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Ibm as/400

leaknoil

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That's because you didn't bother to mention that without the password, not only is the OS useless but the entire system.

I did but, these weren't IT guys. These were guys wearing hard hats and covered in black dusty grime from handling the steel. All they started thinking that I must be after their ancient data.
 

leaknoil

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Eh, breaking into the OS is half the fun. For future use, if they have it connected you could politely hint if they could reset the password on the system but usually a company would rather wipe it out or take out the drive. That makes it more difficult if you don't have the installation media. Sometimes it's better to error in caution and get a more complete system before they realize 'hey he's walking out with company data and credentials'.

Exactly ! I've learned that the hard way. At first I wasn't even going to mention passwords as I knew exactly what would happen. I was in the middle of loading and happened to forget I wasn't going to ask and did. That's when everything stopped and people started scurrying everywhere.

The key they will help me with because they wont make the connection between machine access and a key. I'll never get the passwords. They may even be using the same ones on whatever replaced this.

There are wise words in barythrin's post for any of you new to the collecting hobby. If its an individual its usually cool to ask question and often gets you all sorts of cool extra stuff. If its a company, say nothing at all. Grab everything you can politely and professionally as you can and get lost as fast as you can. This usually works for me. Things only went south after I opened my stupid mouth.
 

leaknoil

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OK so I got the key !!

First off how do I safely shut it down from the front panel if I get it in a screwed up state ? There is an emergency switch that just cuts power. I'm going to guess this is a bad thing to do too often.

OK, so into manual it goes. I hit the select till it goes to 02. Then I hit enter. Then I hit select till it said 02 B. I'm not really sure what to do now. Hitting enter again just seems to toggle the display between 02 B and 02.

I tried hitting the power on button. So everything runs up and after a long time I get a blinking underline in the top left of the console. I tried random junk and hitting enter and I get a flashing 099. It just sits there flashing 099 pretty much forever after that. One time I somehow got a info screen that said there was no valid password and gave me a choice of entering a new one or bypassing the password.

I choose enter a new one where it displayed a bunch of system info and then asked for a password. I thought it meant a new password but, maybe not because it went back to flashing 099 at me and after several reboots (which are probably bad with that switch) I havent been able to figure out how to get back to that screen.
 

MattCarp

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Thanks for all the good advice. I haven't really had time to set it up yet but, I'm going to try tonight.

The Model appears to be a 9402 C04. Does that make any sense ?

For terminals I got 5 IBM Infowindow terminals with keyboards. There are a couple different types but, they either have a DB25 and DB15 or just a single DB15. They are models 3477 or 3476. They all have keys in them. What ever that key does.

The back of the AS/400 has the Twinax connectors labeled 0 and 1. Then above those in some sort of plug in module is a db25 male connector. The plug in module says 6152 on it and nothing else.

So, I'm guessing I'll need something that goes from the Twinax to the db15 connector correct ? I found one dongle that has a db15 connector on one end and a pair of the Twinaxe things on the other end.

I had a 'black box' AS/400 (9462 I think) for a period. After getting the machine, I spent a small fortune getting the InfoWindow set up as I had to buy the terminal, then a keyboard, then the db15-twinax adapter. This gear doesn't show up on eBay that much.

Anyway, the db15 will plug into the infowindow. You'll run a twinax to the plastic terminal block (that block should have a number of twinax ports and a large db37 or whatever cable coming out of it), and you connect the large db37 cable to the as/400.

I enjoyed having an example from that line of minicomputers (S/38, AS/400), but found that that the "o" in OS/400 didn't stand for open and that I couldn't find any real documentation on how the machine was architected or how to develop software for it. It appeared to be too hard to do anything with it, so I sold it to someone who was an AS/400 developer and wanted a home machine. Most programming seems to be in RPG - report program generator.

That was maybe 2-3 years ago. Now, coincidently, I'm doing work at a large ($8B) company whose main systems are on the iSeries! I can raise some specific questions if you like. PM me.
 

mbbrutman

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You want a normal mode IPL ( Mode 2 ) and use the 'B' to get the latest version of code. On this machine the 'A' side contains 'factory code', while the 'B' side of the switch starts the machine with any fixes that were applied.

(This method allows you to recover from a bad fix to the OS, which was rare but it happened.)

Also, be patient. Wait. If you used the emergency power off the machine is going to examine ever sector on its hard drives to look for inconsistent data. After a power loss event it can take 30 to 40 minutes to get to a problem. Be patient - it is working.


Mike
 

leaknoil

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OK, I got a step further. I'm going through the reset password stuff I found online. Its taking a long time to boot. I just bypassed this step but, is there a way to find the password for this part ?


_MG_5274.jpg


BTW, this came with a few modems. What options do I have for accessing those and where do they connect ? Is that what the one DB25 if for ?
 

sparx

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It will take a while to boot especially if its recovering from an abnormal shutdown, this is normal. As is a line in the top left of the display, be patient, its booting.

They expect a "clean" shutdown, just like PC's.

Have you tried QSECOFR as a password?

Lets get the thing running smoothly before the modems come on-line.
You are getting there.

S
 

leaknoil

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edit: I did the manual boot, reset the qsecofr password, and then did the ipl boot. It then gave me page after page of what looked like OS options to install, remove, disable, or something like that. I just kept hitting f3 past them. I'm not really sure what they were but. I'd guess installed OS and patches.

I got in and spent the night going through menus. What an odd OS. I haven't had this much fun in an old box in awhile. Its all totally new to me.

How do I correctly shut it down ? I cant find any software off switch. Is the 'delayed off' button on the front panel the way to turn it off ?

Are there docs anywhere online for these old as/400's ? Is it possible to get and reinstall the OS ? While its slightly funny reading these letters between rebar companies and contractors (they really go at it) it would be kind of cool to start with a totally fresh slate.

Is there such a thing as a opensource os/400 application archive ? How do I tell which version I am running anyway?

Does twinaxe really need to be this hardcore ? This stuff is really hard have laying anywhere. Its like 1/2" cable. How many amps they have running through there ?

Bit too many questions at once. Sorry. Thanks for all the help.
 
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sparx

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Excellent news!

OK, to switch off, you need to "Power down the system", from a command line at the bottom of the screen, type pwrdwnsys then press F4 (Someone correct me if this is wrong), this will prompt you for the power down options

*IMMED - immediately
*CNTRLD - Controlled end a much cleaner option.

S
 

NeXT

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I'm quite sure you can still get Twinax Baluns and then just use plain Cat5 cable but then you take the fun out of this awesome system. ;D
Also, someone correct me if wrong but primarily, OS/400 has no real filesystem. It's all one massive database.
Also, you will not find any open source communities let alone much support. Like most of the big iron IBM made, very very little of the documentation ever made it out into the wild. This also includes software programming tools among other things.
 

mbbrutman

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There is plenty of documentation for the AS/400 ...

Look for IBM 'InfoCenter' and IBM Redbooks. The challenge will be for finding documentation on a system this old - IBM lets the documentation out, but doesn't keep it there 15 years after the system is obsolete.
 

Chuck(G)

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There's also a Wiki for IBM System I-type midrange systems:

http://wiki.midrange.com/index.php/Main_Page

It's an interesting concept, architecturally speaking, particularly the TIM feature, where a compiled program contains not only its own instruction set, but implementation of these instructions, which can be substituted for another should the same program need to be run on a machine with a different CPU.

However, as I understand it, the CISC AS/400 pretty much has no memory protection, leaving this to the TIM implementation.

I didn't think that it was possible to design a job control language that was more opaque than OS/360 JCL, but it seems the OS/400 people have succeeded. What an alphabet soup--clearly not made for verbal communication!

I don't think you'll see Linux on one of these anytime soon.
 
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mbbrutman

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I'm not too familiar with the CISC boxes. It was my job to make them obsolete.

The RISC versions (1995 -) are based on a variant of the PowerPC. The OS uses memory protection, but it is implemented much differently than a Unix like operating system. There is still the concept of a single level store (one giant flat memory space) that all of the database code and filesystems are built on top of.

For Linux you partition the machine ... BTW, OS/400 is a POSIX compliant OS.

People who run the machines love them. The motto used to be 'Run your business, not your computer.' It described the philosophy of the system perfectly. A good database, good security features, and a standard runtime that all of the languages on the system could take advantage of. And the design of the system made it possible to migrate users from the CISC systems to the RISC systems usually without source code being available - the binaries were 'translated' on first touch or in a batch process, and once translated there were just as good as newly compiled binaries.
 

mbbrutman

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No - RISC only, and only on the newer boxes that support partitioning. (Pretty much anything in the last 8 years.)

Linux on the CISC boxes would be a nightmare. It is an unfamiliar instruction set and firmware that was not documented outside of IBM. Linux on the RISC boxes is indistinguishable from any other 64 bit PowerPC box. It was also one of the first widely available 64 bit Linuxes out there.
 

leaknoil

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Does anyone know of an online document to give me the basics of the system and or v2 version of os/400 ? I searched IBM's website and there doesn't seem to be anything that old.

I pretty much need the real basics. An os/400 tutorial if you will. I cant even figure out how to find and launch and application. I know this system has a construction accounting package on it but, I haven't seen how to start it up.

edit: Of course, I could just enter 'os/400 tutorial' into google which I just did and found what I needed. http://krypton.mnsu.edu/~j3gum/web/as400/intref.html Still if anyone finds any hardware docs for the cisc machines let me know.

It mentions a whole slew of programming languages. It would seem funny any were installed on a machine keeping track of rebar sales but, how could I check if any are available ?
 
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sparx

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The idea of these things was that you signed in and were presented with what you needed normally via a menu, you selected the menu option via its number and behind the scenes the program/application was run. The user couldn't just install what they wanted.

To run a prgram and assuming you have a command line? Type RUN PGM and prompt it with the F4 button.
Something I should have mentioned is that RETURN and ENTER are different, ENTER is normally where the right CTRL is on a PC keyboard, RETURN is the carriage return on a PC keyboard.

The way to proceed now, sign in as QSECOFR and on the command line, type in WRKUSRPRF *ALL, this will list all of the users on the system, it may take a while to list them, but when it does, choose one and take a look, think its 2 to modify it and you should be able to change the password from there, sign out of QSECOFR and then sign in with your newly changed profile, you'll see what I mean. Don't choose something that begins qith a Q though, leave those alone for now.

Version number should be displayed on the console when you sign in.

I recall going on a 3 day course to learn basic operations as it is so different.

S
 

leaknoil

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Something I should have mentioned is that RETURN and ENTER are different, ENTER is normally where the right CTRL is on a PC keyboard, RETURN is the carriage return on a PC keyboard.


I learned that the hard way. Very odd place to hide the key you probably use most on a menu based OS.
 

fallingrock

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I didn't think that it was possible to design a job control language that was more opaque than OS/360 JCL, but it seems the OS/400 people have succeeded. What an alphabet soup--clearly not made for verbal communication!

Actually, IBM i (formerly System i, iSeries, & AS400) command language (CL) is quite logical and easy to understand.

All you need to know is the structure and basic parts and you can figure out just about any command you need.

WRK = Work with
DSP = Display
DLT = Delete

PGM = Program
OBJ = Generic object
F = File

So if you want to display a program: DSPPGM
If you want to delete a file: DLTF

etc.

david
 
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