From: Paul Thompson <>
Date: Fri Dec 31 10:16:29 1999

See embedded comments

On Fri, 31 Dec 1999, Peter Pachla wrote:

> Hi Paul,
> > The above item fell into my possession today. It appears to be
> >circa 1990, contains three hard disks (or DASD, if you prefer),
> >a 150mb QIC tape drive, and a twinax interface card.
> Nice, sounds a lot like my AS/400.
> In fact, looking through the AS/400 handbook it would appear that what you
> have is an AS/400 9404 Model C10. I THINK this is what I have, mine is a
> 9404 but I'm not sure if it's a C10, C20 or C30.
> I've got the expansion cabinet with mine, which I think makes it a C20 or
> 30?

By the look of the IBM docs, the >C10 models appear to support more than
one bus, so it could very well be.

> > The IBM web site indicates this machine supports a whopping 20MB of
> >RAM and 2GB of hard drive space....
> If you haven't already got it I recommend downloading the AS/400 handbook
> from the IBM website. It's a 5.15Mb ".pdf" file, but well worth the download
> time!
> >....It still has an OS on the disks if I can remember which drive went
> >in which bay in the machine (or if the id is in the drive rather than
> >the backplane)
> I don't know how drive IDs are assigned, I'm still trying to get mine to
> power up.... :-(
> BTW You do have the system security number don't you? Without this you'll
> have to reinstall the OS every 30 days or so, from what I've been told.

Someone was kind enough to handwrite a 16 hexadecimal digit number labeled
"Sys Pw" on the inside of the case. Does that sound the right format for
a system security number? It is not the serial number which like on a
RS/6000 appears on the front panel in a xx-xxxxx format.

Mine also does not want to boot, but I believe that is because I don't
have a console hooked up yet.

I have a twinax terminal for this purpose, which from my browsing of the
AS400 documentation leads me to believe has to be set to "device 0/0". I
did bring a twinax mux like thing that the original console was plugged
into, although I did not have room for the original console terminal in my
car. I had to disassemble the whole machine to get the pedestal unit
light enough to lift into my trunk/back seat.

I took apart what appeared to be the CPU board last night, having to break
the spiffy little AS/400 holograms over some of the screws. The board was
replete with many custom IBM chips none of which I recognized. I
reassembled the CPU board and it refused to boot with exactly the same SRC
codes as it did before, so I assume I did not zap anything.

I did not see anything that resembled RAM anywhere but on the main CPU
board, so I assume mine has the default 8 meg of memory.

I worked at a city hall as an intern in college in the early 90's and
wrote various RPG queries on the AS400. I probably have not touched an
AS400 since.

I developed quite a bad reputation back then among the city hall IT staff
for getting into city databases where I was not allowed. Getting the
commerical building contact names from the fire department database
updated monthly by the firemen sure beat going door to door as I was told
to do, especially during that crappy, rainy summer. Their security
mechanisms seemed to rely on the lack of computer literacy of the city

As a result I unfairly came to associate AS/400's with lazy sysadmins who
resented getting interrupted during their coffee breaks, which seemed
inordinately frequent.

Thanks, and keep me posted if you have any progress.


> > From a quick once over the disk/DASD appear to be SCSI, as does the
> >QIC tape. Can anyone confirm?
> Correct.
> If you do manage to get yours working drop me a note, I've been wrestling
> with mine for some 4 months and gotten exactly nowhere so far.
> TTFN - Pete.
> --
> Hardware & Software Engineer. Sound Engineer.
> Collector of Arcade Machines, Games Consoles & Obsolete Computers (esp DEC)
> |
> |
> --
Received on Fri Dec 31 1999 - 10:16:29 GMT

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