Cool Craigslist find: Hewlett Packard PA-RISC 712/100 UNIX workstation

Started by Huxley, October 19, 2020, 06:49:41 PM

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Thanks to some extreme good Craigslist luck and a willingness to take a long drive, I've now joined a pretty cool club: I'm the owner of an Hewlett Packard PA-RISC 712/100 UNIX workstation!

This is a ~$15,000 (in 1995 dollars!) UNIX workstation built around HP's PA-7100LC CPU running at 100MHz. It featured HP's insanely-clever "Color Recovery" system for displaying photorealistic graphics on an 8-bit graphics system. This particular model would've been the "top of the line" entry, sitting atop similar machines clocked at 60MHz and 80MHz. As the top-end version, this one runs faster and has 2 extra RAM slots. Along with running HP's own HP/UX variant of UNIX operating system, these could also run Linux, OpenBSD, NetBSD and coolest of all (and honestly the reason I'm so psyched) a special PA-RISC edition of NeXTSTEP!
Along with the CPU and RAM noted above, the machine also has:

- RS232 serial x 2
- Audio in/out
- PS/2 keyboard & mouse support
- Parallel port
- Fast SCSI
- Twisted Pair Ethernet
- Cursed Ethernet

There were some language barriers between me and the original owner I got it from, but he assured me that it has a working install of HP/UX 11 on one of the internal SCSI drives, and 64mb RAM. Until I get it running, I won't know how much VRAM it has, or what stuff may be found on those SCSI drives. I asked the original owner what kind of work he used to do on the machine, and he replied "computer work!" so it really is a mystery!

Interestingly, the second SCSI drive isn't actually connected to the machine. The original owner was very insistent that it just needs a "SCSI Y-cable" but I'm unsure if that's actually a thing. Either way, I'm excited to explore this machine!

I'll end with a request: if anyone can share part numbers or info about the keyboard and mouse this would've used originally, I'd be grateful. Despite the presence of "standard" PS/2 ports, I've seen reports that these machines are very picky about needing the correct accessories, and I'd like to start searching for the right gear to use with this system. I'm also in need of an external SCSI CD-ROM drive which could work with this machine and/or my NeXT machines - if you happen to have one, let me know


Pretty sure I have extra VRAM and HP original simms around here somewhere if it's not maxed out already.


Quote from: barcher174 on October 20, 2020, 12:14:44 AMPretty sure I have extra VRAM and HP original simms around here somewhere if it's not maxed out already.

Oh nice - I'll keep that in mind once I get the machine running and can verify its current specs / config :-)

Rob Blessin Black Hole

Rob Blessin President computerpowwow ebay  [email protected]
303-741-9998 Serving the NeXT Community  since 2/9/93


Just got three of these PA-RISC machines running NeXTStep (on hard drives, no less) this last weekend.