Computer Haul from Stockholm
Last year(2012) I got a mail forwarded to me. A fellow, Mats, in Stockolm was closing down a research project and needed to clear out some old computer equipment. I went with some friends and picked up some PDP-11 gear. A medium size haul. There were still two DEC AXP 4000 systems running and lots of unsorted documentation left behind. We agreed to get in touch when the systems were to be decommissioned.

Fast forward until today. The system were not in much use and Mats had sorted out most of the documentation. So I rented a truck with a tailgate lift, brought my friends Vol and Bjarni along and went for a slightly larger haul.

Again I went with some friends and started early from Uppsala and drove to Stockholm were Mats greeted us and we started by going to the server room to shut down the two Alpha 4000 AXP servers that were the main attraction. Rather uncereminously Mats shut them down and we started sorting through the room for spares, documentation and various tidbits.

AXP systems running » The two AXP systems in operation, just before shutdown.
Next we moved on to the adjecent storage room and picked out a few terminals and assorted network gear.

Over to another storage room, this place was a labyrinth, where we picked out some fans that fit H960 racks.

We passed through a hallway were we saw the last remnant of the VAX 11/780 that once lived here. It was a typical peripheral rack.

In a third storage room Mats had prepared about five boxes of VMS and PDP-11 manuals. We sorted through them and found manuals for the first transistor based computer in Sweden called Trask. There was also six rolls of 5-level paper tape, probably with baudot code. Likely software for the Trask computer. This was a highlight of the day, finding relics for the Trask computer is not something you would expect. Mats rightfully decided to keep the Trask material and will donate it to the Technical Museum in stockholm. In this room I found something totally unexpected, a VAX vacuum cleaner!

VAX vacuum cleaner »The iconic vacuum.
"Nothing sucks like a VAX" :-) Obviously it now has it's given place in my computer room.

Next we went over to the workshop and spend some time going through unsorted manuals and founds lots of marketing material and some price lists. The most exciting item here was a DATASAAB D21 manual. All in all we came home with 15 or so boxes of manuals. Lots more than anticipated.

Workshop »Overview of the workshop.
As you can see below, this room still held custom made electronics equipment from the fifties.
Workshop Equipment »Modular Vacuum tube based equipment.
Lastly we took another look at the VAX peripheral cabinet and found five DECserver 200/MC and five DECserver 100, all of them running! Well, since there no longer existed any terminals to go with them, Mats let us bring them home. We decided to take the the five model 200/MC.

Time to go home, we decided to swing by Update to pick up a TU77. Here is the truck, fully loaded:

Fully loaded truck »Fully loaded truck.
Time to unload! It turns out that the door opening to my garage has almost exactly the same width as the tailgate of the truck. I have quite a cramped driveway so manuvering the truck into position was tricky and I now have a tailgate shaped hole in one of the doors. No matter, the rest of the unloading went smoothly.
Tailgate and door »A difficult manouver.
Tailgate and garage »A tight fit
TU77 unload »TU77 unload.
To get the most out of the rental truck, we went to my storage room and picked up my AlphaServer 8200 5/300 and one PDP-11/73 in halfheight rack. This turned out to be an ordeal, first we had to dig out the machines from the rather full-to-the-brim storage room. Second we had to remove a lot of snow and ice from the loading bay. We had forgotten the tools to remove the AlphaServer front door which makes it hard to fasten the rack properly. But the biggest challenge was that the AlphaServer rack is pretty much exactly as high as the door openeing to the garage. We had to stand on the tailgate lift to weight it down evenly to get the rack through.
TU77 unload »Alphaserver 8200 5/300

And that was it :-) Tired and happy I drove my friends home and celebrated with a hacker cookie.