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Re: Sharpen your LARTs, n00b alert.

On 18/04/16 15:25, Lennart Sorensen wrote:
On Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 08:30:00AM +0100, Teh Currymonstah wrote:
I'd have lurked for longer, but it's just /so/ quiet, so I'll ask a question
or erm. more.

An AS/400 Model 250 a.k.a. IBM iSeries 9406-250, "Northstar" based, so PPC.
right?, which seems to have wheedled its way into a space in the computer
room.. (oh, Ok, One of the computer rooms! ;-) )  rather than let it sit
there looking forlorn, I thought it might be fun <cough> to put Linux on it,
should that be possible.

Is it?
My understanding is that IBM says you can run powerpc linux in a secondary
partition as long as OS/400 is running as a primary OS on the machine.
I have never really looked into the AS/400 though, so I could have
misunderstood things.  Linux directly on the hardware without OS/400
sounds like it can't be done.
Possibly not.. Though I have a few spare hard disks, so may give it a go for the craic.
Would the ppc64 distro be the one to get?
No, powerpc would make sense.  ppc64 is a work in progress and far from
ready and also very few tools benefit from going 64 bit.
Thanks. I'll get that downloaded. :-)
Also, on the off-chance there is an AS/400 boff in here, what would be the
easiest/cheapest way to get operations console functionality, without having
to displace one of the lovely VT102 or BBC Model B boxes that serve so well
here. I have "normal" Linux boxes, i.e. with PCI slots, a small fleet of
raspberry pis, and am a dab hand with a soldering iron.
It could be however that your machine is too old.  Unless you have all the
OS/400 software and VM tools already, you probably can't get them either.
There used to be an x37something emulator in Debian. The font is still there, and I can probably get it from one of the archives and build against a more modern distro. The  physical connection, on the other hand, may be problematic. I don't have passwords for the machine, so need to do an IPL from an operations console to get whatever system is there up to start with. It does make lots of loading-stuff-from-disk noises, and the occasional wheeze like the water recycling pumps on an old triple phase steam engine in a certain sea-going paddle steamer. So promising. My understanding is that it was replaced (with a non-IBM Windows<spit> "server"!!)  because IBM refused to provide ongoing support, and, until I was mentioned, was heading for the dump.
As far as I can tell they removed that model from sale 12 years ago.
Yep, that will be the one. One of my much more modern machines then. :-D

So even if you have all the needed software and if it works, it will be
quite slow (a 262MHz early powerpc design is not going to be fast).
It will be faster than the Vax. (though only about 50x faster, nothing to write home about..)

But if you have all the needed software and licenses for the machine,
Errm.. The software is on the disk. IBM are considering a "hobbyist licence".)
and you want to say "I did it", then it seems like it ought to be at
least theoretically possible as a toy project.
That's the one, exactly. Oh, and as a bootp/tftp/installer for the OpenMOSIX rack. (just so it pays rent on the floor space..)

Cheers! :-)

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