Jensen system cost
Paul Caffrey (
Mon, 23 Oct 1995 22:22:28 -0400 (EDT) 

The FAQ mentions cheaper systems than the Jensen, I havn't seen any.
This is especially true since Jensen systems are becoming available
through the used market, I am not recommending that anyone rush out
and buy one but I think that these systems bear some investigation.
Here are some of my personal experiences and costs for a System.

AXP-150 system stripped ( aka. Jensen/2000-300 ) $320
system excludes : disk, vga card and memory.
suitable disk ( I had a few handy! ) 500mb $200
16MB RAM ( 16MB is enough for linux ) $600 
Total price $1120 

I havn't seen even a noname motherboard for that price, the cheapest 
complete system I have found wants $3200 for a system.

Now for some interesting side effects:

The 2000-300 / Jensen / AXP-150 system runs OpenVMS but to run X/DecWindows
you need 32MB and the documentation calls for a Compaq Qvision 1024E VGA card.
This card retails for $450 minimum, but a company in the UK sells a Compaq
Qvision 1280/E for 44UK pounds, I ordered one which including shipping came
to about $100. The card seems to work fine with OpenVMS.

The above system also runs Digital UNIX and NT. Adding all this up 
I think that these systems make a pretty good deal.

Paul Caffrey

Re: Jensen system cost
Jon 'maddog' Hall, USG Product Management (
Tue, 24 Oct 95 07:41:26 -0400 


The original port of Linux to the Alpha started on the Jensen, because there
were quite a few out in the field. However we chose to concentrate on
the single board computers for the first release because we felt that they
gave the greatest flexibility for the least amount of money over all. It is
our hope and intent to see all major Alpha platforms supported by Linux.

Your observations on the Jensen are good. One of the reasons why I was
interested seeing Linux ported to the Alpha was to create an operating system
where older Alpha machines might become useful to a community (particularly
an educational/hobbyist community) after the "mainstream" passed them by.

The life of the machine is lengthened. This causes the re-sale value to
escallate, causing the cost-of-ownership to decrease. The life of the machine
is lengthened.

A caution on the "suitable disk" and the choice of graphics card with the
use of Digital UNIX, however. People buying "PC components" (particularly
the graphics card) off the street, then trying to get Digital UNIX to use it
may be disappointed if it does not work (due to lack of support) or if (by
a miracle it does work), they call up the Digital Support Center and try to get
help with a non-supported graphics card.


Jon "maddog" Hall Senior Leader
Mailstop ZK03-2/U15 UNIX Software Group
Digital Equipment Corporation Internet:
110 Spit Brook Rd. Voice: 603.881.1341
Nashua, N.H. 03062-2698 Fax: 603.881.6059