In Oldenburg, Joey gave me a PARISC box, an Apollo 715/50. It wasn't complete—no RAM, no hard disk, no CD-ROM or other media—but the system itself seemed complete and functional. Unfortunately, it isn't.

I added some RAM that I took from my parent's old computer (196MB in total, IIRC) and tried power on the box. Didn't work. When I powered it up, the machine powers up its fan for a short while before shutting it down again; then the fan moves to a lower rate, and the machine appears dead. Well, mostly so; there's no output on the VGA port, and the LEDs don't do anything anymore, either.

But those LEDs would appear to be helpful, if one would know what they mean. Unfortunately, the box came without manual, so figuring out exactly what they mean all by myself is going to be painful.

Google to the rescue.

I found an archive of the comp.sys.apollo newsgroup, with loads of postings from 2000. One of them also mentions failure to boot, no output, and mentions that all LEDs except one are on at the end. That's the same as what happens here, except that in my case the one-but-last one are on, rather than the last one. A reply suggests that the machine couldn't find the boot disk, and that therefore the box can't be booted.

So, lemme get this straight: if the boot disk is having issues (or not available, as in my case), Apollo machines simply decide to not do anything?


Update: okay, turns out the HP Website still has a PDF of the model 715 service manual, which contains an explanation of the LED error messages. Turns out it means "No Memory Found". Hm.

Watch this space.