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NeXTcube saved from the scrap heap

 
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Retro_Mac_Ken



Joined: 29 Aug 2016
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:29 am    Post subject: NeXTcube saved from the scrap heap Reply with quote

Hello,

New forum user. This is my first post.

I'm a longtime vintage Apple enthusiast and collector with a lot of experience. However I had never previously seen NeXT hardware in person until two weeks ago. I got an email from a colleague about a retiring professor that needed help transferring files from a NeXTcube.

I jumped on the opportunity right away. The NeXTcube the professor had included the original boxes, manuals, software, etcetera. If he didn't meet me literally 30 minutes before taking off this would have been relegated to the scrap heap. Shocked

Here is a gallery of everything right now.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/kenfagerdotcom/albums/72157672632355765

Being COMPLETELY out of my element with this machine I do have some initial questions.

My first order of business is doing a complete backup of the hard disk. I'd like to do this over the network if at all possible, but I'm not sure where to begin. I do have a RaspberryPi that I can ssh and transfer files to.

I'm trying to change the IP address and having no luck. /etc/hostconfig is locked and the SimpleNetworkStarter app won't let me change the IP. The hostconfig file is pointing to a long defunct university router IP.

Any recommendations and pointers are much appreciated.

Thanks!!!
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LOOM



Joined: 14 Jan 2016
Posts: 10
Location: from an island far off the mainland coast

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw your post on reddit. Congratulations! It's beautiful Very Happy I've also never seen one in real life, and probably never will Confused

The best way would be attaching the drive to another SCSI system and take a full image copy of the disk (with dd or similar), or dual boot the box with another scsi disk/SCSI2SD if that's possible on black hardware and do a full image backup. With this method you would save the state of the machine as it is and it would be possible to set up a exact copy if at any point. No date/permissions or anything on the system will change like it would if you copy files one by one.
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Noth



Joined: 04 Apr 2008
Posts: 146
Location: Lausanne, Switzerland

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another method would be to setup NFS on the RPi and mount that over the network, and then run ditto to the NFS share to copy everything over.
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NeXT Cube 040 (NeXTSTEP 3.3), SUN SparcStation5 (NeXTSTEP 3.3), SGI Indigo2 R10000 (IRIX 6.5.22), SGI VSW320 (Windows 2000/Slakware 9.1)
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bobo68



Joined: 03 Jun 2015
Posts: 194
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 3:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Holy crap, what a nice find (also the Apple G4 Cube and the G3 minitower).

These threads should give you enough info about NeXT networking and backup over the network:

http://www.nextcomputers.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1566
http://www.nextcomputers.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3755

Best, bobo68
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Retro_Mac_Ken



Joined: 29 Aug 2016
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bobo68 wrote:
Holy crap, what a nice find (also the Apple G4 Cube and the G3 minitower).

These threads should give you enough info about NeXT networking and backup over the network:

http://www.nextcomputers.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1566
http://www.nextcomputers.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3755

Best, bobo68


Thanks for the recommendation. I finally got root access this morning. Once I get this thing talking on our network correctly I'll give those a try.

Progress is coming in baby steps. Very Happy
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Retro_Mac_Ken



Joined: 29 Aug 2016
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 1:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still no luck changing the /etc/hostconfig file. It's locked and whenever I try to modify the permissions, they revert back.

I was able to convince our network person to assign a static IP to the eth0 MAC address. But yeah, I'm still locked to the old configuration.
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68040



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 58
Location: Moab

PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TjL's cable modem guide might be able to get you going.

http://www.nextcomputers.org/NeXTfiles/Docs/TjLs_Cable_Modem_Guide.pdf

Welcome to the forums. Smile
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bobo68



Joined: 03 Jun 2015
Posts: 194
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 3:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Retro_Mac_Ken wrote:
Still no luck changing the /etc/hostconfig file. It's locked and whenever I try to modify the permissions, they revert back.


Do you try to edit the hostconfig file directly? Why? Please take the steps I described in my post from in Sun May 08, 2016 10:23 pm thread http://www.nextcomputers.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3755.

From TjLs_Cable_Modem_Guide.pdf: "Despite its name, you do not want to use SimpleNetworkStarter.app for this procedure"
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Retro_Mac_Ken



Joined: 29 Aug 2016
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bobo68 wrote:


Do you try to edit the hostconfig file directly? Why? Please take the steps I described in my post from in Sun May 08, 2016 10:23 pm thread http://www.nextcomputers.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=3755.



I started following the directions, but now when logged in as root the HostManager.app just hangs and doesn't open any windows.

Now I can't login using the default user account that previously existed and the admin user account I created to work with the machine. ::sigh::

Update: It looks like the default user and admin account no longer appear in the users list when using UserManager.app, so I must have screwed something up. The directories are still there.
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Rob Blessin Black Hole
Site Admin


Joined: 05 Sep 2006
Posts: 597
Location: Ft. Collins, Colorado

PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello:

rm -rf /etc/netinfo /etc/hostconfig
cd /usr/template/client/etc
cp -rp netinfo /etc
cp hostconfig /etc
(reboot}

the above should get you back to square one

You should be able to login then set a password for the me account in preferences click the calender icon

logout you should now have a login screen , login as root set a password for the root account by clicking the calender icon ,
(If a password is not set for root in advance of any networking configuration; it can cause the system to hang after rebooting)

logout and log back in using the password then try and configure it hopefully will work.

The root Account

Every local domain has a root account (also called the superuser), which is able to bypass file permissions altogether. When you're logged in as root, you have far-reaching powers that let you perform a variety of administrative tasks. For example, root can change the ownership or permissions on any file or directory. (You can restrict root access for remote files. See Chapter 4, "Setting Up the Network File System.") Two ways to act as root are by logging in as root and by using the su command (see the next section).

Note: Don't confuse NetInfo root accounts with NEXTSTEP filesystem root accounts. NetInfo domains other than local domains also have a root account, but you don't log into these accounts. Instead, the root account is used to control access to the domain. If you want to make changes to a domain, you must know the root password for that domain. The root password for a network domain is copied from the local domain when the network domain is created. Once created, the passwords for the two root accounts are changed independently. See "Examining the NetInfo Database," later in this chapter.


Also if you have the documentation packages loaded it would be under NeXTLibrary/bookshelves Networking and System Administration (it comes in handy and a lot of folks don't know it is even there but it takes you step by step on how to configure the NeXT !) and I've uploaded it here as well so you can have a computer set up beside your NeXT and follow along to the instructions....
http://www.nextcomputers.org/NeXTfiles/Docs/NeXTStep/3.3/nsa/ hopefully this will assist in helping everyone to trouble shoot NeXT computer networking and configuration issues ! Very Happy
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SlateBlue



Joined: 23 Aug 2015
Posts: 75

PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2017 11:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm a bit late to this party, but duuuude.....! What an awesome find! I'm jealous...
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