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Old 06-19-2011, 04:23 PM   #1
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SPARC Workstation

So, I think I'm getting an old SPARC workstation soon for next to nothing. It's a Sun Blade 2000. Any idea what I should do with it? I already have a server with 1.5 TB of hard drive space serving media and a few other applications. I can't upgrade the space in this thing higher than 73 GB as far as I understand, although I haven't tested such yet.

Ideas I've had:
1. Set up a thin client network in my apartment (Why? Because I can.)
2. Use it as a secondary server for some of my other applications.
3. Programming SPARC applications. Not that it would be much different from programming x86 applications when it comes to my line of work...
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Old 06-20-2011, 12:01 AM   #2
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dang I'm jelly. Learn SPARC asm or port programs, SPARC programmers arent exactly dime a dozen (or in high demand heheh)


how about you sell it to me instead
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dexter View Post
dang I'm jelly. Learn SPARC asm or port programs, SPARC programmers arent exactly dime a dozen (or in high demand heheh)


how about you sell it to me instead
Assembly has never really been a strong suit of mine, though I do want to play around with it. I may use it for that. Also perhaps as a playground for testing out new projects on different platforms. I generally stay as far away from C and friends as possible, but I'm considering writing something in C. But who knows...
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Old 06-21-2011, 03:06 AM   #4
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turn it into a serious workstation to program java on or something then. its a sparc, its not like you can do anything else with it :P
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Old 06-21-2011, 03:26 AM   #5
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Oh I'll find something to do with it. Slightly more exotic ideas I've had:
1. Turn it into a tablet. This relies on cheap commercially available tablet enclosures (which don't exist). If they did exist, they probably wouldn't fit this hardware anyway.
2. Get a thin client tablet and use Sun Ray. They apparently exist, but are rather ... difficult to find.
3. Program a web app to access a remote desktop protocol and get a Chromebook once they are priced reasonably (assuming they don't die off) and pretend I have a thin client laptop.
4. Download a web app and do the second part of #3.
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Old 06-21-2011, 05:05 AM   #6
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5.) Sell to Dexter at cost ..

no seriously i want one since ages ago, know where I could get one for non eat-shit-on-the-internet prices?
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Old 06-25-2011, 01:55 AM   #7
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Got it off e-bay for $26.00. A guy near where I live was basically giving it away. He put it up for 1 cent. E-bay is the place to go if you want to get a SPARC machine. You can find fairly reasonably priced stuff there if it's old. Still friggin expensive for older machines, but meh.

I've discovered, thanks to the help of some other people, that I can probably expand the hard drives. Solaris 11 should support a SATA controller and I can put some cheap SATA HDDs on there. Use it as a backup machine. Maybe I could make a samba cluster of two servers.

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Old 06-25-2011, 04:34 AM   #8
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hey good call, now that I live in civilization this isnt bad at all
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Old 06-26-2011, 05:56 PM   #9
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Well I picked it up only to have it not be able to detect any of my three keyboards (well, I couldn't even plug one in). It's apparently sending output to the serial port A. But it might just be easier to get a Sun keyboard/mouse that it can pick up. Apparently Sun computers don't do too well without Sun's USB keyboards.
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Old 06-29-2011, 03:04 PM   #10
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Yeah I used to have a whole room of sparc boxes, everyone had to basically have the sparc keyboard attached. Keyboards everwhere...

lol

I donated them all to Goodwill couple years ago. Didn't know people wanted them.

They make good boat anchors...
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Old 06-29-2011, 05:44 PM   #11
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Apparently, they work with a few other non-Sun keyboards. But it's easier to just get a Sun keyboard. I ordered one off eBay and it should come either the end of this week or early next week. It doesn't really matter in either case because I probably won't be able to mess with it until next week anyway.

I considered going with a DB25 Serial to USB cable, but it was USD $34.95. That's what I paid for the keyboard after shipping and handling. A keyboard is more flexible anyway. What I will most likely do is get a KVM switch and hook up both the SPARC machine and my x86 server to it. Do I need to get a special KVM switch, or will the Sun Blade pick it up?
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Old 07-01-2011, 01:13 AM   #12
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I still havent found a blade on ebay for a non fuck-you price good to know i should get a keyboard at the same time though
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Old 07-06-2011, 02:25 PM   #13
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Finally up and running. The keyboard is a bit dirty, but it gets the job done (not like I'll use it in most situations anyway). Now I need a longer ethernet cable to get this thing into a place where it won't be in the way. I had a bit of an issue with it not being able to detect the hard drives, but that's because I had unplugged them.

The hello world code:
Code:
#include <stdio.h>

void main() {
        printf("hi world\n");
}
Hello world SPARC v9 assembly, as produced by the GCC in the solaris IPS repository:
Code:
        .file   "test.c"
        .section        ".rodata"
        .align 8
.LLC0:
        .asciz  "hi world\n"
        .section        ".text"
        .align 4
        .global main
        .type   main, #function
        .proc   020
main:
        !#PROLOGUE# 0
        save    %sp, -112, %sp
        !#PROLOGUE# 1
        sethi   %hi(.LLC0), %g1
        or      %g1, %lo(.LLC0), %o0
        call    printf, 0
         nop
        nop
        ret
        restore
        .size   main, .-main
        .ident  "GCC: (GNU) 3.4.3 (csl-sol210-3_4-20050802)"
Hello world SPARC v9 assembly, as produced by the GCC in the Blastwave repository:
Code:
        .file   "test.c"
        .section        ".rodata"
        .align 8
.LLC0:
        .asciz  "hi world"
        .section        ".text"
        .align 4
        .global main
        .type   main, #function
        .proc   020
main:
        save    %sp, -96, %sp
        sethi   %hi(.LLC0), %g1
        or      %g1, %lo(.LLC0), %o0
        call    puts, 0
         nop
        restore
        jmp     %o7+8
         nop
        .size   main, .-main
        .ident  "GCC: (Blastwave.org Inc. Mon Aug  9 07:10:45 GMT 2010) 4.5.1"
Interesting how one produces code using puts and one produces code using printf.

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Old 07-07-2011, 04:19 AM   #14
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its not terribly uncommon for compilers to replace printf with no formatted varargs that end in a newline with puts as puts should probably be used in that case anyway. but man, that instruction set is kinda goofy
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Old 07-07-2011, 04:21 AM   #15
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ALSO the only thing i can find on ebay under hundreds of dollars are sun blade 100s :/
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Old 07-07-2011, 04:19 PM   #16
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100s or 1000s? I'm pretty sure I got lucky on this one. I looked up other Sun Blade 2000s and they were generally 400+.
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:52 PM   #17
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personally i could think of a few better ideas like buying other stuff. this just doesn't sound that fun to me maybe thats just me.
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:22 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agent Buckshot Moose View Post
100s or 1000s? I'm pretty sure I got lucky on this one. I looked up other Sun Blade 2000s and they were generally 400+.
literally 100s. i give up for now
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dexter View Post
literally 100s. i give up for now
I just typed "sparc" into eBay's search and got a relatively modern-looking rack servers for < $200.00. What exactly is your price range?

Also, just out of curiosity, why do you desire a SPARC machine?
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