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

Janet L. Campbell janet at foonly.com
Mon Feb 23 12:41:51 CST 2004

On Sat, 21 Feb 2004, Jonathan C. Patschke wrote:

> 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.

Most 250 framebuffers also supply sync on separate pins, which can be 

> 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
> installation.

The 250 shouldn't have a problem with most drives, really.  The internal
CDROM from a SS5/SS20 (a Toshiba XM-4101B) boots mine just fine, and is
what I used to install AIX (4.3.3).  A lot of older RS/6k's are very picky
about their boot drives.

> 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. :)

I'm not quite sure what you mean.  The 250 works reasonably well with
normal PS/2 keyboards and mice, boots off of an easy to get CDROM drive,
has most interesting interfaces built in, video is reasonably cheap and
fast, and memory is not exceptionally weird.  I've not powered mine up in
a while, but it made a great little software porting box.


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