[rescue] Motorola m88k

Steven M Jones smj+rescue at crash.com
Thu Jan 19 13:52:48 CST 2006

On Thu, Jan 19, 2006 at 01:40:49PM -0500, Andrew Jones wrote:
> (And the other boondoggle multi-chip RISC, M88k, is rarer than hens
> teeth and twice as hard to run software on.)

The original line of the Data General AViiON was 88k based, and they
crop up on eBay from time to time. These are either the deskside boxes
in server or workstation trim, or the larger racked systems. I don't
remember seeing any of the old "Maverick" style desktop AV300's, but
of course I may have just missed them. I'm fairly certain there was an
AV5500 deskside system listed within the past 6-8 months. I believe
that model uses the faster 88110/88400 chipset.

So long as you get the later SVR4-based versions of DG/UX, I found
these to be very usable systems. I don't remember having any trouble
building F/OSS software on these releases. The only thing I couldn't
do AFAIR was replace the DG/UX X server with an X Consortium server on
the AV300.

There are usually various 88k-based Moto MVME 6U boards on eBay. If
you don't mind building up a system that way, you can at least run
OpenBSD on them. MVME187, MVME188, and MVME197's come to mind.

I've got several of the thin deskside AViiON models (AV550 and/or
4300), one AV5500, and some boards for an AV8500/9500 that will
probably never be useful. I also have a small collection of 88k-based
VME boards, and one of the Omron Luna 88k SMP workstation prototypes
that probably came from CMU. There's now some support for this last in
OpenBSD, and I'm looking forward to pulling it out of storage and
seeing what this beast is like.

One example I'd like to add but haven't been able to so far is any
example of the Powerstack line. It's really more the enclosure than
anything else, it uses the same MVME cards that I already have. I just
remember thinking it was a neat bit of packaging when it was on the

Er, thus endeth the random spewage of m88k trivia...


PS -- Hey, what's this "boondoggle" nonsense!?! ;^)

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