Apple Network Server

The Apple Network Server (ANS) is a line of PowerPC-based server computers designed, manufactured and sold by Apple Computer, Inc. from February 1996 to April 1997. It was codenamed "Shiner" and originally consisted of two models, the Network Server 500/132 ("Shiner LE", i.e., "low-end") and the Network Server 700/150 ("Shiner HE", i.e., "high-end"), which got a companion model, the Network Server 700/200 (also "Shiner HE") with a faster CPU in November 1996. They are not a part of the Apple Macintosh line of computers; they were designed to run IBM's AIX operating system and their ROM specifically prevented booting the classic Mac OS. This makes them the last non-Macintosh desktop computers made by Apple to date. The 500/132, 700/150, and 700/200 sold in the U.S. market for $11,000, $15,000 and $19,000, respectively.

Apple Network Servers are not to be confused with the Apple Workgroup Servers and the Macintosh Servers, which were Macintosh workstations that shipped with server software and used Mac OS; the sole exception, the Workgroup Server 95—a Quadra 950 with an added SCSI controller that shipped with A/UX—was also capable of running Mac OS. Apple did not have comparable server hardware in their product lineup again until the introduction of the Xserve in 2002.

The product's short lifespan is attributed to significant financial troubles at Apple in early 1997. CEO Gil Amelio cancelled both Network Server and OpenDoc in the same meeting as it was determined that they were low priorities.[1]

Apple Network Server
DeveloperApple Computer
Release dateFebruary 1996
DiscontinuedApril 1997
CPUPowerPC 604/PowerPC 604e, 132 - 200 MHz


The Apple Network Server's hardware was supposed to be based on a new logic board design specific to the product. During the development of the hardware, Apple abandoned the original mainboard design for unconfirmed reasons. In order to move forward and ship the product, Apple made modifications to the Power Macintosh 9500 logic board and ROM (locking out all Mac OS calls) and ported AIX to the new hardware. Whether related to the hardware change or by coincidence, Apple also abandoned its NetWare on PowerPC development (codename: Wormhole) at this time. The general logic board layout seems to suggest a close relationship with PowerPC-based RS/6000 systems by IBM, which also were designed to run AIX. On the other hand, many logic board components, especially the Open Firmware boot ROM, are similar to the "Tsunami" board used in the Power Macintosh 9500 and some Macintosh clones.

While the circuit board layout of the Apple Network Server (ANS) may resemble RS/6000 systems, logically and physically it is almost identical to a Power Macintosh 9500 (PM9500), although running quite different firmware, and which is specific to its unique mission function.

Starting at the top level bus and working downward in the bus hierarchy, at the top level is the CPU bus with a Hammerhead controller (Apple Part # 343S1190) which is also found on the PM9500. The CPU, as mentioned, is a PowerPC 604 or 604e. The CPU bus-to-PCI bus bridges are Bandit controllers (343S0020). Both the ANS and the PM9500 have two Bandit controllers and two separate PCI busses. All devices at the CPU bus level are identical between the ANS and PM9500. On both systems the CPU Bus Clock is supplied by the removable CPU card. However, on the ANS the clock buffer which splits the System Clock for all the CPU Bus Devices is on the logic board, whereas on the PowerMac 9500 the clock buffer is on the CPU card.

The memory data lane controllers are different on the ANS from the ones on the PM9500, presumably because of added support for parity memory. The ANS memory data lane controllers are 343S1161 instead of 343S1141 as on the PM9500. However, the memory structure is the same with two banks of DIMM slots and support for memory interleaving when corresponding slots in different banks contain identical memory DIMMs. The ANS does have eight memory DIMM slots instead of the PM9500's twelve, but other Hammerhead-based machines such as the PM8500 also carry only eight memory DIMM slots.

On the PCI bus, as mentioned above, the ANS uses the Bandit PCI bridge, just as the PM9500 does. The PCI bus arbiters are also identical (343S0182). The bus arbiters receive the PCI Bus Request signals and issue the Bus Grant Signals to the PCI slots and to the PCI bridge chips (Bandit).

The interrupt manager and logic board IO controller is also the same. Both use Grand Central (343S1125). Grand Central is a device on the PCI bus.

At the PCI bus, ANS parts ways with the PM9500 in a few ways. The ANS has two 53C825A SCSI chips with support for Fast & Wide SCSI operations, which are not present in the PM9500. These each appear as a separate PCI device on the PCI bus. The ANS also adds a Cirrus Logic 54M30 video controller as an additional PCI device.

In all the ANS has three PCI devices which the PM9500 lacks. The ANS's PCI slots are also organized differently. On the PM9500, Grand Central and the first three PCI slots are supported by Bandit 1. The remaining three PCI slots are supported by Bandit 2. On the ANS, Grand Central, the two 53C825A SCSI chips, the 54M30 video controller and the upper two PCI slots are supported by Bandit 1. The remaining four PCI slots are supported by Bandit 2. Some may find it interesting that this (six devices supported by Bandit 1) confirms that the Bandit PCI Bridge and associated arbiter chip can directly (no PCI-PCI bridge required) support at least six PCI devices given proper firmware support.

Going down further in the hierarchy, the Grand Central chip is a sort of I/O bus for miscellaneous logic board devices. Both the ANS and the PM9500 use the CURIO chip (AM79C950, custom part from AMD) to support serial ports, a slow (5 MB/s, 53C94/96 based) SCSI bus and 10Mbit/s ethernet. The SWIM floppy controller is also common to both machines and connected through the Grand Central chip. The ANS lacks the MESH SCSI chip (53CF94/6 derived Apple SCSI chip) which is present on the PM9600 and supports the internal Fast SCSI bus.

Grand Central provides support for eleven system interrupts. On both the Macintosh and the ANS, each PCI slot contains only one interrupt line (up to four supported in PCI spec.) and each interrupt line is used by only one device. The interrupt map is different in the two machines, and this represents the most likely reason why inserting a PM9500 or PM9600 ROM in an ANS will not result in a machine which can boot up. The firmware expects certain interrupts to correspond to certain events, but the interrupt signal is physically connected to a different device than the firmware expects.[2]

The CPU board of an ANS 700/200. The ANS 500/132 and 700/150 CPUs are made from the same board but each employs unique configuration jumpers. All ANS CPUs have an applied printed label (shown on the extreme left) which identifies the CPU's speed: 132, 150 or 200 MHz. As in this generation of Apple's PowerPC products, the installed processor card determines the system's CPU speed, and the system's bus speed is derived from the CPU's speed: 44 MHz for /132, and 50 MHz for /150 and /200.

The ANS 500/132 uses a PowerPC 604 CPU clocked at 132 MHz, and the ANS 700/150 has the same family CPU but clocked at 150 MHz. Both have a L1 cache of 32 kB. The ANS 700/200 features the more advanced PowerPC 604e clocked at 200 MHz, with an L1 cache of 64 kB. The L2 cache of the ANS is mounted on a SIMM, with a standard size of 512 kB for the 500 and 1 MB for the 700s. Any ANS may have the 1 MB cache card fitted. The system bus speed is 44 MHz for the 500, and 50 MHz for the 700s or any ANS to which the 200 MHz processor card had been fitted. The ANS logic board has eight 168-pin DIMM parity RAM slots with four of them free (with a maximum amount of 512 MB of RAM specified). The ANS 500/132 shipped with 32 MB of RAM installed (4 × 8 MB 60 ns parity DIMMs manufactured by IBM) and the ANS 700/150 and the ANS 700/200 shipped with 48 MB (2 × 16 MB 60 ns + 2 × 8 MB parity DIMMs also manufactured by IBM). For all practical purposes, the maximum RAM configuration is 4 × 128 MB parity DIMMs (512 MB, total) or 8 × 64 MB parity DIMMs (also 512 MB total). The machine will not POST (i.e., will not pass the Power-on System Test) if more than 512 MB is installed. This is an absolute restriction built into the machine's ROM-DIMM. If even one RAM DIMM is non-parity, then parity checking is turned off for all RAM, in which case 70 ns RAM DIMMs are acceptable. FPM or EDO RAM DIMMs are acceptable, in any order, as the machine treats EDO RAM DIMMs as FPM RAM DIMMs.

All Network Servers feature an internal two-channel Wide SCSI-2 controller (narrow, to the CD-ROM drive, and to any hard drives which have been installed with the Apple accessory Narrow SCSI-2 installation kit), an external 25-pin SCSI-1 connector and a standard 1.44 MB "SuperDrive" floppy. Six free PCI slots are available for expansion—parts supported under AIX include two Ethernet cards and a SCSI RAID card. Other ports include one ADB port, two serial ports and one AAUI port. Unlike all other Apple computers of the era, the ANS uses a VGA connector for the on-board video; an adapter for Apple displays was included.[3]

A unique aspect of the Apple Network Servers is their case: It is fully lockable and extremely accessible, it features a small LCD for diagnostics, and its front has seven device slots, with a CD-ROM and one hard drive mounted in them in the standard configuration. Additional hot-swappable SCSI hard drive modules or a DAT tape streamer can be added to the free slots. Optionally, the ANS 700 also supports redundant and hot-swappable power supply units and an internal drive rack for two further fixed hard drives. The case is large and heavy, at a height of 24.5 in (62 cm), a width of 16.5 in (42 cm), a depth of 18 in (46 cm) and a weight of over 80 lb (36 kg), with exact weight depending on hardware configuration. That means that while it is about the right width for a 19-inch rack, it requires at least 14 rack units in height. A third model in a smaller rack-mount case without the large disk array, the Network Server 300 (code named "Deep Dish", as in a deep dish pizza), never got past the prototype stage.[4] Also in development but never released were CPU cards featuring two CPUs. Power Macintosh 9500 CPU cards, which were available with dual processors, were not compatible with the ANS.

An ANS 500/132 may be upgraded to an ANS 500/200 by installing the 200 MHz processor accessory card. It is possible to upgrade an ANS 500 to an ANS 700 or to downgrade an ANS 700 to an ANS 500 simply by exchanging the power back panel and PSU(s), but it is necessary to completely disassemble the base of the ANS in order to accomplish such an upgrade or downgrade. An ANS 700 has but one input power connection, even though it has dual, independent PSUs. However, an ANS 700 may be easily converted into a dual primary power configuration (independent primary power, possibly, and desirably, from different power panels, one possibly backed up by an uninterruptible power supply) by removing the IEC input power connector and physically and electrically connecting two input power cordsets, one to each of the redundant PSUs. However, this modification probably invalidates the machine's UL Listing. Nevertheless, such a modification would implement a true N+1 redundancy configuration.


The Network Servers were sold exclusively with AIX, in a version called "AIX for Apple Network Servers" with some Apple-specific features, like AppleShare services, added; two revisions, 4.1.4 and 4.1.5, exist. Apple's own Unix variant A/UX had already been discontinued and does not support the PowerPC. Due to their AIX OS and hardware similarities, the Network Servers are mostly binary compatible with the RS/6000 series. However, applications which rely on early RS/6000's POWER2 processor and Micro Channel bus are incompatible with the ANS's PowerPC CPU and PCI bus.[5]

During the development of the product, Apple tested alpha versions of Novell NetWare for PowerPC. Around the same time the hardware changed, the NetWare project ceased to be updated and later was abandoned. Apple also tested and produced limited numbers of ROM SIMMs which supported Windows NT for PowerPC on the Network Server 500 and 700.

As an alternative to AIX it is possible, though complicated,[6] to install PowerPC Linux or NetBSD on the ANS. It is possible, with prototype Macintosh ROMs, to boot an Apple Network Server 500 or 700 into Mac OS 7.5 or later, however Ethernet support was not complete. No reliable sources for the procedure or requirements exist.[7] Not only is the Ethernet different, but the display interface is as well. Using an Apple-branded, but DEC "Tulip" Ethernet card [8] and a display card from a 9500 goes a long way towards achieving Mac OS capability but even this is not assured. Yellowdog Linux 2.x or 3.x is more assured, and NetBSD 1.5.x might be even better. Major issues remain, such as the dual "Bandit" bus controllers, the proprietary floppy format, and possibly the CD-ROM. UW-SCSI hard disks are seldom an issue and Apple even released an U-SCSI (but narrow) hard disk installation kit for the ANS even though an ANS is normally only equipped with UW-SCSI disks.


As of 2005, most Apple Network Servers had been removed from service and most had been returned to Apple or sold on the secondary market, either factory remanufactured or as-is, or sent to a recycler and crushed. It was once not uncommon for a well-featured ANS to barely recover the $0.99 minimum bid on eBay. Shipping of an ANS is expensive, about $100 from a U.S.-to-U.S. location, if sent via bulk shipping. Few, if any, replacement parts are available, particularly not the mechanical components.

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Apple Network Server Hardware Developer Notes, Page 16.
  3. ^ Apple technical specifications for the ANS 500/132, ANS 700/150 and ANS 700/200
  4. ^ Applefritter, on the ANS 300
  5. ^ Apple's AIX binary compatibility guide, mirrored on
  6. ^ Guide to installing Yellowdog Linux 2.x on the ANS Archived May 18, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Discussion of the possibility of an ANS booting Mac OS Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine from a mailing list archive
  8. ^ discusses using this card from a mailing list archive

External links

  • "About Apple Network Servers". Archived from the original on April 12, 1997.
  •, an unofficial ANS resource site (Web Archive copy)
  • Erik's Apple Network Server Page
  • Network Server entry on
  • ANS 500/700 Manual

A/UX is a Unix-based operating system by Apple Computer, custom integrated with System 7's graphical interface and application compatibility. Launched in 1988 and discontinued in 1995 with version 3.1.1, it is Apple's first official Unix-based operating system. A/UX requires select models of 68k-based Macintosh with an FPU and a paged memory management unit (PMMU), including the Macintosh II, SE/30, Quadra, and Centris series. It is not related to Apple's current UNIX, macOS.Described by InfoWorld as "an open systems solution with the Macintosh at its heart", the operating system is based on UNIX System V Release 2.2. It includes some additional features from System V Releases 3 and 4 and BSD versions 4.2 and 4.3. It is POSIX and System V Interface Definition (SVID) compliant and includes TCP/IP networking from version 2 onward. Having a Unix-compatible, POSIX-compliant operating system made it possible for Apple to bid for large contracts to supply computers to U.S. federal government institutes.

Apple Workgroup Server

Apple Workgroup Server and Macintosh Server are a family of Macintosh computers sold by Apple Computer, Inc. from 1993 to 2003. Machines bearing these names are re-branded Centris, Quadra and Power Macintosh systems with additional server software and sometimes larger hard drives. Apart from that, they were mostly identical to the machines they are based on. The "Workgroup Server" name was used until the release of the Power Macintosh G3 in 1998.

In 1996 and 1997, Apple also sold a separate range of machines marketed as the Apple Network Server, which were specially-designed servers that exclusively ran AIX and thus do not qualify as Macintosh computers.

The first models were the Workgroup Server 60, 80 and 95, introduced together at CeBIT in Hanover on March 22, 1993. Customer shipments of the 95 began in April, with the 60 and 80 following in July. New models were introduced every year except 1995, and remained on the market until 2003, several months after the rack-mounted Xserve was introduced.


AIX (Advanced Interactive eXecutive, pronounced ) is a series of proprietary Unix operating systems developed and sold by IBM for several of its computer platforms. Originally released for the IBM RT PC RISC workstation, AIX now supports or has supported a wide variety of hardware platforms, including the IBM RS/6000 series and later POWER and PowerPC-based systems, IBM System i, System/370 mainframes, PS/2 personal computers, and the Apple Network Server.

AIX is based on UNIX System V with 4.3BSD-compatible extensions. It is one of six commercial operating systems that have versions certified to The Open Group's UNIX 03 standard (the others being macOS, Solaris, Inspur K-UX, HP-UX, and eulerOS).The AIX family of operating systems debuted in 1986, became the standard operating system for the RS/6000 series on its launch in 1990, and is still actively developed by IBM. It is currently supported on IBM Power Systems alongside IBM i and Linux.

AIX was the first operating system to have a journaling file system, and IBM has continuously enhanced the software with features such as processor, disk and network virtualization, dynamic hardware resource allocation (including fractional processor units), and reliability engineering ported from its mainframe designs.

List of computer technology code names

Following is a list of code names that have been used to identify computer hardware and software products while in development. In some cases, the code name became the completed product's name, but most of these code names are no longer used once the associated products are released.

See also List of Microsoft software codenames, List of Intel codenames, and List of Apple codenames.

List of operating systems

This is a list of operating systems. Computer operating systems can be categorized by technology, ownership, licensing, working state, usage, and by many other characteristics. In practice, many of these groupings may overlap. Criteria for inclusion is notability, as shown either through an existing Wikipedia article or citation to a reliable source.

PowerPC 600

The PowerPC 600 family was the first family of PowerPC processors built. They were designed at the Somerset facility in Austin, Texas, jointly funded and staffed by engineers from IBM and Motorola as a part of the AIM alliance. Somerset was opened in 1992 and its goal was to make the first PowerPC processor and then keep designing general purpose PowerPC processors for personal computers. The first incarnation became the PowerPC 601 in 1993, and the second generation soon followed with the PowerPC 603, PowerPC 604 and the 64-bit PowerPC 620.

Power Macintosh

The Power Macintosh, later Power Mac, is a family of personal computers that were designed, manufactured, and sold by Apple Computer, Inc. as part of its Macintosh brand from March 1994 until August 2006.

Described by MacWorld Magazine as "The most important technical evolution of the Macintosh since the Mac II debuted in 1987," the Power Macintosh was Apple's first computer to use a PowerPC processor. Software written for the Motorola 68030 and 68040 processors that were used in Macintoshes up to that point would not run on the PowerPC natively, so a Mac 68k emulator was included with System 7.1.2. While the emulator provided good compatibility with existing Macintosh software, performance was about one-third slower than comparable Macintosh Quadra machines.The Power Macintosh replaced the Quadra in Apple's lineup, and were initially sold in the same enclosures. Over the next twelve years, the Power Macintosh evolved through a succession of enclosure designs, a rename to "Power Mac", five major generations of PowerPC chips, and a great deal of press coverage, design accolades, and controversy about performance claims. The Power Mac was discontinued as part of Apple's transition to Intel processors, making way for its replacement, the Mac Pro.

Power Macintosh 9500

The Power Macintosh 9500 (sold as Power Macintosh 9515 in Europe and Asia) is a personal computer designed, manufactured and sold by Apple Computer, Inc. from May 1995 to February 1997. It is powered by a PowerPC 604 processor, a second-generation PowerPC chip which is faster than the PowerPC 601 chip used in the Power Macintosh 8100. The 180MP and 200 MHz models, introduced August 1996, use the enhanced PowerPC 604e processor.

MacWorld Magazine gave the 9500 a positive review, concluding that it is "not the second-generation Power Mac for the rest of us — it's too pricey .... but it is an excellent foundation for a high-end graphics workstation — for color publishing or media production. Its speed and expandability should also made it popular in the scientific and technical markets." Their benchmarks showed that the 9500 overcame the Quadra 950's performance deficit when running older Mac software in the Mac 68k emulator, posting speeds almost twice as fast as the Quadra 900.

The 9500 was replaced by the Power Macintosh 9600.

Quik (boot loader)

quik is a boot loader designed to start Linux on Apple Macintosh PowerPC systems based on the Old World ROM architecture. It was originally written by Paul Mackerras, and portions of its code were reused in all other Linux boot loaders for PowerPC, including the one known as BootX (not to be confused with the Mac OS X boot loader of the same name), which is dependent on the Mac OS. Quik's loader boots from Open Firmware and bypasses the Mac OS entirely. New World ROM systems use yaboot.

It does not work on systems that do not have Open Firmware; older PowerPC hardware based on the NuBus architecture must boot into the Mac OS first and then use a separate boot loader. Quik is the only method of booting Linux on an Apple Network Server.


Taligent (a portmanteau of "talent" and "intelligent") was an American software company. Based on the Pink object-oriented operating system conceived by Apple in 1988, Taligent Inc. was incorporated as an Apple/IBM partnership in 1992, and was dissolved into IBM in 1998.

In 1988, after launching System 6 and MultiFinder, Apple initiated the exploratory project named Pink to design the next generation of Mac OS. Though diverging into a sprawling new dream system unrelated to Mac OS, Pink was wildly successful within Apple and a subject of industry hype without. In 1992, the new AIM alliance spawned an Apple/IBM partnership corporation named Taligent Inc., with the purpose of bringing Pink to market. In 1994, Hewlett-Packard joined the partnership with a 15% stake. After a two-year series of goal-shifting delays, Taligent OS was eventually canceled, but the CommonPoint application framework was launched in 1995 for AIX with a later beta for OS/2. CommonPoint had technological acclaim but an extremely complex learning curve, so sales were very low.

Taligent OS and CommonPoint mirrored the sprawling scope of IBM's complementary Workplace OS, all overlapping and redundant attempts to become the ultimate universal system to unify all of the world's computers and operating systems with a single microkernel. From 1993 to 1996, Taligent was seen as competing with Microsoft Cairo and NeXTSTEP, even though Taligent didn't ship a product until 1995 and Cairo never shipped at all. From 1994 to 1996, Apple floated the Copland operating system project intended to succeed System 7, but never had a modern OS sophisticated enough to run Taligent technology.

In 1995, Apple and HP withdrew from the Taligent partnership, licensed its technology, and left it as a wholly owned subsidiary of IBM. In January 1998, Taligent Inc. was finally dissolved into IBM. There, Taligent's legacy became the unbundling of CommonPoint technology components and porting them into the globally adopted Java Development Kit 1.1 (especially internationalization) and converting Taligent compiler technology components into VisualAge C++.

In 1996, Apple instead bought NeXT and began synthesizing classic Mac OS onto the NeXTSTEP operating system. Mac OS X was launched on March 24, 2001 as the future of the Macintosh and eventually the iPhone. In the late 2010s, some of Apple's personnel and design concepts from Pink and from Purple (the iPhone's codename) would resurface and blend into Google's Fuchsia operating system, intended to succeed Android.Along with Workplace OS, Copland, and Cairo, Taligent is cited as a death march project of the 1990s, suffering from development hell as a result of feature creep and the second-system effect.

Timeline of Apple Inc. products

This timeline of Apple Inc. products is a list of all stand-alone Apple II, Macintosh, and other computers, as well as computer peripherals, expansion cards, ancillary products, and consumer electronics sold by Apple Inc. This list is ordered by the release date of the products.

Timeline of Macintosh models

This timeline of Macintosh models lists all major types of Macintosh computers produced by Apple Inc. in order of introduction date. Macintosh Performa models were often physically identical to other models, in which case they are omitted in favor of the identical twin. Also not listed are model numbers that identify software bundles. For example, the Performa 6115CD and 6116CD differed only in software and were identical to the Power Macintosh 6100, so only the 6100 is listed below. The Apple Network Server and Apple Lisa are included, as they filled high-end niches of the Macintosh line despite not directly running Mac OS.


Xserve was a line of rack unit computers designed by Apple Inc. for use as servers. Introduced in 2002, it was Apple's first designated server hardware design since the Apple Network Server in 1996. In the meantime, ordinary Power Macintosh G3 and G4 models were rebranded as Macintosh Server G3 and Macintosh Server G4 with some alterations to the hardware, such as added Gigabit Ethernet cards, UltraWide SCSI cards, extra large and fast hard drives etc. and shipped with Mac OS X Server software. The Xserve initially featured one or two PowerPC G4 processors, but later switched over to the then-new PowerPC G5, transitioned to Intel with the Core 2-based Xeon offerings and subsequently switched again to two quad-core Intel Nehalem microprocessors.The Xserve can be used for a variety of applications, including file server, web server or even high-performance computing applications using clustering – a dedicated cluster Xserve, the Xserve Cluster Node, without a video card and optical drives was also available. On November 5, 2010, Apple announced that the Xserve line would be discontinued on January 31, 2011 and replaced with the Mac Pro Server and the Mac Mini Server.

Apple hardware before 1998
Apple hardware
Apple II family

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