Resurrecting a POWERserver 550L

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spoonified
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Resurrecting a POWERserver 550L

Unread postby spoonified » Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:51 pm

I picked this system up several months ago and finally got around to starting working on it today. So far it looks like it is a 41MHz POWER1 processor with 32MB RAM. Hard drives have been pulled (not a big surprise because it has a government asset tag) system starts up with no issues but need to figure out what the best OS for me to throw up on this.

Will have more pictures if anyone is interested as I am tearing it down to clean it up.

-Spoon
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PymbleSoftware
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Re: Resurrecting a POWERserver 550L

Unread postby PymbleSoftware » Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:00 pm

I would expect and old version of AIX... but anyway...

I have some Model J30 boards which look to be from around the same era judging from the similar case design that you can have for the price of postage or I will likely throw them out real soon.

R.
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spoonified
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Re: Resurrecting a POWERserver 550L

Unread postby spoonified » Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:06 pm

Thanks for the offer Pymble, so far this system seems to be fully functional (minus the HD) I will be finding out if there is anything that I need in the next day or two once my 3w3 video cable arrives.

BTW anybody else notice that the dish washer is great for cleaning case parts from these old IBM's? I wouldn't try it with high heat or anything though.

-Spoon
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Re: Resurrecting a POWERserver 550L

Unread postby ramq » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:08 pm

That image brings back a few memories from the past.

Back in highschool we had a POWERserver 530H which served classrooms with Annex terminalservers and loads of ICL VTxxx-capable terminals. It also served as a BOOTP/TFTP server for the (diskless) PeeCees back then and was used for just about everything in the school. Back then I think it had 128MB RAM and 4-5 harddrives, but later on got upgraded to POWERserver 570F (a new badge on the front + a new processor board) and I think it got 512MB RAM. That happened in the end of my school year and I wasn't using it that much. Just right after that they began using Novell Netware for the PeeCees and all the Windows-glory hit their heads.
It remained in service for some years after that, mainly DNS and mail relay functions, but got replaced by a Linux server at one time.

Managed to get my hands on it a few years past that and I played around with it a while but donated it to a computer club which was deep into AIX-hardware, which served them for a few years after that. It's now either scrapped or sitting in storage and I've had thoughts about getting it back to relive a few memories but haven't got around doing that, yet...
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Re: Resurrecting a POWERserver 550L

Unread postby miod » Mon Jan 10, 2011 11:48 pm

PymbleSoftware wrote:I would expect and old version of AIX... but anyway...


AIX up to 4.1.x will run on this configuration; but since this one only has 32MB, the last 3.2.x are preferrable to get a snappier system.
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spoonified
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Re: Resurrecting a POWERserver 550L

Unread postby spoonified » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:20 am

I would like to run AIX 3.2.x on this system. I already have one system running 4.3.3, 4.6, 5.1, and 6.1. Who knows when I will stumble across a copy of 3.2.x though.

-spoon
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Re: Resurrecting a POWERserver 550L

Unread postby SAQ » Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:32 pm

spoonified wrote:I would like to run AIX 3.2.x on this system. I already have one system running 4.3.3, 4.6, 5.1, and 6.1. Who knows when I will stumble across a copy of 3.2.x though.

-spoon


I haven't found AIX v3 yet. Note that AIX has gotten more and more UNIX-like as time has gone on, so AIX v3 administration will be quite a bit different from what you would expect if you don't use SMIT on your newer AIX boxes. AIX v3 is definitely from the "Ain't unIX" days.
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Re: Resurrecting a POWERserver 550L

Unread postby QuicksilverG4 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:17 pm

I'd like to see some pics of the inside when you've got some. I know nothing about AIX and don't plan on learning but that'd be a PC cool case depending on the internals. Perhaps there's a similar PC version that could be used so a POWER system wouldn't be sacrificed.

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Re: Resurrecting a POWERserver 550L

Unread postby PymbleSoftware » Tue Jan 11, 2011 4:19 pm

QuicksilverG4 wrote:I'd like to see some pics of the inside when you've got some. I know nothing about AIX and don't plan on learning but that'd be a PC cool case depending on the internals. Perhaps there's a similar PC version that could be used so a POWER system wouldn't be sacrificed.



If it is anything like a model J30 case then with would be horrible to work inside and weigh a ton, have non-PC specific power connectors, etc.


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Re: Resurrecting a POWERserver 550L

Unread postby miod » Tue Jan 11, 2011 9:41 pm

PymbleSoftware wrote:If it is anything like a model J30 case then with would be horrible to work inside and weigh a ton, have non-PC specific power connectors, etc.


No, the 7013 case is different from the J30 one. Of course since the motherboard (planar, in IBMspeak) only takes MCA expansion boards, one may argue it's non PC...

The case is large enough to have plenty of room inside, and be easy to open for maintainance. As seen from the front, the right half of the case contains the PSU and external storage devices, while the left half contains the MCA boards, as well as three internal storage devices at the bottom. The motherboard, built from two or three boards, is mounted vertically in the middle. There are also four (or eight? memory is fuzzy) slots for memory board, each memory board, compatible with the 7012 motherboards (3xx series) having eight FPM 36-pin SIMM connectors.
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Re: Resurrecting a POWERserver 550L

Unread postby SAQ » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:15 pm

miod wrote:There are also four (or eight? memory is fuzzy) slots for memory board, each memory board, compatible with the 7012 motherboards (3xx series) having eight FPM 36-pin SIMM connectors.


Which are NOT compatible with PC memory. I think they're 40-bits wide if I recall, and definitely a different pinout.
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Re: Resurrecting a POWERserver 550L

Unread postby miod » Tue Jan 11, 2011 10:51 pm

SAQ wrote:
miod wrote:There are also four (or eight? memory is fuzzy) slots for memory board, each memory board, compatible with the 7012 motherboards (3xx series) having eight FPM 36-pin SIMM connectors.


Which are NOT compatible with PC memory. I think they're 40-bits wide if I recall, and definitely a different pinout.


Are you sure? I seem to remember these SIMMs to work in PS/2 systems. Granted, those aren't exactly PC :mrgreen:
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Re: Resurrecting a POWERserver 550L

Unread postby SAQ » Wed Jan 12, 2011 5:17 pm

miod wrote:
SAQ wrote:
miod wrote:There are also four (or eight? memory is fuzzy) slots for memory board, each memory board, compatible with the 7012 motherboards (3xx series) having eight FPM 36-pin SIMM connectors.


Which are NOT compatible with PC memory. I think they're 40-bits wide if I recall, and definitely a different pinout.


Are you sure? I seem to remember these SIMMs to work in PS/2 systems. Granted, those aren't exactly PC :mrgreen:


7012/7030 SIMMS definitely do not work in systems expecting "standard" 36-pin SIMMS. They don't even fit in without modification (the notch isn't deep enough).
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spoonified
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Re: Resurrecting a POWERserver 550L

Unread postby spoonified » Wed Jan 12, 2011 9:50 pm

So far so good on this, and I have been taking lots of pictures of the system before tear down, case open, during teardown and will continue to do so when I start putting the system back together. The CD-ROM drive that came with it was a little flaky but I was able to scavenge the parts out of another to get it working correctly again. Looks like the only parts which I will need to get for this are a video cable (i have a homemade one but it's really a jerryrig) and a harddrive.

-spoon
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Re: Resurrecting a POWERserver 550L

Unread postby miod » Thu Jan 20, 2011 10:42 am

SAQ wrote:7012/7030 SIMMS definitely do not work in systems expecting "standard" 36-pin SIMMS. They don't even fit in without modification (the notch isn't deep enough).


I have just checked against my 550 and my 320 (which use the same 8-slot memory boards). The SIMMs are indeed 72 pin but with a very small, rounded, notch in the middle. So while ``regular'' SIMMs may work with these RS/6000 systems, the reverse is not possible.
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