hardware aspects of etch install on PC164
Since the previously mentioned etch install on the alpha
PC164 was more hardware intensive than some software types
are comfortable with, it is perhaps appropriate to describe
the hardware aspects in more detail.
1. lightweight forceps with all-important curved tips for
removing ribbon connectors without damaging them. Purchased at
Radio Shack. Your arm should be braced on the computer cabinet
so each end of the ribbon connector can be removed a little
at a time. If one end is pulled all the way off in a single
movement, motherboard header pins might be bent. The curved
tips are necessary so the body of the connector can be gripped
without gripping the top of the connector. If the top of the
connector is gripped, it will come off. The top must stay on
because you will push down on the top to put the connectors
back on the headers.
2. Clock battery for motherboard since the alpha PC164 had
been in storage a while. Clock battery should be replaced
before the software install. The clock will be set during the
install, but will loose setting after install during power
down for cable reverse. Subsequent software additions will
be plagued by security and timestamp warnings if the clock
is not correct. Some PCI cards will have to be temporarily
removed to replace the clock battery on the motherboard.
On the PC164 the battery is CR2032, available at a drug store.
3. Pliers to remove PCI cards.
4. 1/4 inch nut driver to remove cabinet screws.
5. 25 foot Ethernet cable, since the alpha was on a desk across
the room from the Ethernet hookup for my regular computer.
6. female to female Ethernet coupler since the Ethernet cable
was male on both ends.
7. An anti-static wrist strap clipped to the computer case
unless you are disciplined enough to grab the case with the
other hand at all times.