IN.gz), provided you already have gzip on your system. And put ETHERNET+IN in /usr/spool/uucppublic/ . Then you can install from the GUI: Admin->Software Setup->Install Software send by Email

For floppy install, I'm not sure exactly what you need to do to recreate the proper disk images from the 5 files. But regarding a gotek, works pretty well. I use a gotek with FlashFloppy. Need to switch the jumper on the gotek from S1 to S0, and remove the JC jumper to select Shugart interface. Formats supported by UNIX PC are 320k (8sec/tk), 360k (9sec/tk), 400k (10sec/tk, native format).
 

djg

Experienced Member
Joined
Oct 24, 2008
Messages
183
Location
MD
Formats supported by UNIX PC are 320k (8sec/tk), 360k (9sec/tk), 400k (10sec/tk, native format).
Be suspicious of 3B1 online images that are 360k. There are some disks actually that size but a number of the ones online were 10 sec/trk disks that were read as 9 sec/trk so corrupt.
 

yumekonoi

New Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2022
Messages
4
Hi guys, happy to meet u all! My name is Patricia and at work I have by hands a AT&T UNIX PC 3B1 Olivetti that currently doesn't boot. I checked the led status and it seems to be all okay, after all the tests the screen became full of little green rectangles but no loader is booting. I hope this question is not redundant but some of u have some way to revive the 3B1?
Something as a OS to put in diskets, some way to go through the diskett or the hdd and make it work (i saw about some emulators but idk what or how it works?)? I'm literally going crazy because i want it to boot and see an old but enthusiasmatic PC (and because i want to make the client happy too c: ).
Thank you so much! Have a nice day!
PS: sorry for my basilar english, I try my best heheh
 

Teletech

Experienced Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2022
Messages
193
Hi guys, happy to meet u all! My name is Patricia and at work I have by hands a AT&T UNIX PC 3B1 Olivetti that currently doesn't boot. I checked the led status and it seems to be all okay, after all the tests the screen became full of little green rectangles but no loader is booting. I hope this question is not redundant but some of u have some way to revive the 3B1?
Something as a OS to put in diskets, some way to go through the diskett or the hdd and make it work (i saw about some emulators but idk what or how it works?)? I'm literally going crazy because i want it to boot and see an old but enthusiasmatic PC (and because i want to make the client happy too c: ).
Thank you so much! Have a nice day!
PS: sorry for my basilar english, I try my best heheh
If this machine has been sitting for a prolonged period, there's a good chance that the heads are stuck to the platters of the hard drive. Do you hear the hard drive spinning up and then making some head-seek noises? If the drive isn't spinning, then you'll need to remove it from the machine and free up the platters so it will spin up.
 

yumekonoi

New Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2022
Messages
4
If this machine has been sitting for a prolonged period, there's a good chance that the heads are stuck to the platters of the hard drive. Do you hear the hard drive spinning up and then making some head-seek noises? If the drive isn't spinning, then you'll need to remove it from the machine and free up the platters so it will spin up.
I don't hear anything like an old hard disk's sound but i hear like a delicate but jarring sound, like the wind. I know that the fan make that noise too and honestly i couldn't hear anything than the fan but my colleague made me notice it.
I saw some videos and that particular sound is not replicated on mine, and I dont know if it's because of the loader or if it's just the disk that is dead. At this point i will open it.. have you some advices? I dont want to make it worse than now :c
Thank you so much!
 
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