[rescue] Serial console on IBM RS/6000 250?

Jonathan C. Patschke jp at celestrion.net
Sat Feb 21 12:09:52 CST 2004

On Sat, 21 Feb 2004, Todd Carson wrote:

> No. I've tried a Sun monitor and a VGA monitor with an adapter,
> neither display anything. I saw on the list archives that the pinouts
> are different between Sun and IBM, so I'm assuming that nothing but an
> IBM monitor, or the right adapter, is going to work.

An SGI monitor on my 250 does the right thing.  The monitor just needs
to be sync-on-green and not do strange things to the sense pins.

> So I'll definitely be needing AIX install media, then? Or are there any
> floppy images or the like available online that can reset the console?

AIX 4.3.3 is six CDs[0].  I don't think you'll be wanting to install via
floppy. :)

> Yeah, the case is already off. So I guess I'll try to get some AIX
> media from eBay and try to bypass the lock. Thanks for your help.

You will also need an IBM SCSI CD-ROM drive.  There aren't too many
models that a 250 will talk to.  Unfortunately, I don't have that
magical drive, so I'll be RIPLing[1] mine off the 370 for the

I don't mean to discourage you from exploring this machine, but the 250
is quite possibly one of the most frustrating RS/6000s out there.  The
7248 series (43P-100 through 120) machines come close, but I've been
having a lot of "fun" getting my 250 to be useful.  Just don't color
your opinions on the whole RS/6000 family on the basis of that one
little troll of a box. :)

[0] Four for the OS, two for documentation.
[1] "RIPL" is IBM's term for "netbooting".
Jonathan Patschke  ) "Being on the Internet is not the same as being
Elgin, TX         (   famous.  That's like calling Cheetos 'dinner'."
USA                )                                    --Metal Steve

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