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SpidersWeb
February 7th, 2013, 02:52 PM
So I purchased this lovely pile of untested goodness:

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Browse/Listing.aspx?id=558538577

I'm yet to organise pickup, but was wondering if there were any special things to watch for / do when I do a power up test that may differ from an IBM PC or XT? Any common problems restoring these?

Are the AIX disk images easy to find?

barythrin
February 7th, 2013, 03:03 PM
Wow. Pretty bad ass with the manuals. Can't speak much for the media, I don't think it'll be easy to find but perhaps other collectors might have images somewhere you could use. I don't think you'll have much to look out for otherwise. Like any computer you might want to clean it a little inside before powering on but other than that it's just a good ol' boy.

gslick
February 7th, 2013, 04:09 PM
I have AIX 3.2.5 on tape, DC6150 cartridge I think. According to this page AIX 3.2.5 only supports RS/6000 and the last AIX version to support the IBM 6150 RT was AIX 2.2.1.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_IBM_UNIX

I got my copy of AIX 3.2.5 from R. Stricklin "bear" at http://www.typewritten.org

Maybe he could help you with AIX 2.2.1

SpidersWeb
February 8th, 2013, 12:20 PM
Cheers for the replies guys. I'm hoping I find the AIX install disks inside the books - but I have no idea if that was how it was done or if there was original a seperate box for the disks. Will find out in a couple of hours. Also guessing he doesn't have the key, so fingers crossed it's set to unlock.

Looks like I'll be running AIX 2.2.1 then :) What is somewhat painful about that is I'll be digging for very obscure bits of software if I want to use it for anything. I was hoping to use it with my IBM PC XT's as a bit of a vintage network.

NeXT
February 8th, 2013, 02:27 PM
I wonder how much better this compares to my Model 80 running AIX 1.3.

Jimmy
February 8th, 2013, 02:42 PM
Just from what little I can tell from the pictues it looks like a "Baby 36" setup to run AIX.

gslick
February 8th, 2013, 03:15 PM
Looks about the same as the IBM RT 6150 system pictured here:

http://www.damage.fi/slas/rt/rtpics.html
http://www.damage.fi/slas/rt/rt.html

SpidersWeb
February 8th, 2013, 06:46 PM
It is an IBM RT 6150-125
12Mhz RISC CPU, not sure on memory yet, hard drive(s) are full height ESDI. Was used to run 16 terminals from 1987 to the 90's according to the previous owner. It has a big breakout board hanging out the back for the terminals.

It just blew a cap in the PSU (suspecting a mains filter), room smells funny. But besides that it's passing all it's startup routines (no flashing codes) and trying to boot off the floppy - so I think the hard drive is blank/dead but I was also given two spares. It came with AIX 2.2 and install/diagnostics disks - the surface looks good but I haven't tried them yet.

I get a cursor on the screen, and it seems to attempt the floppy boot three times before the LCD goes blank.

SpidersWeb
February 8th, 2013, 11:42 PM
Sooo..... how does one clear the root password on AIX 2.2.1?

I got it to boot, but I can't get in :(

(also ran diagnostics disks, everything checked out OK)

SpidersWeb
February 9th, 2013, 02:57 AM
Booted a maintenance disk, and selected to drop in to a single user shell. I then mounted /dev/hd0 and went digging.

The trick to clear the root password on AIX 2.2.1 (which uses shadow passwords) was to edit /etc/security/passwd (not /etc/passwd) and simply remove the password hash for root (do not remove any lines or clear the line, just the hash). I had to learn how to use "ed" since my favourite "vi" wasn't around.

Also made use of sync and shutdown commands - not doing so resulted in the passwd file going walk-about on one occasion (I had backed it up though).

So now I have root access, I can search for car parts like a pro. I'll need to find a practical application for it in my collection - it does have 16 serial ports and ethernet (with TCPIP modules in AIX) - so surely I can get it talking with the 5160's and/or PS/2.

Added bonus, hard drive no longer sounds like somebody is torturing a cat.

NeXT
February 9th, 2013, 07:14 AM
Hoard serial terminals and have a console in every room of the house, just because you can.
There's nothing like taking a sit and being able to login by the terminal in the bathroom. ;)

commodorejohn
February 9th, 2013, 07:35 AM
Hoard serial terminals and have a console in every room of the house, just because you can.
There's nothing like taking a sit and being able to login by the terminal in the bathroom. ;)
Say, now there's what I can do with my four terminals... :D

MikeS
February 9th, 2013, 10:11 AM
Hoard serial terminals and have a console in every room of the house, just because you can.
There's nothing like taking a sit and being able to login by the terminal in the bathroom. ;)Agreed! What I find ideal for bathroom use (except for the 8x40 screen) is a TRS-80 M100 notebook, connected via Bluetooth.

NeXT
February 9th, 2013, 11:48 AM
Agreed! What I find ideal for bathroom use (except for the 8x40 screen) is a TRS-80 M100 notebook, connected via Bluetooth.

But that's we call a tablet! ;)

barythrin
February 9th, 2013, 01:32 PM
..and with that i'm going to make a mental note not the buy any Tandy equipment from Mike. ;-) You can search car parts like a pro? So this system is running auto shop software?

SpidersWeb
February 9th, 2013, 06:35 PM
Yeah it has custom made software on it which manages everything from accounts to supplier databases for a nationwide auto parts store here in NZ.
All the data is still on the drive, so I was searching through some parts databases. The accounting software works, but out of respect for privacy I'm not doing any digging there.

I would like to find a good file manager for AIX (CLI not XWindows) like Midnight Commander or something like XTGold for DOS. So I can clean upt he file system and back their data up to another drive. Using the standard command prompt it's very hard to work with on such a messy/full system.

I've also got to work out how to get the case off because I want to try adding a second hard drive (I have a free bay, and two potential matches for the IBM drive - one Miniscribe and one Maxtor who's model numbers I've seen mentioned when searching for information - both with the same parameters as the IBM unit (the existing primary drive-H301 I think it's called-is 300Mb also). I would just read my manuals, but unfortunately they're for a 6151 not a 6150 - so any 'how to open the case' sections don't help at all. I'll have to grab the PDF off the net and read that section.

Video coming soon, just takes time to cut the thing and upload it.

MikeS
February 9th, 2013, 08:45 PM
But that's we call a tablet! ;)Yeah, sorry; that's what makes it so handy for doing Sudokus and Cryptos in the tub, no clumsy flip-up screen.

@ barythrin: No worries; I always wash my hands but I'd send you the one in the living room anyway ;-)

carlsson
February 13th, 2013, 07:44 AM
My 6151 had a vi binary at the root directory, which made editing the passwd file much easier when I cleared the root password on Dec 30 last year. But otherwise I haven't used it since then...

SpidersWeb
February 13th, 2013, 12:49 PM
Yeah I found it last night.
It wasn't on the boot disk, and wasn't in /bin, so I didn't think it was there! So glad to see it(I use vi on a daily basis at work).

I found a forum post from 1993 that describes a problem I'm having, but there were no replies. I've got the second H310 drive spinning up and passing selftests - it is labeled like the original "Manufactured for IBM" with an H310 sticker on the front. The following is what happens:

I can low level format the drive, I can add and remove partitions (minidisks) as I feel fit, but I can't:

- pass the PC RT Diagnostics media test
- high level format it with Diagnostics
- use mkfs to create the filesystem

In diagnostics it's "FORMAT ERROR 9", in VRM sometimes I get an IO error -64 but usually the machine hardware locks and flashes c0 05 on the LCD display.

Any partitions, never appear in AIX on this drive. It self-tests fine, and you can hear the head moving about during mkfs before failing.
I have tried small partitions at the start, middle, and end of the drive. Doesn't make a difference. Takes about ten minutes before the crash (using mkfs or the maintenance disk menu).

Any ideas?
And can I reference the drive with no partition? Was wondering if I did a 'dd' from one drive to the other at a sector level, I could end up with a valid backup drive (I know I can't have two copies installed at once, or I'll confuse it, but a backup is what I really need)

TX_Dj
April 7th, 2013, 05:09 PM
Very cool! I had an RT-125 for a while, but ended up passing it on to someone else who wanted it more than me. I had no software for mine beyond what was on the hard drives, which was a records keeping / scheduling software for a veterinary office near where I found the machine at a garage sale. There was no networking installed in the machine, and I never found any tcp/ip support software for it. Would have loved to have that machine online. Takes a decade to cold boot, doesn't it!!! :)

SpidersWeb
April 11th, 2013, 11:53 AM
Ah yes, mine has the TCP/IP upgrades installed and the network card initializes but I haven't tried connecting it to the network just yet.
I should add that to my to-do list for the weekend.

Yeah I timed the cold boot - was around 1 minute 30 seconds I think lol

I gave up trying to get the other drives working - I'm sure they're fine but the RT doesn't like them for some reason. I haven't plugged in the tape drive yet, might be time to give it some attention this weekend. I've been distracted by a Turbo XT, 486DX2, Commodore VIC20 and two Commodore 64s!

Looking at historical newsgroups it seems that others had weird issues like mine with the 300Mb drives too and I couldn't find a solution (other than buy a drive direct from IBM of course).

DanCross
May 9th, 2013, 05:30 PM
Ah yes, mine has the TCP/IP upgrades installed and the network card initializes but I haven't tried connecting it to the network just yet.
I should add that to my to-do list for the weekend.

Yeah I timed the cold boot - was around 1 minute 30 seconds I think lol

I gave up trying to get the other drives working - I'm sure they're fine but the RT doesn't like them for some reason. I haven't plugged in the tape drive yet, might be time to give it some attention this weekend. I've been distracted by a Turbo XT, 486DX2, Commodore VIC20 and two Commodore 64s!

Looking at historical newsgroups it seems that others had weird issues like mine with the 300Mb drives too and I couldn't find a solution (other than buy a drive direct from IBM of course).

Ah... RT 6150-125's bring back memories. My first advice: ditch AIX and get a copy of AOS (essentially, 4.3BSD ported to the ROMP architecture). That's what we ran on all of our old RT machines; it's pretty standard BSD. There's also a partial port of 4.4BSD-Lite to the machine (basically most of the userland and a good chunk of the kernel, minus some of the memory management bits that required access to documentation IBM never published on how the MMU works).

As for drives.... As I recall, under AOS at least, one could use fairly standard IDE drives in an RT (I'm sure there's some caveat about their relative size vis-a-vis the boot blocks not being able to address sectors in drives beyond a certain size). There was also, at one point at least, a driver for an Adaptec AHA-1542 narrow SCSI controller, and one could use pretty standard SCSI drives in an RT. comp.sys.ibm.pc.rt was the place to go for such information back in the day; the FAQ from that newsgroup is probably still floating around somewhere and probably still details some of this information.

Good luck! I cut my teeth on SPARCstations but chipped a couple of molars on 6150's back in the day: this brings back memories. :-)