First post, by luckybob
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. 😜 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!
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.
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-III/Int … 33PZ006256.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.
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.
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes.