View Full Version : IBM PC 'RT' 6151 -- 32-bit RISC

January 21st, 2014, 10:00 PM
Can anybody here give me some info on the so-called IBM PC RT, the 32-bit RISC machine IBM released in 1986?

I've found one but haven't seen or tested it yet, so I don't know if it's functional. Is this a machine that would be worth acquiring and restoring? It seems to be rather rare, and I believe these were the first RISC systems ever produced by IBM. I'm not finding a great deal of info about them, though.

If anybody has any info or good links they'd like to share, I'd appreciate it. I have to decide if I should try to rescue this creature. Its current owner will send it off for recycling otherwise.

January 22nd, 2014, 01:44 AM
I'd imagine just because of its uniqueness it might be worth a crack at if keyboard, mouse and monitor are availablehttp://fjkraan.home.xs4all.nl/comp/ibm6150/index.html

There's a bit about the 615x http://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/ShowDoc.wss?docURL=/common/ssi/rep_ca/6/897/ENUS186-006/index.html&lang=en&request_locale=en and the 6151 desktop model tech ref could well to be available.

January 22nd, 2014, 05:21 AM
Hi Caluser! Yes, that first web site is excellent. That was actually what I relied on to identify the machine, since I only had pictures and no model number for it.

I do think it would be worth trying to restore -- unless there's something incurably wrong with it. It will keep my other RISC machines company.

January 22nd, 2014, 10:19 AM
I have an IBM RT on my dining room table. It'd been turned off for over a decade, and other than throwing some smoke from old AC filters, it runs quite happily.
I've taken disk images of the AIX and VRM installers as well, and can help you out with that if needed, as well as clearing the root password if needed.

You will certainly need the original keyboard with it.

Being a 6151 is a good thing, I have the 6150 and at 42kg - moving it is a PITA.
If something is wrong and you wish to dispose of it - I'd gladly purchase parts (impossible to find). Please do not let it get recycled.

There were two main uses that I've seen:

- as a terminal or network server
- as a graphics/cad workstation

Mine is the first of these - it was configured to run TCP/IP and up to 16 serial terminals to run an entire office. Custom software written in COBOL to manage car parts, orders, sales, and invoices. It wasn't chosen for it's RISC design - but rather that it was from IBM and ran UNIX (well AIX).

The second type, will have a high resolution video card and matching display - there were a few options - the best of which were the MegaPel dual cards. This type should also have a mouse.

For reading - groups.google.com - the old ibm.pc.rt group is a great read. Also search for "IBM RT FAQ" - it was a guide written in the 90's which is hosted on multiple websites.

Edit: I always cringe when viewing my old videos, but here is my 6150 server booting up - http://youtu.be/iEou9AbTVT0?t=6m40s (it jumps straight to the RT power on)

Al Kossow
January 22nd, 2014, 12:54 PM
If anybody has any info or good links they'd like to share Its current owner will send it off for recycling otherwise.


Like someone else said, there are people that would give it a home if someone is getting rid of one.

January 23rd, 2014, 08:04 AM
Thanks, everybody, for all the great info. Looking forward to getting a chance to review it later today (when I'm not stuck at work).

Not to fear, this unit will not be sent off to the crusher. It looks as if I have found one complete 6151, which is not functional, plus a bunch of the cards, including the coprocessor , from a second source. Not sure if he has the rest of the machine; we're corresponding now.

I really hope at least one of these includes the MegaPel cards. If it turns out I have two full machines or extra parts/cards, I will let you know.