Booting an IBM MP 3000 S/390 System

Sean Caron scaron at
Thu Aug 6 10:09:06 CDT 2015

BTW I love your little terminal room there ... these things are on the
fantasy list for me right next to the LISP Machine and TOAD-1, LOL. I
wonder if it runs MTS? :O At least I've got Hercules :O



On Thu, Aug 6, 2015 at 11:04 AM, Sean Caron <scaron at> wrote:

> And so it remains today; most servers sold for data center applications
> include a little service processor ... I've found it's usually a little
> embedded ARM or PPC ... that you can use for remote console, remote power
> control, etc. Although these are not required to bootstrap the system, of
> course.
> If you think the MP3000 is a slow booter, we just got some new 4U machines
> in where I work; 1.5TB RAM; those things take almost 20 minutes to POST -
> no joke!
> Best,
> Sean
> On Thu, Aug 6, 2015 at 10:56 AM, Chuck Guzis <cclist at> wrote:
>> On 08/06/2015 07:33 AM, Al Kossow wrote:
>> Main processor microcode is in RAM. Putting microcode in ram and having
>>> a small computer load it was actually pretty common in the 70's and 80's
>>> in larger systems since then you didn't have to manage the hassle of
>>> patching microcode in ROM.
>>> Apple ended up putting a small TI microcontroller in the G5 because it
>>> also couldn't boot on its own. There was a bunch of volatile state you
>>> had to set up before it would fetch its first instruction.
>> And really big iron almost always had some sort of maintenance control
>> processor--some with their own mass storage.  Have a separate, simpler
>> processor handle the management of a larger one made a lot of sense,
>> particularly when it came to diagnostic activity.
>> Think Cray, CDC,...
>> --Chuck

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