Jeffrey J. Nonken on Thu, 3 Jul 2003 16:03:06 -0400

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On Thu, 3 Jul 2003 15:14:39 -0400, Rebecca Ore wrote:
>Cowboys, guns, big trucks -- that's the Sun Rescue list.  I brought
>person to it who may have ended up getting booted.  I'm still on good
>enough terms with Bill Bradford.

I've known Bill for years. Actually, he's one of the people who tried to get me to rejoin. I admit that I overreacted. I've not been feeling my best, and tend to be a bit more irrational than usual. But I haven't felt much of a need to return to the list.

>(I'm in a Much Cheerier Mode since getting sendmail to authenticate
>outgoing verison and getting Mutt to stop trying to tell
>outgoing.verizon that I was rebecca, not anyone they knew).


>My advice as a Sparcitista is to concentrate on one of the boxes, put
>NetBSD on it (which has these lovely flat configuration files and
>has sup with automagically package building upgrades instead of
>source to get security fixes), or Sparc 9, and, like the man said,
>it up with X and do X forwarding.  I've xforwarded Netscape over a
>dial-up connection once just to prove it can be done.

I've got one SS20 running Sol9, sharing a drive via Samba, and has a few programs I run. Actually, since I don't use Bidwatcher much, I've drifted back to the PC and mIRC for my IRC stuff. People may condemn me for this, but I find mIRC easier to use than XChat.

I've considered NetBSD, I've played with it on a PC. I wanted to get Linux on one for my wife, I figured it would be easier for her to use (and learn), but she's not really interested. Well, I did get SuSE running, but the box is just sitting there. And if I understand correctly NetBSD is now supporting SMP on SPARC. Though that won't matter for the SS5.

>Basically, they're pretty bullet proof, but I think unless you like
>LX for cute form factors or can use it as a specialized server in a
>server farm, you're better off with something faster for a Sparc Toy.
>My former LX ended up serving dns for someone who had something like
>computers at his house.

A DNS server is one of the things I need a box for, but I already have more PCs than you can shake a stick at. And they probably draw less power.

>Not that the LX doesn't have a cute form factor.

Heh. I certainly understand why a lot of people want to retro-fit an ITX PeeCee board into one of those bad boys.

>Learning Solaris is a good thing, too.  I just don't have a CD
>or I'd have the Sparc back in operation with that on it (one current
>emerging problem is that both the hard drives in my Micron box are
>reporting possible problems and I'm still out of work so can't
>afford to
>actually spend money on much of anything, but I'm thinking that
>my own Sparc back up just in case might be a good thing -- only I
>to find some kind of Windows box to talk to it.

Talk to me off-list about this. I'm out of work too, certainly understand the need not to spend money, but I have resources I may be able to use to help out.

>>But I wonder if I'm cluttering my life with too much stuff at once.
>>I jettison the Sun hardware, it may simplify things.
>I think everyone should have one classic Sun machine.

I have three. Four if you count the LX, which Chris still hasn't picked up. (Though he'd have gotten it last night if I'd been able to make it to the meeting.)

Oh, I'll probably keep the stuff, except the LX of course. I'm just feeling frustrated right now. ... If I had the money I'd pick up another monitor or two, that would help a lot. I'd probably start by replacing this one with a 17" LCD Samsung, they give a decent bang-for-the-buck and are Sun compatible. Then I'd move this one downstairs and use it for whatever Sun boxes I needed to.

>As far as better than Intel -- the hard drives in any of these are
>weakest link in my experience.  And those are the same for either
>architecture, most of the time.

Well, it's got a bunch of moving parts, moving parts are subject to wear. The heads literally float above a moving surface in a stream of air. A relatively small shock or the smallest amount of dust could disrupt the dynamics of that system. You have to rotate the platters at incredible speeds; that causes heat, and requires a hub with incredibly good bearings. Eventually even the best bearings wear out.

The amount of heat trapped in my SS20 makes me nervous, but I've been told "it's normal." So I've been ignoring it. At least the big drives are in an external 911 case.

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