The great Pentium Pro haul of 2018

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The great Pentium Pro haul of 2018

Postby luckybob » 2018-10-02 @ 05:09

Preface: I spin quite a yarn here, the TL;DR is at the bottom

This whole thing started a few weeks ago over on another vintage computer site VCFED. (link) A gentleman posted that he had a basement full of stuff that he wanted to unload. A few pictures rolled in and I lost my mind. I instantly recognized the kind of hardware he was wanting to unload. Pentium Pro servers. ALR Pentium Pro servers. ALR 6x6 Pentium Pro Servers. He was near Chicago, and I was in Denver. Just over 1000 miles apart. (1610KM for you foreigners) ONE-WAY. Not exactly something I can go an get on a whim and by the sounds of the other people in the thread, the vultures were circling. So it was a matter of who got to the kill first. Thankfully, my good friend Liqmat came to save the day.

The series of events to follow are true. Names have been changed to protect the innocent. *Dragnet theme plays*

All of these parts were owned by a man whom I will call Jack. I don't feel the need to share his real name on the internet, In fact, I could just lie and say his name is jack and nobody here would know the difference. But because I played the Dragnet theme, I suppose I should tell the truth. :P He has a average looking house just outside of Chicago, and needed to get rid of massive amounts of server equipment. He already had taken some parts to the recyclers, and thank goodness he took the time to let us know on VCFED he wanted to unload all this good stuff. Unbeknown to me at the time, Liqmat had already started moving. I'll keep some of the less relevant details private (unless he wants to share them), but he offered a good chunk of change to purchase everything, sight unseen. Over the next few days, some more pics privately were exchanged, detailing the mother-load of Pentium Pro goodness.

Dozens of motherboards, dozens of computer chassis from the lowly enlight to the massive ALR 6x6's, 100+ processors, heatsinks, and many big boxes of scsi hard drives, not the mention spare parts for days. Liqmat had secured it all, and I was promised first dibbs.

I lost my shit.

Pentium Pro's have always been my favorite chips. I was completely fascinated by their sheer size when I was in school and saw one in the computer lab server closet. (they were upgrading to early P3's) The teachers at the school let me keep the system on the property, and I was allowed to turn it into my own game server. So these golden chips have always held a place in my heart. As I grew, I found other parts and I heard tales of a giant 6-way server. Capable of holding 6 golden beauties. I vowed to get one, but for almost 15 years, the ALR 6x6 was just a thing of legend. Jack had SIX. NEW. And I was going to get one!

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There was quite a bit of uncertainty. we had no idea if Jack was on the level. There was quite a bit of trust on everyone involved. But I've found the vast majority of people in this world are good people. It's just a select few twat-waffles that ruin it for everyone. Hotels were booked, plans were made and all I could do is sit on my hands and wait. It was difficult, pics of all the booty kept filtering in as Jack moved the bulk of the cache to the garage, from the basement.

The day came and I started out of Denver Thursday afternoon. The plan was to make the 13 hour drive over 24 hours. So a quick pace, but not something grueling. A few days before, I had a moment of weakness. I needed a new case for my NAS and there was a sale on a 3U server that would hold 24x drives. So I canceled my hotel reservation to pay for the server. I figured I could sleep in my truck. Something that would return to bite me in the ass.

For those that do not know, I will be passing through "flyover country". A term that is completely not overstated. Granted, I did not stay long, but damn, these places are boring.

Nebraska. Corn.
Iowa. Somehow, more corn
Illinois. corn and pig farms.

Yep. Corn. Massive amounts of Corn. There are probably other things these states are known for, like Meth, but that is beyond the scope of this. There was quite a bit of roadkill. I kept a running total, but I won't share it here. I didn't really intend to keep count but driving 1000+ miles is amazingly boring. Every mile is a different corn field, all in perfect rows. All in various stages of being harvested. Please don't misunderstand me. I'm not knocking these areas, all this corn feed us and the animals that I like to eat. But god damn, Driving through these areas is a SLOG. That said, Iowa has really nice public rest areas. Well lit and CLEAN. I felt completely safe there to take a power-nap before looking at more corn fields.

Anyway, after the cornfield gauntlet, I come up the outskirts of Chicago. I come to find out there was a hotel room waiting for me. I come to find out Liqmat's better half was a travel genius and managed to get some sort of 2 for 1 deal on a room, and I got the 2nd. I also find out, the schedule to pickup the parts has moved up from Saturday to Friday. I had enough time to shower, and take a nap before Liqmat showed up and we set off to see the wizard. Full disclosure, of all the men from the internet I've met at a hotel, Liqmat was the nicest. Also the first, but that's hardly the point. The next 2 hours were an absolute whirlwind of boxes and sweat. I had plans to setup a video and record everything, but we needed to haul ass, rain was coming! I wanted to just stay there for days and poke my finder into every box I found. (giggity) Jacks basement was MASSIVE. I did not take any pictures of it, privacy and all that, but we didn't get everything. Jack worked as a IT tech for years and was told to get rid of old spare parts, he filled his basement, and let 20 years pass.

In the haul, I didn't get to catalog everything as it got loaded into a 16 foot truck. (we filled it BTW) But the haul included:

6x NEW desktop ALR 6x6 systems
1x used ALR 6x6 rackmount
4 boxes of spare parts for above, including memory boards, cpu boards, front panels
3x power supply raid modules (4 power supplies, 1 chassis)
5x boxes of 20x sealed pentium pro cpus. (1mb)
100+ network cards most new and sealed
100+ Pentium pro cpus in loose packages or systems
30+ single pentium pro motherboards
20+ dual pentium pro motherboards
A large box full of ram
3 large boxes of NIB scsi drives. I got one, and they look like 18gb 7200 rpm drives.
box of internal cables
10 enlight towers. I got a couple, but havent opened them yet. I will tomorrow.
6x tall beige server cases. unknown contents
2x tall BLACK server cases. unknown contents
2x short fat server cases. unknown contents
1x Intel server. Quad P2 xeon. 450/2m/100 chips and 4GB ram.
20+ new in box pci video cards (s3 trios mostly)
box of random 486 motherboards
huge box of random computer parts. From network cards to sound to agp video. A 'grab bag' if ever there was one.
20x IBM p2-300 cpu's in enough foam padding you can air drop these things from 20,000 feet and they will survive the landing.
10+ random scsi raid cards.
3x 486 upgrade chips (upgrade to 133mhz!)
2x Intel P3's in box http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Pentium-I ... 06256.html
20+ ide & scsi cd drives
1x quad slot-2 server

Yep. 16 foot truck filled. Got it back to the hotel, locked it up, and went to get a real Chicago pie. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaA5dNFrFMI (god I miss John Stewart) I figured, to get a Chicago pie in Chicago is the bare minimum thing to do, and not doing it is probably a crime. We filed off to a nice place nearby. God damn, it was good. Not cheap, but honestly it was amazeballs. I at least got to pay for dinner to make it a bit even for the hotel room. took a nice pic of the first slice too. I found out it is a popular chain restaurant and the owner said they were opening the first location in Denver in November. Not a low class shit like papa johns either. Anyway, tired and full of meat and cheese, I staggered back to the room for a solid 8 hours of sleep.

Morning came and we emptied the truck into the parking lot behind the hotel. Took a good stock of all the glory that lay before us. I filled my truck to the brim with as much of the booty as I could. There were some one-off boards I got. There were many little items that I wont list yet. I recorded over an hour of video today taking things out of boxes and taking batteries off motherboards. One board does look like it might be bad.

Anyway, to the meat of the issue. I don't have the majority of the items I listed off. Liqmat and I have agreed there is a need to break even on this. There is no real reason to horde all this swag. Liqmat just unloaded the truck today, so I would assume in the next couple days he will chime in with a more accurate list. I got 2 of the 6 ALR systems. I will not let them go. At least not unless someone special shows up. So I will not be selling anything of significance at this time. That "honor" belongs to liqmat, who was the one to put up the cash in the first place. I was just the first hyena to this lion kill. #sorrynotsorry

to that end. Obviously there is to be no sales on Vogons. Because I don't pay for this site, I follow the rules of the guys that do. The idea at the moment is to create 'kits' for the general population. In this kit, you would get a new motherboard, new cpu, new video card, new nic, new heatsink/fan. Enough to get started. Basically you just fill in the rest for an easy pentium pro setup. Everybody wants their own sound card, and case. Quite a few of these are standard ATX, and a single p-pro should not stress a quality power supply. The video cards we have are basic pci S3 cards. Solid cards, with good compatibility. The dual boards are going to get a similar treatment. Obviously a different clientèle for those boards. The boxes of p-pro chips are likely to be desired by the collectors.

As far as the extra 6x6 systems. the current 'plan' is to look for museums and established collectors. The tall server cases should be available, as the scsi drives. If you are interested in getting anything from the haul, I would suggest you hold off for the moment. Everything is still up in the air, and I don't think Liqmat has made a final tally of of all the stuff he has. So I'm going to ask everyone just sit on their hands for the moment. Please be assured, once he is ready to start spreading the wealth, I'm sure he will chime in this thread to tell you where. Also, I want to assure you the goal here is not to gouge people on prices, but to spread the wealth as much as possible while still breaking even. I won't mention the price we paid Jack, it really isn't relevant, The truck cost money, driving across the country (we both drove 2000 miles round trip) cost money, he had to goto weigh stations, I could go on. The overarching goal is to spread the wealth, and hopefully break even in the process.

TL;DR
I got a bunch of p-pro stuff and had to drive 1000 miles both ways to get it. Here are some pics: https://imgur.com/a/FSUE6fU

I am also making a video detailing the stuff I got personally. I basically got a sample of everything. That is coming very soon. I made over an hour of 4k footage today. That just covered the parts and one of the servers I got. Tomorrow I plan to get that online, and then start part two, which will cover some of the enlight boxes I got, a few of the tall server towers and the ALR boxes. At least that is the current plan.
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Re: The great Pentium Pro haul of 2018

Postby ODwilly » 2018-10-02 @ 05:26

Just logged in to say AWESOME READ! Sounds like you had an epic journey and it is absolutely astounding and amazing to read about so much of this rare gear alive and well, let alone in one place. The Pentiium Pro is not only just COOL, but the real great great great etc Grandfather of the modern CPU, even more so than the first Pentium or 486 of even anything earlier.
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Re: The great Pentium Pro haul of 2018

Postby sunaiac » 2018-10-02 @ 07:56

Congratz !
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Re: The great Pentium Pro haul of 2018

Postby Rawit » 2018-10-02 @ 08:13

This is awesome stuff. Gonna check this regularly. And it's great to read this will be preserved and not recycled.
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Re: The great Pentium Pro haul of 2018

Postby keropi » 2018-10-02 @ 08:18

Great read , kudos on the haul!
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Re: The great Pentium Pro haul of 2018

Postby oeuvre » 2018-10-02 @ 12:58

Awesome haul!

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Re: The great Pentium Pro haul of 2018

Postby stamasd » 2018-10-02 @ 13:36

Get some rest. Can't wait to see what happens next.
I/O, I/O,
It's off to disk I go,
With a bit and a byte
And a read and a write,
I/O, I/O
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Re: The great Pentium Pro haul of 2018

Postby OldCat » 2018-10-02 @ 13:55

its_beautiful.png
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Re: The great Pentium Pro haul of 2018

Postby hard1k » 2018-10-02 @ 15:03

Oh my. Great. Subscribed to the thread :)
Please have a look at my wishlist (hosted at Amibay)
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Re: The great Pentium Pro haul of 2018

Postby MMaximus » 2018-10-02 @ 15:40

Sounds like a crazy few days! Sad to hear about all the roadkill but looking forward to the follow-up...
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Re: The great Pentium Pro haul of 2018

Postby bjwil1991 » 2018-10-02 @ 15:42

Fancy haul, man! Subbed to the thread :)
C64, WheelWriter 10 Series II QuietWriter 8, Pack-Mate 28 Plus, K6-2/300, Pavilion N3350, iMac G3 & G4, Socket 462, 2x Inspiron 600m, Athlon 64, Dimension 4550 & E510, ThinkPad R40, Presario C700, ASUS X54C, Raspberry Pi B+, 2B-3B+, Custom FX-6300
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Re: The great Pentium Pro haul of 2018

Postby liqmat » 2018-10-02 @ 18:23

Anyone who is interested in obtaining items from this haul please PM me and you will be sent a private Discord channel invite. If your Discord handle does not match your Vogons or Vcfed handle please make that clear in the PM. From that channel inventory will start showing up in the next week or so of what's available. I want to keep with the rules of this forum and not directly sell here. I also will sell limited quantities to each member since I want to spread the joy to as many members as possible. Everyone should own a PPro setup. I personally am only keeping a couple of single PPro boards for a DOS build. The rest will go. Once everyone has had their fill, I will sell the rest off on Ebay. I have so many NICs NIB I know I have to unload those eventually at Ebay for cheap. I am looking to recover my original purchase cost and travel costs so if I break even on all of this and help the vintage hardware community I will be happy. If I turn a small profit, so be it, but that is NOT my primary goal. I will only consider members from this forum and Vcfed who are at least somewhat seasoned members, at first, since I don't want resellers just signing up to feed off this lot. I want to keep the price low and exciting so we all can have fun with this. Can I hear a hooah to that? Hooah!!!!

All of this will be sold AS-IS as I wont be testing any of it. Just too much to even consider that plus most of it is new in box and I am not opening it.

P.S. - Don't you dare think I wont be putting up random items @ random times from this haul in my hardware giveaway thread for fun. I will.
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Re: The great Pentium Pro haul of 2018

Postby luckybob » 2018-10-02 @ 20:01

In case anyone is wondering, batteries have been removed. Every battery was in starting to leak, in the batch of stuff I got. So far it looks like everything has survived at first glance, save for maybe one board. I'm going to try to fit together part 1 of the movie NOW and have it up tonight on my youtube channel. I still need to rebuild my NAS, so it will just be cut and paste together like some sort of frankenstein's monster, it wont be pretty, but it will work.

Famous last words. eh?
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Re: The great Pentium Pro haul of 2018

Postby mrau » 2018-10-02 @ 21:04

i think it's a dinobot;
whats the smallest ppro system You got there?
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Re: The great Pentium Pro haul of 2018

Postby SpectriaForce » 2018-10-02 @ 21:17

Sounds like a nice lot, although I wouldn't be interested in most of the server hardware (too big, too noisy, consumes too much power, not very useful for retro gaming). Perhaps you can post some pictures simply over here, so everyone can enjoy it and maybe you generate a little more interest. I can imagine that demand for a lot of the vintage server hardware is (very) low. I hope you guys haven't spent too much money on it. I would simply sell to anyone who's interested and able to pay for it, but 'that's just my two cents' :wink:
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Re: The great Pentium Pro haul of 2018

Postby Damaniel » 2018-10-02 @ 21:38

Your username definitely checks out. If it were me, I'd probably be swimming through it, Scrooge McDuck style.

That being said, I'll be definitely keeping an eye on this thread (I'd jump in on liqmat's Discord, but sadly I don't have enough post history here to PM yet). I've always had a thing for PPro and dual CPU systems.
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Re: The great Pentium Pro haul of 2018

Postby liqmat » 2018-10-02 @ 22:42

SpectriaForce wrote:Sounds like a nice lot, although I wouldn't be interested in most of the server hardware (too big, too noisy, consumes too much power, not very useful for retro gaming). Perhaps you can post some pictures simply over here, so everyone can enjoy it and maybe you generate a little more interest. I can imagine that demand for a lot of the vintage server hardware is (very) low. I hope you guys haven't spent too much money on it. I would simply sell to anyone who's interested and able to pay for it, but 'that's just my two cents' :wink:


Actually a huge portion of it is not just server hardware. There are a lot of goodies for single PC based systems. A ton of single Pentium Pro motherboards with CPUs all new. plus a ton of PCI and ISA cards. I have some new in box beige and black desktop cases as well. There is just so much it is going to just take time to sift through it all. We just took what he was giving and didn't ask questions. He still had more tucked away, but this was the majority of it. What is sad, though, is he recycled most of his 486/386 gear if I remember correctly, but after talking to us he regrets throwing that away. We just told him no worries and what he was doing by selling the rest off was helping a large portion of the vintage hardware community. I am happy to report that most of the PPro boards have button cell batteries which means NO LEAKAGE. Oh man, that was such a worry of ours. There are some 486 boards and a 386 board with mathco, but I have yet to inventory. I also have a variety of first gen Pentium processors and 486 CPUs. I also have a bunch of dual P-II Slot 1 boards and new in box P-II Slot 1 300MHz CPUs. This lot is truly a variety pack.
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Re: The great Pentium Pro haul of 2018

Postby bjwil1991 » 2018-10-02 @ 22:54

*whistles in appreciation*
C64, WheelWriter 10 Series II QuietWriter 8, Pack-Mate 28 Plus, K6-2/300, Pavilion N3350, iMac G3 & G4, Socket 462, 2x Inspiron 600m, Athlon 64, Dimension 4550 & E510, ThinkPad R40, Presario C700, ASUS X54C, Raspberry Pi B+, 2B-3B+, Custom FX-6300
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Re: The great Pentium Pro haul of 2018

Postby luckybob » 2018-10-03 @ 00:15

Video is in the oven.

2 hours to process almost an hour of 4k footage at 30fps. I need an upgrade. ^.^ I'll post a link here to the video

keep in mind, this is only part one. And I pirated Power Director 15. So hopefully the watermark isnt too obtrusive. I just downloaded davinci resolve 15 and will be using that FREE software next video. For the record, PD15 was easy to use, but a damn mess in controls. I found it annoying to the point where I'm happy I didn't pay for it, and will be happily uninstalling here once I'm done.
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Re: The great Pentium Pro haul of 2018

Postby luckybob » 2018-10-03 @ 01:59

video: https://youtu.be/mPIj0Z59jxY

I just started uploading it, and it clocks in at almost 19GB. So it might not be available for a bit.

Yarrr, I be capping my upload for a while...

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