[rescue] Mainframe on eBay

Sridhar Ayengar ploopster at gmail.com
Mon Sep 19 15:18:38 CDT 2005

Jonathan C. Patschke wrote:
> > I've found that the only non-IBM PC chipset the P/390 PCI works in is
> > the i450NX.  Pretty rare chipset, on the grand scheme of things.
> Yes, but PC Server 500 systems show up for cheap from time-to-time.

Actually, the PC Server 500 is for the MCA P/390's.  They are PS/2 Model 
9595's (AKA PS/2 Server 95 or PS/2 95A) in a bigger case with a RAID 
cage.  (I tend to prefer the 9595 case over the 500 case.  The 
motherboards are interchangeable, and the 9595 case can be rackmounted.) 
  The PCI P/390's sit in a PC Server 325 or a PC Server 330.  They're 
basically the same machine, except the PC Server 330 is a full-size 
tower, whereas the PC Server 325 is a midtower convertable to a 4U(?) 
rackmount.  Rackmount P/390 is goodness.

> > I know next to nothing about AS/400's and their predecessors.  Except
> > that they're EBCDIC and use shared-memory processes which is just
> > strange enough to warm my heart.
> I know very little about them, and unfortunately, my specimen is dead
> enough[0] so as only to serve as a TV stand (which is does exceedingly
> well, being heavy IBM kit).   I mostly-disassembled it once and never
> found anything that I could immediately identify as a processor complex.
> It may not even be complete.
> Working for the State gave me enough time on MVS to really want to play
> with it, but I've never been anywhere that ran OS/400.  Given how
> instrumental it was in business data processing 20 years ago, I feel I'm
> missing out on something that, while hairy and weird, may be quite
> significant.

I would still call it significant.  It's still used all over the place. 
  Stereotypically, banks use MVS and insurance companies use OS/400.

MVS isn't actually my favorite OS.  It can get a little bloaty.  I 
prefer VSE.  Plus I am a whizz at assembler programming under VSE.

> > What's your boss's name?
> Glenn Henry.

I'll look him up in Who's Who in IBM.  Might be fun to read about him.  8-)

> [0] Some power-circuitry weirdness keeps it from IPLing.  It might just
>      be an open in the internal battery pack.

If you give me type-model, I might be able to dig up some documentation.

Peace...  Sridhar

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