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pitlog
February 9th, 2011, 05:55 AM
I'll try to make a long and growing story short :)

I have an AT&T 3B2/600-G up and running. It's a beautiful machine with 64MB, 2 processors, SCSI, and lots more. Everything works. It's booting the basic OS (SVR3.2.3) off a newish SCSI drive. But all I have on it is the core SVR3 OS. I have lots more to put on there.

The other software I have is in the form of tape images that I need to get onto 120MB QIC tapes. The machine has an ancient, but working, Wangtek 5125ES tape drive that can read tapes fine.

So I figured I'd pull the drive, stick it on another machine, and write the tapes from there.

Right?

The problem is that SVR4 does not seem to recognize the drive at all. SunOS 4.1.4 sees the drive but will not stream it. It goes into head-buffing mode with a backspace after ever 512B block. I'd kill the poor old drive making tapes that way.

Next I will build a SCSI-based Linux box and try there. Maybe Linux has a driver for this ancient and not very common drive. I'm not optimistic.

Finally, I thought about writing a new entry for the drive in st_conf.c in SunOS and recompiling the kernel. Unfortunately I've lost the meager skilz I may once have had in SunOS, and there is no documentation available for the drive that I can find.

Any other wisdom out there? Does anyone else have a machine like this who can create a couple of 120MB tapes for me?

Thanks,
Tom

RetroHacker_
February 9th, 2011, 06:11 AM
Sure - I can write you some tapes. I have a Linux machine set up with a 120MB QIC drive.

Another option is to use floppy disks - the individual files on the tapes that are used by installpkg are actually just direct block copies of 720k floppy disks. You can just dd it to a disk. That's how I have been installing some stuff on my 3B2, since I don't have a cartridge tape drive or SCSI for it.

-Ian

pitlog
February 9th, 2011, 06:36 AM
Ian,

That's great news, and thanks for the offer. If I can get a linux machine up quick that can deal with my 120MB drive, I can save us a bit of trouble and postage.

OTOH, maybe we should talk off list about 3B2 stuff. Maybe there's a swap or something in our future?

Are there any other 3B2 owners on the list?

Tom

Chuckster_in_Jax
February 13th, 2011, 08:29 PM
Ian,

Are there any other 3B2 owners on the list?

Tom

I've got a 3B2/400. I initially made a video cable using these instructions:

http://unixwiz.net/3b2/serial-de9.html

Could not get anything displayed from the 3B2 using a laptop and a couple of different terminal software packages. The machine may be fine but I had other more pressing projects and boxed it up for the time being.
Don't have any software for it either. It may boot from the hard drive, but without any console display I can't tell.

Chuck

pitlog
February 15th, 2011, 11:23 AM
I've got a 3B2/400. I initially made a video cable using these instructions:

http://unixwiz.net/3b2/serial-de9.html

Could not get anything displayed from the 3B2 using a laptop and a couple of different terminal software packages. The machine may be fine but I had other more pressing projects and boxed it up for the time being.
Don't have any software for it either. It may boot from the hard drive, but without any console display I can't tell.

Chuck

Hey Chuck,

I just use c-kermit from a Linux box straight over the serial port. Firmware mode requires 9600/8/N/1, and after boot, it needs 9600/7/E/1, or at least that the way it's set out of the box.

They're kind of twitchy boxes with a long POST and Diagnostic routines, and because they're SVR3 (or maybe even SVR2), the filesystems are not hardened like they are today. That started happening with SVR4 and the Veritas filesystem. So if you power them down too much vs. using shutdown, it can scramble things pretty well.

If you ever get to trying again, I'd be glad to help if I can. I'm no expert, but I've got mine running now and pretty much started from scratch with the help of someone else on the net who had been through it all. I tried to take careful notes so I can do it again when I need to.

BTW, I got the tape drive working on a Linux box, and can now build all the tapes I need. I've also got kermit running on the 3B2 and can transfer files from the Linux box, although at 9600bps it sometimes takes a while for big tarballs.

Cheers,
Tom

Chuckster_in_Jax
February 15th, 2011, 08:28 PM
Tom,

I'll take you up on that offer sometime in the near future. One of the nicer machines I've got and I would really like to get it running.

Thanks!

Chuck

pitlog
February 20th, 2011, 07:02 PM
Thanks to all that have helped. I've managed to stumble my way through most of my problems. I've got an old and very strange 60MB tape drive (Wangtek proprietary interface with an Emulex SCSI card on the drive) semi-working under Linux and have been able to make some tapes. It's touch and go; sometimes the Linux box refuses to boot with that drive attached. I've also got kermit running on the 3B2 - I actually pasted the source files in over a standard serial terminal connection, like cat > file1.c. g-kermit is short and sweet, and I managed to get it compiled and working. Using that and kermit on the other side, I'm able to send files over, albeit slowly. I think I've figured out that when working with old machines like this, you don't expect fast.

So with all that, I was able to build both boot tapes, and tapes full of installable 3B2 software packages. I've got most of what I wanted installed.

Now I need to get the floppy drive working. Not sure why it's not working at this point. The light comes on and the drive spins, but I can't read, write, or format a diskette. I've cleaned the heads, but still nothing. It's the next thing I'll work on, and once I get the floppy working, I'm home free.

I'm also working on building terminal cables so that I can set up an eports (8 serial) card with a Livingston PM2e/30. When that's done, I'll have a console server with 8 ports on a roll for the 3B2. If anyone wants to try SVR3.2 on a 3B2, let me know, and I'll set you up.

Still a lot more to do, but I think I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Cheers,
Tom

ahm
February 21st, 2011, 11:10 AM
I may still have some NOS 25-foot "black cable"s and Terminal/Printer adapters.
Any use?

pitlog
February 22nd, 2011, 05:42 AM
I may still have some NOS 25-foot "black cable"s and Terminal/Printer adapters.
Any use?

Sure! Any 3B2 related parts will be very gratefully received. PM me, and let's talk!

Tom