Those of you that have been kicking around the HP3000/9000 servers for a while will no doubt be familiar with the old A500. I just replaced a power supply in one, which gives us a chance to take a closer look at one of the more interesting parts in the HP line.
For those of you unfamiliar, one of the things that sets the A500 line apart is that they did not have a sealed up, swappable, power supply like you would see on the Ns, Ls, and pretty much all the newer servers. Instead, you have this bit of crazy pictured above.
That is the power supply you replace on the A500. To me, this is the computing equivalent of riding around in the back of pickups when we were kids. We all did it, and somehow managed to survive, but most people wouldn’t even consider doing that today. Likewise, I can’t fathom a manufacturer bringing out a server that exposed any part of the power supply like this today.
It is fascinating to look at though. In the next couple days I will get some super close-ups of the more interesting bits hiding in there.
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