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My sparc hardware needs a new home


I've been running Debian on a SparcStation 20 for a while now, and have
tried with limited success to contribute to the sparc32 kernel code.
Just the other day I updated my machine to the latest packages that the
'unstable' branch of Debian offers, and things ran fine for a while.
After shutting the machine off, I disconnected the ethernet cable to
plug in another machine, did some stuff on that machine, then
reconnected the SS20 to fiddle around on it for a while. Now, when the
networking part of the the boot sequence is run, the 'eth0' interface
doesn't start. It had been working flawlessly with 'dhclient' connecting
to the router, but now the thing doesn't seem to find the router. I was
able to establish a connection after the boot sequence began once by
typing 'dhclient eth0' at a prompt, but after another shutdown and restart
I find that hasn't worked after many tries.

The point of my tale of woe is that I've come to realize that I don't
have the time to be fiddling around with this machine. The problem above
is not that the ethernet cable is bad, as I can plug it into the other
machine and that system connects to the router without difficulty. It
could be that something in the last set of updates, which included
libc6, has problems, or it might be that there is a hardware problem
with the ethernet plug on the machine itself. I don't know. I do know
that there are other things I need to be spending my time working on,
and trying to keep a 10 year old computer running that I use just for
fun is not one of those things. So, I've come to the point where the
SS20 and my other Sparc hardware needs to find a new home.

Ideally there is someone or a group that could take this machine, fix
whatever the eth0 problem is, and use it to contribute to the sparc32
linux kernel, Debian, Aurora, or possibly the sparc32 NetBSD port. The
machine is a dual processor box with 512 M memory, a cg6 video card, and
it has a big/heavy Sun monitor. In addition to this machine, I also have
another SS20 and an SS10 machine that have never done anything while in
my possession other than take up space. They were given to me and I
always intended to use them at least as boxes to take parts from
or potentially as functional machines, but that hasn't come to pass.
Furthermore I have a box (somewhere) with four 9G SCSI drives that were
used in Sparc machinery. These drives do _not_ fit in the SS20 as they
are too tall, but were in some Sun boxes at one point. I haven't the
slightest clue what they contain, as they were given to me and they did
not fit in the SS20 as I and the person donating the drives hoped.

Here's the deal - I'll give away this machine and all my other Sparc
hardware to someone that can use it. I live around New Orleans and am
often in the Houston area, so if you live in these areas send me an
e-mail and let me know if you're interested in the hardware. I'd like to
get rid of everything at once instead of a piecemeal fashion, so please
do not ask for just the monitor, or memory from the machine, or something
like that. If you want the stuff but delivery would require shipping
you'll have to make arrangements for that and contact me; the stuff is
heavy and bulky so shipping will probably be expensive.

Any takers out there?

Art Haas

P.S: I sent this message out to the sparclinux mailing list but had no
replies yet, so posting it to 'debian-sparc' is in order, and arguably
a list I should have sent the message to initially. A quick review of
the debian-sparc mailing list indicated that there were people in San
Antonio looking for an SS5 - could the machines I have be of use?
Man once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities
the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind.

-Thomas Jefferson to James Smith, 1822

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