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Subject: OpenVMS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), Part 9/11

This article was archived around: Sun, 04 Sep 2005 20:07:51 GMT

All FAQs in Directory: dec-faq/vms
All FAQs posted in: comp.os.vms, comp.sys.dec
Source: Usenet Version

Archive-name: dec-faq/vms/part9 Posting-Frequency: quarterly Last-modified: 02 Sep 2005 Version: VMSFAQ_20050902-09.TXT
Hardware Information ________________________________________________________________ Table 14-2 Alpha Conversational Bootstrap Flags _______________________________________________________ Bit_____Mnemonic__________Description__________________ 0 CONV Conversational bootstrap 1 DEBUG Load SYSTEM_DEBUG.EXE (XDELTA) 2 INIBPT Stop at initial system breakpoints if bit 1 set (EXEC_INIT) 3 DIAG Diagnostic bootstrap (loads diagboot.exe) 4 BOOBPT Stop at bootstrap breakpoints (APB and Sysboot) 5 NOHEADER Secondary bootstrap does not have an image header 6 NOTEST Inhibit memory test 7 SOLICIT Prompt for secondary bootstrap file 8 HALT Halt before transfer to secondary bootstrap 9 SHADOW Boot from shadow set 10 ISL LAD/LAST bootstrap 11 PALCHECK Disable PAL rev check halt 12 DEBUG_BOOT Transfer to intermediate primary bootstrap 13 CRDFAIL Mark CRD pages bad 14 ALIGN_FAULTS Report unaligned data traps in bootstrap 15 REM_DEBUG Allow remote high-level language debugger 16 DBG_INIT Enable verbose boot messages in EXEC_INIT 17 USER_MSGS Enable subset of verbose boot messages (user messages) 18 RSM Boot is controlled by RSM 14-11 Hardware Information ________________________________________________________________ Table 14-2 (Cont.) Alpha Conversational Bootstrap Flags _______________________________________________________ Bit_____Mnemonic__________Description__________________ _________19______FOREIGN___________Boot_involves_a_foreign_disk_ If you want to set the boot flags "permanently", use the SET BOOT_FLAGS command, e.g.: >>> SET BOOT_OSFLAGS 0,1 _____________________________ What are the VAX VMB boot flag values? The flags described in Table 14-3 are passed (via register R5) to the OpenVMS VAX primary bootstrap image VMB.EXE. These flags control the particular behaviour of the bootstrap. ________________________________________________________________ Table 14-3 VAX Conversational Bootstrap Flags _______________________________________________________ Bit_____Mnemonic__________Description__________________ 0 CONV Conversational boot. At various points in the system boot procedure, the bootstrap code solicits parameter and other input from the console terminal. If DIAG is set, then the diagnostic supervisor should enter its menu mode and prompt user for the devices to test. 1 DEBUG Debug. If this flag is set, OpenVMS VAX maps the code for the XDELTA debugger into the system page tables of the running system. 14-12 Hardware Information ________________________________________________________________ Table 14-3 (Cont.) VAX Conversational Bootstrap Flags _______________________________________________________ Bit_____Mnemonic__________Description__________________ 2 INIBPT Initial breakpoint. If RPB$V_ DEBUG is set, OpenVMS VAX executes a BPT instruction immediately after enabling mapping. 3 BBLOCK Secondary boot from the boot block. Secondary bootstrap is a single 512-byte block, whose LBN is specified in R4. 4 DIAG Diagnostic boot. Secondary bootstrap is the Diagnostic Supervisor image; the image [SYSMAINT]DIAGBOOT.EXE. 5 BOOBPT Bootstrap breakpoint. Stops the primary and secondary bootstraps with an XDELTA breakpoint instruction prior to the memory test. 6 HEADER Image header. Takes the transfer address of the secondary bootstrap image from that file's image header. If the RPB$V_HEADER bit is not set, the image is assumed to have no image header, and control is transfered to the first byte of the secondary boot file. 7 NOTEST Memory test inhibit. Sets a bit in the PFN bit map for each page of memory present. Does not test the memory. 8 SOLICT File name. VMB prompts for the name of a secondary bootstrap file. 14-13 Hardware Information ________________________________________________________________ Table 14-3 (Cont.) VAX Conversational Bootstrap Flags _______________________________________________________ Bit_____Mnemonic__________Description__________________ 9 HALT Halt before transfer. Executes a HALT instruction before transferring control to the secondary bootstrap. 10 NOPFND No PFN deletion (not implemented; intended to tell VMB not to read a file from the boot device that identifies bad or reserved memory pages, so that VMB does not mark these pages as valid in the PFN bitmap). 11 MPM Specifies that multi- port memory is to be used for the total EXEC memory requirement. No local memory is to be used. This is for tightly-coupled multi- processing. If the RPB$V_DIAG bit is also enabled, then the Diagnostic Supervisor enters its AUTOTEST mode. 12 USEMPM Specifies that multi-port memory should be used in addition to local memory, as though both were one single pool of pages. 13 MEMTEST Specifies that a more extensive algorithm be used when testing main memory for hardware uncorrectable (RDS) errors. 14-14 Hardware Information ________________________________________________________________ Table 14-3 (Cont.) VAX Conversational Bootstrap Flags _______________________________________________________ Bit_____Mnemonic__________Description__________________ 14 FINDMEM Requests the use of MA780 multiport memory if the main MS780 memory is insufficient for booting. This is a remnant of the support for the VAX-11/782 series system and its Asymmetric Multiprocessing (ASMP) environment. Support for the VAX-11/782 and for ASMP was withdrawn with the V5.0 release; with the advent of Symmetric Multiprocessing ___________________________________(SMP)_support._______________ The exact syntax is console-specific, recent VAX consoles tend to use the following: >>> BOOT/R5:flags _____________________________ 14.3.6 How do I boot an AlphaStation without monitor or keyboard? The AlphaStation series will boot without a keyboard attached. To use a serial terminal as the console, issue the SRM console command SET CONSOLE SERIAL followed by the console INIT command. Once this SRM command sequence has been invoked and the CONSOLE environment variable is set to SERIAL, the Alpha system will use the serial terminal. (Set the environment variable to GRAPHICS to select the console display output via the graphics display.) The DEC 3000 series has a jumper on the motherboard for this purpose. Various older Alpha workstations generally will not (automatically) bootstrap without a keyboard connected, due to the self-test failure that arises when the (missing) keyboard test fails. 14-15 Hardware Information The usual settings for the console serial terminal (or PC terminal emulator acting as a serial console are: 9600 baud, 8 bits, no parity, one stop bit (9600 baud, 8N1). AlphaServer 4100 and derivative series platforms, and AlphaServer GS80, GS160, and GS320 series system consoles are capable of 57600 baud. See the COM2_BAUD console environment variable, and ensure that you have current SRM firmware version loaded. The AlphaStation and AlphaServer series use a PC- compatible DB9 serial connector for the COM1 and COM2 serial lines (and for the OPA0: console line, if that was configured via SRM), please see Section 14.26 for details and pin-out. For information on registering software license product authorization keys (PAKs), please see Section 5.6.2. For a related behaviour of DECwindows, please see Section 11.10. For information on the VAXstation alternate console mechanisms, please see Section _____________________________ 14.3.7 Downloading and using SRM console Firmware? This section discusses downloading and using Alpha console firmware, sometimes called PALcode. _____________________________ Where can I get updated console firmware for Alpha systems? Firmware updates for HP Alpha systems are available from: o ftp://ftp.digital.com/pub/Digital/Alpha/firmware/index.html o ftp://ftp.digital.com/pub/Digital/Alpha/firmware/ o ftp://ftp.digital.com/pub/Digital/Alpha/firmware/readme.html 14-16 Hardware Information The latest and greatest firmware-if updated firmware has been released after the most recent firmware CD was distributed-is located at: widftp://ftp.digital.com/pub/Digital/Alpha/firmware/interim/ For information on creating Alpha bootable floppies containing the firmware, and for related tools, please see the following areas: widftp://ftp.digital.com/pub/DEC/Alpha/firmware/utilities/mkboot.txt widftp://ftp.digital.com/pub/DEC/Alpha/firmware/utilities/mkbootarc.txt widftp://ftp.digital.com/pub/DEC/Alpha/firmware/utilities/mkntboot.txt The SROM firmware loader expects an ODS-2 formatted floppy, see mkboot. As for which image to use, the ROM image uses a header and the file extension .ROM, and the SROM bootable floppy cannot use the .ROM file. To check the firmware loaded on recent OpenVMS Alpha systems, use the command: $ write sys$output f$getsyi("console_version") $ write sys$output f$getsyi("palcode_version") SDA> CLUE CONFIG Also see Section For information on HP Integrity EFI firmware upgrades and for a sequence useful in generating CD-R or CD-RW media containing a firmware disk image, please see Section 14.3.11. _____________________________ How do I reload SRM firmware on a half-flash Alpha system? Some of the AlphaStation series systems are "half- flash" boxes, meaning only one set of firmware (SRM or AlphaBIOS) can be loaded in flash at a time. Getting back to the SRM firmware when AlphaBIOS (or ARC) is loaded can be a little interesting... That said, this usually involves shuffling some files, and then getting into the AlphaBIOS firmware update sequence, and then entering "update srm" at the apu-> prompt. 14-17 Hardware Information To shuffle the files, copy the target SRM firmware file (as200_v7_0.exe is current) to a blank, initialized, FAT-format floppy under the filename A:\FWUPDATE.EXE From the AlphaBIOS Setup screen, select the Upgrade AlphaBIOS option. Once the firmware update utility gets going, enter: Apu-> update srm Answer "y" to the "Are you ready...?" Apu-> quit You've reloaded the flash. Now power-cycle the box to finish the process. Also see Section _____________________________ How do I switch between AlphaBIOS/ARC and SRM consoles? The specific steps required vary by system. You must first ensure that the particular Alpha system is supported by OpenVMS (see the SPD), that all core I/O components (graphics, disk controllers, etc) in the system are supported by OpenVMS (see the SPD), and that you have an OpenVMS distribution, that you have the necessary license keys (PAKs), and that you have the necessary SRM firmware loaded. A typical sequence used for switching over from the AlphaBIOS graphics console to the SRM console follows: 1 Press <F2> to get to the AlphaBIOS setup menu. 2 Pick the "CMOS Setup..." item. 3 Press <F6> to get to the "Advanced CMOS Setup" menu. 4 Change the "Console Selection" to "OpenVMS Console (SRM)". 5 Press <F10>, <F10>, then <Enter> to save your changes. 6 Power-cycle the system. 14-18 Hardware Information Most Alpha systems support loading both the AlphaBIOS/ARC console and the SRM console at the same time, but systems such as the AlphaStation 255 are "half-flash" systems and do not support the presence of both the AlphaBIOS/ARC and SRM console firmware at the same time. If you have a "half-flash" system, you must load the SRM firmware from floppy, from a network download, or from a firmware CD-ROM. Following the normal AlphaBIOS or ARC firmware update sequence to the APU prompt, and then explictly select the target console. In other words, power up the system to the AlphaBIOS or ARC console, use the supplementary options to select the installation of new firmware (typically from CD-ROM), and then rather than using a sequence which updates the current firmware: Apu-> update -or- Apu-> update ARC Apu-> verify Apu-> quit Power-cycle the system Use the following sequence to specifically update (and load) SRM from AlphaBIOS/ARC on a "half-flash" system: Apu-> update SRM Apu-> verify Apu-> quit Power-cycle the system Use the following sequence to specifically update (and load) the AlphaBIOS/ARC console from SRM on a "half- flash" system: >>> b -fl 0,A0 ddcu BOOTFILE: firmware_boot_file.exe Apu-> update ARC Apu-> verify Apu-> quit Power-cycle the system 14-19 Hardware Information Once you have the SRM loaded, you can directly install OpenVMS or Tru64 UNIX on the system. Do not allow Microsoft Windows NT or other operating system(s) to write a "harmless" signature to any disk used by OpenVMS Alpha or OpenVMS VAX, as this will clobber a key part of the disk; this will overwrite the OpenVMS bootblock. (On OpenVMS Alpha and OpenVMS VAX, you can generally recover from this so-called "harmless" action by using the WRITEBOOT.EXE tool. Using OpenVMS I64 and the EFI console, the bootblock structures are expected to be compatible with those of Microsoft Windows and other Integrity operating systems; please see the discussion of the SET BOOTBLOCK command and the SYS$SETBOOT.EXE image in Section 9.7.3, in Section 14.3.9, and in the OpenVMS documentation for related details.) If you have a "full-flash" system and want to select the SRM console from the AlphaBIOS or ARC console environment, select the "Switch to OpenVMS or Tru64 UNIX console" item from the "set up the system" submenu. Then power-cycle the system. If you have a "full-flash" system with the SRM console and want to select AlphaBIOS/ARC, use the command: >>> set os_type NT and power-cycle the system. For information on acquiring firmware, see Section For information on OpenVMS license PAKs (for hobbyist use) see Section 2.8.1. For information on the Multia, see Section 14.4.1. Information on enabling and using the failsafe firmware loader for various systems-this tool is available only on some of the various Alpha platforms-is available in the hardware documentation for the system. This tool is used/needed when the firmware has been corrupted, and cannot load new firmware. The full list of AlphaBIOS key sequences-these sequences are needed when using an LK-series keyboard with AlphaBIOS, as AlphaBIOS expects a PC-style keyboard: 14-20 Hardware Information F1 Ctrl/A F2 Ctrl/B F3 Ctrl/C F4 Ctrl/D F5 Ctrl/E F6 Ctrl/F F7 Ctrl/P F8 Ctrl/R F9 Ctrl/T F10 Ctrl/U Insert Ctrl/V Delete Ctrl/W Backspace Ctrl/H Escape Ctrl/[ Return Ctrl/M LineFeed Ctrl/J (Plus) + upselect (some systems) (Minus) - downselect (some systems) TAB down arrow SHIFT+TAB up arrow _____________________________ 14.3.8 Console Management Options Options to collect multiple consoles into a single server are available, with both hardware options and software packages that can provide advanced features and capabilities. Some of the available console management options for OpenVMS: o Heroix: http://www.robomon.com/ o KI Products: http://www.ki.com/products/clim/ o Global Maintech: http://www.globalmt.com/ o TECsys: http://www.tditx.com/ o CA: http://www.cai.com/products/commandit.htm Computer Associates is the owner of what was once known as the VAXcluster Console System (VCS) console management package, and has integrated this capability into the CA management product suite. 14-21 Hardware Information _____________________________ 14.3.9 Why do my EFI Boot Aliases Fail? OpenVMS I64 boot aliases contain signature information referencing the specific volume, meaning that the entries are specific to the disk volume and not the disk device. This also means that certain operations, such as the SET BOOTBLOCK command or the RUN SYS$SETBOOT.EXE operation that can rewrite these volume signatures (signature or GUID values) can render existing boot aliases unusable. If your boot aliases do not function as expected, first try removing and re-adding them; this will resynchronize the boot aliases with the volume contents. If you are using the SET BOOTBLOCK command or the RUN SYS$SETBOOT.EXE operation to rewrite the disk bootblock, you can request that the current signatures (if any) be preserved, and this will typically maintain the validity of your EFI console boot aliases. _____________________________ 14.3.10 Can OpenVMS access the EFI console Boot Aliases? For access to the EFI console environment from OpenVMS I64, see the BOOT_OPTIONS.COM command procedure, and the EFI SET, SHOW and BCFG mechanisms. Details on these are in the System Manager's and particularly in the System Manager's Utilities manual. For related information on boot aliases, please see Section _____________________________ 14.3.11 Downloading and using EFI Console Firmware? HP Integrity EFI system firmware can be downloaded in the form of a bootable image master, unzipped and then burned onto CD or DVD media (please see Section 9.7 for details of recording optical media directly on OpenVMS), and the system can then generally be booted off the created media to perform the EFI firmware upgrade. 14-22 Hardware Information The HP Integrity Server website is accesssable via the following URL, and the available services and support information there has links to the available platform- specific firmware images and upgrade-related materials: o http://www.hp.com/go/integrity/ To use the following sequence, you will need a writable or rewritable CD drive and software, and a blank CD- R or CD-RW disk. If you use CD writer software for another platform, you will want to use the block, binary, ISO or raw mode operations appropriate for the particular chosen recording package. The following directions assume use of OpenVMS and native CD-R capabilities, please see Section 9.7 for associated details. 1 First, you must acquire the Integrity server firmware from the above URL. Select the platform, and navigate to the supporting information and specifically to the Download Drivers and Software link 2 Select Cross operating system (BIOS, Firmware, etc.) 3 Locate the appropriate ISO-format firmware file. There are several firmware file formats available and there are also various off-line diagnostic images, choose the ISO-format firmware file. 4 Read the directions for the firmware file, then download the ISO-format firmware (zip-compressed) file. A binary-mode FTP transfer should be used. 5 Unzip the file into the corresponding .ISO data file. Somewhat confusingly, the .ISO extension can indicate either a block-oriented raw image of a disk, or a disk with the ISO-9660 volume structure. In this case, the former is intended and this file contains a a block copy or disk image of the firmware disk for the platform, and may or may not be an ISO-9660 volume structure. The unzip tool is available on the OpenVMS Freeware and elsewhere; please see Section 13.11 for details and locations. 14-23 Hardware Information 6 Use CDRECORD or other available recording tool (please see Section 9.7 for related details) to burn a CD-R or CD-RW disk, specifying the ISO file as the source for the burn operation. 7 Shut the Integrity Server system down to the EFI console level. 8 Unload the recorded CD media from the CD-R drive, label it, and load it into the Integrity console drive. This assuming the disk was not generated directly on an Integrity CD-R/RW-capable drive, of course. 9 Using the EFI shell, display the current firmware version using the command info fw 10 Exit the EFI shell and select the boot options maintenance menu; create a boot alias for the removable media drive for the CD; for the newly- created firmware disk. 11 Boot it. Follow the directions displayed by the firmware loader and related documentation, heeding the release notes that were reviewed earlier. 12 Perform a cold restart of the Integrity server. For information on Alpha SRM console firmware upgrades, please see Section 14.3.7. __________________________________________________________ 14.4 What platforms will OpenVMS operate on? For the list of boxes that are officially and formally supported by OpenVMS Engineering, please see the OpenVMS Software Product Description (SPD). o http://h18000.www1.hp.com/info/spd/ OpenVMS typically uses SPD 25.01.xx, SPD 41.87.xx, and SPD 82.35.xx. 14-24 Hardware Information Sometimes a particular and officially unsupported Alpha box or Alpha motherboard will sufficiently resemble a supported box that the platform can effectively mimic and can bootstrap OpenVMS. Alternatively, somebody (usually one or more engineers within the OpenVMS Engineering group) will have put together a bootstrap kit - such as the kit for the Alpha Multia-which permits OpenVMS to bootstrap on the platform. Contrary to the assumptions of some folks, there are platform-level differences even within the VAX and within the Alpha platforms- hardware-level differences that can require moderate to extensive new coding within OpenVMS. Within a platform series, and particularly within Alpha platforms (and those few VAX systems) that support Dynamic System Recognition (DSR), OpenVMS can usually bootstrap. DSR is a mechanism by which OpenVMS can gather platform-specific information, and DSR is the reason why newer Alpha systems can be more easily and more commonly supported on older OpenVMS Alpha releases. DSR is implemented with OpenVMS Alpha code, with SRM console code, and with platform non-volatile memory. OpenVMS users with experience on older OpenVMS VAX releases and VAX hardware will recall that then-new VAX systems either required an OpenVMS VAX upgrade, or that earlier releases would mis-identified then- newer VAX systems-such as the case of the VAX 7000 model 800 being (mis)identified as a VAX 7000 model 600 when bootstrapped on OpenVMS VAX V5.5-2. (This (mis)identification was the outcome of a deliberate engineering effort to permit the VAX 7000 model 800 to bootstrap on V5.5-2; the system manager could configure the VAX 7000 model 800 to (mis)identify itself as a model 600, to permit the system to bootstrap on V5.5- 2.) OpenVMS VAX and VAX platforms lack DSR support. OpenVMS I64 (please see Section 14.4.5 for Intel Itanium terminology) supports a platform-level feature similar to the OpenVMS Alpha DSR mechanism, based on the ACPI interface and the byte-code interpreter implemented within OpenVMS, within the EFI console, and particularly within non-volatile memory located 14-25 Hardware Information on (byte-code interpreter compliant) PCI I/O hardware. ACPI tables provide the information that was formerly retrieved from DSR and from the SRM, and the byte-code interpreter can (theoretically) permit at least limited operations with (compliant) PCI hardware, whether or not OpenVMS has a driver for the particular hardware. The byte code interpreter may or may not permit operations with any particular PCI hardware, and may or may not have sufficient performance for local requirements, and PCI hardware may or may not include the necessary ROM-based drivers in the PCI hardware non-volatile storage. (The intent of this Intel platform-level effort is to move the host software drivers out onto the specific PCI hardware, and to permit the same byte code to operate regardless of the particular host platform.) At least the initial releases of OpenVMS I64 will not have support for the byte code interpreter nor for arbitrary PCI or system hardware, but will have support for ACPI-based system identification and system configuration. _____________________________ 14.4.1 on the Alpha Multia? Yes, there are a set of unsupported images that permit specific OpenVMS Alpha versions to bootstrap on the Multia UDB system. These images and the associated instructions are available at the OpenVMS Freeware website: o http://www.hp.com/go/openvms/freeware/ Look in the Freeware V5.0 /multia/ directory. Instructions are included IN the kits. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. PLEASE! Some of the restrictions involved when running OpenVMS on the Multia system include (but may well not be limited to) the following: o The PCMCIA support was completely removed, because the Intel chip on the Multia was not compatable with the Cirrus chip on the Alphabook. 14-26 Hardware Information This means, of course, that you will not see and cannot use any PCMCIA cards on a Multia. The Multia uses shared interrupts, and as a result, a special ZLXp-E series graphics device driver-one that does not use interrupts-is needed. This driver is provided in the kit. o The serial lines don't work. o If you have a Multia with a PCI slot, you can't use any PCI card that requires interrupts. o The SRM console on this system is very old and very fragile. (This SRM console was designed only and strictly for diagnostic use, and was not particularly tested or used with OpenVMS.) o If things don't work for you, don't expect to see any OpenVMS updates, nor SRM console updates, nor any support. o Do not expect to see any new versions of OpenVMS on the Multia nor on any other unsupported systems. If such new versions do appear and do work, please consider it as a pleasant surprise. The Multia images are not included on the OpenVMS Freeware V4.0 CD-ROM kit, the kit that was distributed with OpenVMS V7.2. (These images became available after Freeware V4.0 shipped.) Other sources of information for OpenVMS on Multia include: o http://www.djesys.com/vms/hobbyist/multia.html o http://www.djesys.com/vms/hobbyist/mltianot.html o http://www.djesys.com/vms/hobbyist/support.html o http://www.netbsd.org/Ports/alpha/multiafaq.html o http://www.brouhaha.com/~eric/computers/udb.html 14-27 Hardware Information _____________________________ 14.4.2 on AlphaPC 164LX? AlphaPC 164SX? OpenVMS Alpha is not supported on the AlphaPC 164LX and 164SX series, though there are folks that have gotten certain of the LX series to load SRM and bootstrap OpenVMS. (The Aspen Durango II variant, specifically.) One problem has been generally reported: ATA (IDE) bootstraps will fail; SCSI storage and a SCSI CD-ROM device is required. Also see Section _____________________________ on the NoName AXPpci33 system? Information on bootstrapping OpenVMS (using the Multia files described in Section 14.4.1) on the (unsupported) NoName AXPpci33 module is available at: o http://www.jyu.fi/~kujala/vms-in-axppci33.txt Tips for using the Multia files with the AXPpci33: o You have to use the Multia kit and follow the directions in ALPHA8, but do *not* load the Multia SRM firmware into the AXPpci33. Rather, download and use the latest firmware for the AXPpci33 from the HP Alpha firmware website instead. o 64 MB memory is generally necessary. o you cannot use any PCI cards, and if you plan on networking, you need to find an ISA Ethernet card supported by OpenVMS. o When the AXPpci33 board bootstraps, it will dump some stuff like a crash dump, but it will continue and-so far-this hasn't caused any particular hassles. o The system shutdown and reboot procedures do not work properly. o The serial console is reported to not work, though the serial ports apparently do work. The status of the parallel port is unknown. 14-28 Hardware Information o Rumour has it that you have one of the AXPpci33 motherboards with the PS/2 mouse and keyboard connectors and a VGA card (one that will work under DECwindows) and you can run DECwindows on the system. _____________________________ 14.4.3 on the Alpha XL series? No. OpenVMS Engineering does not formally support the Alpha XL series, nor will OpenVMS (informally) bootstrap on the Alpha XL series. OpenVMS can not, will not, and does not bootstrap on the Alpha XL series. The Alpha XL series was targeted for use (only) with the Microsoft Windows NT operating system. The Alpha XL platform does not resemble other supported platforms. _____________________________ 14.4.4 OpenVMS on the Personal Workstation -a and -au series? Though OpenVMS is not supported on the Personal Workstation -a series platforms, OpenVMS might or might not bootstrap on the platform. If you wish to attempt this, you must ensure that all graphics and all I/O controllers in the system are supported by OpenVMS. You must also ensure that you have the most current firmware loaded. Here are some salient differences within the various Personal Workstation series: o The -a series was designed and was tested for Windows NT use. Only. It is not supported for use with OpenVMS. o The -au series was designed and tested for Windows, OpenVMS, and Tru64 UNIX compatibility, and is considered a supported system. 14-29 Hardware Information o There are at two different and distinct variants of the family, and usually refered to by their internal hardware project names. o The Miata MX5. The Miata MX5 variant has no USB ports and no on-board SCSI. The on-board Intel SIO chipset is not supported by OpenVMS, and thus OpenVMS cannot bootstrap ATAPI CD-ROM devices. That said, the Miata MX5 -a series typically came with DEC branded Adaptec 2940UW SCSI controllers, Matrox Millennium graphics cards, no L3 cache module, and an Toshiba IDE CD-Rom. Some came with very high end Powerstorm graphics card if the system was destined to do CAD or movie rendering. Graphics and other I/O can and does vary by package. The Miata MX5 is not supported by OpenVMS. o The Miata GL. The Miata GL variant has USB ports and on-board SCSI and bootstraps using the on- board Cypress IDE chipset and an ATAPI CD-ROM are supported by OpenVMS. The Miata GL -a variant is need not be configured with an add-on SCSI controller, given both the ability to bootstrap from ATAPI CD-ROM and the on-board SCSI. Graphics and other I/O can and does vary by package. Various of the Miata GL systems are supported by OpenVMS. For obvious reasons, most folks will prefer and will select a Miata GL system, given the choice between the Miata MX5 and the Miata GL series. And as for your next question, you cannot necessarily nor easily distinguish the Miata MX5 from the Miata GL based solely on the model number. See Section for related details. 14-30 Hardware Information _____________________________ OpenVMS on the Whitebox Windows-Only series Alpha? Though OpenVMS is not supported on the "Whitebox" series of Alpha platforms, OpenVMS might or might not bootstrap on the platform. These systems were specifically configured, targeted and supported only for use with the Microsoft Windows NT operating system. On some of the "Whitebox" systems, the following sequence of console commands can potentially be used to convert the system over to unsupported use by and for OpenVMS Hobbyist users. (But please note that if you wish to attempt this, you must ensure that all graphics and all I/O controllers in the system are supported by OpenVMS, and you must ensure that you have the most current SRM firmware loaded. (For information on locating and downloading the most current Alpha SRM firmware, please see Section And you must realize that the resulting Whitebox configuration will be entirely unsupported and may or may not be stable and useful.) set os_type vms cat nvram ! too see what is in this, if anything edit nvram 10 set srm_boot on 20 e init If your nvram has other contents, you will need to change the line numbers (10 and 20) to reflect the contents of your configuration. To obtain documentation on the commands of the console editor, enter the ? command within the editor. The above sequence was reportedly tested on the DIGITAL Server 3300 series, a relative of the AlphaServer 800 series. The DIGITAL Server 3300 is not supported by OpenVMS, though the AlphaServer 800 series is a supported platform. The sequence may or may not work on other platforms, and may or may not work on the DIGITAL Server 3300 platform. Also see Section 5.33. 14-31 Hardware Information _____________________________ OpenVMS and Personal Workstation ATA (IDE) bootstrap? OpenVMS will boot and is supported on specific Personal Workstation -au series platforms, though OpenVMS will require a SCSI CD-ROM if the Intel Saturn I/O (SIO) IDE chip is present in the configuration- only the Cypress IDE controller chip is supported by OpenVMS for IDE bootstraps. (Configurations with the Intel SIO are not generally considered to be supported systems.) If you have an -au series system, you can determine which IDE chip you have using the SRM console command: SHOW CONFIGURATION If you see "Cypress PCI Peripheral Controller", you can bootstrap OpenVMS from IDE storage. If you see "Intel SIO 82378", you will need to use and bootstrap from SCSI. (A procedure to load DQDRIVER on the Intel SIO- once the system has bootstrapped from a SCSI device-is expected to be included as part of the contents of the DQDRIVER directory on Freeware V5.0 and later.) Many of the -a series systems will include the Intel SIO, and thus cannot bootstrap from IDE. See Section 14.4.4 for related details. _____________________________ 14.4.5 On the Intel Itanium IA-64 platform? OpenVMS has been ported to the Intel IA-64 architecture; to HP Integrity systems based on the Intel Itanium Processor Family. The first release of OpenVMS I64 was V8.0, with the first general release of OpenVMS I64 known as V8.2. Yes, there was a V8.1 release, too. Some Intel and HP terminology: Itanium Processor Family is the name of the current implementation; of the current Intel microprocessor family implementing the IA-64 architecture. IA-64 is the name of the Intel architecture implementing the VLIW (Very Long Instruction Word) design known as EPIC (Explicitly Parallel Instruction Computing). 14-32 Hardware Information I64 is the name of a family of HP computer systems that use Intel Itanium processors and that are supported by "HP OpenVMS for Integrity Servers" (and itself more commonly known as "OpenVMS I64"); by one of the HP operating systems that runs on HP Integrity hardware. The Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) is the name of the console environment for Itanium systems, and the Baseboard Management Console (BMC) and the optional Management Processor (MP) are the most typical hardware interfaces into the system console. _____________________________ Where can I get Intel Itanium information? Intel Itanium Processor Family and IA-64 Architecture, Hardware, Software, and related docoumentation materials are available at: o ftp://download.intel.com/design/IA-64/manuals/ o ftp://download.intel.com/design/IA-64/Downloads/ o ftp://download.intel.com/design/IA- 64/Downloads/archSysSoftware.pdf o ftp://download.intel.com/design/IA- 64/Downloads/24870101.pdf Information on the classic Intel Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) (for IA-64) and of the multi-platform Unified EFI (UEFI) console project documentation are available at the following URLs: o Intel http://developer.intel.com o UEFI http://www.uefi.org Please see Section 14.4.5 for Intel Itanium terminology. 14-33 Hardware Information __________________________________________________________ 14.5 What is the least expensive system that will run OpenVMS? The cheapest systems that are or have been recently offered by HP that will run OpenVMS Alpha are the AlphaServer DS10 server, the AlphaStation XP900 workstation, the AlphaStation VS10 workstation, and the AlphaStation XP1000 workstation. Other companies sell Alpha-powered systems and Alpha motherboards, some of which will run (and can be purchased with) OpenVMS- see the OpenVMS Software Product Description (SPD) for details on the supported systems and configurations. There are also many used AlphaStation, AlphaServer, and DEC 3000 series models available which are quite suitable. For more experienced OpenVMS system managers, the (unsupported) Multia can bootstrap OpenVMS-see Section 14.4.1 for details. Used Itanium-based systems that a hobbyist could likely use to bootstrap OpenVMS I64 have been seen selling on auction websites for under US$1000. New Integrity rx1620 series systems (officially supported by OpenVMS I64) have been offered as part of a week- long DSPP porting and training package for US$2000. See Section 2.8.3 for details on the DSPP program. Also see the HP Renew used- and/or refurbished-equipment program for any hardware that might be available. Free and commercial VAX software-based hardware emulators are available for various platforms. See Section 13.12 for details on those. Depending on the OpenVMS version and configuration, the OpenVMS Software Product Description (SPD) is available at: o http://www.hp.com/go/openvms/doc/ When purchasing a system, ensure that the system itself is supported, that the system disk drive is supported or closely compatible, that the optical (CD or DVD) drive is supported or is closely compatable and that (in the case of SCSI devices) it also specifically supports 512-byte block transfers; no equivalent requirement exists for IDE devices. Also particularly ensure that the video controller is supported. Use of 14-34 Hardware Information supported HP hardware will generally reduce the level of integration effort involved. A CD-ROM, CD-R or DVD drive is required for OpenVMS Alpha installations, and a DVD-ROM or recordable or rewritable DVD DVD drive is required for OpenVMS I64 installations. CD-ROM drive compatibility information is available at: o http://sites.inka.de/pcde/dec-cdrom-list.txt __________________________________________________________ 14.6 Where can I get more information on Alpha systems? HP operates an AlphaServer information center at: o http://www.hp.com/go/server Alpha Technical information and documentation is available at: o ftp://ftp.compaq.com/pub/products/alphaCPUdocs/ o http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/software/alpha- tools/ o ftp://ftp.digital.com/pub/DEC/Alpha/systems/ o http://ftp.digital.com/pub/ Digital/info/semiconductor/literature/dsc- library.html o Alpha Systems Update: http://www.compaq.com/alphaserver/fb_acu.html Software Product Description (SPD) information, including platform support documentation: o http://h18000.www1.hp.com/info/spd/ OpenVMS typically uses SPD 25.01.xx, SPD 41.87.xx, and SPD 82.35.xx. Information on Multia hardware is available at: o http://www.netbsd.org/Ports/alpha/multiafaq.html 14-35 Hardware Information Information on DEC 3000 series hardware is available at: o http://www.phys.ufl.edu/~prescott/linux/alpha/dec3000- sysinfo.html o http://www.phys.ufl.edu/~prescott/linux/alpha/dec3000- docs.html o http://ftp.netbsd.org/pub/NetBSD/misc/dec- docs/index.html The NetBSD folks maintain useful Alpha hardware information at: o http://www.netbsd.org/Ports/alpha/models.html __________________________________________________________ 14.7 Describe Alpha instruction emulation and instruction subsets? The Alpha architecture is upward- and downward- compatible, and newer instructions are emulated on older platforms, for those cases where the compiler is explicitly requested to generate the newer Alpha instructions. In particular, OpenVMS Alpha V7.1 and later include the instruction emulation capabilities necessary for the execution of newer Alpha instructions on older Alpha microprocessors. (Instruction emulation capabilities are available for user-mode application code, and are not available to device drivers or other similar kernel-mode code.) Alpha instructions are available in groups (or subsets). Obviously, there is the base instruction set that is available on all Alpha microprocessors. Then, the following are the current instruction extension groups (or subsets) that are available on some of various recent Alpha microprocessors: o byte/word extension (BWX): LDBU, LDWU, SEXTB, SEXTW, STB, and STW. 14-36 Hardware Information o floating-point and square root extension (FIX): FTOIS, FTOIT, ITOFF, ITOFS, ITOFT, SQRTF, SQRTG, SQRTS, and SQRTT. o count extension (CIX): CTLZ, CTPOP, and CTTZ. o multi-media extension (MVI): MAXSB8, MAXSW4, MAXUB8, MAXUW4, MINSB8, MINSW4, MINUB8, MINUW4, PERR, PKLB, PKWB, UNPKBL, and UNPKBW. The typical instruction subset that provides the biggest win-and of course, your mileage may vary-is typically the instruction set that is provided by the EV56 and later; specifically, the byte-word instruction subset. To select this subset, use the following: /ARCHITECTURE=EV56/OPTIMIZE=TUNE=GENERIC The /ARCHITECTURE controls the maximum instruction subset that the compiler will generally use, while the /OPTIMIZE=TUNE controls both the instruction-level scheduling and also the instructions generated inside loops-any code resulting from /OPTIMIZE=TUNE that is specific to an instruction subset will be generated only inside loops and will also be "protected" by an AMASK-based test that permits the execution of the proper code for the particular current Alpha microprocessor. Typically /OPTIMIZE=TUNE=GENERIC is the appropriate choice for tuning, and the /ARCHITECTURE selects the minimum target architecture for general use throughout the generated code. generated for later architectures and instruction subsets will run on older Alpha systems due to the emulation, but if /ARCHITECTURE is a significant benefit, then the emulation might be a performance penalty. Please see the OpenVMS Ask The Wizard area for the source code of a (non-privileged) tool that looks at the instruction subsets available on the particular Alpha microprocessor that the tool is run on. This tool 14-37 Hardware Information demonstrates the use of the Alpha AMASK and IMPLVER instructions. Please see Section 10.22 and Section 14.9 for additional details and related considerations. __________________________________________________________ 14.8 So how do I open up the DEC 3000 chassis? After removing those two little screws, tilt the back end of the top shell upwards-then you can remove the lid. __________________________________________________________ 14.9 What is byte swizzling? "Swizzling" is the term used to describe the operation needed to do partial longword (i.e. byte or word) accesses to I/O space on those systems that don't support it directly. It involved shifting the offset into an address space by 5 (or 7 for one older system), and ORing this into the base address. It then required the size of the operation to be ORed into the low order bits. That is, because the EV4 and EV5 CPUs did not bring bits 0 and 1 off the chip, to do programmed I/O for bytes/words, the information on the size/offset of the transfer was encoded into the address data. The data itself then had to be shifted into the correct "byte lane" ; into the required offset position within a longword transfer; The EV56 microprocessor supports byte/word instruction references in memory space, however only specific EV56 systems can support byte/word accesses into I/O space; device drivers may or may not be able to utilize to byte/word instructions to access device registers. Further, even on an EV56 system with hardware support for byte/word accesses into I/O space, the relevant OpenVMS routines typically do not support byte/word access into I/O space. 14-38 Hardware Information Systems based on the EV6 microprocessor (with the salient exception of the AlphaServer GS60 and AlphaServer GS140 series, for reasons of platform compatability) support a flat, byte addressable I/O space. If a device driver uses CRAM or IOC$WRITE_IO/IOC$READ_ IO, then OpenVMS will correctly process the swizzling requirements without requiring changes the driver; OpenVMS will transparently swizzle and unswizzle the I/O space references, if needed for the particular target platform. (Access and use of these routines may or may not be feasible within the requirements for a particular device driver, with the decision typically based on the target performance requirements and the expected frequency of device references and thus the expected frequency of calls to these or other similar routines.) To use byte/word operations on MEMORY, you need to tell the compiler to use the EV56 or EV6 architecture (/ARCHITECTURE=EV56). Memory operations did not swizzle, but the compiler would do long/quad access, and extract/insert bytes as needed. Using /ARCHITECTURE=EV56 allows smaller, more efficient byte/word access logic to memory. If the application is directly referencing I/O space access across a range of Alpha systems such as is done with the X Windows device drivers, then the driver will need to know how to do swizzling for old platforms, and byte access for new platforms. Device drivers for new graphics controllers can specifically target and specifically require platforms based on EV6 and later Alpha microprocessors because of this requirement, for instance. Please see Section 10.22 and Section 14.7 for additional details and related considerations. 14-39 Hardware Information __________________________________________________________ 14.10 What is the layout of the VAX floating point format? The VAX floating point format is derived from one of the PDP-11 FP formats, which helps explain its strange layout. There are four formats defined: F 32- bit single-precision, D and G 64-bit double-precision and H 128-bit quadruple precision. For all formats, the lowest addressed 16-bit "word" contains the sign and exponent (and for other than H, some of the most significant fraction bits). Each successive higher- addressed word contains the next 16 lesser-significant fraction bits. Bit 15 of the first word is the sign, 1 for negative, 0 for positive. Zero is represented by a biased exponent value of zero and a sign of zero; the fraction bits are ignored (but on Alpha, non- zero fraction bits in a zero value cause an error.) A value with biased exponent zero and sign bit 1 is a "reserved operand" - touching it causes an error - fraction bits are ignored. There are no minus zero, infinity, denormalized or NaN values. For all formats, the fraction is normalized and the radix point assumed to be to the left of the MSB, hence the following range: 0.5 less than or equal to f and less than 1.0. The MSB, always being 1, is not stored. The binary exponent is stored with a bias varying with type in bits 14:n of the lowest-addressed word. FP Exponent Exponent Mantissa (Fraction) bits, Type Bits Bias including hidden bit ========================================================== F 8 128 24 D 8 128 56 G 11 1024 53 H 15 16384 113 The layout for D is identical to that for F except for 32 additional fraction bits. Example: +1.5 in F float is hex 000040C0 (fraction of .11[base 2], biased exponent of 129) 14-40 Hardware Information __________________________________________________________ 14.11 Where can I find more info about VAX systems? o HP provides limited VAX platform information via links at the AlphaServer website, itself available via: http://www.hp.com/go/server/ o Jim Agnew maintains a MicroVAX/VAXstation FAQ at: http://www.people.vcu.edu/~agnew/MVAX/MVAX_FAQ.HTML o The VAXstation 3100 Owner's Guide: http://www.whiteice.com/~williamwebb/intro/DOC- i.html o VAX Console information: http://www.mcmanis.com/chuck/computers/vaxen/panels.htm o A field guide to PDP-11 (and VAX) Q-bus and UNIBUS modules can be found at: http://metalab.unc.edu//pub/academic/computer- science/history/pdp-11/hardware/field-guide.txt o Various VAX historical information (also see Section 2.1) can be found at: http://telnet.hu/hamster/vax/e_index.html __________________________________________________________ 14.12 Where can I find information on NetBSD for VAX systems? Gunnar Helliesen maintains a NetBSD VAX FAQ at o http://vaxine.bitcon.no/ __________________________________________________________ 14.13 What system disk size limit on the MicroVAX and VAXstation 3100? System disks larger than 1.073 gigabytes (GB)-1fffff hexidecimal blocks - are not supported on any member of the VAXstation 3100 series and on certain older members of the MicroVAX 3100 series, and are not reliable on these affected systems. (See below to identify the affected systems-the more recent members of the MicroVAX 3100 series systems are NOT affected.) 14-41 Hardware Information Various of the SCSI commands used by the boot drivers imbedded in the console PROM on all members of the VAXstation 3100 series use "Group 0" commands, which allow a 21 bit block number field, which allows access to the first 1fffff hexidecimal blocks of a disk. Any disk references past 1fffff will wrap-this wrapping behaviour can be of particular interest when writing a system crashdump file, as this can potentially lead to system disk corruptions should any part of the crashdump file be located beyond 1.073 GB. More recent systems and console PROMs use "Group 1" SCSI commands, which allow a 32 bit block number field. There was a similar limitation among the oldest of the MicroVAX 3100 series, but a console boot PROM was phased into production and was made available for field retrofits-this PROM upgrade allows the use of the "Group 1" SCSI commands, and thus larger system disks. There was no similar PROM upgrade for the VAXstation 3100 series. Systems that are affected by this limit: o VAXstation 3100 series, all members. No PROM upgrade is available. o MicroVAX 3100 models 10 and 20. No PROM upgrade is available. o MicroVAX 3100 models 10e and 20e. Only systems with console VMB versions prior to V6.4 are affected. A PROM upgrade for these specific systems is (or was once) available. Also see o http://www.whiteice.com/~williamwebb/intro/DOC- i.html Also see Section 9.5. 14-42 Hardware Information __________________________________________________________ 14.14 What are the VAX processor (CPU) codes? CPU: Platform: ----- --------- KA41-A : MicroVAX 3100 Model 10 and 20 KA41-B : VAXserver 3100 Model 10 and 20 KA41-C : InfoServer KA41-D : MicroVAX 3100 Model 10e and 20e KA41-E : VAXserver 3100 Model 10e and 20e KA42-A : VAXstation 3100 Model 30 and 40 KA42-B : VAXstation 3100 Model 38 and 48 KA43-A : VAXstation 3100 Model 76 KA45 : MicroVAX 3100 Model 30 and 40 KA46 : VAXstation 4000 Model 60 KA47 : MicroVAX 3100 Model 80 KA48 : VAXstation 4000 VLC KA49-A : VAXstation 4000 Model 90/90A KA49-B : VAXstation 4000 Model 95 KA49-C : VAXstation 4000 Model 96 KA50 : MicroVAX 3100 Model 90 KA51 : MicroVAX 3100 Model 95 KA52 : VAX 4000 Model 100 KA53 : VAX 4000 Model 105 KA54 : VAX 4000 Model 106 KA55 : MicroVAX 3100 Model 85 KA56 : MicroVAX 3100 Model 96 KA57 : VAX 4000 Model 108 KA58 : MicroVAX 3100 Model 88 KA59 : MicroVAX 3100 Model 98 KA85 : VAX 8500 KA86 : VAX 8600 KA88 : VAX 8800 KA600 : VAX 4000-50 (aka VAXbrick) KA610 : MicroVAX I, VAXstation I (aka KD32) KA620 : rtVAX (VAXeln) KA62A : VAX 6000-200 KA62B : VAX 6000-300 KA630 : MicroVAX II, VAXstation II KA640 : MicroVAX 3300, MicroVAX 3400 KA650 : VAXstation 3200, MicroVAX 3500, MicroVAX 3600, MicroVAX III KA64A : VAX 6000-400 KA655 : MicroVAX 3800, MicroVAX 3900, MicroVAX III+ KA65A : VAX 6000-500 14-43 Hardware Information KA660 : VAX 4000-200, VAX 4 upgrade KA66A : VAX 6000-600 KA670 : VAX 4000-300 KA675 : VAX 4000-400 KA680 : VAX 4000-500 KA681 : VAX 4000-500A KA690 : VAX 4000-600 KA691 : VAX 4000-605A KA692 : VAX 4000-700A KA693 : VAX 4000-605A KA694 : VAX 4000-705A KA730 : VAX-11/730 KA750 : VAX-11/750 KA780 : VAX-11/780, VAX-11/782 KA785 : VAX-11/785 KA7AA : VAX 7000-600 KA7AB : VAX 7000-700 KA7AC : VAX 7000-800 KA800 : VAXrta KA820 : VAX 8200, VAX 8300 KA825 : VAX 8250, VAX 8350 KA865 : VAX 8650 __________________________________________________________ 14.15 Where can I get software and hardware support information? Please contact the HP Customer Support Center. Services and information, manuals, guides, downloads, and various other information is available via the support link at: o http://www.hp.com/products/openvms/ Various hardware and system documentation is available at: o http://www.hp.com/go/services/ TSM (Terminal Server Manager), DEChub, DECserver, etc. information: o http://www.compaq.com/support/digital_networks_ archive/ 14-44 Hardware Information The owner and maintainer of current DECserver and related hardware is DIGITAL Network Products Group (DNPG): o http://www.dnpg.com/ __________________________________________________________ 14.16 Where can I get hardware self-maintenance support assistance? The HP Parts Directory and the HP Parts Reference Guide (arguably the most direct descendents of the HP Assisted Services program, of the Compaq Assisted Services program, and of the now-ancient DECmailer program) are available to customers that wish to maintain their own system(s) (self-maintenance), but that wish some level of assistance in acquiring specific parts, hardware diagnostics and hardware manuals for the system(s), and that wish to have access to spares and module-level repairs for customer- performed hardware module swaps: o http://www.hp.com/go/parts/ o http://www.hp.com/buy/parts/ The HP Parts Reference Guide replaces the CAS-Catalog and DAS-Catalog parts catalogs and related resources. Details of the available self-maintenance programs and services can vary by geography and by the particular services channel(s), and current program specifics are available via the above URLs. __________________________________________________________ 14.17 Why does my system halt when I power-cycle the console terminal? Various VAX and Alpha consoles are designed to process the BREAK signal, treating it as a HALT request. A BREAK is a deliberately-generated serial line framing error. When a serial line device such as a terminal powers up (or sometimes when powering down) it can generate framing errors. These framing errors are indistingushable from a BREAK signal. 14-45 Hardware Information When a BREAK is received on a serial line console for various VAX systems-including most VAXstation, MicroVAX, and VAX 4000 series-it is typically interpreted as a HALT. Alpha systems will also often process a BREAK in a similar fashion, halting the system. There is no uniform or generally-available way to disable this behaviour on every VAX or Alpha system. On some systems, BREAK processing can be disabled in favor of [CTRL/P], or [CTRL/P] is the only way to halt the processor. The most common way to avoid these halts is to disable the serial line console or to simply not power-cycle the console terminal. There is certain important system state information that is displayed only on the console, OpenVMS expects to always have access to the system console. Also see Section 5.6. __________________________________________________________ 14.18 Can I reuse old keyboards, mice and monitors with a PC? Older HP keyboards (those with the DIGITAL logo and the RJ modular jacks), older HP mice (those with the DIGITAL logo and with the RJ modular jacks, or with a DIN connector with pins in a configuration other than the PC-standard DIN connector pin orientation), and older video monitors (with RGB synch-on-green video signaling) all use signaling formats and/or communications protocols that differ from the PC standards, and are not (easily) interchangable nor (easily) compatible with typical PC peripheral device controllers. The LK201 and LK401 keyboards, the VSXXX series mice, the VR260 and VR290 monitors, etc., are incompatible with most PC systems and with most KVM switches. Newer HP (and Compaq) keyboards (those with with PC- style DIN plugs, and the HP, Compaq or DIGITAL logo), newer HP mice (with PC-pin DIN plugs, and the HP, Compaq or DIGITAL logo), and newer video monitors (multi-synch) are often interchangeable with "industry standard" PC systems, and can often be used with 14-46 Hardware Information most PC peripheral device controllers. LK461, LK463, LK46W, LK471, PC7XS-CA, VRC16, VRC21, TFT-series LCD flat-panel displays, etc., are typically reasonably compatible with most PC systems, and will usually perform as expected within the limits of the hardware. (For details of CRT and LCD display compatibility, please see Section 14.19.) Rule of thumb: if the peripheral device component was sold for use with the DEC 2000 (DECpc 150 AXP), an AlphaServer series, an AlphaStation series, or a more recent Alpha system, it will probably work with a PC peripheral controller or with a PC-compatible KVM switch. If the peripheral device component was sold for use with an VT420 or older terminal, most VAX, most VAXstation, and most Alpha systems with names in the format DEC [four-digit-number], it probably won't work on a PC system or with a PC-compatible KVM. Note that the above is a general guideline, and should not be read to indicate that any particular peripheral device will or will not work in any particular configuration, save for those specific configurations the device is explicitly supported in. Software Integrators sells a video adapter card called Gemini P1 which will drive many of the older HP (DIGITAL-logo) fixed-frequency monitors on a PC system: o http://www.si87.com/ The DIGITAL (classic 2-5-2-style) part number 29- 32549-01 converts the output from the RGB cable (3 BNC, synch-on-green) that comes with the VAXstation 3100 and VAXstation 4000 series to a female SVGA D connector. You may be able to find third-party converters or adapters (3 BNCs with synch-on-green signaling to 5 BNCs with VGA/SVGA, or to 15-pin VGA/SVGA. This adapter will allow PC multisync monitors with the needed frequency specifications to be used with the VAXstation series synch-on-green video connection. It may well also work with a VAXstation 2000 series 14-47 Hardware Information systems, but specifics and performance of that combination are not immediately known at this writing. The protocol definition for the old DIGITAL keyboard and mouse interfaces is buried at the back of the QDSS section in the old VAXstation II manual, specifically, in the back of the VCB02 Video Subsystem Technical Manual (EK-104AA-TM). The keyboard wiring and protocol is in appendix B, and occupies circa 44 pages. The mouse is in appendix C, circa 12 pages. Also see Section 14.19. __________________________________________________________ 14.19 Which video monitor works with which graphics controller? To determine the answer to the "will this video monitor or this LCD panel work with this graphics controller?" question, please first locate the resolution(s) and the frequencies that are possible/supported at both ends of the video cable (on the display and on the graphics controller, in other words), and then determine if there are any matching settings available. If there are multiple matches, you will need to determine which one is most appropriate for your needs. You will also need to determine if the video monitor or graphics controller requires the 3 BNC signaling with the synchronization signals on the green wire, or the 5 BNC signaling common on many PCs, or other connections such as the DB15 video connector or USB connector used on various systems. (BNC signaling is comparatively old, but prevalent with many older hobbyist AlphaStation or VAXstation configurations.) If there are no matches, you will likely need to change the hardware at one or both ends of the video cable. The refresh frequencies for many devices have been posted to comp.os.vms and/or other newsgroups. Search the archives for details. Also see: o http://www.repairfaq.org/ o http://www.mirage-mmc.com/faq/ o http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Foothills/4467/fixedsync.html 14-48 Hardware Information o http://saturn.tlug.org/sunstuff/ffmonitor.html o http://hawks.ha.md.us/hardware/monitor.html LCD-based and plasma-based flat-panel displays are generally compatible with all recent OpenVMS Alpha systems and supported graphics controllers. For best results, you should generally set the graphics controller to match the native LCD or plasma display resolution and (for LCD displays) also set the controller refresh rate to 60Hz. Check your graphics controller and your display documentation for any device-specific requirements and/or configuration recommendations. Some of the older graphics controllers around do not necessarily generate stable signals at 60 Hz, if the controller can even generate that refresh rate; you may end up upgrading to a less-old controller. (At least some of the PowerStorm 3D30 and PowerStorm 4D20 series controllers, for instance, are not necessarily the best choice for 60 Hz operations with an LCD, based on empirical testing with an AlphaStation XP1000, PowerStorm 3D30, and a TFT2025 series LCD. Degraded or mismatched signals produce degraded displays, obviously. The newest graphics controllers compatible with your particular system are generally better choices here for use with LCD; the Radeon 7500 series is a good choice for most EV6-class AlphaStation systems, for instance. Also see Section 14.18. __________________________________________________________ 14.20 Where can I get information on storage hardware? Information on various HP (Compaq, DIGITAL) OpenVMS and other disk storage hardware and controllers, and related technical information on SCSI, device jumpers, etc., is available at: o http://theref.aquascape.com/ Note the aquascape website appears to have become unavailable, and the FAQ maintainer is unaware 14-49 ---------------------------- #include <rtfaq.h> ----------------------------- For additional, please see the OpenVMS FAQ -- www.hp.com/go/openvms/faq --------------------------- pure personal opinion --------------------------- Hoff (Stephen) Hoffman OpenVMS Engineering hoff[at]hp.com