EBAY - RS/6000 Powerserver 340

From: Cameron Kaiser <spectre_at_stockholm.ptloma.edu>
Date: Sun Feb 25 17:33:31 2001

> The Apple Network Servers were just rebadged RS6k's -- they even ran
> AIX, although IIRC only 4.1.4 and 4.1.5 since they were discontinued
> so quickly, and even then not exactly *stock* AIX. They'll run Linux
> quite happily, I'm told -- this might sneak under the 10-year rule,
> but Terrasoft, that makes the Yellow Dog Linux distribution for
> powerpc, managed to get a whole bunch of ANS700s and is selling them
> as servers at <http://www.yellowdoglinux.com/>.

They're a little more than simply rebadged RS6ks -- I speak from experience
here because stockholm, my master server, is a ANS 500.

They only run 4.1.[45], correct, and you must have the Apple CDs (stock IBM
installs won't do, and in fact will probably tank OpenFirmware). They run
Yellow Dog Linux happily, although you still have to jump through a few
silly hardware hoops to get them there. NetBSD/macppc also supports them as
of 1.5.

Hardware-wise, they're closest to an overgrown 9500. They use a custom CPU
board but regular Power Mac FPM DIMMs and cache memory with one exception:
they can use the fleetingly rare parity FPM which is expensive as h*ll. The
video hardware is also unusual (Cirrus Logic) and they use a Fast and Wide
SCSI chipset not on any other contemporary model. For these reasons, they
don't run MacOS without coercion -- you can trick it by putting 9500 ROMs
in and the 9500's ATI card in PCI slot 1, but only the external SCSI is
supported. Bizarrely, when Apple demoed them, they hacked MacOS to run on
the hardware. Talk about a mixed message to buyers, who were expecting a
Real Live Un*x Server from Apple.

The fact it has six PCI slots, six drive bays (even more on the 700) and
on the 700 hot-swappable power supplies make it a nicely expandable machine.
Too bad the CPU can only be upgraded to a 200MHz 604e PPC.

Ironically, the ANSes actually were turning a profit (mostly due to the high
margins, they retailed for about $10,000) when Apple killed them off in '97.

Mine is a somewhat anaemic ANS, 192MB RAM (max 512), 1MB L2 cache, 200MHz 604e
and 18.2GB. I've seen people stick the full 512MB in them and fill all the
bays to wind up with some ungodly amount of HD space to boot. Try doing that
in a run-of-the-mill 9500.

OT finished :-)
----------------------------- personal page: http://www.armory.com/~spectre/ --
 Cameron Kaiser, Point Loma Nazarene University * ckaiser_at_stockholm.ptloma.edu
-- Adore, v.: To venerate expectantly. -- Ambrose Bierce ----------------------
Received on Sun Feb 25 2001 - 17:33:31 GMT

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