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Re: Deb on Sparc Station 5

Hartwig Atrops wrote:
> Hi John.
> On Saturday 06 August 2005 23:26, you wrote:
> > On Saturday 06 Aug 2005 08:55, Hartwig Atrops wrote:
> ...

> > The ss5's don't come with a floppy or CD drive, but I do have a SCSI CD
> > burner attached to one of my amd boxes. How do I get round the openboot
> > password to tell it to boot from the CD?
> External SCSI CD? You can attach it to the SS5. Openboot password? Are you
> shure? I have never seen a machine with an openboot password (I think there
> is an option to have a password - cannot check at the moment). Usually you
> will get the openboot prompt. Type in "boot cdrom" - it will boot from CD
> (drive needs to be jumperd as SCSI ID 6).

Otherwise easy to boot over LAN (needs rarpd and tftpd), although I've not tried
a complete installation like that (needs NFS?).

Writing as another tyro, I've seen at least one SPARCserver with a password. I
believe that Doctrine is to perform some 'orrible hack which involves plugging
the NVRAM device with power applied, but it's /far/ easier to find somebody with
a device programmer and copy a clean one.

> > I have got 15 more of these plus a mass storage server coming. The monitors
> > are 17" and very good quality. Any one know where I can get a gender bender
> > that allows me to use some of them on IBM compatible VGA video cards?
> The old Sun monitors are fixed frequency monitors. Bad luck, I would say.

As I understand it the monitors expect a composite sync on the green signal
rather than it being split out PC-style, although in some cases there are
hardware mods which will make them work. Looked at the other way- i.e. using a
PC monitor on a Sun- I've had mixed results using an adapter: some work
intermittently, others not at all. To my surprise an NEC MultiSync LCD1860NX
works fine on SPARCserver/SPARCstation, other LCDs may also be worth trying.

Another thing to take into account is that if run without a keyboard Suns tend
to use the first serial port as their TTY. You might need to tie RxD with a
resistor to prevent a break on this since otherwise it has the same effect as

Running older machines is great as a learning exercise, but they tend to run
warm. I'm currently going through power consumption as a housekeeping exercise
and find that a SPARCstation 20 takes something like 135W at the login prompt,
compared with 35W on a PC. I can't provide comparable figures for an Ultra,
however in general BogoMIPS per Watt has improved dramatically over the last few
years and probably that also applies to overall system throughput.

Mark Morgan Lloyd
markMLl .AT. telemetry.co .DOT. uk

[Opinions above are the author's, not those of his employers or colleagues]

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