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#1 frogbong

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Posted 02 June 2010 - 03:24 AM

I got this machine a few years ago for <$100 on eBay. I haven't booted the machine in over a year and I wanted to load a new operating system(new to me that is), so now it's running freebsd 8.0. It was a pain in the ass to get set up but once I did, I liked it very much. The only problem I'm having so far is a dead mouse cursor in my console. My mouse works fine when I'm in X-windows but I would like the mouse to work with my console(or to gtfo my screen). I have a sun ball-mouse that connects to the sun keyboard that came with when I bought the system. The mouse was a pain to get working from the start as I had to modify xorg.conf to use /dev/cuau3(instead of /dev/sysmouse) and a protocol called 'mousesystems' for the mouse to work properly. Now that it does, I could care less about the console mouse problem except that it obscures whatever character ends up under the cursor. Maybe somebody knows a trick to fix this?

Here's some pics for fun:
Attached File  IMAGE_007.jpg   917.3KB   16 downloadsAttached File  IMAGE_008.jpg   926.05KB   16 downloadsAttached File  IMAGE_009.jpg   1.03MB   14 downloadsAttached File  IMAGE_010.jpg   969.42KB   19 downloadsAttached File  IMAGE_011.jpg   896.43KB   31 downloads

#2 vulture

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Posted 12 June 2010 - 10:27 PM

I got this machine a few years ago for <$100 on eBay. I haven't booted the machine in over a year and I wanted to load a new operating system(new to me that is), so now it's running freebsd 8.0. It was a pain in the ass to get set up but once I did, I liked it very much. The only problem I'm having so far is a dead mouse cursor in my console. My mouse works fine when I'm in X-windows but I would like the mouse to work with my console(or to gtfo my screen). I have a sun ball-mouse that connects to the sun keyboard that came with when I bought the system. The mouse was a pain to get working from the start as I had to modify xorg.conf to use /dev/cuau3(instead of /dev/sysmouse) and a protocol called 'mousesystems' for the mouse to work properly. Now that it does, I could care less about the console mouse problem except that it obscures whatever character ends up under the cursor. Maybe somebody knows a trick to fix this?

Here's some pics for fun:
Attached File  IMAGE_007.jpg   917.3KB   16 downloadsAttached File  IMAGE_008.jpg   926.05KB   16 downloadsAttached File  IMAGE_009.jpg   1.03MB   14 downloadsAttached File  IMAGE_010.jpg   969.42KB   19 downloadsAttached File  IMAGE_011.jpg   896.43KB   31 downloads


Niice,

I got a whole collection of Sun workstations including the Ultra 10 . Looks like yours could use an OpenBoot prom upgrade. latest for the ultra 5/10 is 3.31
On the note of upgrades, you could just install a $20 usb pci card . Lots of off the shelf usb pci cards work nice with older Sun workstations that have the pci bus in them.
I Use usb mice/keyboards on the systems I no longer have spare SUN type 5 keyboards for.
Lastly and not to trash on FreeBSD , but Why not just install Solaris 10 or OpenSolaris on the ultra 10 ?

#3 frogbong

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 04:06 AM

Niice,

I got a whole collection of Sun workstations including the Ultra 10 . Looks like yours could use an OpenBoot prom upgrade. latest for the ultra 5/10 is 3.31
On the note of upgrades, you could just install a $20 usb pci card . Lots of off the shelf usb pci cards work nice with older Sun workstations that have the pci bus in them.
I Use usb mice/keyboards on the systems I no longer have spare SUN type 5 keyboards for.
Lastly and not to trash on FreeBSD , but Why not just install Solaris 10 or OpenSolaris on the ultra 10 ?


Cool, I would like to see your collection sometime. I did some searching on how to upgrade the firmware for OBP but I didn't find any useful results. Maybe it's because this computer is almost a classic being over 10 years old. Will you help me get started with the upgrade? If you can give me a good reference, that will do. Also, it's good to know that if my Sun keyboard dies one day that I can use usb based devices. I heard that most other pci cards work out of the box as well, so I want to get a pci ethernet card and use the box as a gateway for my home network. As for your question; I installed Solaris 10 when the machine first arrived on my doorstep. I liked it, but at the time I was very enthused about linux having discovered it's existence only months before; so I installed debian for sparc. It was much faster in comparison, and I was more familiar with linux in general so I guess that's why I ended up installing freebsd. If I would have known that there was an OpenSolaris sparc release earlier, I probably would be running that instead of freebsd. At least I have something new to try in the future. My guess is that it will work better with the Ultra 10's hardware than the bsd. How is your experience with OpenSolaris on sun hardware?

Edited by frogbong, 16 June 2010 - 05:41 AM.


#4 vulture

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 05:48 AM


Niice,

I got a whole collection of Sun workstations including the Ultra 10 . Looks like yours could use an OpenBoot prom upgrade. latest for the ultra 5/10 is 3.31
On the note of upgrades, you could just install a $20 usb pci card . Lots of off the shelf usb pci cards work nice with older Sun workstations that have the pci bus in them.
I Use usb mice/keyboards on the systems I no longer have spare SUN type 5 keyboards for.
Lastly and not to trash on FreeBSD , but Why not just install Solaris 10 or OpenSolaris on the ultra 10 ?


Cool, I would like to see your collection sometime. I did some searching on how to upgrade the firmware for OBP but I didn't find any useful results. Maybe it's because this computer is almost a classic being . Will you help me get started with the upgrade? If you can give me a good reference, that will do. Also, it's good to know that if my Sun keyboard dies one day that I can use usb based devices. I heard that most other pci cards work out of the box as well, so I want to get a pci ethernet card and use the box as a gateway for my home network. As for your question; I installed Solaris 10 when the machine first arrived on my doorstep. I liked it, but at the time I was very enthused about linux having discovered it's existence only months before; so I installed debian for sparc. It was much faster in comparison, and I was more familiar with linux in general so I guess that's why I ended up installing freebsd. If I would have known that there was an OpenSolaris sparc release earlier, I probably would be running that instead of freebsd. At least I have something new to try in the future. My guess is that it will work better with the Ultra 10's hardware than the bsd. How is your experience with OpenSolaris on sun hardware?


Lol my current running collection is down to a SunBlade 1500 and an older SunUltra 60 . I hardly run my ultra 5s and 10's anymore except to test out sparc jumpstarts . lol maybe one day I should donate one of my ultra 5s as some sort of IRC server or shell server .

As for OBP firmware updates. You can pull the OBP firmware update from Oracle by searching through relevant patches . Simply untar the file and place in your / directory and then boot and specify your OBP image as the file to boot from (instructions are included in patch file)

http://www.sunshack....a/bootroms.html ( a listing of bootprom firmware upgrades )

OpenSolaris actually runs pretty clean, and only needs 1 cdrom. Compare that to the 5 you need to load a regular Solaris 10 install. Plus some older workstations have problems booting from dvd rom despite being upgraded with eide dvdroms (which work nicely btw) The Sun e250 for example has to get a toshiba dvd rom firmware upgrade just to see modern dvd rom discs .
Osolaris in a nutshell is a nicer easier way to learn Solaris while still being pretty similar to Solaris.
As for other sun workstation upgrades, Intel e100 and e1000 pci network cards are pretty common and work out of the box . Videocards you won't have much luck on unless its a Sun sanctioned framebuffer.
lastly ata performance sux hardcore on the ultra 5/10s (And even sun blade 100s and related) If you got older scsi hardware cards, go for that instead. Some sata cards do work however (but good luck sorting that out) If you do manage to get your SB10 up and running pretty smoothly , I would recommend keeping all your data on NFS/SMB shares off the host. Try getting 2 nic cards of the same speed and doing a link aggr (if your switch supports it ) so you can have faster network transfers and truly live up to "the network is the computer" you will find however, if used as a server rather than a desktop that your sun workstation will run
almost nonstop with pretty reliable performance. I ran my Sun ultra 10 with a single u320 seagate 36gb 15k scsi drive (over kill I know, added a scsi card) for 2 years straight before finally taking it down to clean out some dust and replace a failing fan. Just stick with it and you'll have some fun with it .

#5 frogbong

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 09:00 PM

Hey thanks for your help. I tried to install opensolaris and it wouldn't boot because of a strange error:
Bad magic number in disk label
Can't open disk label package.

I was pretty stoked about reinstalling Solaris 10 after reading your reply so I downloaded all of the images and boint 5 discs. I started the installer(which I remember takes forever to start at first) and then soon after that I realized that my hard drive was formatted with ufs from the bsd install and that the Solaris installer couldn't do anything with that. I tried to format the disk through the built in shell but I had no luck. I even tried a few different OpenSolaris livecd's and another linux 'rescue cd' for that would not boot up. All I needed was fdisk and I can't do the format from inside the OS because I can't get write privileges(presumable because the disk is in use). It's kind of interesting how it's getting harder to find modern software that works for sparc based systems, especially if you are using a unix-variant and not Solaris(being OS software specifically written for the hardware). It makes sense though as Sun( Oracle :( ) now uses amd and intel processors.

Also, I went to the site you referenced for the boot-firmware upgrade. The site wouldn't let me download, the download was hanging so I couldn't get the file I needed. It didn't matter in this case, as somebody else had a problem booting OpenSolaris on an Ultra 10 and they tried an upgrade to the OBP and it didn't change a thing.

I've never heard about link-aggregation but it sounds like a fun thing to try. I'm going to check that out more and maybe try to implement, especially if all I need is an extra nic or two. Sounds like something that could be beneficial, especially if I run a server rather than use the box as a firewall. I'm thinking more about it and if I wanted to use link-aggregation for redundancy wouldn't my operating system have to be aware of this configuration and act accordingly?

#6 vulture

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 12:00 AM

Hey thanks for your help. I tried to install opensolaris and it wouldn't boot because of a strange error:
Bad magic number in disk label
Can't open disk label package.

I was pretty stoked about reinstalling Solaris 10 after reading your reply so I downloaded all of the images and boint 5 discs. I started the installer(which I remember takes forever to start at first) and then soon after that I realized that my hard drive was formatted with ufs from the bsd install and that the Solaris installer couldn't do anything with that. I tried to format the disk through the built in shell but I had no luck. I even tried a few different OpenSolaris livecd's and another linux 'rescue cd' for that would not boot up. All I needed was fdisk and I can't do the format from inside the OS because I can't get write privileges(presumable because the disk is in use). It's kind of interesting how it's getting harder to find modern software that works for sparc based systems, especially if you are using a unix-variant and not Solaris(being OS software specifically written for the hardware). It makes sense though as Sun( Oracle :( ) now uses amd and intel processors.

Also, I went to the site you referenced for the boot-firmware upgrade. The site wouldn't let me download, the download was hanging so I couldn't get the file I needed. It didn't matter in this case, as somebody else had a problem booting OpenSolaris on an Ultra 10 and they tried an upgrade to the OBP and it didn't change a thing.

I've never heard about link-aggregation but it sounds like a fun thing to try. I'm going to check that out more and maybe try to implement, especially if all I need is an extra nic or two. Sounds like something that could be beneficial, especially if I run a server rather than use the box as a firewall. I'm thinking more about it and if I wanted to use link-aggregation for redundancy wouldn't my operating system have to be aware of this configuration and act accordingly?


Normally,

When I see this error its due to the cd / dvd media . IF you are using the original cdrom that came with the box, I suggest upgrading to a newer cd/dvd rom drive. That should fix this issue.
If you can install Solaris on say a more common x86 box, you can put together a jumpstart server to serve out to your sparc clients
(just makes sure you use sparc media during the jumpstart server setup process)
Then just netboot your sparc clients on the onboard interface to do a network install (much cleaner). BTW don't forget a virtual machine with a dedicated NIC can act as a solaris jumpstart server too :-)

Note that jumpstart servers will only work for Solaris 10 and not open solaris.

As for your OPB firmware download woes I'll check to see if I have the patch anywhere and let you ftp it sometime. Otherwise You will have to search the Sun/Oracle patch websites (Which is in complete disarray
thanks to the merger) for the download.

Finally link aggregation is groovy and works both on Solaris and Open Solaris. There is something similar on linux (link bonding) and even Windows offers this feature . For true link aggregation (not to be confused with IPMI) however, you will need a layer 3 network switch to support it . Most modern Cisco switches support it (Ether channeling as its known ) and a few biz class dlinks and linksys do as well also And its pretty slick . Link aggregation
gives you both network link redundancy and increased bandwidth .

Keep in mind however you don't see too much more bandwidth increase after trunking 4 nics together . However, 4 link aggr gig nics will give you up to a 4 gb network link .
Better yet, say you had 2 3750G catalyst switches configured in a smart stack. You could split the ether channel / link aggr 2 ports to a switch. Pretty sweet eh?
Now imagine you have a fat ass NFS/SMB server at home with this sick link aggr uplink , Now you can really push some ridiculous LAN file transfers or have a heavy network load going with minimized
host bandwidth lost.



btw an example of setting up a link aggr in Solaris

#dladm new-aggr -l active -PL3 -d bnx0 -d bnx1 -d bnx2 -d bnx3 1

#7 frogbong

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Posted 18 June 2010 - 08:01 AM

I might try a jumpstart network install, but I have a feeling that when it comes time to format the drive that it will give me the same error as before which was a 'Hardware Failure' message concerning my hard drive. Can't hurt to try though. If I had another optical drive I would try and install OpenSolaris but I don't have any extra cdrom drives around. I looked into link aggregation in freebsd and I came across some promising info. I like the idea of a file server using link aggregation, and I do find myself transferring a considerable amount of data between PC's on the LAN(usually with a usb drive) so this could be a very useful configuration for me. However, I have some limitations. I'm grabbing a wireless signal with my Athlon64-based system and then sharing the connection using NAT for my Ultra 10. That won't do me much good in this case, but I would like to set up something to test the results of such a configuration. Looks like I don't have the right hardware, unless I can set it up between my Windows/Linux box and my Ultra 10. I know it doesn't sound very practical but is it possible?

Edited by frogbong, 18 June 2010 - 04:48 PM.


#8 vulture

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 01:02 AM

I might try a jumpstart network install, but I have a feeling that when it comes time to format the drive that it will give me the same error as before which was a 'Hardware Failure' message concerning my hard drive. Can't hurt to try though. If I had another optical drive I would try and install OpenSolaris but I don't have any extra cdrom drives around. I looked into link aggregation in freebsd and I came across some promising info. I like the idea of a file server using link aggregation, and I do find myself transferring a considerable amount of data between PC's on the LAN(usually with a usb drive) so this could be a very useful configuration for me. However, I have some limitations. I'm grabbing a wireless signal with my Athlon64-based system and then sharing the connection using NAT for my Ultra 10. That won't do me much good in this case, but I would like to set up something to test the results of such a configuration. Looks like I don't have the right hardware, unless I can set it up between my Windows/Linux box and my Ultra 10. I know it doesn't sound very practical but is it possible?


Well, if you're having disk issues, try wiping the disk with another machine first and then try installing. Also, try installing by using ZFS as your default filesystem. (choose text console option number 3 or 4
during installation) You could also just have a drive thats going bad. Another option is to double check your OBP nvram settings to see what your disk is mapped to (though this shouldn't be an issue considering
you've had other running Oses on this drive with the same nvram config)
As for your last sentence, your question is a little vague. Could you go into detail? As for your home networking setup, sounds like you need to invest in some network switches and cable lol.

#9 frogbong

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 10:16 AM

As for your last sentence, your question is a little vague. Could you go into detail? As for your home networking setup, sounds like you need to invest in some network switches and cable lol.


Yea, lemme tell you about how things are setup: There is an apple airport wireless router connected to the cable modem on the first floor. I'm in the basement, so I use an Athlon64 based system and it's wireless card to get my connection to the internet through the apple router ustairs. I share this internet connection via ethernet to another host(my Ultra 10) using NAT and I was curious if it would be possible to set up link aggregation between these two hosts rather than between a host and a switch. If not, can I use a switch connected to my Athlon64 and then use link aggregation between the switch and the Ultra 10? What would be the cheapest way to set something like this up(given it's possible the way I describe it)? Correct me if I'm wrong, as my knowledge of networking concepts is somewhat limited to my experience with small business or home networks.

As for the hard-drive problem, I'll do what you suggest and hook up the drive physically to another host and format it with ZFS using Linux and fdisk. Can't believe I didn't think of that earlier.

#10 vulture

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 04:50 PM


As for your last sentence, your question is a little vague. Could you go into detail? As for your home networking setup, sounds like you need to invest in some network switches and cable lol.


Yea, lemme tell you about how things are setup: There is an apple airport wireless router connected to the cable modem on the first floor. I'm in the basement, so I use an Athlon64 based system and it's wireless card to get my connection to the internet through the apple router ustairs. I share this internet connection via ethernet to another host(my Ultra 10) using NAT and I was curious if it would be possible to set up link aggregation between these two hosts rather than between a host and a switch. If not, can I use a switch connected to my Athlon64 and then use link aggregation between the switch and the Ultra 10? What would be the cheapest way to set something like this up(given it's possible the way I describe it)? Correct me if I'm wrong, as my knowledge of networking concepts is somewhat limited to my experience with small business or home networks.

As for the hard-drive problem, I'll do what you suggest and hook up the drive physically to another host and format it with ZFS using Linux and fdisk. Can't believe I didn't think of that earlier.


Well,

Currently ZFS is only understood by Solaris and FreeBSD. (Apple dropped support or it however) But a plain wipe of that drive and then attempting to forma it with the solaris installation procedure
should work best. Just do a text based installation in order to choose ZFS as your primary filesystem during a Solaris install.


So I take it there is no chance of you getting a wired connection to the router upstairs? Have you thought of ethernet over powerline type of setups ? Between your athlon64 system and the Ultra 10 you could setup link aggregation (under linux you would be looking to implement interface bonding of the LACP variety ) but this comes at a cost of 2 or more nics on each box equaling up to 4 nics total if you wanted a 2gb pipe between both hosts. It can be done but there is definitely a much higher port cost on hosts , not to mention if you wanted to add other aggr linked machines to your basement network
things could get confusing. A layer 3 switch with link aggregation support isn't a bad way to go for future expansion.

#11 frogbong

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 07:22 PM

No, unfortunately I can't get a wired connection. At least I know what to do now regarding the formatting of my disk. I'll use the freebsd installer and hopefully create a zfs-based filesystem, then install Solaris. I can't format the disk through the text-based Solaris installer, so I'm hoping that the FreeBSD installer will work. As for the network setup, I think I'll go towards the route of future expansion, buy some hardware and then I'll be set. If I use a switch that supports link-aggregation, how do the hosts need to be connected to the switch if I want them to use link-aggregation? Also, in regard to a term you used in a previous reply, what is a smart stack?

#12 vulture

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Posted 19 June 2010 - 11:30 PM

No, unfortunately I can't get a wired connection. At least I know what to do now regarding the formatting of my disk. I'll use the freebsd installer and hopefully create a zfs-based filesystem, then install Solaris. I can't format the disk through the text-based Solaris installer, so I'm hoping that the FreeBSD installer will work. As for the network setup, I think I'll go towards the route of future expansion, buy some hardware and then I'll be set. If I use a switch that supports link-aggregation, how do the hosts need to be connected to the switch if I want them to use link-aggregation? Also, in regard to a term you used in a previous reply, what is a smart stack?


Well, if you format with FreeBSD, just make sure you create at least a root and swap area .
I'm curious if you could provide the exact error messages you are getting. Normally, a regular eide drive thats smaller than 150gb should work fine so long as you don't have any jumper issues
and the drive isn't known defective. Keep in mind, older drives can fail after multiple heavy read/writes like what installs do.


Smart stack is a feature on certain enterprise cisco switches that allow you to daisy chain switches together and allowing them to act as one. allows for more port space and gives extra redundancy ,
doesn't come cheap either, the average 3750G catalyst switch is about 4k so buy 2 of those and you've spent the same amount a n entry level 600cc crotch rocket lol.

For link aggregation , any semi pro dlink or linksys managed switch that supports LACP will do. OTherwise look to drop at least 3k on a Cisco catalyst 2960G.

Basically to setup link aggregation you have to configure it on both the host and the switch. I gave you an example earlier on the thread for Solaris.
For a cisco switch you would configure something called etherchanneling and set LACP as the aggr protocol. Basically you are taking 1 to 8 ports and bonding them together into an ether channel .
On a dlink or cheaper pro linksys switch, setting this up is much easier given that there is a web gui to use .

In the shop I worked as a consultant for, I deployed A sun openstorage 7110 with 4 on board gig nics . Using the web interface I configured a 4GB aggr pipe between it and 2 3750G's in a smart stack config,
2 ports on each different switch for redundancy/load balancing purposes. The end result was a fast ass office file server , serving up both linux and windows clients .
The same could be done on a home file server to a lesser extent . (most people don't drop $200+ on smart switches) but the benefit would be faster file serving and file transfers with multiple hosts accessing the same file server .

Finally, I know you got your heart set on this Ultra 10, I know I did when I spent allot of time pimping out my ultra 5s and 10s. -but- These days you can get much faster and modern Sun workstations
for much cheaper than what they use to run. You can go the Ebay route (a crap shoot if you don't know what you're looking for) or you can try some reputable resellers/VARs for almost latest greatest.
Now keep in mind Oracle no longer makes Sun sparc based workstations. So if you want to run modern sparc server equipment , look to drop a couple grand on coolthreads servers. Solaris 10 x86
runs just as good as it does on sparc too so there is no shame in running Solaris on regular intel based hardware either. But if your heart and mind is set on a ultrasparc based fortress
and you want something guaranteed to work, then check out anysystem.com . I've bought a few refurbed sun systems from them in the past, they come with warranties and are tested working before they go out the door.

I currently run a SunBlade 1500,

but a great step up from the Sun ultra 5/10s would be the Sun blade 100s and 150s

http://www.anysystem...-special-1.html

There is one thats affordable $235 .

Like the ultra 10, it has pci and unlike the ultra 5/10s it has onboard USB and a much faster ultrasparc IIe proc. (though the onboard cache is much smaller)

#13 frogbong

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Posted 22 June 2010 - 02:37 PM

Thanks for the info. I would like to get another Sun workstation, but I don't really have a reason to. If I had the money I would get one of those Sun Fire servers, a new gaming desktop, and a new laptop; then I would be set. As for the error message during the Solaris install it says: Hardware failure - unformatted disk. So my guess is that it doesn't recognize the disk because of FreeBSD's UFS partitions. I need to take the drive out and connect it to my desktop and use linux to format the drive, then maybe it will work(I hope).

I'm definitely going to get a smart-switch eventually, because as you say they are much cheaper. I will be moving out of the house I'm in over the next 6 months, so eventually I will have a nice wired setup rather than the shared wireless network that my room-mate and I use. There will be many more opportunities there for a networked server machine.

In the meantime, I'm going to get a usb-pci card and some more pci-nics as well. I like adding to capabilities to the system, especially if they make things more convenient. I'm looking forward to not using this Sun ball-mouse anymore for one, lol.

#14 systems_glitch

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Posted 29 June 2010 - 09:42 PM

Reading this thread makes me wish my Ultra 10 hadn't stayed behind in the move...can't wait to move it up here now!

If people are interested in Sparc hardware, it comes up all the time at the state surplus auction at the college I went to (state school with too much money to spend). It usually goes cheap, as the people who come are more interested in PC or Apple hardware.

Some of the nicer rackmount 3Com switches support stacking as well...don't know if they support aggregate links though. We've got two gigabit-over-copper models stacked at work.

#15 vulture

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Posted 01 July 2010 - 04:08 AM

Reading this thread makes me wish my Ultra 10 hadn't stayed behind in the move...can't wait to move it up here now!

If people are interested in Sparc hardware, it comes up all the time at the state surplus auction at the college I went to (state school with too much money to spend). It usually goes cheap, as the people who come are more interested in PC or Apple hardware.

Some of the nicer rackmount 3Com switches support stacking as well...don't know if they support aggregate links though. We've got two gigabit-over-copper models stacked at work.


State gov auctions next to ISDs are the best!

However for those not able to make auctions , Ebay is by far the best in finding sparc hardware for cheap. Picked up a fully loaded Sunblade 2000 for $50 . Average resell on those are between $500 and a few grand.

Sparc hardware just seems to have a certain geeky nostalgic vibe to it, which is why I'm amassing a Sun workstation collection which I plan to have running or otherwise cataloged for decades to come.

#16 systems_glitch

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Posted 02 July 2010 - 12:45 PM

Sparc hardware just seems to have a certain geeky nostalgic vibe to it, which is why I'm amassing a Sun workstation collection which I plan to have running or otherwise cataloged for decades to come.

Yup, along with most dedicated UNIX systems. I've got an AT&T UNIX PC I'm getting back in running shape. For those coming to The Next HOPE, I'll have a SPARCclassic running OpenBSD 4.7 in the NOCNOC for public access. I'm working with the MARCH guys to keep my Kaypro II set up in their space, with a serial line ran to the SPARC machine to provide console access, primarily for connecting to telnet and SSH accessible BBSes.

#17 vulture

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 03:07 AM

Sparc hardware just seems to have a certain geeky nostalgic vibe to it, which is why I'm amassing a Sun workstation collection which I plan to have running or otherwise cataloged for decades to come.

Yup, along with most dedicated UNIX systems. I've got an AT&T UNIX PC I'm getting back in running shape. For those coming to The Next HOPE, I'll have a SPARCclassic running OpenBSD 4.7 in the NOCNOC for public access. I'm working with the MARCH guys to keep my Kaypro II set up in their space, with a serial line ran to the SPARC machine to provide console access, primarily for connecting to telnet and SSH accessible BBSes.


Niice , almost reminds me of the good ol freeshell days and the current sdf.lonestar.org(alpha hardware though). Something about a sparc beast though running BSD or Solaris you just have to stop and admire.
If I can get my hands on a T2000 or similar and some cheap colo space within the next 6 months , I might just consider launching a hybrid BBS/shell/proxy site (along with a big ass legal disclaimer
and advertising ) .

#18 systems_glitch

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 01:26 PM

Niice , almost reminds me of the good ol freeshell days and the current sdf.lonestar.org(alpha hardware though). Something about a sparc beast though running BSD or Solaris you just have to stop and admire.


The Grex system was my first introduction to UNIX, back when it ran SunOS 4 on an old Sun VME system. I remember messages being sent out requesting 30-pin RAM SIMMs whenever they found another RAM board for the system. They're running OpenBSD now, I believe on an AthlonXP system. One of the few systems that still maintains dialin access (all the way down to at least 1200 baud!)

Of course, as the Internet becomes more censored/restricted here in the US, systems like Grex and SDF have been gaining some popularity.

If I can get my hands on a T2000 or similar and some cheap colo space within the next 6 months , I might just consider launching a hybrid BBS/shell/proxy site (along with a big ass legal disclaimer
and advertising ) .


I'd certainly sign up for an account! I've been thinking about setting up a DOS or CP/M dialin BBS when I get a POTS line installed here.

#19 vulture

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 11:12 PM

Lol I suppose I'll count you in then once I throw up some sparc equipment into a colo.

Ah the joys of collecting Sparc hardware. Speaking of which, I just finished a net install of a Sunblade 2000. Now to pick up another FC AL drive, some more Sun ram kits and
attach my spare scsi u320 Sun DAS for extra storage. I'm starting to wonder if its normal for geeks to have this much enterprise iron laying around on a home network lol

#20 systems_glitch

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Posted 03 July 2010 - 11:24 PM

I'm starting to wonder if its normal for geeks to have this much enterprise iron laying around on a home network lol

Surplus is magical! I've got a 7 foot standard equipment rack in the basement, populated with a 96-port patch panel, several switches, a 4U server case, several 1U ATX cases, a 1.25 kW UPS, some Cobalt RaQ hardware and cable management panels. It's impressive, but the whole mess probably cost me less than $250 over the years.

I've got a Netra T1 I might get running again...I've been looking into colo facilities in the area, and you can get a 1U device colocated for around $50/month.




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