Monday, August 07, 2006

RS/6000 Model 7248

Manufacturer: IBM
Model: RS/6000 7248
CPU: PPC 603e, 90MHz
Release Date: July 1995

Shown: AIXWindows Login Screen

The Model 7248 was designed to be a desktop UNIX workstation, featuring on-board sound, network, and decent video built-in from the factory. It was direct competition with some of the Sun desktop models at the time. Just as Sun workstations integrate pretty well with Sun servers for authentication, network-booting and resource sharing, so AIX workstations do with AIX servers.

I just recently acquired this machine, and haven't had too much time to really do a lot with it yet. The RAM was too miniscule to install AIX 5L so this one is running AIX 4.3.2. As a workstation, it runs CDE by default, the same environment used by Sun's Solaris OS. This gives AIX's GUI mode a familiar feel.

I'll be tricking out both of my AIX installations with scads of freeware available from BULL AIX Freeware and the AIX Public Domain Software Library hosted by UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Science. These two sites are a godsend for AIX administrators seeking the software they've come to love on Linux and BSD.

The GUI is a tad slow, and AIX 4.3.2 ships with Netscape Communicator (Navigator, Mail/News and HTML Editor) version 4.07. In case you're wondering how Netscape 4.x works in a Web 2.0 world, rest assured it doesn't work at all. I can't even post today's blog entry from it. Even with its weakness as a modern-day workstation, I'll find a role for it soon. It just won't be for surfing the web.

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