It's been a hell of a week!, er WEEKS, MONTHS! VERY OT

From: Scott Stevens <>
Date: Fri Feb 4 21:57:00 2005

On Fri, 4 Feb 2005 13:57:57 -0500
Patrick Finnegan <> wrote:

> On Friday 04 February 2005 11:46, Jim Leonard wrote:
> > Ed Kelleher wrote:
> > > IBM - forgettaboutit.
> >
> > Why the stigma against IBM? Is the Model 5150 not "old" enough? Or
> > is it because that its grandchildren are still in use today? (This
> > question isn't directed squarely at you, but at everyone on this
> > list who feels the same way -- again, not passing judgement, just
> > trying to understand why (mostly) everyone on this list seems to
> > hate"peecees")
> IBM has made a lot more than just PCs. I *love* their UNIX (RS/6000)
> stuff, and their bigger (mainframe) stuff. I've even got a pair of
> System/36 boxes, which I need to mess with at some point. I haven't
> played with much of their mini/mainframe sized stuff earlier than
> that, mostly because I haven't come across it.
> It's sort of annoying how difficult it is to find specs (or parts),
> especially for the older stuff, but IBM pretty much always did a great
> job of the mechanical design, and overdesigning stuff, which you don't
> see in (non-51xx or PS/2) PCs, or most microcomputers. Even the
> RS/6000s that they made with platic shells instead of metal ones are
> suprisingly well built, and hold up very nicely.

Indeed. I wish I had the space to keep some of the nice RS/6000
hardware that turns up at auctions and can be had for almost nothing. I
have one particular machine (a PowerStation 320H) that I'm fond of that
I can only connect to through a serial port. Booting it up means
watching the LED display count through a whole long multi-minute
sequence of status numbers that I could look up if I wanted, before it
finally wakes up on the serial port. It's amazing that I was able to
install AIX on it at all (and amazing that a version of AIX only a few
years old will run on an ancient Microchannel POWER1 box (which is now
old enough to be on-topic PowerPC stuff). POWER1 has the coolness
factor of it being a multi-chip CPU, even if it's not composed of 74xx
series TTL like a DEC system.

It's worth noting, in defense of the earliest PeeCee hardware, that it's
composed entirely of plain generic chips which are well documented.
There's no proprietary 'chipset' in the motherboard of my IBM PC-AT,
just TTL goodness and some Intel 82xx LSI chips. And all the schematics
and the BIOS source code are published. And, now that I have a copy of
Coherent that purports to be runnable on a 286, there might be a reason
to fire it up.

Besides, I'm an IBM Brat, so should probably stick up for dad's company
once in awhile (he started out programming the IBM 650).

Received on Fri Feb 04 2005 - 21:57:00 GMT

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