tiroth : HP9000/340

tiroth is a Hewlett-Packard 9000/340 workstation. I have no monitor or disk drive for this machine, but it can use the serial port as a console. tiroth runs NetBSD as a diskless workstation (booting via mnementh), and in fact runs sufficiently smoothly that it has no console at all normally.

Getting NetBSD to boot and run was not a totally trivial matter, since the canonical server for the NetBSD booting process is another NetBSD machine. I had to port the rbootd daemon to Linux. I've produced some more details on how to get this working, which seem to be modestly popular.

The only current project involving tiroth is a plan to use it as a gateway to my PERQ 1, faranth, by writing code to do TCP/IP over HPIB. To this end, I worked out how to cross-compile NetBSD 1.2 under Linux, in anticipation of frequent kernel rebuilds. I haven't got any further though (mainly due to the complete lack of documentation on the kernel internals...)


tiroth was acquired from the University of Cambridge Engineering Department, who were replacing a large number of X terminals. The machines were set up as clusters of six diskless workstations to each server. The monitors were kept to use with the replacement machines. I note in passing that a large number of these boxes (with no memory) have been acquired by CUCPS. Engineering shuffled the memory cards around before disposing of them. The original configuration had 8MB per workstation and 16MB in the servers. Each machine sold for money was reconfigured with 16MB, and the remaining boxes were given away free. Please mail any suggestions for what to do with twenty 68020 boxes with no disk, monitor or memory to pmaydell@chiark.greenend.org.uk)...


These are some images of tiroth, taken with a Colour QuickCam and cqcam software for Linux. They're a bit blurry; it was my first attempt at taking pictures of hardware.

Outside View

view of the case

Interior View

view with case removed
The motherboard is on the bottom, with the video card plugged into a vertical daughterboard. The PSU is in the metal casing at the back. The memory cards are at the front left.


the motherboard
The CPU is on the left, with the FPU just behind it.

Video Card

video board
The video RAM is at the front, with the graphics processors behind. The BNC connectors for the monitor are at the far right.

Memory Card

memory card
These are 4MB HP RAM cards. They're actually double sided.
This page written by Peter Maydell (pmaydell@chiark.greenend.org.uk).