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 PostPost subject: Anyone still using NT on Alpha?        Posted: Sat May 25, 2019 2:23 pm 
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Hello everyone,

I'm the proud owner of miata, a Digital PWS 500a(u) currently running NT 4.0 SP6. The machine boasts a 21164A (EV56) CPU, 512MB of RAM. It came with an Intergraph Intense3D PRO MSMT440 (fully expanded), which DEC/Compaq marketed as a PowerStorm card. I swapped that out for a Diamond FireGL PRO 3000. I've been using NT on that box for quite a long time and in that period I've collected Alpha software here https://github.com/jack23247/alphant. Enjoy :mrgreen:

Is anyone still using the good old Alphas? I'd love to chat about your setup.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Anyone still using NT on Alpha?        Posted: Mon May 27, 2019 7:24 pm 
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Hmmph... I don't think other people besides you have an Alpha-based computer. Even though Windows NT 4.0 had always supported the Alpha architecture, most Windows versions today only support x86, amd64 and ARM architectures. I, myself, haven't heard of the DEC Alpha architecture until I looked at the contents of several Windows NT 4.0 and NT 4.0 Service Pack CDs (actually ISOs, I've never had physical copies of Windows systems as I'm a young person) and noticed a folder called ALPHA, and noticed mentions of Alpha in the online documentation.

For those who don't know what even is this, DEC Alpha is a 64-bit (no joke) RISC architecture created by the now defunct Digital Equipment Corporation that would've been used only on a handful of servers. Windows NT had Alpha support starting with Windows NT 3.1, and the last public Windows NT version to support that architecture is Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 6, and even though betas of Windows 2000 up to RC1 had Alpha support, it was dropped for the final release. You can view more information about the Alpha architecture here.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Anyone still using NT on Alpha?        Posted: Mon May 27, 2019 8:50 pm 
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Thank you for replying!

I've seen some Alpha-related discussion here but I didn't want to necrobump: I'm still hoping to find a small community of Alpha people somewhere on the net :D

Also, thank you for the clear explaination. I'd love to add that at least three families of OSes ran on Alpha: WinNT, Unix (OSF-1 and Tru64) and OpenVMS. Alpha was the first 64-bit CPU who could run 32-bit Intel x86 binaries: at least on WinNT there were tools that allowed you to run x86 binaries without recompiling by translating binary code to AXP and caching whole code blocks. Intel almost went crazy! There were at least two inplementations: FX!32 by DEC/Compaq and the built-in support shipped with Win2k RC1. This was made available by PALCode, a system that allowed programmers to extend the AXP ISA by creating and loading microcode at boot, through firmware. Thanks to Intel, who got the entire Alpha IP from HP when they bought Compaq, Alpha was killed.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Anyone still using NT on Alpha?        Posted: Tue May 28, 2019 1:13 pm 
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There might be some pieces of Alpha NT software on the FTP, use the database to search for it. I uploaded several versions of the FX!32 program a while ago (including some betas).

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 PostPost subject: Re: Anyone still using NT on Alpha?        Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 1:45 am 
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Last time I had an Alpha I ran NT 4 Terminal Server on it. But I haven't had one in a long long time.

C compiler support was TERRIBLE on the Alpha, it wasn't until Visual C++ 6.0 that things could 'just work' using /Ox
But by then it didn't matter as it was EOL & Depreciated almost instantly.

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 PostPost subject: Re: Anyone still using NT on Alpha?        Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 10:38 pm 
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jack23247 wrote:
Hello everyone,

I'm the proud owner of miata, a Digital PWS 500a(u) currently running NT 4.0 SP6. The machine boasts a 21164A (EV56) CPU, 512MB of RAM. It came with an Intergraph Intense3D PRO MSMT440 (fully expanded), which DEC/Compaq marketed as a PowerStorm card. I swapped that out for a Diamond FireGL PRO 3000. I've been using NT on that box for quite a long time and in that period I've collected Alpha software here https://github.com/jack23247/alphant. Enjoy :mrgreen:

Is anyone still using the good old Alphas? I'd love to chat about your setup.

Wasn't the Intense3D faster? I have a 164LX motherboard with a 533 MHz 21164A CPU and 1 GB of RAM. There's a mirror of ftp.alphant.com on archive.org https://archive.org/details/ftp.alphant.com .

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 PostPost subject: Re: Anyone still using NT on Alpha?        Posted: Sat Jun 01, 2019 9:28 am 
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Hello all,

Overdoze wrote:
There might be some pieces of Alpha NT software on the FTP, use the database to search for it. I uploaded several versions of the FX!32 program a while ago (including some betas).


Thank you, I think I saw them in the database. This might be quite useful!

louisw3 wrote:
Last time I had an Alpha I ran NT 4 Terminal Server on it. But I haven't had one in a long long time.

C compiler support was TERRIBLE on the Alpha, it wasn't until Visual C++ 6.0 that things could 'just work' using /Ox
But by then it didn't matter as it was EOL & Depreciated almost instantly.


Sadly, yes. VCPP6 AXP is nowhere to be found though...
I still think the rapid demise of Alpha was staged.

GL1zdA wrote:
Wasn't the Intense3D faster? I have a 164LX motherboard with a 533 MHz 21164A CPU and 1 GB of RAM. There's a mirror of ftp.alphant.com on archive.org https://archive.org/details/ftp.alphant.com .


Ohh, nice setup! And thank you for the mirror, I downloaded it right away.
Actually, the Intense3D was just broken. I've gone through hell trying to cope with the drivers and, in the end, it's unable to even accelerate the screen saver. I must experiment more with it.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Anyone still using NT on Alpha?        Posted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:14 am 
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friend, could you let me see some screenshot of Windows NT running on your great Alpha machine? :) I'm very intrersted in architectures like Itanium, Alpha, MIPS.


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 PostPost subject: Re: Anyone still using NT on Alpha?        Posted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 12:19 am 
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WindowsNeptune wrote:
friend, could you let me see some screenshot of Windows NT running on your great Alpha machine? :) I'm very intrersted in architectures like Itanium, Alpha, MIPS.

NT 4.0 running on my 164LX
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SIV running on my Alpha:
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 PostPost subject: Re: Anyone still using NT on Alpha?        Posted: Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:26 am 
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WindowsNeptune wrote:
friend, could you let me see some screenshot of Windows NT running on your great Alpha machine? :) I'm very intrersted in architectures like Itanium, Alpha, MIPS.

Interested in Itanium systems too eh? I'll nad a few screen shots of my machines then!

Also, for you all still on Alpha, I'm headed your way outta curiosity!

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