Ridge 32/330 up and running!

Josh Dersch derschjo at gmail.com
Thu Apr 30 22:38:14 CDT 2015

So after having suffered a power supply failure immediately followed by 
a disk failure, I'm happy to report that the Ridge is now back up and 
running (and has been for the last 24 hours...)  If anyone wants an 
account to play around on perhaps the only running machine of its kind, 
let me know!  Maybe it'll stay up for awhile this time :).

- Josh

On 3/28/15 10:32 PM, Josh Dersch wrote:
> And, of course, right after I send this out, after having run 
> flawlessly all day, one of the +12V rails has gone poof.  Looks like I 
> have some more debugging on my hands :)
> - Josh
> On 3/28/15 10:16 PM, Josh Dersch wrote:
>> Hey all --
>> Last summer I picked up a Ridge 32/330 that became available 
>> locally.  This is a fairly obscure early RISC machine intended to be 
>> a competitor to the VAX, it uses a 32-bit CPU at 12.5Mhz built from 
>> discrete components (spanning three large PCBs). Mine's outfitted 
>> with 8mb of ECC memory, Pertec, SMD and SCSI QIC controllers, and 
>> Ethernet.
>> You can see some pictures of this beast at:
>> https://plus.google.com/117997069161125071032/posts/JtsR3BokUxp?pid=6063976811386454738&oid=117997069161125071032 
>> I got it running late last year after rebuilding the QIC tape drive 
>> and dealing with some intermittent failures due to a couple of 
>> low-quality DIP sockets.  I now have a set of dedicated 20A circuits 
>> installed in my basement so I can run it for longer periods of time 
>> without worrying about burning my house down, so I'll be running it 
>> for the next couple of weeks just for fun to keep the basement warm 
>> and run up my electrical bill :).
>> It's currently running RX/V 1.1 (Ridge's UNIX variant) and it's on 
>> the Internet (indirectly, since exposing a 25-year old UNIX directly 
>> to the 'net seems like a bad idea).  I thought maybe some people here 
>> might be interested in checking it out since it's pretty obscure, if 
>> you want an account to play around, drop me a line and I can hook you 
>> up.  I don't know of any other Ridge machines out there (running or 
>> not) -- if you have one let me know, there's very little information 
>> out there on these things.
>> I'll add that I'm looking for an external SMD cabinet and cabling so 
>> that I can image the original SMD disk that was in the Ridge when I 
>> got it; it looks like it contains a valid partition table, but it 
>> will not boot.  I didn't want to wipe it so the Ridge is currently 
>> running off of a spare drive -- I'd like to hook it up externally to 
>> dump an image from the running RX/V system.  If anyone has one to 
>> loan (preferably within driving distance of Seattle) let me know.
>> Once that's done, it's time to figure out how to get the Eagle that 
>> came with it running again...
>> And a huge thanks to Al Kossow for archiving the OS media that's on 
>> Bitsavers, without which this machine would be a very large boat 
>> anchor taking up many cubic feet in my basement.  (If anyone has any 
>> media or docs for this that aren't on Bitsavers, let me know -- I'm 
>> in particular looking for an ROS distribution on QIC media...)
>> - Josh

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