Three new RISC boxes

The collection has grown again! My inability to ignore eBay has resulted in three new additions.

IBM RS/6000 Model 250

The IBM RS/6000 lines is one of the few RISC computer lines to survive well in to the 21st century - IBM’s POWER Systems are still available and still the biggest beneficiary of IBM’s chip research. The Model 250 is the last of the 200 series pizzaboxes - it has a 66 MHz PowerPC 601 processor (similar to the Power Macintosh 6100).

I’ve seen very few of the 200 series available for sale online - this one isn’t even technically (by my standards) a workstation - it came with no frame buffer! IBM sold most of the RS/6000 line as a POWERstation or POWERserver in marketing materials depending on whether it had a frame buffer pre-installed (the designation doesn’t appear to show up anywhere on the case or in model numbers). I found on of the optional upgrade framebuffers on eBay to make this one in to a proper pizzabox.

Digital Multia

The Multia was an attempt by Digital to make a lower-cost Alpha workstation for running Windows NT. There were Alpha and Intel Pentium models, and they use a lot of off-the-shelf PC components rather than custom Digital ones (hence its later name, the “Universal Desktop Box”). It’s quite tiny - so much so that it has laptop PCMCIA slots for expansion!

The Multia is my first workstation to run Windows (though it keeps with the “no x86” rule). It came with NT 4.0 installed - I might have to break out some Rainbow Tables to get the administrator password (since it wasn’t included in the box).

Digital 3000 AXP 300X

The third pizzabox in this batch is another Alpha - this time a more typical Digital 3000 AXP pizzabox. At 175 MHz (and with 256 MB of RAM) it’s definitely the most powerful workstation I have. It seems like Digital didn’t make too many machines in this form factor - the Alphastation (successor to the 3000 AXP) was much thicker, and there are several gigantic tower models as well.

My 3000 AXP 300X came without a hard drive, so I expect I’ll be setting up Digital OSF/1 (the original name of of Digital Unix and Compaq Tru64) on a SCSI2SD some time in the future.