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View Full Version : Ebay Auction - Tadpole SPARCbook S1 Laptop inc OS Solaris 1.1 circa 1990 . start $5



inotarobot
November 14th, 2015, 12:33 PM
Hi all,

here is a laptop I have never heard off. up for sale starting at $5.

Appears it was specifically setup to run SUN Solaris operating system.

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Tadpole-S...MAAOSw5ZBWQBCy

I have an old Tadpole SPARCbook S1 to sell.

This auction includes:
SPARCbook model S1 laptop
Original SPARCbook carry bag
Logitec 3 button mouse (serial)
Serial-PS2 mouse adapter cable
Solaris 1.0.1 for SPARC book CD
Solaris 1.1 for SPARC book CD
Connectivity includes:

Network transceiver (15 pin D type connector)
Serial
Mouse
VGA
SCSI
Modem (RJ-11)
Please note that this system is not in working order.

Power supply is not included.
Battery is not included. The battery started to leak some years ago and was removed.
No network transceiver is included.
Some minor corrosion visible on the exterior of the metal case.
A couple of keys are damaged, in that the key caps can come off, although I believe all the keys still work.
Memory capacity is unknown.
Disk capacity is unknown.
Pick up from Ashfield NSW (pay by Paypal, or pay cash), or I can post it (pay by Paypal only, standard delivery addresses in Australia).


found this link to users guide.

http://chiclassiccomp.org/docs/conte...UsersGuide.pdf

27818

27819

27820

27821

inotarobot
November 15th, 2015, 12:02 PM
Not sure if others here tried the link in my initial post, but I just did and it now does not work, yet auction still has 7 hrs to run.

I rechecked and hopefully this is a good link below

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Tadpole-SPARCbook-S1-Laptop-/281851859914?hash=item419fae13ca:g:AuMAAOSw5ZBWQBC y

inotarobot
November 15th, 2015, 12:08 PM
from no bids when I posted this yesterday to now 5 bids with 7 hrs to go and it up to $20.50

Wonder just how good a purchase it would be.

Assume it may be running a Motorola 68000 ? rather than an intel processor ?

As I have no knowledge of Solaris OS what would this laptop have been mainly used for originally ?

I dont plan to bid, more just curious.

Eudimorphodon
November 15th, 2015, 12:22 PM
Assume it may be running a Motorola 68000 ? rather than an intel processor ?

Why would it be a Motorola CPU? It's what it says on the tin, a SPARC (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SPARC)-book.

inotarobot
November 15th, 2015, 12:55 PM
Why would it be a Motorola CPU? It's what it says on the tin, a SPARC (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SPARC)-book.

How to feel a total dummy !!! was toooooo early in the morning when I wrote ""Assume it may be running a Motorola 68000 ? rather than an intel processor ?""

Had not had my first cup of Coffee. !

I was missing connecting the dots on the word SPARC as referring to the ""SPARC (from "scalable processor architecture") is a RISC instruction set architecture (ISA) CPU developed by Sun Microsystems and introduced in mid-1987""

krebizfan
November 15th, 2015, 01:04 PM
Tadpole specialized in ruggedized laptops for government use. They also had a similar line using Power chips. I suspect if the buyer can find proper battery and power supply, the SPARC book will work. The screens were very nice for the time.

inotarobot
November 15th, 2015, 02:44 PM
as a question "kerbizfan" or others here, could a machine like this run latest versions of Linux ?

And if so would there be any point in using that verses Solaris ? again just curious.

As you point out its 'ruggerdized', so could be interesting laptop to use in the field.

commodorejohn
November 15th, 2015, 03:05 PM
If the specs I'm reading are correct, it's only a 25MHz processor - I shudder to think what modern Linux would run like on that even if you could squeeze it down to the stated maximum of 32MB RAM. One of the BSDs might run a little better, though you'd still be hard-pressed to run modern X software on it.

krebizfan
November 15th, 2015, 03:47 PM
I think SunOS4 (Solaris 1) came with OpenWindows. Seemed to be a responsive GUI if lacking in software. Overkill for the database server I used in the early 90s. Not a laptop, only saw a SPARC Book for a short demo.

Have to check with older Linux and BSD releases. I remember support of SPARC systems being spotty with some strange bugs.

commodorejohn
November 15th, 2015, 04:31 PM
OpenBSD worked well on my UltraSPARC systems, but I don't know how support is for older Sun stuff.

Eudimorphodon
November 16th, 2015, 08:36 AM
Have to check with older Linux and BSD releases. I remember support of SPARC systems being spotty with some strange bugs.

NetBSD is probably the best (remaining) modern OS choice for 32-bit SPARC systems; it supports more hardware than OpenBSD and, well, it's politics are slightly less bass-ackwards. (I'll grant that second point is debatable.) Linux for 32 bit SPARC is pretty much a dead dog. It worked "okay" on a few systems back in the day but most of the Sparc32 related kernel support ended up badly broken somewhere in the move to 3.x. You could in theory still sort of cobble something together but it's a mess...

But, all that said, neither Linux nor xBSD run on a SPARCbook S1. The first two SPARCbooks were very proprietary; even the PROM isn't directly compatible with that in real SUNs and most of the hardware is vastly different. Running anything other than ancient Solaris on them would be a major porting effort.

ClassicHasClass
November 16th, 2015, 08:51 AM
I have a Sun Ultra-3 (which is a rebadged Tadpole Viper) and it's a much more useful device. Its greatest limitation is that the machine runs blisteringly hot, like, sterility-inducing hot if you use it on your lap.