miod > machineroom > hosts > myosotis


What's in a name?

myosotis is the french name for the forget-me-not flower. I chose to christen my first alpha machine with this name, although I had planned for weeks to name it zantetsuken (and even had a name the machine contest among coworkers and friends back then).


This machine is an Alpha 164LX: an ATX motherboard using a second generation alpha (21164) as its processor. The motherboard has 4 PCI slots and 3 ISA slots, and an on-board IDE controller.
I bought its components in '98 (motherboard, 533MHz processor, and 128MB of memory) and assembled it in an ATX case. Building the whole machine costed me about FF 14,000 back then; that would be a bit more than EUR 2,000.


This machine first ran Linux (RedHat 5.x, then a homemade setup before LFS was born), and I used it as my main workstation.
At that time, I realized the hard way how broken supposedly portable software was, when it came to run it on a non-IEEE754 64 bit platform. I also suffered painful system freezes which I eventually tracked down to the two banks of video memory not running at the same speed, after a couple years. In the meantime I had grown weary of the machine (well, radical hangs are quite the annoyance) and was only using it remotely.
A few months later, OpenBSD gained shared libraries on alpha, and I have been running OpenBSD on this machine since then (after replacing the video memory, just in case).
Year after year, the 128MB of memory were becoming more and more scarce. I eventually was able to stealpick an extra 256MB compatible with this board, from a Miata, to upgrade the machine to a wealthy 384MB.


Here is a recent dmesg from that system:
[ using 648984 bytes of bsd ELF symbol table ]
consinit: not using prom console
Copyright (c) 1982, 1986, 1989, 1991, 1993
	The Regents of the University of California.  All rights reserved.
Copyright (c) 1995-2012 OpenBSD. All rights reserved.

OpenBSD 5.1-current (GENERIC) #0: Sat May  5 09:42:39 GMT 2012
Digital AlphaPC 164LX 533 MHz
8192 byte page size, 1 processor.
real mem = 402653184 (384MB)
rsvd mem = 2179072 (2MB)
avail mem = 385056768 (367MB)
mainbus0 at root
cpu0 at mainbus0: ID 0 (primary), 21164A-2 (pass 2)
cpu0: architecture extensions: 1<BWX>
cia0 at mainbus0: DECchip 2117x Core Logic Chipset (Pyxis), pass 1
cia0: extended capabilities: 1<BWEN>
cia0: using BWX for PCI config and bus access
pci0 at cia0 bus 0
ahc0 at pci0 dev 5 function 0 "Adaptec AHA-2940U" rev 0x00: eb164 irq 2
ahc0: Host Adapter Bios disabled.  Using default SCSI device parameters
scsibus0 at ahc0: 16 targets, initiator 7
sd0 at scsibus0 targ 1 lun 0: <SEAGATE, ST39173LW, 6246> SCSI2 0/direct fixed serial.SEAGATE_ST39173LW_LMH3025200001946013E
sd0: 8683MB, 512 bytes/sector, 17783240 sectors
vga0 at pci0 dev 7 function 0 "S3 ViRGE DX/GX" rev 0x01
wsdisplay0 at vga0 mux 1
wsdisplay0: screen 0-5 added (80x25, vt100 emulation)
sio0 at pci0 dev 8 function 0 "Intel 82378IB ISA" rev 0x43
fxp0 at pci0 dev 9 function 0 "Intel 8255x" rev 0x0c, i82550: eb164 irq 3, address 00:02:b3:98:a0:a3
inphy0 at fxp0 phy 1: i82555 10/100 PHY, rev. 4
pciide0 at pci0 dev 11 function 0 "CMD Technology PCI0646" rev 0x01: DMA, channel 0 wired to compatibility, channel 1 wired to compatibility
pciide0: channel 0 disabled (no drives)
pciide0: channel 1 disabled (no drives)
isa0 at sio0
isadma0 at isa0
com0 at isa0 port 0x3f8/8 irq 4: ns16550a, 16 byte fifo
com0: console
com1 at isa0 port 0x2f8/8 irq 3: ns16550a, 16 byte fifo
pckbc0 at isa0 port 0x60/5
pcppi0 at isa0 port 0x61
spkr0 at pcppi0
lpt0 at isa0 port 0x3bc/4 irq 7
fdc0 at isa0 port 0x3f0/6 irq 6 drq 2
fd0 at fdc0 drive 0: 1.44MB 80 cyl, 2 head, 18 sec
mcclock0 at isa0 port 0x70/2: mc146818 or compatible
stray isa irq 3
vscsi0 at root
scsibus1 at vscsi0: 256 targets
softraid0 at root
scsibus2 at softraid0: 256 targets
ahc0: target 1 using 16bit transfers
ahc0: target 1 synchronous at 20.0MHz, offset = 0x8
root on sd0a (6119e34de91686c6.a) swap on sd0b dump on sd0b
stray isa irq 3