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Sun Sparc 5 Nostalgia

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the perfectly-good-electricity dept.

Sun Microsystems 363

barl0w writes with what he calls "an awesome on-going story over at OS News about a Sun Sparc 5 coming alive again." Like the article's author points out, if you really want 64-bit computing, it's available cheaply on eBay.

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Roadkilled by a Blimp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8043661)

A true story about one man and his Nissan Maxima

You wouldn't believe it could happen, but it did. I was leaving Candlestick park after yesterdays USF vs. Pepperdine game, in which were were clobbered by Pepperdine, and heading to a friends house in Mill Valley. Mill Valley is to the north of San Francisco, across the Golden Gate bridge, and a good 30 to 40 minute drive from the Stadium. During the game I'd noticed the big white blimp with the Blockbuster Video name & logo hovering around. I didn't think anything of it except that the game must be on The Sports Channel and I hope my wife was taping it.

Once the game was over (about mid way through the second quarter - stinking USF), I started battling the throngs, made my way to the freeway on ramp and into 5th gear. Well I'm cruising along on the freeway, moonroof open, listening to a little Grover Washington, Jr. (Time Out of Mind - awesome CD, get if you don't have it, and stop listening to The Dixie Chicks all the time) and just minding my business. All of a sudden, my SkyTel two-way pager goes off. So I check the message and it says: "YOU WANT A PIECE, HOT SHOT? COME GET A PIECE", with no signature or return address. Dumbfounded, I sort of scratch my head and shrug it off. A second later it goes off again: "WHATS THE MATTER GIRLY MAN? THEM MAXIMA'S NOT ALL THEIR CRACKED UP TO BE?" Now I'm really bugged. I have no idea who could be sending me these messages, let alone why. I'm on highway 280 in the middle of no-where.

Suddenly I hear an engine rev. And darned if it didn't sound pretty hot. I check my rearview mirror - nothing, both of my side view mirrors - nothing, both blind spots, nothing to the left and an older model Chrysler mini-van to the right, driven by an old lady who's gabbing her head off with an equally old passenger. Clearly not her. WTF is going on?!!

Again, the pager: "LOOK UP, #%*!-FOR-BRAINS". I look up through my open roof, and there, directly above my head, is the stinking Blockbuster Video blimp, pacing me about 50 feet off of the ground! This guy's ready for action. I know this because the front of the dirigible now has a black nose bra on. And that nose mask was shining! He must've put about 40 gallons of Armor All on that thing to make it gleam like that. The blimp now has a monstrous chrome exhaust tip, sticking out the back. This piece of metal, while clearly not functional, must've been about 20 feet in circumference. The pilot had obviously left the game early, gone back to the hanger and gussied her up - and now he was out cruising, looking for some action.

As I'm staring up through my roof in utter amazement, an arm extends from the gondola with a balled fist. Then, the guy sticks out his middle finger! This lousy blimp pilot, who obviously also has a SkyTel two-way pager, has now called me $#%!-for-brains, AND has flipped me off. Well, needless to say - its on.

I pick up my pager and type a quick reply, "YOU SHOULD BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR DOUGH-BOY, BECAUSE YOU JUST MIGHT GET IT". I wait about 30 seconds, to ensure that he has received and read the message, I then clutch, cram her into third and drop the hammer. The Steal'n intake howls and I'm off like a rocket.

Now I don't claim to know anything about blimps, but my best guess is that a blimp should be good for about 30mph on a calm day. I'm figuring that this guy has this thing blown and souped up so that it's good for twice that. Regardless, I'm going to have this guy for breakfast.

If you don't know the San Francisco area, let me describe Hwy280 to you. The SF area is on very hilly, mountainous terrain. Many of the roads and highways simply do "switch backs" to climb and descend. 280 is just such a highway. It is in essence, one long series of "S" shaped turns, as it goes up and down along the northern tip of the Santa Cruz mountain range - right into San Francisco. San Fran itself is somewhat of an oddity as far as cities go, in that it does not have any freeways running through it. To get to the Golden Gate, Hwy280 turns into 19th Avenue, which is a long boulevard, with stop lights every block. These lights are sequenced so that you catch about three greens at a time, which keeps traffic down to reasonable speeds. The road is a favorite for stop light shoot outs though, as it is three lanes wide, completely and totally straight.

Back to the race. I'm pulling hard on blimp boy & loving life! I've already hit 105 in 4th as I enter the next switch back. Grover and I are rock'n! The max is pitching, heaving, floating and bobbing on the soft, undersprung stock suspension like the Titanic in a hurricane. I have to back off for the corner entrance. The long sweeper opens right, like a giant horseshoe, and then switches left. As I take the curve, I come to a realization which had previously avoided me - blimp boy doesn't have to take the switch backs! I look over out the passenger window & sure enough, there he is. Cutting straight across the curve and giving literal meaning to the term "As a crow flies". The quarter mile that I had so proudly opened on him was being whittled away before my eyes. Drat!!

By the time I finish the wide arching curve, I reach the end of the horseshoe at nearly the exact same moment that the slow moving airship arrives on the same spot. Through my open roof and can see he & his co-pilot laughing and high five'ing each other. Damn their hides! I charge into the next sweeper with reckless abandon, as the dirigible continues is arrow straight path. This time I live on the edge and attempt the curve at 100. The max does not like this one bit, and it heaves in protest. I check out the driver's window, as the blimp is now on my left. The pilot must have seen that I was attempting to pick up the pace. Suddenly, the front end of the blimp rises ever so slightly and then settles back into place. The son-of-a-%$*!# just popped a wheelie! I couldn't believe it. He mashed the accelerator and lifted the front end a good five feet. This was clearly going to be war, and if I was to be defeated I was determined to make his victory a costly one.

Twenty seconds later, I reached the end of this 1/3 mile sweeping bend. Same result - a virtual dead heat. This game of cat and mouse continued all the way to San Fran. Just when I'd pull a lead on him in a straight away, along comes another switch back that eliminates my advantage. While I weaving left and right, he's cutting a nice straight line, and recovering every inch of lost ground.

Finally we make it to San Fran, and the haven of 19th Avenue. 19th Avenue is just as straight as a bowling lane for about 6 miles, all the way to the bridge. Guessing that he's topping out around 50 or 60mph, I figure I've got him. The interstate drops me onto 19th, I'm about 40 feet in front of the blimp and adding space fast. I look in my rearview mirror and can see the deflated look on his face. HA! I'm pulling away, I'm pulling away! I've GOT HIM!

I turn around and look back through the windshield just in time to see a glaring yellow light at the intersection of 19th & Stanyon. It's a fifth of a mile to the intersection, I can't make it, I'd be running a red for sure. I left off and hit the brakes. Darn these stupid lights! But the sun rays on my face feel good. I close my eyes and rock my head back a little to soak up some free vitamin E. MmmmmSthat feels good. Suddenly, my face goes cold. Darn San Francisco fog, must be a cloud passing in front of the sun. I open my eyes and gaze skyward just in time to see the bottom side of the Blockbuster Video blimp passing over. A mere 35 feet off the ground, the thing's shadow covered 10 cars! I hear the engines roar as the blimp clears the intersection and blastss down the avenue at full throttle.

Damn! I'm pounding the steering wheel, white knuckling it until I get a green. He's pulling away,Shalf a blockS(c'mon)Sa blockS(c'mon light, CHANGE!)Sa block and a halfS(C'MON, what do these lights changed twice a day or something?)!!!!. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, my light changes and I jump all over it. New Sumitomo's screeching as they search desperately for traction. I redline it in first and gain a full block on the lumbering blimp. I proceed to redline it in second as well, not caring that I'm already doing 60 in a 35. By the top of second I've covered a little over two blocks and am a mere 30 feet behind the behemoth. I grab third and pull directly beneath the gondola, the hulks massive shadow dulling my vision through my Ray Bans.

I'm just starting to walk him down whenS.DOH!!S100 feetSyellow light!! Double e damn! I'm 20 feet in front of the blimp and forced to brake hard in order to make the stop line. I check the rearview mirror and can see the huge shadow on the street starting to overtake first my trunk,Sthen rear windshield,Snow the nose of the blimp is above my open roof. He's passing me again, and going to gain another 45 second head start while I wait on this stupid light! Ohhh, I'm dying a slow death!

Suddenly *SPLASH*, I'm completely soaked! The inside of my car is too, the inside of the wind shield is covered by a sparkly green liquid. What theS? Did my a/c just pump a bunch of anti-freeze into the vents or something??? I'm looking around at the stained leather on my seats, trying to figure out what the mystery goo is. There is a puddle of it on the passenger seat, which I dip my right index finger into. I draw the finger near my nose and take a whiffS, smells sweet. So I taste it - Mountain Dew. WTF?!? I'm looking around, trying to get a grip on this, when suddenly, half way across the intersection, a 64 ounce 7-11 Big Gulp paper cup falls from the heavens onto the street. The piece of trash dumped his drink on me when the blimp passed over my car!!!! I can't believe it! I'll KILL HIM!!!

My light turns green and I absolutely SHRED my tires. First gear - I gain on him. Second - I gain some more. Top of third - I begin to pass beneath the blimp. Middle of third - I'm out front by nearly 30 feet. Next intersection - yellow light!!

Again, I brake to a stop, check my mirror and watch as the hulk's shadow begins to creep up on me. As my grand father used to say, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me". I reach up and hit the close button on my moonroof, and just in time. As soon as the gondola is over my car, I see the same hairy arm come out and turn something upside down. A second later my roof is pelted by small particles of falling debris. What are those, rocks? The look for all the world like little pieces of rat turds. What,Swhy,..they're Raisonettes! He's dropping Raisonette candies on me! (The guy does work for Blockbuster afterall.)

Now my ire is really up. The light turns green and I mash it, taking her swiftly up to 60. You won't believe what happened next. The blimp had left a trail of Raisonettes in the road, which a bunch of black birds sitting on the telephone lines lining the street had noticed. Well as I come rocketing down the street, one of these stupid birds decides to make a move and scoop up some free lunch. The dumb bird is diving with a singular focus - determined to get some of those candies. Its about three feet off the ground and doesn't even realize that its on an intersect course with my car. Bent on catching the blimp, I have no intention of slowing down to keep from hitting a darn bird. And then *SPLAT*! The thing smacks right into my B-pillar. It implodes on contact and spatters my back seat with warm bird guts. So now I've got crow innards in back and Mountain Dew stains in front to look forward to cleaning up.

Anyway, this viscous cycle of win-lose-win, continued. There are exactly 15 stop lights on 19th Avenue in between Hwy280 and the Golden Gate Bridge entrance. 14 times I took the lead, 15 times, blimp-boy passed me. His not being confined to earthly restraints was clearly a decided advantage.

I'm now waiting at light number 12, he's just passed me, and I know that if I can time it right and get through number 15, its all clear to the bridge. Blimpie apparently knows this too. My pager goes off: "ALRIGHT HOTSHOT. LETS SETTLE THIS ONCE AND FOR ALL. YOU AND ME, FOR TITLES, TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BRIDGE". This guy's nuts. Now he wants to run me for titles! When (not if) I win, what am I going to do with a blimp? No matter, he's insulted me, dumped soda and candy on me, challenged my manhood, and now has thrown down the ultimate gauntlet. No way I'm saying no to this one. I reply: "YOU GOT IT CHUMP! MEET ME IN THE VISTA POINT OVERLOOK PARKING LOT - WITH THE KEYS!!! FIRST ONE THERE WINS"

Thirty seconds later I receive the reply: "SEE YOU THERE. OPEN UP YOUR ROOF AGAIN IF YOU GET THIRSTY".

Arrrggghhhh!! (I scowl)

He's pulling away from me as I'm revving waiting for a green. Geez, this light is really taking forever. The blimp is nearly a half mile ahead of me now and I can see he's approaching the first bridge tower. The GG Bridge, as you know, was once the world's longest suspension bridge. If you've never seen it, its an impressive piece of engineering by any standards. I'm guessing close to a mile and a half from end to end, with each of its two support towers about a quarter mile in.

Finally! I get green. My right foot is immediately in the carpet as I row the 5 speed through its paces. As I hit the bridge, the blimp is just passing the half way point. I grab 5th and give it all she'll take, my speedo is tapping up on 130mph. I'm gaining fast, but his lead is huge. Half way across the bridge I'm doing an indicated 142. Woohoo! However, Blimp boy is now just 500 feet from the parking lot and has started to descend. Yikes! I'm behind. This is going to be close. The needle has inched up to 144, but that's it. I know that I'm all out of top end. The scenery is rushing by in a blur, I catch a sign which tells me that the turn off for the Vista Point is a quarter mile away. How far can I push this?! The stock brakes can't scrub off this kind of speed that fast. Reluctantly I start braking for the entrance.

The blimp is now right out my passenger window, cutting a straight path to the lot. He's just 15 feet off the ground and 100 feet from the edge of the lot. I'm 500 feet from my turn off and working the ABS system like a mad man. The sign for the turn off is marked "15MPH", I hit it at 40. Still standing on the brake pedal, I crank the wheel as far to the right as I can, and hang on for dear life. Fortunately, the Sumitomo HRT's that are on my 17 in Cragars have less than 500 miles on them. Had I tried this on the balding Dunlop's which the HRT's replaced, I would have met the retaining wall and been picking concrete out of my teeth for sure. But the new meats just dig in and hang on, screeching to all high heaven.

The blimp is now over the lot and has begun to slow. Its still about 12 feet off of the ground when I see the door of the gondola swing open and a figure appear. Its obviously the pilot. He looks up at my skidding Nissan, and then back down at the asphalt below - gauging the length of his drop. He decides its too far, plus, the blimp is still moving. He barks some orders back into the cockpit and his co-pilot starts to lower the lumbering air ship.

I have now cleared the retaining wall and am in a full on, 30 mph, sideways slide. At 20 mph, there's finally enough adhesion for the tires to regain their hold on the road. I point her at the blimp and mash the loud pedal. The blimp is just 25 feet away. The Stillen screams, startling the pilot who nearly loses his footing and falls. His co-pilot has lowered the ship to about 10 feet and is still descending. I get my first good look at my nemesis. He appears to be in his early 40's, a white guy (figures), full head of dark hair and about 15 pounds overweight, explaining why he's so apprehensive of the 10 foot drop onto cement.

I lock up the brakes and slide to a stop just 5 feet from the Gondola. Realizing that its make or break time, and that coughing up the keys to the Blockbuster Corporation's blimp could be a serious career shortener, the pilot makes his move just as I'm opening my door to get out. I've GOT to get one of my feet on the parking lot asphalt first. I let out the clutch and swing my left leg out the open door. He closes his eyes, holds his breath and takes the plunge, landing with a *THUD*, a fraction of second before my foot hits the ground. He's beaten me!

The weasel struggles to his feet and gives me a maniacal grin. He stretches out an open right hand.

Pilot: "Keys please"

I couldn't even speak. I made the bet, I accepted the terms. I gave it my all to win, but in the end he proved to be the better man. I'd lost fair and square. I reached in, pulled them out of the ignition and slapped into his hand, with out a word. He stepped by me, slid behind the drivers seat of my Max, fired her up, slipped into first and was gone. Back to the hangar at SF International, no doubt. It was over that quickly, he just took off.

I walked over to the phone both to call my wife and ask her to come pick me up (our house is an hour from the bridge). She answered the phone and I explained to her what had happened.

Wife: "YOU WHAT??!! You lost our Maxima in a race!!??" Booker: "But sweetheart, you don't understand, wasn't fair, the guy had a BLIMP!" Wife: "You don't you but sweetheart me!! I can't BELIEVE that you...ohhh.


So, to add insult to injury, I ended up having to pay for a $70 dollar cab ride home to boot. Talk about a lousy day.

Re:Roadkilled by a Blimp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8043681)

too long, executive summary plz k thx


Sexual Asspussy (453406) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043668)

c_ g
a= t
g c
a =t
t _ a
c. g
c g god, just look at it
c g fucking sickening
t -a


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8043910)

Hey there, SA! Good to see you around, and hope to see more trolling in the future.

Again? (5, Insightful)

ArmageddonLord (607418) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043669)

What do you mean coming alive again? The ECE computer lab here at rutgers it still filled with them!

Re:Again? (3, Interesting)

the Man in Black (102634) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043698)

Agreed. My most recent place of employment used one for primary DNS and DHCP. It ran Solaris 2.6, and in two years there I never had any problems with it.

Pizzaboxes may be ancient, but they get the job done. I wouldn't task one as a high-availability database server or anything like that, but if I have them, I'll use them. DNS, DHCP, firewall, log server, etc. etc.

Re:Again? (1)

Frymaster (171343) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043874)

in two years there I never had any problems with it.

then you obviously never had to try to get a replacement mousepad for that optical beast.

Re:Again? (1)

mritunjai (518932) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043877)

Agreed. My most recent place of employment used one for primary DNS and DHCP. It ran Solaris 2.6, and
in two years there I never had any problems with it.

Pizzaboxes may be ancient, but they get the job done. I wouldn't task one as a high-availability database server or anything like that

If you didn't have any problems with it in 2 years, what's wrong with using one as high availability database server considering that that box has awesome throughput ?

Re:Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8043994)

DNS and DHCP is, what, sending out a bunch of packets? Whereas a high-availability database server is a lot of disk accessing going on? On an old machine? With worn SCSI drives? Is this getting through?

Re:Again? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8043887)

Just post IP here and they will have problems in no time. 2.6 was such a crap version that any kid could download scripts and hack in...

Re:Again? (2, Funny)

Achoi77 (669484) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043760)

Is that the computer lab under Hill? I don't remember, as I was in school before they created ARC. You aren't referring to those ancient slow computers with the opto/magnetic mouse things that needed that metal mousepad to get it to work, are you? Cause those were SLOW, nobody wanted to use them, unless you had a programming assignment deadline, then that lab would be full to the brim trying to get their assignment to compile. =)

Boring, not /. worthy article (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8043963)

Any nostalga computing /. posts should only include
1. stuff from 1990 or earlier
2. square peg in a round hole
2.1. ethernet in a c64
2.2. web server on a TRS80
2.3. porting modern software to old obscure platforms
3. Univac 1

Re:Again? (1)

boolean0 (448844) | more than 10 years ago | (#8044012)

ahh, good old rutgers, i think my favorites were the xterms in the campus labs, a shame they got rid of them, though i managed to snag a couple from surplus. woot

fp (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8043671)


Why would you want this? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8043673)

Why use this overpriced proprietary hardware and software when you can get superior performance and output with a Wintel solution? Price point is even lower with a GNU solution on Intel, but the user experience is drastically diminished.

You can purchase an Ultra 5... (5, Informative)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043680)

...right here [] . They also have Ultra 60s, 80s, etc.

Re:You can purchase an Ultra 5... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8043723)

Or you can get a better deal and do it eBay. []

Re:You can purchase an Ultra 5... (0, Troll)

AKnightCowboy (608632) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043758)

Just beware that Ultra 5's and Ultra 10's have HORRIBLELY slow IDE buses (16 MB/sec or less). I don't believe they support DMA. You'd be better off getting a Sun Blade 100 or a used Ultra 10 with a SCSI card.

Re:You can purchase an Ultra 5... (2, Informative)

pyr0 (120990) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043812)

RTFA? The author says that the Ultra 5's are UDMA 33.

Businessmodel? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8043688)

1) Do free stuff.
2) ?
3) Boot that old sparc 5.
4) Profit!

Re:Businessmodel? (2, Insightful)

armaghetto (240282) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043837)

I think owning a few sparc 5's, submitting an article to slashdot on the revival of the platform, then selling it on ebay works just fine.

I have some of these in my garage! (1)

amitti (210015) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043692)

I have some Sun boxes in my garage, anyone know what an Ultra 1 Creator or Ultra 1 Enterprise is?

I planned on just throwing them on eBay, should I keep them?

Re:I have some of these in my garage! (2, Informative)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043734)

Ultra 1s have the same motherboard as the Enterprise 150. IIRC, they are 170 MHz sun4u; SBUS, SCSI; hme on board, probably only one CPU slot.

Creator/Enterprise almost certainly indicates what video card shipped with it.

Re:I have some of these in my garage! (3, Informative)

larien (5608) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043807)

Ultra 1s have one of 143, 167 or 200MHz CPUs. Older Ultra 1s (usually the 143MHz versions) have only le (10Mbit) ethernet and a 50 pin SCSI connecter. Newer versions have hme and 68 pin SCSI (not sure if the SCSI level is different). You can usually tell the version by the colour of the "1" on the front of the unit; if it's green, it's the older version with le/50pin SCSI, if it's red/orange, it's hme/68 pin. The latter usually comes with Creator graphics. There is also a 3rd version called "Ultra 1 Enterprise" which may not have a graphics board.

There isn't a CPU slot as such; the single CPU is hardwired to the motherboard.

Finally, the E150 is one of the worst bits of kit every shipped by Sun; the inside is mounted in foam blocks (!?!?!!) and if you shut it down (init 5) you can only switch it back on by either (a) opening the unit up or (b) attaching a Sun keyboard and using the 'power' button.

Re:I have some of these in my garage! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8043764)

Put it on eBay. I'd buy the Creator, it has the nice video card. No more than 100 or 150 as the asking price though, if they're in good complete condition.

Sing it! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8043696)

I will survive in my Sparc 5
In my Sparc 5, I will survive
Yeah, Yeah

I will survive in my Sparc 5
In my Sparc 5, I will survive
Yeah, Yeah

I bring the hammer down
A tiny crushin sound
And I'm in the yard
Smashing match box cars
An itty bitty crash
And my Sparcine is trash
But I'm blastin past
With chickie on the dash
Chickie on the gas
Go chickie

I will survive in my Sparc 5
In my Sparc 5, I will survive
Yeah, Yeah

I will survive in my Sparc 5
In my Sparc 5, I will survive
Yeah, Yeah

The firecracker blow
An urge overload
The wild plastic fire
Smoke from the tire
Layin' a little patch
Without a single scratch
Between the hammer and the rock I
Can see bright blue Sparc 5
It's my Sparc 5

Oh my goodness
It's the most beautiful little thing I've ever seen in my life
It's blue on the outside and all creamy on the interior
I can't bring myself to smash it
So I take it for a ride on a sunny summer Sunday afternoon
I'm riding with the top down
Riding with the top down
Riding with the top down
Hell I blew the top right of my car

I will survive in my Sparc 5
In my Sparc 5, I will...

I will survive in my Sparc 5
In my Sparc 5
Yeah, I wanna go
I wanna go
I wanna go
I wanna go

Monitors on Sparc5 (5, Informative)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043699)

Note: The article says "just about any" standard monitor with an HD15 will work -- not so. At least on the earlier Ultra 5s, you had to be somewhat choosy with your monitor.

From personal experience;

Doesn't work:

Does work:
Panasonic SL70i
Panasonic E70i
Panasonic S70
Sun monitors (duh)
Sony 15", 17" (can't remember model numbers).

Symptom: No display with incompatible monitor, regardless of m64 settings.

Lesson: Try the monitor with the box before you buy it.

Err (2, Informative)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043763)


Geez, I'm dopy today. Oh, look, so is the slashdot editor.

Sparc5 - aka Sparcstation 5 - is a really old, really crappy sun4m that is suitable for use as an X terminal and not much else.

BZZT! Wrong! (1)

Cheerio Boy (82178) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043992)

Sparc5 - aka Sparcstation 5 - is a really old, really crappy sun4m that is suitable for use as an X terminal and not much else.

Bzzt! Wrong!

These systems make great dedicated use servers. I personally use mine as a webserver - and with only 32meg as well. (Not that it'd handle a slashdotting or anything - I'm too lazy to load balance what is basically my home site. ;-)

Re:Monitors on Sparc5 (3, Informative)

OSSMKitty (125119) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043816)

I seem to remember that Sun systems required monitors that could handle sync-on-green (much like NeXT workstations, and probably others). My multi-scan Dell monitor will work on a Sun, but my LCD won't.

Re:Monitors on Sparc5 (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043984)

I think your problem is resolution. I hooked my first Ultra 5 up to a cheapo ViewSonic monitor and (predictably) it didn't work. After learning about Stop+A, I booted into single user and changed the default resolution from 1600x1200 to a more reasonable 1024x768. I then rebooted and no longer had any problems.

*sniff* I miss that Ultra 5. My current Ultra 10 has more power but much poorer video support.

Correction (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8043704)

It's not a SPARC 5, it's an Ultra 5. The former implies 32-bit, the latter 64. Not that anyone here knows or cares.

Re:Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8043742)

I know, and the first thing I thought was "they surely mean Ultra 5." I even cared enough to mail daddypants before the story went live but did they fix it? Of course not.

So there.

Re:Correction (2, Interesting)

ShaggyZet (74769) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043743)

Sing it brother! As the proud owner of a sparc 2 (no, not an ultra 2) and a user of many sparc 5's and 20's I can say they are fine machines, even if they do run like molasses (ok, a faster 20 isn't *that* slow). The Ultra 5's and 10's are pieces of crap in comparison.

Re:Correction (3, Insightful)

sirket (60694) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043750)

I'm glad someone pointed this out. And as for nostalgic? WTF did an ultra 5 become nostalgic?


Re:Correction (1)

the packrat (721656) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043785)

And as for nostalgic? WTF did an ultra 5 become nostalgic?

What you're forgetting here is that this is now a world filled with PC-using linux weenies who consider any computer older than about 3 months to be worthless trash. Presumably a few of them will pass through this phase and learn about the increasingly small number of sensible machines which still stack up well after half a decade or more.


Re:Correction (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8043948)

Wow, you high-UIDers are so worthless it's almost funny. Listen...the crowd you're thinking of is your fellow Over 500s. The ones that came for, and not much else. The ones that throw anything older than a month out so they can play Big New Game.

Get a clue. As for the high-UIDers, I propose a virus. Not a computer virus, of course, but an actual virus. Call me on it!

Re:Correction (3, Funny)

sysadmn (29788) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043833)

If you keep spreading facts on Slashdot we'll have to throw you out.
Let's get back to the mindless bashing and opinions presented as Gospel.

64 bits? (2, Funny)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043711)

Back in my day, we had eight bits [] , and we liked it!

Re:64 bits? (1)

sreid (650203) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043832)
great t-shirt

heheh (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8043722)

there's a slight difference between a 'sun sparc 5' and a 'sun ultra 5' :p

interesting points to note :

o - the person that submitted this story is obviously an idiot

o - the person that wrote this story is obviously an idiot, after reading the article

o - the editor that passed the submission through may or may not be an .. oh, wait .. slashdot editor .. Slashdot Editor .. obviously an idiot

i pray for the financial ruin of OSDN on a daily basis


Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8043976)

And whoever modded that as a Flamebait is an idiot, too...

I am ready to tell you my secret now: I see dumb people. I see them everywhere. They dont know they're dumb, they only see what they want to see. That weird feeling which make the hair on your neck stand up... that's them!

Not Sparc 5...Ultra 5! (3, Informative)

Stonent1 (594886) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043726)

When you say "Sparc 5" most people assume you mean "SparcStation 5"

Re:Not Sparc 5...Ultra 5! (4, Informative)

sql*kitten (1359) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043930)

When you say "Sparc 5" most people assume you mean "SparcStation 5"

To the average OSNews reader (and indeed to Eugenia herself) a late-90s Ultra 5 is an ancient computer. Such people would have absolutely no use for a SPARCStation, since (if you read any of her OS reviews) the only thing they're interested in is eye candy.

Me, I have a old NeXT Color Turbo, that's a 33 Mhz 68040, 32M RAM box running a BSD derivative, that is still as useful a machine as it ever was - the real business of programming, editing text files, hasn't changed much in 30-odd years. Only the kids who judge a box by what window manager or web browser it's running think any different.

The thing these kids don't understand is that back in the day, kit was built to last. Old SPARCStation 5's are dead reliable, and if you want a DNS, mail, a web server, a CVS server, whatever, they're perfect for the task. And you can get a lot done with a box like a 10 or a 20, they'll happily support 20 users running terminals, editors, compilers, etc etc. Only thing that's slow is their frame buffers. Buy a modern PC and it's useless in 3 years, it was never made to last.

Re:Not Sparc 5...Ultra 5! (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 10 years ago | (#8044037)

Only thing that's slow is their frame buffers.

Who needs a frame buffer? Sparc console mode has *got* to be the prettiest thing I've ever seen on any machine. Who wants white text on black with 8x8 fonts? I'd rather have black on white with anti-aliased fonts. It's so nice, it's almost a shame to remotely administrate the system.

Re:Not Sparc 5...Ultra 5! (1)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043941)

I don't think the average /.er has heard of or seen a real Sparc 5.

Sad news ... Stephen King dead at 55 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8043731)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

It's not Sparc 5, it's Ultra 5! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8043733)

Sparc 5 is a pizza box, truly useless these days

Re:It's not Sparc 5, it's Ultra 5! (1)

32bitwonder (684603) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043774)

Useless? Hardly. I run a website on lesser hardware!

Re:It's not Sparc 5, it's Ultra 5! (1)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043969)


If you need a high availability service (DNS comes to mind) with minimal downtime a "pizza box" is a great unit. It will run forever and a day until some hardware finally gives out. That may take a while too as they aren't super-mass produced shit, they're decently engineered equipment.

hrm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8043735)

does it also mention you can get better performance from a 386?

It would have to run Solaris (0)

Xpilot (117961) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043737)

..when I'd much prefer Linux. Though I won't get "64-bit computing" with Linux on sparc64, since the userland is only 32-bit. Unfortunately, no one cares enough to fix the situation.

Re:It would have to run Solaris (1)

AKnightCowboy (608632) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043840)

..when I'd much prefer Linux. Though I won't get "64-bit computing" with Linux on sparc64, since the userland is only 32-bit. Unfortunately, no one cares enough to fix the situation.

Well, probably because 95% of the people using Linux just use an x86 box. An old Pentium II will run circles around most Sun boxes you could buy under $500 and you can pick the PII out of the trash. Don't get me wrong, I love my dual 75MHz Sparc-20 at home, but it is by no means comparable to any of my x86 boxes in terms of speed. It may be faster than my old 90MHz Pentium though.

Re:It would have to run Solaris (4, Informative)

OutlawDrake (219223) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043872)

Unfortunately, you don't care enough to understand the situation. There's nothing to fix. 64-bit userland would only benefit a very very few apps (that needed more than 4GB of RAM), and would significantly slow down the rest of them. (I was actively subscribed to the debian-sparc mailing list for several years. Do some research, and talk to the sparc linux maintainers.)

I expect that this will come out in one of the promised followup articles on OSNews.

Re:It would have to run Solaris (4, Informative)

fdragon (138768) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043907)

UltraSparc has a 64bit userland if you care to compile it. Currently the only distribution that I know of that provides one is the Aurora Linux distribution that is based off of RedHat 7.3. More information about the project is Here at the Aurora Linux website [] .

Currently its 64bit userland is limited to the C library and a few support libraries. This allows you to compile applications in 64bit mode so that they can gain the benifits of 64bit mode.

Most cases using 64bit applications cause the machine to be slower due to the doubling in the length of the addressing pointers and other factors. Better explination is available in their FAQ entry on this 64bit vs 32bit issue [] .

Sparc 5 isn't an Ultra 5 (5, Informative)

the packrat (721656) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043745)

For those people who aren't old enough to know there is a difference, the Sparc 5 was the baby brother of Sun's Sparc 20, and was a sun4m machine. The Ultra 5 discussed in the article was a much later beast, with a sun4u architecture, and crippled horribly with various PC-isms including IDE and sharp case edges.

As far as their being useless, I bought one just recently for one of my students to use as a workstation to work on visualising the results of the modelling work that will be done in the coming year. For next to no money you can pick up a decent workstation that runs Solaris, often with a fantastic monitor. Outdated, Ha!

A Sparc 5 is not an Ultra 5 (4, Informative)

maynard (3337) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043753)

The article is about an Ultra 5 being resurrected, not a traditional sparc 5. Just so we're clear, the sparc 5 was among the Sun 4m CPU class while the Ultra 5 was a Sun 4u class CPU. The Sparc 5 is a 32 bit arch while the Ultra 5 is 64 bit. The Sparc 5 uses SBUS expansion cards, MBUS CPU expansion bay, has onboard 10mbit ethernet, standard SCSI II support, and usually shipped with a CG6 8 bit color card (not always). The Ultra 5 has a built in Sun IIi CPU, 100Mbit ethernet, PCI bus support, and IDE instead of SCSI disks. It also has an onboard 8bit ATI graphics adapter.

If given the choice I would take the Sparc 5 simply for it's greater I/O bandwidth alone. Actually, give me an Ultra 1 or 2, or a Sparc 20. Frankly, the Ultra 5 was a hunk of junk even on release. I wouldn't pay a dime for one of those. JMO. --M

Re:A Sparc 5 is not an Ultra 5 (2, Informative)

sirket (60694) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043815)

Since when did the SS5 have an mbus slot? The SS10 and SS20 both used mbus modules. The SS5 had a built in processor.


Righto, my mistake. (2, Informative)

maynard (3337) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043886)

The SS5 had a built in processor.

Absolutely right; I knew that. I've got an SS5, SS10, and SS20 and simply made a mistake in my post. Whoops. --M

I've got an Ultra 5 and a Sparc Station 5! (3, Insightful)

vrai (521708) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043761)

I still use my Ultra 5 (the 360Mhz model) as my second desktop machine. Runs Solaris 9, blackbox and an assortment of KDE apps (mostly KMail and Konqueror). It's a bit slow but does the job, plus there are few keyboards that beat the Type 5c. Sadly it will be retired from desktop duty this year but will live on as my home webserver.

My SparcStation 5 (with a mighty 110Mhz microSparc) holds my CVS repository and my MP3s (via NFS and Samba). In order to save money the larger of its two drives (a 36Gb IBM) is a 50pin one that I've duck taped in to the CD bay. Some what dodgy, but I haven't had any problems with it in three years of use. This one runs and old version of Debian (2.2.20) but is safely hidden behind my firewall.

Whilst I could obviously get more powerful machines they do the job, are rock solid (both in hardware and software terms), and cost a total of 140GBP for the two of them. Plus they look a damn site nicer than boring old wintel box.

Re:I've got an Ultra 5 and a Sparc Station 5! (0)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 10 years ago | (#8044048)

DUCT tape! Not Duck tape! It doesn't quack! That is unless you got Duck tape brand Duct tape. (Wish I was joking)

Ultra AXe is another decent choice (2, Interesting)

Stonent1 (594886) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043765)

Basically an Ultra 5 built into an ATX motherboard. It makes it easy to toss together a system cheaply. I picked up the board for around $50 on ebay and the memory (256mb) for around $30 on ebay. Everything else was what I had laying around. Drop in a generic PCI USB/Firewire combo card and you've got most of the capabilities of a Sun Blade 100.

A couple of little caveats (1)

mcroot (634911) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043767)

I have an ultra5/270 running happily as a dev box at home here. Two things you may want to know before diving into the market.

The stock IDE performance is painfully slow.

Buying RAM for the ultra5/10 is really expensive.

hello!? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8043770)

a way to woo the ladies

This is really a geek adventure. Too much for me. I just recently moved to share an apartment with some friends. I have a huge room about twice the size of my old room. Yet I left my computer behind. And I don't regret it. Now I do some other weird things like "socializing"

Too geeky!!

Same Situation (1)

HippieJoe (632993) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043771)

I'm in the same exact situation as the writer. I have this Ultra 5 that I was SO proud of when I bought it, and now it just irritates my wife. I keep thinking about loading Debian, but I hate to loose the ability to use my SunPCi Card.

Memories (2, Insightful)

wayward_son (146338) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043773)

I recieved much of my college education on Ultra 5's.

They were exciting and new back in 1999 when I started. The computer lab had a row of Ultra 5's, a few Ultra 1's, some SparcStation 4,5,10, & 20's and even a few SparcClassics (!). There were also some Solaris/Intel machines. The U-5's were definitely the machines you wanted.

Eventually the U-5's replaced all the older machines before being phased out themselves by the SunBlades. All in all, they were not bad machines, but the video seriously left something to be desired. And the 128MB of RAM in the older machines just didn't cut it by the end. Considering what a comparable Wintel Box would have cost at the time and how long they would have lasted, the U-5's were not a bad deal. There are probably many still around the department and in the labs today.

Sun NeXT (2, Interesting)

Phrack (9361) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043780)

Ah, the Sparc 5.. it ran NeXTSTEP real well. Better than Solaris, for that matter.

And no, I don't mean OpenSTEP.. google around, you'll find it.

Uh, OS Dorks, wrong machine. :P (1)

EvilStein (414640) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043782)

Sparc 5 = Sun Sparcstation 5

They're talking about the Ultra 5. A bit pedantic, maybe, but the two are definately different machines.

The Ultra 5 units could use IDE drives but i/o bandwidth was restricted. A SCSI drive performed a lot better.

Did they really even *check* eBay first? I wonder, because they said Ultra 5s go between $200 - $300. I'm looking at one right now for $65 (Buy It Now price, too!) They can easily be found for under $100.

i got one not too long ago (1)

nester (14407) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043784)

to play with solaris. i have solaris 9 and debian on it. java is 2-3 times faster on this thing than compaq's horrible 1.3 jvm on my dual 833 alpha running linux. it's as fast as my year old dell demension l1000r at work running win98 + hotspot.

to get decent preformance:

get a 333mhz/2meg cpu module (either with the machine, or buy a 270mhz/256k box and buy the 333mhz by itself). the cache makes a big difference.

take the ata drive and rip it out. go buy a symbios uw scsi card and a newer generation 10k cheetah. solaris's ufs will thrash like crazy on anything slower. it is unusably slow with the stock drive.

you should be able to get all that off of ebay for around $200.

Big frickin' deal (1)

keesh (202812) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043802)

I have a real sparc 5 (not an ultra 5), and a sparcstation 20, an ultra1 and an ultra10 as well. All running a bleeding edge Linux distro [] . What's the point of this article? These boxes are common as mud and very well supported...

That's a misleading title... (1)

Mysticalfruit (533341) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043809)

The article is talking about Ultra5's, not Sparc 5's... BIG DIFFERENCE!

Though personally, the sparc 5 was a better designed machine than the ultra 5. Somehow the notion of a Sun workstation without that amazing whirr noise that their scsi disks were prone to make just isn't right!

This is a great idea.... (2, Funny)

sinergy (88242) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043821)

Put some old things on Ebay, and create a completely unmerited ferver on /. to buy them.

sparc 5 != ultra5!!! (1)

kennedy (18142) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043827)

oh come ON! the sparc5 was a 32bit sun4m class workstation. the ultra 5 is a 64bit sun4u class workstation.... there is a BIG DIFFERENCE!!!!!!!!

having said that, i love my sun gear. i'm a happy owner of a 4 sparc4/sparc5 class systems, 2 smp sparc20s, a sparc1+, a sparcstation lx, sparcstation ELC and an SLC, and 2 ultra 5s.

That's "Ultra Sparc 5" not "Sparc 5" (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8043847)

There is a big difference between a "Sparc 5" and an "Ultra Sparc 5". Sun made a 32-bit "Sparc 5" back in the late 80's/early 90's. The "Ultra Sparc 5" is much newer, runs the 64-bit processor (That's what Ultra means) and just went end-of-life a year or two ago.

The point being? (1)

DjReagan (143826) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043851)

This story was posted... because running 5 year old hardware is such a difficult and bizarre thing?!?

Dear Lord ... (0, Troll)

nbvb (32836) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043852)

My gawd, people have no idea what they're talking about.

First of all, the article is about an *Ultra 5*, not a SPARCstation 5 (Which is what's implied by SPARC 5).

Secondly, "old"? Geeze.

The SPARCstation 5 *still* runs the latest-n-greatest versions of Solaris (Sol 9). It's still supported and everything.

The same CD you use to load Solaris on that SPARCstation 5 will boot a Sun Fire 15k with 106 CPU's.

Now *that's* scalable. :)

I seriously can't believe people are considering the Ultra 5 as an antique.

I still have a SPARCstation 20, and consider it one of my favorite computers, ever. It's got a super-elegant design, is rock-solid, and Just Works (tm).

How anyone can "wax nostalgic" about an Ultra 5 is beyond me. They're not that old.

Maybe for you PeeCee dorks who upgrade their video boards every 14 minutes, but to those of us who actually USE our machines for something, they're fresh as a daisy.

My Ultra 5 story (4, Interesting)

bongoras (632709) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043853)

I bought an ultra 5 a few years ago used, and it sat running Solaris at my email server for my home domain. Then I got sick of Solaris, since it reminds me too much of my days working at Genuity. Talk about nightmares... everytime I sat down at the computer I felt my old PHB asking me for a status update and a team schedule and to update my bug reports.

So I wiped Solaris off it and starting fooling around with Debian Sparc. But it seemed... cheesy... just wrong. This is my personal box. Debian just seemed too easy. So I bit the bullet and put Gentoo for Sparc on it. Gentoo is PERFECT for reclaiming older hardware. A little reading of man gcc, some thought about my use flags... ( mine are: USE="apache2 imap maildir samba xml -arts -avi -encode -esd -gtk -gnome -imlib -kde -mad -mikmod -mpeg -oggvorbis -oss -opengl -qt -sdl -truetype -xv -xmms -motif")

And a FREAKING LONG TIME compiling everything... and I have the Unix box I've always wanted. Mine. No one else's. I mess with it, beat on it, do things do it I'd never do on a production system. It's totally fun, and Gentoo Linux on the Ultra 5 has given me a reborn enthusiasm for Linux and computers in general.

Sparc 5, feh! (4, Interesting)

alamut (122156) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043859)

i recently bought a sparc station 20 on ebay for $35 - including shipping!

it'll do just fine as a fileserver and entropy generator. and you cant beat the price.

nor can you beat the amusement of seeing what was left on the drives... mind boggling!

64 bit a marketing tool? (4, Insightful)

sirket (60694) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043864)

This line pissed me off:

Back then, 64-bits was more of a marketing tool, and in many respects, still is.

64 bit gave higher precision for use on CAD workstations. Anyone who every used a Sun workstation for it's intended purpose would know this.


Re:64 bit a marketing tool? (1)

Junks Jerzey (54586) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043925)

64 bit gave higher precision for use on CAD workstations. Anyone who every used a Sun workstation for it's intended purpose would know this.

But the x86 FPU has always supported 64-bit operations natively. Actually, they're 80-bit operations internally. This is completley different than having a 64-bit address space, of course.

Re:64 bit a marketing tool? (5, Interesting)

sql*kitten (1359) | more than 10 years ago | (#8044014)

64 bit gave higher precision for use on CAD workstations. Anyone who every used a Sun workstation for it's intended purpose would know this.

Oh yes, 64-bit has been not a luxury by a necessity in many industries for a decade now, anything that involves heavy number crunching - CAD, CAE, CFD, other forms of simulation, Monte Carlo runs in finance, physics models...

A while ago OSNews reviewed, IIRC, a new Sun workstation. The conclusion? It's crap because it's too hard to change the resolution or the colour scheme. Not one test they did was even remotely related to what a workstation is used for, they didn't even try compiling anything, let alone doing some MATLAB or solid modelling.

You can pretty much ignore any OSNews review of anything, in fact I've no idea why a discussion site (i.e. /.) even links to another discussion site as a story!

how "value" depends on conatext (1)

selderrr (523988) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043869)

from the article :I live on the island of Manhattan, where space is a premium. ... and then further... consuming more and more of my time and curiosity

this confirms a statement of a friend who lives in NYC : "in manhattan, time is no longer money since everyone has loads of'em these days. Space on the other hand..."

..a way to woo the ladies.. (1)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043873)

Exactly what sort of "ladies" find themselves woo'd by a Sun Ultra 5?

Re:..a way to woo the ladies.. (1)

FerretFrottage (714136) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043999)

ladies that are into 64 bit tanning salons?

Erm, so? (3, Insightful)

grahamlee (522375) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043880)

The Ultra 5 is a 'modern' UltraSPARC-based system. Solaris still supports the platform; indeed even Solaris 10 will still support the U5 (and the Ultra 2, but not the Ultra 1. The UltraSPARCs used in the Ultra 1 had a comedy bug anyway, which meant that they shouldn't be used in 64 bit mode). Now, if they'd been talking about the SPARCstation 5, I would have been interested.

The SS5 had a HyperSPARC processor, just like the SPARCStation 2 over in the corner of this room (in a 'rack' consisting of a pair of Ultra 1s, the SS2 and some spacers made of plastic). This was a good old-fashioned rock-steady 32bit Sun machine, just like they used to make before they went all cheap (that's the build price, not the retail price!). The principle difference as far as I'm concerned between the SS5 and the SS2, and the reason I'd be interested to hear about the longevity of the SS5, is that the 5 can run NeXTSTEP/OPENSTEP for SPARC platform whereas the 2 cannot.

An Ultra 5, on the other hand, is just Yet Another 64-bit Solaris Box like the two Ultra 1s behind me or the 4-way Enterprise server across the way.

Re:Erm, so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8044013)

no it didnt. the SS5 had a microsparcII cpu, the SS20 had mbus which supports supersparc/hypersparc.

I still love my Ultra 1 (1)

MajorDick (735308) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043891)

My trusty old Ultra 1 works great as a mail server at 167mhz, something about suns and sendmail have always seemed a little odd , they seem to perform significantly better that x86 counterparts. As was proof MANY years ago when a SS20 I inhereted administration of got used as an open relay 2 days after I assumed admin of it, I cant remeber how many messages but it was unreal.

My NEWEST computer is older than that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8043893)

Seven run nonstop in the basement, and keep me employed. The newest is a 1998 G3 Mac.

This guy is a turd.

Typical OSNews article (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043896)

-1, Redundant, Sparc 5 != Sun Ultra 5
As everyone knows, OSNews is a pinnacle of journalistic quality and integrity. Coming up next, an article on how to change the colors in CDE once you get that 'ancient' Ultra 5 running. Followed by a rant about how difficult it is to compile GAIM or XMMS on Solaris 8.

you mean sun ultra 5 (1)

joelja (94959) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043898)

a Sparc 5 is a sun 4(32bit) architecture machine with a microsparc cpu... the machine in this article is a sun ultra 5 with a ultrasparc IIi cpu, probably order of 10x the speed of an sparc-5-70 if not faster.

Good 'ol US5 (1)

csoto (220540) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043919)

We've got some Blade 100s to replace them, and there's not much difference (besides DVD and better speed, and most importantly, it uses standard DRAM). Good 'ol reliable Solaris on SPARC.

Now, however, the "good medicine" (watching Dances With Wolves at the moment) belongs in the Macintosh camp. OSX is akin to the SunOS of yore. Tinker around with it, but still get shit done. And, with a G5, it's even 64-bit (big whoop, except possibly for Genentech and VA Tech). Plus, the TiBooks and AlBooks look swank.

But, I still use the Blade.

My SparcStation2 still kicking (4, Interesting)

kindbud (90044) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043940)

It runs RedHat 5.2... No, really! I still have the CD. I also have a CD for SunOS 4.1.4, which I might load on it again one day.

It ran Solaris2 like a pig, btw...

Two 50 Mb Quantum HDD, 64 Mb of 9-pin DRAM DIMMs in four banks of four... Ah, those were the days. (NOT!)

Re:My SparcStation2 still kicking (1)

kindbud (90044) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043970)

Oops, make that 30-pin, 9-chip DRAM DIMMs. So sue me.

Not particularly well informed in some areas (4, Informative)

elmegil (12001) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043957)

FTA: Unfortunately, you're stuck with Sun keyboards and mice, as the connector is Sun-specific, as well as certain specialty keys. There may be adapters, but I don't know how well they'll work with the specialized keys.

Not true. I've been using a Logitech TrackMan Pro for several years now, with the aid of a nifty box that converts PS/2 devices (has an input for a keyboard and for a mouse) into the Sun connector. It was a Sun part number, somewhat obscure, but definitely available and useful. It's called the "Sun Interface Converter" and the Sun part number is 595-3692 [] . I'd recommend you go looking for one [] if you are having trouble coming up with Sun Keyboards & Mice or if you want to use your Sun system with a standard KVM switch (which is what I do at home).

Old Sparc hardware (1)

abrotman (323016) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043959)

ive never bought .. but i like the selection

Ultra 5? (2, Interesting)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 10 years ago | (#8043962)

An Ultra 5 is retro? Worth getting nostalgic about? My main desktop at work was a SparcStation 5 until 18 months ago.

A friend uses a bunch of old sparcs to run his network - easier to use a load of small boxes than one big one. Pretty reliable too:
4:46pm up 454 day(s), 20:02, 1 user, load average: 0.11, 0.05, 0.03
4:48pm up 253 day(s), 47 min(s), 1 user, load average: 0.05, 0.03, 0.02
4:48pm up 454 days, 19:56, 1 user, load average: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00

faster, cheaper, runs Linux, buy an Alpha! (1)

Brannon (221550) | more than 10 years ago | (#8044007)

Any Alpha will do, because they are all 64bits, and have been from the beginning. You can get 500 & 600Mhz EV5's cheap on Ebay. They also run Linux (and have from the beginning), and are notoriously faster than Sun boxes.

Alive again? WTF, it never died! (3, Insightful)

bazik (672335) | more than 10 years ago | (#8044008)

My main desktop is a Sun Ultra5 w/ 440MHz, 512MB RAM and 2x 18gb U320 SCSI disks (attached to a Sym22801). Who said the Ultra5 ever died?

The only disadvantage of the Ultra5/10 is the slow IDE bus, but you can put a scsi controller in it.

The board (depending on the version) can take up to 1GB ram and a 440MHz Ultrasparc IIi w/ 2 MB CPU cache. So this is a really nice box and fast enough for most work.

Oh Great! (0)

moored2 (456923) | more than 10 years ago | (#8044016)

Now every going to go to ebay and drive up the prices!!

Still my DHCP server at home... (1)

Whatanut (203397) | more than 10 years ago | (#8044031)

Not the Ultra... just the regular sparc 5. Bought it off ebay just to play with Solaris.
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