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djm
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2004 10:32 pm    Post subject: What sparc to get Reply with quote

I can't believe that this isn't a duplicate thread, but either I suck a forum searches or no-one has asked this before...

I'm interested in getting a sparc, for as little as possible, but I'd like something that's at least vaguely useable (I don't necessarily have to be able to install Gentoo on it, but it'd be nice if I could)

So, if I'm going to get something off ebay, what would you recommend? An ultra 5/ultra 10?

How feasable would it be to install Gentoo on something like this http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=179&item=5134898970&rd=1? Obviously I can't compile openoffice on it, but as someone who likes things like fluxbox and (non-g)vim, could it work?

If someone knows somewhere else where I can find info on this that'd be appreciated too. I searched sun.com but didn't find anything interesting there
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riposte
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd go for an Ultra5 or Ultra 10 preferably with one of the CPUs that has the 2mb cache but even the humble 270mhz processor isnt too bad. They take a standard PC style vga monitor and standard ide drives. They can also take up to 1gig of ram if you are so inclined.

This is the best Sun site for technical info on these machines: http://sunsolve.sun.com/handbook_pub/Systems/

HTH
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confusion
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 12:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

would i be able to stick a pci adsl modem into one of these and run it as a router/http server? It seems logical to me that the same kernel drivers would work independant of arch. I'm after an ultra 10 to play around with myself.

[edit: or an ultra5]

Cheers,
-John
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GenTimJS
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2004 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some have reported great success with PCI cards in an Ultra 5/10, however my own attempts to make a PCI nic card work ended in failure. Card was detected, and drivers loaded, but wouldnt actually send or recieve packets over a known-good network connection....

just a word for the wise, it CAN get wierd, but if you only spend $50 on the system, its not a big risk..

U5/10 is a good entry-level system, PCI wont confuse you and the vga output is convenient.
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squash
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2004 1:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The u5/10 are pretty well suppoted boxes, but are kind of the "celeron" of ultrasparcs. They have about the slowest IDE ever made, many of the possible cpus have small cache, and the onboard video ranges from not-useful to barely-useful.

Between the two, the U10 gives you more options by having more PCI slots, a UPA slot (for a Creator3d card, much better than the onboard ati), and most models have enough video ram to do reasonable modes.

If you aren't offended by 13w3 monitor connections, look at the Ultra2. It gives you dual CPU support, up to 2 gigs of ram, holds up to 2 scsi disks, and uses real Ultrasparc 2 cpus (the U5/10 use US2i). A similar level box with PCI is the Ultra60.

Josh
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ColeSlaw
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2004 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

squash wrote:
If you aren't offended by 13w3 monitor connections, look at the Ultra2. It gives you dual CPU support, up to 2 gigs of ram, holds up to 2 scsi disks, and uses real Ultrasparc 2 cpus (the U5/10 use US2i). A similar level box with PCI is the Ultra60.


How useful is it to buy an 13W3 Male to HD15 Female Adapter? Has anybody tried this and had any problems. I want to buy a Sparc box, but I don't want to have to spring for the extra monitor with a connection that I may or may not be able to use. (Bad enough that I'm buying a SPARC box that I might never figure out how to use) I have an extra monitor already so I don't want to spend the money to buy a special one.
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ibtim13
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2005 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Be very careful, SGI also has 13w3 conectors for their monitors but they
are NOT compatible with suns. I learned that the hard way (although I ended up buying an SGI machine and it worked out in the end) Also, for $15 you can get a 13W3 adapter that may or may not work with sun (the people who sell them on ebay don't know and don't care for the most part) but for around $40 you can get a 17-19 inch sun monitor that will definately work with a sun.
(all prices given being in USD)
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ColeSlaw
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2005 1:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know this is completely off topic, but how did your SGI machine turn out? You have Gentoo on it? (SGI makes MIPS Processors correct?)
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ibtim13
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2005 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got an Octane system off ebay, It's got 2x300Mhz procs and 1G ram, It's a great little machine.
The older SGI machines like mine use MIPS but many (all?) of the newer ones use intel stuff, itanic and such. I have Irix running on it at the moment, I may try gentoo at some point though.
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rsborn
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2005 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Ultra 10 at work came with a VGA monitor and a 13w3 adapter (made by Sun) and it works fine, as said before I would be careful buying them on Ebay because of the differenr types. I have a couple of Sun monitors I have picked up for next to nothing, you just need to find them locally, otherwise you'll get killed on shipping, these Sony 19" trinitrons are super heavy

Rick
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stonent
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 08, 2005 3:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hotwired a SUN 21" monitor (the one with the credit card style remote) to work on SUN or SGI. It involved crossing two wires.

http://forums.nekochan.net/viewtopic.php?t=570&highlight=gdm20d10
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Toady
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2005 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dont bother with any non Ultra series SUN's they are dog slow.. but workable.

I have 2x Sparc Station 20 (slow single cpu (75Mhz) and a Dual CPU (dual 50 Mhz). Both thease boxes take an age to install, the run OK but feel very limited. In short tey will just annoy the hell out of you later.

I also have an Ultra 10 (good choise for cheap add ons) theae have a PCI bus so you can use PC based hardware to some extent (I have a standard PCI nic in adition to the bult in one) ans soon to be adding SCSI too..

Ultra 5 and Ultra 10 are PCI based and use IDE disks, mine came with a Creator 3d graphics card, 9Gb IDE drive, 512Mb or RAM and the 333Mhx Ultra Sparc II (2mb cache) CPU. A good buy at £100 from ebay.

I have also just aquired an Ultra 2 (SBUS not PCI) machine with 256MB RAM and single 200Mhz CPU (Ultra Sparc I) plus an aditional CPU all in for under £60 also an ebay purchase.



In short I would say that Ultra 5 / 10 are good first machines but the IDE performance is lacking (UDMA 33), on the plus side the on board grapics use a standard VGA connector so you dont need a sun monitor (but you still need a sun mouse / keyboard). Additional hardware is reasonably well supported (all my hardware support is compiled into my kernel and works fine).

After that I would look at an Ultra 2 with dual CPU, nice resonably quick machine up to 400Mhz ish dual CPU capable. the drawbackk is that you need trays for the internal hard disks (mine only came with one.. doh) and extra network cards etc can be harder to find (SBUS not PCI)

Of corse the main thing is to have fun :)
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 14, 2005 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Does anyone have an opinion on the merits or not of the Blade 100? I may have the opportunity to get my hands on one to play with and thought I might try to get it dual booting gentoo and the new Solaris 10 for comparison purposes.
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