AW-A963 or AW-S96314S

Found it in 'Win Enterprises Inc.' warehouse. A simple computer since the last century.
         

  If you find something like that (AW-A693), it's always interesting whether it works (or not), and what's under the hood.

  A bit of history. It was one of the computers that was designed on VIA chip-set. Of course, this was not low-power-consuming and quiet. But otherwise, it's a good computer for the network. Small, cheap and 1U size, what else is needed. 12 volts PS, 256 MB of memory and it runs, just like 20 years ago.

  It is a PC compatible with a set of all necessary interfaces as on regular PC. Under the hood it looks somewhat aggressive, thanks to the radiators and fans.



  Of course it's a pity that the additional connectors are not output to the front panel, but in most cases we can do without them.


  In the beginning req. was like: 12V power supply, cheap system and 1U height. Noise, power consumption did not bother anyone. By the size of the two radiators and fans to them, we can say that the computer was not the pinnacle of power economy and noiselessness. For that had an open PCI slot, where you could install an additional card directly or through a 90 "adapter.



  In three quarters of these computers, the BIOS was not protected by an embedded system password, therefore, pressing "DEL" on the boot, and we are in BIOS settings.



  It looks familiar, right? If the system asks for a password, remove the CMOS battery, as usual. If after that it will ask for the password, then there is no other way, except to update the BIOS with "no password version". In my case, this did not happen.

  From all BIOS settings, I'm only interested in the speed of the serial port, which works on "Console Redirection". By default, this is '19200', but it's good to see this. In any case, I will have to change this to 11520 (as same as Mem Test settings). If everything is by default, the rest can only be watched for fun.



  The system will boot from anything, if it does not find HDD's or CD ROM. Therefore, the Memory Test, on the USB flash drive - is suitable.



  For reference. All screens were received through "Console Redirection Port", COM1.

  Well, to return this computer to the shelf without running Tiny Core on it, it would not be right. And I would like to test on-board's VGA output, USB & PS2, at the same time. By the way, Tiny Core Linux works on all PC-compatible, on what MemTest86 goes and memory> = 128 Mb.


  On the next picture, Linux runs from CF card.


 
  For more info, screenshot from Tiny Core running on this computer - under last picture. As it is not surprising, but it works, little bit, better than I expected.

  Good. A chances that you will get a similar computer in your hands are very small, because they were not produced in a huge quantities. But it can happen. If so, then in your hands PS compatible computer with 4XEthernet & 2xRS232 (other ports help in setup & debugging). Use of this is limited by your imagination and necessity.

  Of course, to get more fun, you have to find something newer. But, usually, we have what we have.

  The chances that you will find the next board "free on the shelf" are very small, so next - for example, only. CB-6979B inside, powered from +12VDC, AMD based, and no video.



  As before, under the picture is a screenshot that tells about motherboard & rest, more than tons of text. This computer also not in production (was replaced by new models, years ago).


  PS.  I have some more information about (as well as about a new boards / computers that are in production today). If you have a questions, I will try to answer them.





16.04.2018  SKootS

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