Classic Assumption

From: Doc Shipley <>
Date: Wed Jul 24 01:21:01 2002

  This is sort of long, but relates a major wake-up call for me.
  I have a J-Series RS/6000 7013-560 that I rescued from Goodwill awhile
back. It's an awesome machine, and one of my favorites.
  My company works occasionally with/for a firm who produces traveling
AIX classes. They move machines from city to city, doing one-week IBM
curricula. About 15-18 months ago, their shippers lost 8 of 12 machines
on the way to San Antonio. My boss & I rented them all our equipment -
6 RS6ks and a couple of terminals - for a week to keep the class from
folding. The 560 went, against my better judgment.
  When the computers came home, the first thing I did was reinstall a
clean OS on each one. It's amazing how many ways students can hose an
install. The 560 stays on 4.3.2, for sentimental reasons. It wouldn't
load properly. The BOS would install with no errors, and come up on
reboot to a 554 error code. Unable to find bootable device.
  I swapped drives, I reset jumpers, I verified termination, I unplugged
everything that spins. I even found a replacement IBM CD-ROM. I
eventually narrowed it down to the SCSI cable. (A J-box internal SCSI
cable is a nightmare to behold, and hell to replace. Let alone _find_
one) Last week I picked up a 520 and swapped the cable, then the SCSI
adapter. Same problem. The 520 also came with full hardware docs and
diagnostic floppy set, so I ran a full suite. Everything checked out,
except for that 554 error.
  I finally decided to load v3.2.5, which also came with the 520, just
because. When I pulled the 4.3.2 CD out of the caddy, where it's lived
for 2 years, I found an ugly little dob of some pink gel on the data
side. I cleaned the disk, put it back, installed AIX v4.3.2 on my 560,
and it's running happily right now.
  I get so accustomed to old hardware having issues, and especially
after it had been transported, and unsupervised lusers had their hands
on it, that I completely bypassed some elementary checkpoints and lost
the use of my machine for a year.
  Bah. I'd feel like an idiot if it wasn't so, ummm, "classic".

Received on Wed Jul 24 2002 - 01:21:01 BST

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