[rescue] AS/400s

Ian Viemeister sun-rescue at ian.viemeister.com
Sat May 8 21:52:54 CDT 2004

Ah... this sounds familar -- not too long ago I had to "upgrade" from an
"Advanced/36" (9402-236, basically a first-gen PPC AS/400, but crippled
to only run S/36 SSP), to a to a low-end "real" 400 (9406-170), just to
get IP connectivity for a really old and crufty student data package.

On Sat, May 08, 2004 at 07:10:27PM -0500, Zach Lowry wrote:
> Hey everyone,
> I have the opportunity to rescue an AS/400. I have no idea about the
> status of the OS, etc. I've heard before that getting a copy of OS/400
> is next to impossible. Is it even worth trying to mess with this
> sucker?

Well, getting OS/400 for a machine that is still currently offically
supported is *easy*, and (nominally) the base OS is free, I've got an
invoice saying so from IBM.  The catch, of course, is that they won't send
you the "free" disks and "free" (node-locked) base OS license unless you
pay them for at least one year of "software support".  Prices seems to
vary based loosely of the workload rating of the machine -- ours is
roughly $1k/year.  SO, the real trick is getting the "free" OS unlock key,
without paying through the nose.

On Sat, 8 May 2004, Bill Bradford wrote:
> I tried, gave up, and sold my AS/400 system about two years ago.
> I had one of the older non-PowerPC based units (but new enough that it
> was black).  IBM refused to even acknowledge its existence, and when I
> tried to go through official channels to see about prices on the OS for
> it, all I got was "It came with an OS, but the seller wasnt licensed to
> sell you the OS with the hardware, sorry."

The magic words are "I want put it on a software service contract".  IBM
seems to be willing to put quite old machines on contract, as long as
there is a documented ownership chain, and/or you allow a local IBM
service tech to verify that the machine works.  Mind you, when the
internal drive failed on our old 9402, the local tech did a doubletake
("you're still runnning a *what*?"), and he took a few days to *find* an
OS load tape for it.  (To his credit, he did find one, and actually knew
how to load it.)


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