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Re: Sparcs

On Tue, 30 Dec 1997, Ian Keith Setford wrote:

> Hi-
> I am looking to buy a used Sparc and I know that there are important
> differences between older models.  What are the models to stay away from
> and which ones are ideal?  How do I tell them apart?
> Appreciate any information or direction!
> Thanks in advance,
> Ian

I've used just about all of the SPARCs at one time or another and know of
none that one should "stay away from".  This includes a 1+, 2, 4, 5, 10,
20, and Ultra 1.  These were all used with some version of Sun's OS, SunOS
4.1, 4.1.1, 4.1.3, 4.1.4, and Solaris 2.4 and 2.5.  I have no experience
with Linux on a SPARC.  From a hardware point of view, all of the Sun's
I've used (starting in 1989) were very reliable and gave very good
service.  All of the SPARCs I've used were bought new.

Having said all of that, I'm wondering why you want to buy a SPARC?  Since
I've been using Debian (about a year and a half), I've come to the
conclusion that the most cost effective machine is a fast PC running
Linux.  My 200 MHz Pentium Pro at home runs rings around my current Sun's
(SPARC 4, 5, 10 - running 4.1.4) at work.  I was, in fact, a little
shocked by this as I've been a "Sun guy" for some time now and perhaps a
little snobbish in my attitudes towards PC platforms [with a "real" OS :)
]. Perhaps there is a software package that you need that is only
available on a name-brand workstation, such as a SPARC.  Assuming you're
using Linux, do commercial SPARC software packages work with Linux?  


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