System i5 with USB ports?

Strange as it sounds … this is what I’ve observed on a new System i5 Model 520 we just took delivery of at work.

I could be wrong, of course, but I do have pictures to back up the claim…


Here’s the backplane of the system …



Here’s a closeup of the ports …



I wonder what’s next … bluetooth? wifi? sound card? gaming adapter?


[tags]iSeries, IBM, System i5, USB[/tags]

4 Replies to “System i5 with USB ports?”

  1. These ports are for the p version of the server. While the hardware is the same, the i does not use the USB ports, but the p needs them for console and keyboard.

    Of course, if we want to get carried away, I have a wireless USB adapter I am thinking about connecting.. 🙂 Maybe Dr. Franken has a solution so we can use the USB ports??

  2. Unfortunately not a lot of stuff that has reached my lab was built in this century so I don’t have any USB ports to play with. 🙁

    However this is what IBM says: You can’t use ’em. Though besides AIX they may be available to linux partitions. If you look close to the back of your i5, there are also two 9 pin serial ports there that aren’t avaialble either(* except for UPS connection) Inside that same i5 there is a slot for an IDE Optical drive too. Again only AIX/Linux can use the IDE stuff.

    The rub is that i5/OS doesn’t do hardware. So unfortuately until IBM decides that there is a good reason to utilize these ports they won’t be available. This also applies to any other hardware we might think is a good idea such as SATA drives, PCIExpress video cards (So I can do 24×80 green in a 1″ Font!) and whatever else the PC guys may dream up to put in there.

    – DrFranken

  3. It’s unfortunate as that IBMs’ limited thinking (“i5 doesn’t do hardware”) is exactly how IBM is ensuring that no one understands the i5 system or OS. USB is sufficiently well known and utilized in common place environments that it ought to be utilized in the i5 OS and platform. If new users can’t recognize any common ground with their existing environment, how the heck does IBM expect to recruit new users? Especially, if the i5 is hampered by the “legacy” nature of its’ previous names? Why can’t IBM just press on and adopt SOME commonplace tools and interfaces without feeling that they are somehow violating the i5 OS? I just don’t get it; there’s really no excuse whatsoever for not adopting something like USB. It’s so pathetic…..

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