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Old OS info

 
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Rob Lowe_2
Occasional Advisor

Old OS info

Where would I go to find information on the OS HP installed on their first few generations of servers? Specifically any server that only had 12k of storage. Any help would be appreciated, I don't have a serial number or model number or anything, I'd just like to know what OS ran on those early machines....I realize this isn't fully on topic, but I'm doing a "time-line" for our company "museum" (read junk room )
10 REPLIES 10
melvyn burnard
Honored Contributor

Re: Old OS info

Any specific model numbers you might like to share?
Makes it easier for old-timers like me to remember :-]
My house is the bank's, my money the wife's, But my opinions belong to me, not HP!
Rob Lowe_2
Occasional Advisor

Re: Old OS info

Nossir, that's part of the problem, I mostly have just pieces of things, there's a huge case but no "body parts" for it and the labels have mostly peeled off even. I may be able to pull some serial numbers from the individual components if you think that will help. So far, based on information from these forums, I believe it (the bulk of the pieces that is, they look like they might make a whole with some pieces left over ) to be dated somewhere between 1974 and 1986. I know in that range would be the...2116 and the 2000A and possibly the HP 1000 line. I _believe_ but haven't been able to confirm, that the 2116 was the FIRST HP server available but I haven't been able to find any information on a possible OS or any other specs like memory or even how it was measured, ie 4k words, 8k words or what.

I know that's not much to go on but it should point out my conundrum. It's not like I need to make the pieces whole and make it work, I'm just curious because it's just slightly before my time and it would be great fun to play with something that was cutting edge when I was...ohhh....about 5 or less.
Patrick Wessel
Honored Contributor

Re: Old OS info

Rob,
maybe the attached article helps.

Patrick
There is no good troubleshooting with bad data
Rob Lowe_2
Occasional Advisor

Re: Old OS info

Well it might but it displays as a blank file and when I try to "save target as" it says it can't find the file. Heheheh, see? I'm not supposed to find anything out about this machine(s), maybe it's haunted or something'.
Dave Wherry
Esteemed Contributor

Re: Old OS info

"dated somewhere between 1974 and 1986"

Wouldn't that be the Abacus line of servers?
Bill Hassell
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: Old OS info

You wrote:

>>I know in that range would be the...2116 and the 2000A and possibly the HP 1000 line. I _believe_ but haven't been able to confirm, that the 2116 was the FIRST HP server available but I haven't been able to find any information on a possible OS or any other specs like memory or even how it was measured, ie 4k words, 8k words or what.

The 2116A wasn't the first server HP made, it was the HP 3000 running MPE that predates the 2116A by a little bit (almost 30 years ago). MPE is the commercial operating system while the 2116 (and the Timeshare BASIC machine called the 2000A, and related products like the 2100A followed by the 2112A, 2113A and 2117F) ran a realtime operating system, first called BCS and later rolled into RTE.

Marketing renamed the 2112A as the 21MX, then 2113A as the 21MX-E and 2117F and the 21MX-F. For a while, the 21MX was also known as the 21MX-M. After the 21xx series, the huge processor board (tabloid newspaper size) was redesigned using Large Scale Integration (mid 1980's) to become the L-series HP 1000 and later, the A-series.

The 2116A used 16bit core memory, something that young whippersnappers (technical term) like yourself may never have seen. Look up the details about core memory in an ancient history book of computers. This product line was eventually called the HP 1000 about 1980-1981 and RAM was always measured in 16bit words, so 12K would be 24Kbytes. These are CISC machines with more than 500+ unique instructions and variants and was programmed primarily in Assembler or machine language. With the advent of massive memory (32Kwords), compilers such as FORTRAN were a practical method of writing programs.

It would take the most part of a year to learn how to make one of these museum pieces work as there is nothing in common with PCs or Unix systems. Documentation is not available on the web since most of it was written in languages no longer available to process or convert (circa mid 1970's). The console was a Teletype ASR33 with punched papertape as the primary input and output storage and disks were about 1-5 megs in size.

So unless an oldtimer knows how to get the system up for you (and can point to the pile of manuals on how to boot and run the machine), reports indicate that it makes a excellent boat anchor.


Bill Hassell, sysadmin
Rob Lowe_2
Occasional Advisor

Re: Old OS info

Thanks Bill! I knew an ol' fogey would show up eventually with a little ancient knowledge ta pass down.

Bill Hassell
Honored Contributor

Re: Old OS info

Definition: ol'fogey

A young computer specialist who has extensively read the ancient manuscripts of computing, memorizing tidbits of trivia and then repeating in forums like this to pretend to be a wizard...

Definiton: wizard

An old guy...


Bill Hassell, sysadmin
Patrick Wessel
Honored Contributor

Re: Old OS info

Rob,
Strange thing with the article. I'll try to post it again. This article is from January 1967 and is about the introduction of the 2116A
There is no good troubleshooting with bad data
Mark brady
Occasional Visitor

Re: Old OS info

Hello I just purchased a HP 5895A GC/MS system which uses the 21mxe computer all is funtional i also recieved the HUGE data disks with the OS system with one problem no disk drive. also have many manuals with it.
my question is there any way to intergrate this old system with newer computer systems or save the data off the disks to a newer format which will work with this system?
thanx