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systems_glitch

Reviving a Poor Old SPARCstation 2

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I picked up a big heap of old Sun gear recently, all SPARC32 era stuff. There were two SPARCstation 2 pizzaboxes in the lot, one which worked fine. The other had been parted out -- no RAM, hard disk, or cards, other than an old bwtwo SBus black and white framebuffer, with essentially useless ECL output. Turns out that this one had a cache controller in that weird fibre module format that Sun liked, with tiny unprotected flying leads. Here's one out of a SPARCclassic (note, it's a SPARCv8 CPU, not a cache controller...same style package):

 

iZlRXd7h.jpg

 

I had tried straightening the pins with an X-acto knife and a 40x loupe but couldn't get it to boot. I decided to have one more go at it today, before giving up and parting the machine out. Turns out there was a pin bent and pushed under another pin, which wasn't obvious except from exactly the right angle. I used a bit of 28 gauge Kynar wire to poke it out. Success!

 

sNvPUVxh.jpg

 

I plugged in a disk from another Sun and booted SunOS 4.1.3 just to make sure it was really alive. It was, so I decided to make it a permanent fix and blob some cyanoacrylate glue (superglue) on the pins to protect them from future mushing and fingerpoking. Before:

 

IHvVJFRh.jpg

 

After gluing:

 

VEhGk16h.jpg

 

And, just to be sure the glue didn't mess anything up, back into SunOS 4.1.3:

 

mpOdnFah.jpg

 

So, this one dodged the scrap bin and lives on! Now, what do you do with a 40 MHz SPARC32 machine with 4 MB RAM...

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DMZ on your Internet with exploitable services and an IDS in place to see if people are still scanning for these?  

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Heh, there's a thought! SunOS has a lot of unpatched, exploitable stuff, like RCEs in the rlogin daemon :P Every now and then I think about trying to put up an old box running an old OS for shell services for some of the vintage computer crowd (a lot of people seem to want to telnet to something and run IRC on their vintage machine)...but then I think about how insecure these old boxes are, and figure if anyone is still scanning for this stuff, it'd be a total maintenance nightmare!

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