Three PA-RISC machines running NeXTStep 3.3

Started by tpfaff100, October 04, 2021, 01:30:21 PM

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I got three HP 9000/712 machines running this weekend- all off of their hard drives.

Got the first one running on a SCSI2SD, with the help of some kindly netizen who sent me a cd-rom with their SD card images.  That itself took awhile to get all going+configured.

Am happy to report that these machines never ran NeXTStep - they were used for signal analysis running a variant of HP-UX.  Was happy to zap their hard drives and get them running NeXTStep.

I used Brian Willoughby's sdformat2.0 command-line-app in the archives to low-level format the drives.  It was quite easy.

Then I used to transfer the OS over from the SD card, which was booted at the time. for PA-RISC had some issues as I recall.  I had to manually copy over several directories in the /private/Drivers area (from the source drive to the destination drive) but once I did that everything worked fine.

Originally I was going to get a cd-rom drive or try to use my old black NeXT drive with the HPPA risc... but then remembered that I only really have OpenStep 4.2 discs, which Apple kindly gave me back in the day.

I had a Sun Sparc 5 running NeXTStep previously... but it was too damn heavy so I left it by a dumpster at my apartment complex way back around the time Rhapsody shipped.  I looked back later and found someone had grabbed it!  Thank God I was going to bring it back in the apartment if someone didn't.  Was glad to not have to lift it again!

Anyway the HP712 is mostly just a single-board computer, smaller than the NeXT Slabs.

Am happy to have such a fast, light machine running NeXTStep finally!  And somehow, I ended up with three of them.  Crazy.



Thanks for sharing.

I have OPENSTEP 4.2 running on all of my SPARCstations and recently bought a NOS HP 712/100 that shall run NeXTSTEP soon. Curious to see what NeXT managed at that point in time when it was kind of "fake" 24 Bit graphics mode (though it is not) but it is difficult to find VSIMM's for the SS's.




I lugged a SparcStation 5 with OpenStep and OpenStep/Solaris (which was truly weird) back and forth between San Francisco and Hong Kong for awhile.  The thing was so darn heavy I am allergic to them now!  Used to have to sweet-talk the Cathay Pacific counter lady to not fine me $75 for the extra weight it was so bad!!  They always told me I was over the limit.

Back hurt every time I got into HK.  The HP-PA 712 machines were single-board computers, basically and were super light.  The display looks great... they did a tremendous job emulating truecolor.  You can't tell unless you get up close and personal like.

Oh decades ago I ended up leaving my Sparc 5 next to a dumpster in Los Altos maybe.  I checked back late in the day and someone had picked it up before the trash men came!  Made someone very happy I'm sure... it had VGA adapter and the nicer mouse and Solaris software inside the case. 

I never wanted to see it again haha... had given it away twice but it kept coming back.


I love my SS5, 110 MHz of RISC sweetness plus an AFX SBus board for 24-bit color. They are well built, but nowhere near as heavy as the SGI workstations...