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Thread: Sun Sparc Ultra 1

  1. #1
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    Default Sun Sparc Ultra 1

    Someone dropped one of these off to me today along with a honking huge Sun monitor (weighs about as much as a sub-compact), Sun keyboard, Sun mouse, Sun external SCSI hard drive and Sun external SCSI tape drive (no cables or terminator, of course, that would have been too easy)

    It's supposed to be working, but, I haven't had a chance to toss it up on a workbench yet.

    Should I be excited?
    Legacy Computers and Parts

    Sales of, parts for, and repairs to, Vintage and Legacy computers.

  2. #2
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    Depends on what kind of excited. At work, we throw these away. They can't run Solaris 10, they're slow, they can't hold that much RAM. If you need a small utility server, such as DNS or something, they're fine... but modern machines are so fast that DNS on the same server is a bit of an afterthought.

    If you mean "excited from a collecting standpoint", then yes, you can be moderately excited. The Ultra 1 was Sun's first 64-bit machine, circa 1996 or therebouts, so it has some historical significance. They're moderately common though.

  3. #3
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    Ok, I'm moderately excited and have a hernia LMAO
    Legacy Computers and Parts

    Sales of, parts for, and repairs to, Vintage and Legacy computers.

  4. #4

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    If you intend on actually using your Ultra 1, just install OpenBSD on it.
    http://www.openbsd.org/sparc64.html#hardware

    BTW, I've got one of those 20" monitors. They do produce a crisp image.

    "It's a me-too, 8-bit machine with good graphics and a disk system nobody will support."
    -- Bill Gates, about the Sony SMC-70 with the new 3.5" floppy drives (InfoWorld; June 7, 1982)

  5. #5

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    If you want to learn Solaris/Unix it's a nice system (one of the better ones you'll end up with for cheap). It runs Solaris 8 fine, it can run 32-bit or 64-bit version of 9 which is cool (it just needs a bit of RAM), 10 I've never tried but I know it's not supported and possibly has a RAM requirement beyond what the Ultra1 can handle but I wouldn't worry about that.

    Either way, they're nice systems despite the monitor being a bit of a burden. If you get a serial Y cable (it turns the db25 serial on the back into ComA and ComB (it's a proprietary connector despite looking like a standard 25 pin serial)) for the unit you can hook it up to a terminal/console on your main system and get into it like that instead of the monitor/keyboard method. Then of course once you have it networked you just ssh in unless you really need console access.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by barythrin View Post
    If you get a serial Y cable (it turns the db25 serial on the back into ComA and ComB (it's a proprietary connector despite looking like a standard 25 pin serial)) for the unit you can hook it up to a terminal/console on your main system
    The only time you need the Y adapter is if you need to use both serial ports.
    I use a straight serial cable and conserver to be able to access the console of my Ultra 1 remotely from my main server.
    I'm running Solaris 8 on the Ultra 1 and OpenBSD on my server.

    "It's a me-too, 8-bit machine with good graphics and a disk system nobody will support."
    -- Bill Gates, about the Sony SMC-70 with the new 3.5" floppy drives (InfoWorld; June 7, 1982)

  7. #7
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    In 1997, we would've drooled at the computer club if we obtained an Ultra-1. When we finally got some for free in 2002-03, nobody bothered to even power them up.
    Anders Carlsson

  8. #8
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    I've heard legends about those monitors. The only time I hurt my back moving something was a Proliant disk array. Lift with your knees and not your back. If I had only remembered that...

    How come you always get something really cool/nice and are always missing a needed component? Whats up with that?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vlad View Post
    I've heard legends about those monitors. The only time I hurt my back moving something was a Proliant disk array. Lift with your knees and not your back. If I had only remembered that...

    How come you always get something really cool/nice and are always missing a needed component? Whats up with that?
    Yeah, well, I did lift with my knees, it's the going up the 17 stairs that was the bitch LOL

    Actually, the only thing it's missing is the SCSI cables between the unit and the external hard drive and the HD and the tape unit and, of course, a terminator.

    Looks like a SCSI-2 connector (someone can correct me if I'm wrong) and I'll just have to buy some.

    All the SCSI cables I have are either SCSI-1 25 pin to 25 pin for scanners and such or the 25 pin to Centronics type the Mac uses for external SCSI devices.

    Anyone got a couple of 3 footers and a terminator they want to sell?
    Legacy Computers and Parts

    Sales of, parts for, and repairs to, Vintage and Legacy computers.

  10. #10
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    Look on ebay for MC Pricesbusters, or search the web. They always have all kinds of strange SCSI stuff.

    I just tossed out a BUNCH of SCSI cables about 1-2 months ago - SCSI2 to DB50, SCSI2-to-SCSI-2, db25-to-db50...all kinds of junk. Kept a few for the future, though.

    What kinda' terminator you need? SCSI2? Active or passive?


    T

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