Welcome to FAFNER

Welcome to FAFNER.DYNDNS.ORG! FAFNER is a VAX 7000/820 (and thus a two processor VAX) running OpenVMS 7.2 which is available for hobbyist use.
FAFNER is running in my basement (together with a lot of other (mostly) OpenVMS machines ranging from small systems like a VAXstation 3100/38 to quite modern Alpha based systems) on a 24x365 basis.
Why would one run a machine which takes up several square meters of floor space, consumes enough electrical power to literally heat the house (which I do) and which is running an operating system like OpenVMS?
Because OpenVMS is the greatest operating system ever (in my oppinion :-) ) and because I really love old computers and especially the VAX architecture. I can not imagine living without a large VAX in my basement - I do not even have a PC running a uSoft operating system. Everything I do, I do on FAFNER.
To get an impression of how big FAFNER actually is, have a look at the picture on the right. I am 187 cm tall and I am standing on my toes in this picture to look over the front cabinet door.
Why is this machine available for hobbyists? Because I think that there should be as much OpenVMS hobbyist systems on the net as possible to spread the knowledge about one of the most wonderful operating systems ever, to invite people porting software or just getting involved with working on an OpenVMS system.
If you want to know, where the name FAFNER is coming from, just have a look at the short story behind FAFNER and its reincarnations during the time.
What do you have to do to get an account on FAFNER or one of the other machines in my basement? Just send an email to me, tell me a little bit about you and your interest in OpenVMS and I will create an account for you as long as you do not have commercial interests in using FAFNER. It should be self-evident that doing non-gentlemenlike things on FAFNER, like tampering with FAFNER, spying out other users, etc. is not supported in any way! Doing things like these will result in blocking the account. In the same way an account will not be given to persons which are likely to try things like these.
Maybe you know of some old computer hardware (maybe even of some VAX or Alpha hardware) which has to be saved from scrap, please let me know. I will do my very best to save the machines and get them up and running again! I am not afraid of large machines and my house has (guess why :-) ) even three phase wiring everywhere where you can install a large VAX.
Some facts about FAFNER: FAFNER is, as already mentioned, a two processor machine running OpenVMS 7.2. It has 512 MB of RAM, a CI controller which is connected to a star coupler (an 4000 Alpha system is connected to this star coupler, too) which is in turn connected to an HSJ40 disk controller.
This controller currently serves six BA350 storage works shelfes which can hold seven SCSI disk drives, each. Currently there are not all slots filled with disks but if someone needs more disk capacity on FAFNER for a project, it is no problem to increase the overall capacity available.
If you need some special hardware, there is a VAX 8370 (a never supported three CPU BI bus machine with three KA825 CPU boards which nevertheless runs quite smoothly), lots of smaller VAX systems, even some PDP-11 systems, etc. which can be switched on for a limited period of time. The only restriction is my power bill, running the 8370 and FAFNER concurrently for an extended period of time would just ruin me, so FAFNER is the only machine which is constantly available. :-)
There is quite a lot of software installed on FAFNER which is due to the OpenVMS hobbyist program (they do a really grand job! Thank you very, very much!).
Currently there are compilers for ADA, C, C++, BLISS32, COBOL, FORTRAN, PASCAL and lots more, some interpreters including PERL and even J, etc.
If you need some software installed which is covered by the OpenVMS hobbyist program, which is not already available on FAFNER, please feel free to ask me. I will install it as soon as possible.
By the way - you can reach FAFNER at the address FAFNER.DYNDNS.ORG using a TELNET or SSH (preferrable) connection.


03-OCT-2003, B. Ulmann fecit.