Model: RS/6000 7011-250
CPU: POWER PC, 80 MHz
RAM: 64 MB (Upgraded)
HDD: SCSI 18GB (Upgraded)
Release Date: October 1993
Shown here atop my NG/NAI Sniffer. Above it, the external CD/ROM and my Cable modem.
To put things into perspective, IBM Released the RS/6000 Model 250 about the exact same time Apple announced the Macintosh PowerPC line, and about the same time Intel released the original Pentium CPU. The POWER architecture, a mainstay of IBM's server line from the late 80's forward, has roots back to some of IBM's first RISC processor R&D in 1982.
This particular system was originally shipped with IBM's SystemV-based AIX operating system version 3.2. When it was released, the RS/6000-250 would run circles around many other modern machines. Designed to be stable as well as powerful, most RS/6000 systems work very closely with AIX to provide a darn-near bulletproof environment with automatic hardware failure detection, extensive logging facilities far beyond most other UNIX servers, and security features that met strict government standards.
I acquired this machine at a local surplus auction in 1998. It was already 5 years old and showing it. There was 64 MB of RAM in it, and no hard drive. I picked up a 4GB SCSI drive which lasted quite a while but died in 2001. The only network interface was AUI so I had to purchase an ethernet transciever for it. I found some AIX 4.3.2 media that my work was disposing of and rescued it from the garbage. It installed flawlessly and I've used this machine off and on for close to 8 years now.
Fast forward a bit. AIX 5L (the L means Linux Affinity) was released in 2001. I wasn't aware of it, but Version 5.1 SHOULD work on the trusty Model 250. I found a new unopened AIX 5.1 box on eBay and snatched it up. It's currently installing.
I'll update this tomorrow sometime after I've given AIX 5L a test-drive. The way I look at it, what better way to open up my Retro Computing blog than to toss a 5 year old operating system onto a 13 year old computer? Wish me luck!