[rescue] Resurrecting an IBM RS/6000 model 590

Mauricio supremedalek at hotpop.com
Sun Feb 8 11:30:17 CST 2004

At 14:48 -0600 2/7/04, Jonathan C. Patschke wrote:
>On Sat, 7 Feb 2004, Mauricio wrote:
>>  Heck I do not even know how to log into it so I can figure out what it
>>  has.
>If AIX is installed, log in and type:
>   lslpp -L | more   # to find out what software is installed
>   lscfg | more      # to find out what hardware is installed
>   lscfg -v | more   # if you want part numbers and serial numbers
>The wierd xx-xx-xx numbers are "location codes".  They tell you where the
>device is plugged in.  Every port and slot in an RS/6000 has a specific
>code.  Initially, these are pretty useless, but once you get to know
>your system a bit better, they make a lot more sense.

	Thanks!  I will try that as soon as I find out how to talk to 
the beast. =)

>  > I did find out it uses MCA cards and I have a pile of them here,
>>  but would a garden-variety PS/2 video card work with it?
>It depends.  IBM -may- have made some cards that work in both, but, in
>general, RS/6000 parts are RS/6000-only.  The only things that I know for
>a fact the 590 shares with the later-model PS/2s are memory, SCSI disks,
>floppies, keyboards, and mice.  Every IBM card will have a FRU number on
>it.  Google for that number and see if there are any reports of it
>working in an RS/6000 and what driver it uses.

	Lovely.  So does that means I need to open the case or lscfg 
will do the trick?

>  > If not, how do I use its serial port to go console on it?
>I believe a 590 has a standard DE9 serial cable.  You need a true
>null-modem cable to talk to it.  Those older RS/6000 systems are rather
>picky about what they will and will not talk to over serial.  There's a
>pinout in the web somewhere that says what you need to do if you want to
>build your own.

	I *think* I do have some null modems.  I guess we will find 
out how null they are. ;)

>  > Could anyone help me out?
>I have one very important question for you:  Do you have the system key?
>There's a keyhole in the front of the system.  It is very important that
>you have the key to go with it.  If you don't, and it's NOT set to
>"service", you're screwed unless you want to mangle the case to get it
>open.   If you don't, and it -is- set to "service", you're going to want
>to buy a replacement keyswitch/key combination from a reseller or eBay.

	Beleive or not, I do have the key.  It is still in its 
keyring with a copy key and a little metal tag. =)

>About the keyswitch:  "Normal" means the chassis is locked and the
>system will autoboot into multiuser.  "Secure" means the chassis is
>locked and the system will not boot.  "Service" means the chassis is
>unlocked and the system will boot into diagnostic or single-user mode.
>You have to have the system in "service" mode to install an OS, and you
>have to have the system in "normal" to autoboot into multiuser.

	Thanks!  Now, would single-user mode allow me to change root password?

>By the way, IBM was very serious about those keyswitches.  They use
>3-tumbler Medeco locks which is pretty-much pick-proof, and the locking
>bars are steel instead of plastic like in the PS/2.

	I am impressed!

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