About a month ago, a French colleague of mine drew my attention to a french website, the title of which translates to "Private Cossor must be saved". A Cossor DIDS-400 terminal of the mid-1960's was going to end up in the trash unless someone stepped up to rescue it.

On Friday, the 11th of May 2018, my friend Andreas drove over from eastern Germany to deliver some Convex SPP supercomputers for the Convex Computer Collection. 

The Ardent Titan we acquired almost two years ago is one of those systems we had little hope for we'd ever see it run again; all we have is the system box, with a bland hard disk. About a year ago, we were in contact with someone who claimed to have OS tapes for it, but that contact vanished without a trace. But we're getting a second one now!

When I got to my office in the US yesterday, there was a pleasant surprise waiting for me. The generous donor of the Convex C1 XP had found another box of tapes he once used with the machine. He did not recall what was on these tapes, but had them sent to my office.

Last Tuesday, Andreas, a friend from Germany, arrived to deliver the Convex C240. Along with the C240 came all the I/O cabinets and devices for the Convex C220, as well as a lot of spare parts (boards, PSU's, drives).

After the Arrival of the Convex C220, I took some time over the course of a few days to figure out exactly what I got, and run some diagnostics. Even though none of the peripherals are here yet (they’ll arrive in a few weeks, along with the Convex C240), there are plenty of things I can do before then.


About a week ago, the Convex C220 arrived, this is the first part of the Convex C2 Shipment (the Convex C240 will follow three weeks from now). This first shipment consisted of the C220 cpu cabinet, a couple of empty cabinets, some spare parts, some software tapes, and a lot of documentation.

After I got my Convex C1 Supercomputers, I've been contacted by people offering Convex systems and parts to me. Today, I've come to an agreement to acquire a couple of Convex C2 Supercomputers.

After a long journey, the supercomputers that were donated to me by a US professor have finally arrived on Dutch soil, and are now safely inside the barn. On Friday the 10th of March, around 2:30 pm, the truck showed up, and unloaded five large crates; about 4 hours later, I had all the cabinets and parts inside (with a little help from my father).


The Four Supercomputers have been crated up, and are ready to be shipped! About a month to go...

Crates for the supercomputers (Four Supercomputers) are being made! The shipping company is enjoying a christmas/newyear break, and in January they'll crate up the computers.

One of the things I've been looking for for a long time is a laptop with an Alpha processor. Tadpole made these in the mid-1990s, and they are exceedingly rare.

Last Tuesday, I delivered a presentation in Paris for the French OpenVMS User Group, about VMS Software's future plans for the OpenVMS operating system. At the occasion one of the HPE employees present gave me a large, old Compaq laptop bag.

The DEC AlphaServer 8200 that Pontus Pihlgren sent to me has arrived today. It was very well packaged on a pallet. It took me about an hour to partially disassemble it to reduce the weight, get it off the pallet, bring it inside, and reassemble it.

Today, my friend Pontus Pihlgren, from Uppsala, Sweden, started packing and preparing to ship a DEC AlphaServer 8200 and two DEC 4000 AXPs to me.

** Updated on February 7, 2017 ** Hopefully, if all goes well, I will soon be the owner of four 1980's (mini-)supercomputers, which have been donated by a professor at Stanford University. I've had a shipping company collect and crate these, they've been shipped across the Atlantic, and are currently sitting in a warehouse in Rotterdam. They've just cleared customs, I paid the duties and import fees, and am now awaiting word on the delivery date.

Through one of the mailing lists I subscribe to, I learned of an insurance company in the German city of Düsseldorf - about an hour and a half from where I live - that was about to throw away some serious Sun systems.

Yesterday I said goodbye to my colleagues at JKP, a Dutch IT services complany where I've worked part time for the last two years. If you're looking for someone to take care of your OpenVMS, HP-UX or Storage systems management needs in the Netherlands, check out www.jkp-ictbeheer.nl.

On this occasion, one of my (now former) colleagues, an ex-DEC service engineer, presented me with some very nice microfiche:

These are the source listings for VAX/VMS 2.0, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4 and 3.0, as well as DECnet-VAX 1.0

Fortunately, I also have the necessary equipment to read these microfiche. Thank you very much for a wonderful present, Rien!

This past weekend, my wife and I, along with my brother and sister in law, paid a three-day visit to the city of Berlin. Although we spent most of our time there sightseeing, the direct occasion for our trip was that I had been offered an IBM I/O Selectric model 731.

About half a year ago, I had received a tip from my friend Dr. Bernd Ulmann, that a retiree of the Technical University of Berlin, Dipl.-Ing. Wolfgang Mahnfitz, wanted to find a good home for his IBM 731. After some e-mail conversation, in which I explained my intended use (as a console typewriter for my emulated IBM 360/65), he agreed to give the machine to me. We spent a short, but pleasant, time with Wolfgang and his wife, Ingrid, and I went home with not just the 731, but, as an added bonus, I got to take a character drum from an ICT (ICL) 1933 printer with me.


The 731, shown in the trunk of our car above, was used as a replacement for the console terminal on a Zuse Z-25 computer at TU-Berlin.

The picture above shows the added height (black part at the bottom of the machine) required for the switches and solenoids.

The ICT/ICL drum comes from a model 1933 line printer, capable of printing 1350 lines per minute, that was used with an ICT 1909 computer at TU-Berlin.


Today me and my brother (truck driving license, no interest in old iron) had the biggest haul of DEC stuff I ever had (ex-collector moving to a smaller apartment).

A quick inventory:

PDP stuff

VAX stuff

BA123 VAXen

BA213, BA215 and BA440 VAXen (pedestal)

BA42 VAXen

BA40 VAXen

MIPS stuff

Alpha stuff


  • 2 x HSZ40
  • 28 x StorageWorks BA350
  • 16 x StorageWorks BA353
  • 8 x R400X storage pedestal
  • 4 x R215F storage pedestal
  • 32 x pizzabox storage expansion (VAX-era)
  • 11 x lunchbox storage expansion (VAX-era)


Miscellaneous stuff

As you can see, all this has made me very happy!

I picked up a Nova-4 mini at an auction. Just the CPU box, no peripherals.

Part numbers:
Chassis : M0061411 D1882 P T005 12080 R67
NVR Supply : E0470375 D0882 P A005 12074 R26 T005 12429 R30
Backplane : E0502539 D1282 P A005 12072 R10 T005 12073 R10
0 - Supply : E0526152 D1682 P A005 12062 R48 T005 18878 R00
1 - CPU : E0471713
2 - RAM : E0752855
3 - DIABLO: Rianda Electronics Assy No 020000-21H Diablo Disk Controller
5 - SERIAL: E0859602 D0683 P A005 2041 R16 T005 3523 R10
10 - TAPE : Western Peripherals TC120 Mag Tape Controller
12 - SERL : LV0010629 D3883 P A2041 R16 T3523 R10
15 - SMD : ZETACO Model 295 Storage Module Disk Controller

It looks like the CPU and RAM have most of their identification codes cut off.

On the back of the backplane, the following connections are made:
1 - console port
2 - A-Side and B-Side terminators
3 - Two wide ribbon connectors ending in a 50-pin MRAC connector.
There's a hand-written label attached that reads:
Rianda Electronics
5 - 20 pin card edge connector, 5 wires connected (A81, A85, B54, B69, B99 as far as I can tell)
10 - 1 50-pin card-edge connector and 2 26-pin card edge connectors
12 - same as 5
15 - none, the ZETACO has its connectors on the front of the card
16 - two large connectors going to a 100-pin card edge connector.
There is a card that fits this with a hand-written label that reads:
I/O Board
Rev. A - Term. I/O - 6

On the A-side of the backplane there are some wire-wrap connections
on pins 93-96:
4 : A94 - 5 : A94
4 : A96 - 5 : A96
5 : A93 - 9 : A93
5 : A95 - 9 : A95
11 : A94 - 12 : A94
11 : A96 - 12 : A96
12 : A93 - 14 : A93
12 : A95 - 14 : A95

I won an eBay auction for three Philips P800 family minis with three cartridge disc drives, disc cartridges, lots of spare parts, and manuals including schematics. All for the incredible sum of 10 euros 75.

I saw the auction when it had 11 minutes left to go while I was on vacation (I'm a bit of an eBay junkie, although deals like this are becoming rare).


  • P856/P857 CPU box (blinkenlights w/toggle switches
  • 3 x P858/P859 CPU box (hex keypad with fluorescent display)
  • 2 x E2 6-slot expansion card cage
  • Boards:
    • 4522 107 62304 (unknown)
    • 5 x AMA-8A: Asynchronous line multiplexer
    • 2 x BIGD: Big disk controller (40/80MB CDC)
    • 2 x BIGD2A : Big disk controller
    • 4 x CDD Cartridge disk drive controller (X1215/X1216)
    • 2 x CP7R : P857R CPU for P858,P859 (2900 bitslice technology)
    • 3 x CP7RA : P857R/A CPU for P858,P859 (2900 bitslice technology)
    • 2 x CPB: P856 CPU (74181 ALU based)
    • CP7B: P857 CPU? (754181 ALU based)
    • CU-ADIOS (unknown)
    • 4 x F1MB: 8"  Floppy disk controller (modified for 5.25")
    • 3 x F1MB: 8" Floppy disk controller
    • F1MBY: Floppy disk controller
    • FLDB (unknown)
    • GPC: Custom card in point-to-point wiring technique
    • HLVCUB (Synchronous comunications card? Has 2 N8X300 microcontrollers on it, 2 SCN2652A serial controllers, and 2 26-pin connectors)
    • 2 x IOP: I/O Processor
    • K7S2: P833-152 Cassette Control Unit
    • 5 x M128E: 128Kx21 RAM
    • 2 x M128ES: 128Kx21 RAM
    • 6 x MCU2: Line printer, card reader control unit
    • 5 x MCU3: Paper tape, serial control unit (partially populated)
    • 2 x MCU3: Paper tape, serial control unit (fully populated)
    • MMU: Memory Management Unit
    • 3 x MTCU: Pertec 9 track magnetic tape control unit
    • 2 x MX (unknown)
    • SLCU2: Synchronous serial line control unit
    • TIMER CARD (unknown)
  • 1 x P833 triple cassette drive
  • 5 x Cassette drive
  • 2 x P830-010 dual 8" disk drive enclosure
  • 2 x CDC BR8A8A 8" floppy disk drive
  • 3 x X1215 2.5MB cartridge disk drive.
  • 23 x 14" disc cartridge, labels:
      old sources of release 01-10-8
    • DOM 210 & 211 for X1215
      update P800 testprograms
      27-09-'84 R.v.d.Heyden
    • DOM 811 adr/02 intr/11
      terminal adr/10 intr/6
      update test programs 27-09-84
    • X1215 IPL 63C2
      Testprograms update 85-12-18
      DOM9A/02 IT/10, DOM9C/02 IT/11
      Userid: SDAPRO
      s:$load (for running testprograms)
    • X1216 IPL 63C2
      Test programs update 85-12-18
      -DOM9 A/02 IT/10 FL/03 IT/11
      Userid: SDAPRO
    • CPU ISCOS 70
      4022 250 0004.1
      PAB nr 8122 141 0470.1
    • Graphics 8P-A
      4022 226 3470.1
      PAB nr 8122 141 0286.1
    • VIP V12
      4311 027 1629.1
      PAB nr 8122 141 0277.1
    • Ext Mem Mod 286
      4022 226 2340.1
      PAB nr 8122 141 0456.1
    • TP00 Test Pack
    • TEST TP1
    • Service pack 1
      various programmes
    • TRAINING 004
    • DISK Unit 1
    • P800 (X1215)
    • LAB Backup
    • 4 x PHILIPS unlabeled
    • 2 x CDC unlabeled
    • 1 x MEMOREX unlabeled
  • 13 8" Floppy Disks, labeled:
    • Tools : (LP)
      IPL ADDR: 60C5
      Monitor: type (?)
    • Rotterdam test system 29-03-'84
    • T. Wilders
      Test Software S.M.
      BMEX0 in TSWCOM module
      User: BMEX Start: $RUN
    • Very Special
      Utilities R1.0 83-06-01
      User: PRK300
    • Userid: TOOL Date 84.03.26
      Address of FL-Drives=03!!!
    • CP101 83.11.25
      Userid: SYS
    • RT Floppy
    • $TDES
    • Label: CP101 Date 84.01.10
      Userid: LUC
    • RS740 MAGAZIJN
      RUN "I"
      BASIC I
    • RS775
      CPU P857EB
      EPS 811118
    • RS776
  • Some boxes with spare parts
  • Cables
  • 16 Binders with manuals. It looks like there are some duplicates. My intention is to scan all of it for contribution to bitsavers:
    • P851M Volume 1 Central Processor & Memories Technical Manual (2x)
    • P851M Volume 2 Control Units Technical Manual (3x)
    • Preliminary P800M Interface And Installation Manual (P852M, P856M and P857M related) (2x)
    • P855M MIOS Drivers Users Guide
    • P856M/P857M CPU Service Manual
    • Reference manual P858, P859
    • Field Support Manual Extended Control Panel P858
    • Field support manual P859 Rack (M4R) & Power Supply
    • Field Support Manual Flexible Disc Control Unit (F1MZ) P830-150 PTS6751-002 Equipment Shelf P830-010 (2x)
    • Field Support Manual Flexible Disc Control Units F1MZA P830-150 PTS6751-002 F1MZ06 PTS6751-510 Equipment Shelf P830-010
    • Field Support Manual Flexible Disc Control Units MIFZ PTS6751-103
    • Field Support Manual Flexible Disc Control Units F1MB P830-050 PTS6849 F1MB06 PTS6849-501 Equipment Shelf P830-010
    • Field Support Manual Flexible Disc Drive 1M P830-025 PTS6791 P4500-035 P300
    • Preliminary X1215/16 Cartridge Disk Drive Unit
    • X1215 Cartridge Disk Drive Unit
    • Service Manual Flexible Disc Drive P830-015 PTS6867 PTS8861
    • Service Manual Flexible Disc Drive P3431 P830-005
    • Service Manual Flexible Disc Drive P3431 P830-006
    • Field Support Manual Control Unit For Serial Data Transfer (SCUZ) P845-140 PTS6859
    • Field Support Manual Synchronous/A-Synchronous Line Control Unit (SALCU-Z) P845-160 PTS6857 PTS8857
    • Field Support Manual Synchronous/A-Synchronous Line Control Unit (SALCU-Z) P845-160 PTS6857
    • Field Support Manual A-Synchronous Medium Speed Data Line Multiplexor (AMA8A) V24/V28 Interface P845-060
    • Field Support Manual A-Synchronous Medium Speed Data Line Multiplexor (AMA8C) TTL/Current Loop Interface P845-070
    • Field Support Manual Asynchronous Medium Speed Line Multiplexor Type Z (AMA4Z) P845-180 / Type V (AMA4V) PTS6741-001
    • Field Support Manual Multiple Asynchronous Control Unit (ASCU4Z) P845-145 PTS8853
    • Field Support Manual Central Processor Unit (P857EB) P854 PTS6925
    • Field Support Manual Central Processor Unit (CP1A) P853
    • Field Support Manual P853/P854 Racks (6U6/6U12) & Power Supplies
    • Field Support Manual P843-500/PTS8890-001
    • Field Support Manual Hand Held Control Panel P843-500/PTS8890-001
    • Field Support Manual Digital Extended Control Panel P843-510
    • Field Support Manual P843-120 Input/Output Processor (IOPZR)
    • Field Support Manual Eprom/Prom 16K Words Memory P851M-010 (2x)
    • Field Support Manual Reprogrammable Read Only Memory P851M-006 (1K) P851M-007 (2K) P851M-008 (4K)
    • Field Support Manual Dynamic Ram Memory 32K/64K (GMB1) P851M-016:16K/16 P851M-017:32K/16 PTS8221
    • Field Support Manual UPL Master Slave Memory 1M8 P4500-026/027 PTS8823
    • Field Support Manual MOS Memory Module 128K16 (WMD-16/27MC) P4000-24 PTS6773 P843-608
    • Field Support Manual P4000-24 (WMD) MOS Memory Module 128K16
    • Memory Test Program BBRAM applicable to semiconductor memories greater than 32KW
    • Test Program for CPU P854,P858,P859,CP1BF Test Of Memory Management Part REMMU1
    • Test Program for CPU P854,P858,P859 Test Of Page Fault Test Of Automatic Restart REPAF
    • Test Program for CPU P854,P858,P859,CP1BF Test Of Instruction Set CP57RE
    • FPPE Test Program EFPP1 Applicable To Floating Point Processor
    • Test Program For CP1BF,CP2B Test Of Memory Management Part MMU2B
    • Test Program For CP1BF,CP2B Test Of Page Fault Test Of Automatic Restart PAF2B
    • Test Program Release Notice Number 245
    • Binder "P800 Test Programs" with handwritten and typewritten test descriptions (Floppy, Pertec MTT, X/2/5, PTP, FHD, X1210, LP, CPU + OPTIONS, Cassette, Datacom, MIOS)


I've acquired a TeKaDe FS220Z "Fernschreiber"  (military telex machine) with both current loop and RS-232C serial modules. My idea is to use it as a printing console for the IBM 360 emulation.