Discussion:
howto make multiple main boards work on a Sun Sparc 670/MP
(too old to reply)
Rob
2001-06-14 21:41:47 UTC
Permalink
Hi,

I recently picked up a Sun 670/MP, and a spare cpu board, and it would be
really nifty if I could get them to both work at the same time.
Al Potter
2001-06-14 22:23:55 UTC
Permalink
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Post by Rob
I recently picked up a Sun 670/MP, and a spare cpu board, and it would
be really nifty if I could get them to both work at the same time.
We were actually talking about this in McGuire's front yard on Saturday
afternoon. According to him, if you have the right PROM rev, it's a matter of
the correct setenv parameter, and it just works.

6 of those hummers in a 12 slot chassis, with quads on each was postulated to
have significant geek value, even if the procs were the dreaded SM-100s.


Dave, details?




AL
Kevin Loch
2001-06-14 22:24:26 UTC
Permalink
Not only do they not work together as one system, you cannot
use them in the same chassis without gutting the VME interconnects.

KL
Post by Rob
Hi,
I recently picked up a Sun 670/MP, and a spare cpu board, and it would be
really nifty if I could get them to both work at the same time.
Dave McGuire
2001-06-15 05:24:10 UTC
Permalink
Untrue. While they WILL be completely separate systems, they will
happily coexist in the same unmodified backplane if configured
properly. There are a bunch of them running a block up the street
from where I'm sitting.

-Dave McGuire
Post by Kevin Loch
Not only do they not work together as one system, you cannot
use them in the same chassis without gutting the VME interconnects.
KL
Post by Rob
Hi,
I recently picked up a Sun 670/MP, and a spare cpu board, and it would be
really nifty if I could get them to both work at the same time.
Dave McGuire
2001-06-14 22:31:24 UTC
Permalink
You need to be running relatively new boot ROMs, though I don't
recall which version in particular...if you do a "printenv" at the
"ok" prompt and you see an option called "vme-loopback?" then you ROMs
are new enough. Set that option to "yes"...multiple boards can now
coexist in the same backplane. I've seen this done with up to four or
five 4/600 boards in a 690 chassis.

UMD, eh? I'm up Route 1 from you in Laurel.

-Dave McGuire
Post by Rob
Hi,
I recently picked up a Sun 670/MP, and a spare cpu board, and it would be
really nifty if I could get them to both work at the same time.
Jonathan Katz
2001-06-15 00:02:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave McGuire
"ok" prompt and you see an option called "vme-loopback?" then you ROMs
five 4/600 boards in a 690 chassis.
five 4/600 boards in a 690 chassis... with how many procs per board?

*ponders*

-Jon
Mike Nicewonger
2001-06-15 00:35:07 UTC
Permalink
Of course now this has me thinking in an evil way :) I have 7 or 8 4/600
system boards around here and a 4/670 chassis :)

Of course I can here the electric company shouting with glee at this
prospect!

Mike N
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jonathan Katz" <***@jonworld.com>
To: <***@sunhelp.org>
Sent: Thursday, June 14, 2001 8:02 PM
Subject: Re: [rescue] howto make multiple main boards work on a Sun Sparc
670/MP
Post by Jonathan Katz
Post by Dave McGuire
"ok" prompt and you see an option called "vme-loopback?" then you ROMs
five 4/600 boards in a 690 chassis.
five 4/600 boards in a 690 chassis... with how many procs per board?
*ponders*
-Jon
_______________________________________________
http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue
G W Adkins
2001-06-15 13:58:20 UTC
Permalink
Ya know, I first postulated this idea in the presence of Mike and Dave about
a year ago... two or four procs per board times six boards in a chassis,
running as a beowulf cluster in a deskside chassis.
You just need the boards, procs, and six dual attach FDDI s-bus boards for
the cluster interconnect...

George
Post by Mike Nicewonger
Of course now this has me thinking in an evil way :) I have 7 or 8 4/600
system boards around here and a 4/670 chassis :)
Of course I can here the electric company shouting with glee at this
prospect!
Post by Dave McGuire
"ok" prompt and you see an option called "vme-loopback?" then you ROMs
five 4/600 boards in a 690 chassis.
Kevin Loch
2001-06-15 15:48:39 UTC
Permalink
Don't SunSwift cards work in 4/6xx?
Post by G W Adkins
Ya know, I first postulated this idea in the presence of Mike and Dave about
a year ago... two or four procs per board times six boards in a chassis,
running as a beowulf cluster in a deskside chassis.
You just need the boards, procs, and six dual attach FDDI s-bus boards for
the cluster interconnect...
George
Post by Mike Nicewonger
Of course now this has me thinking in an evil way :) I have 7 or 8 4/600
system boards around here and a 4/670 chassis :)
Of course I can here the electric company shouting with glee at this
prospect!
Post by Dave McGuire
"ok" prompt and you see an option called "vme-loopback?" then you ROMs
five 4/600 boards in a 690 chassis.
_______________________________________________
http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue
Michael S. Schiller
2001-06-15 03:46:58 UTC
Permalink
Would that be the 'skip-vme-loopback?' setting? Or is this another setting?

-Mike
Post by Dave McGuire
You need to be running relatively new boot ROMs, though I don't
recall which version in particular...if you do a "printenv" at the
"ok" prompt and you see an option called "vme-loopback?" then you ROMs
are new enough. Set that option to "yes"...multiple boards can now
coexist in the same backplane. I've seen this done with up to four or
five 4/600 boards in a 690 chassis.
UMD, eh? I'm up Route 1 from you in Laurel.
-Dave McGuire
Post by Rob
Hi,
I recently picked up a Sun 670/MP, and a spare cpu board, and it would be
really nifty if I could get them to both work at the same time.
Kevin Loch
2001-06-15 15:41:46 UTC
Permalink
Just to clarify, this allows them to coexist in the same VME backplane
as separate machines, right?

KL


"
Post by Michael S. Schiller
Would that be the 'skip-vme-loopback?' setting? Or is this another setting?
-Mike
Post by Dave McGuire
You need to be running relatively new boot ROMs, though I don't
recall which version in particular...if you do a "printenv" at the
"ok" prompt and you see an option called "vme-loopback?" then you ROMs
are new enough. Set that option to "yes"...multiple boards can now
coexist in the same backplane. I've seen this done with up to four or
five 4/600 boards in a 690 chassis.
UMD, eh? I'm up Route 1 from you in Laurel.
-Dave McGuire
Post by Rob
Hi,
I recently picked up a Sun 670/MP, and a spare cpu board, and it would be
really nifty if I could get them to both work at the same time.
Dave McGuire
2001-06-15 15:51:03 UTC
Permalink
Correct. They only get power from the backplane in this
configuration.

-Dave McGuire
Post by Kevin Loch
Just to clarify, this allows them to coexist in the same VME backplane
as separate machines, right?
KL
"
Post by Michael S. Schiller
Would that be the 'skip-vme-loopback?' setting? Or is this another setting?
-Mike
Post by Dave McGuire
You need to be running relatively new boot ROMs, though I don't
recall which version in particular...if you do a "printenv" at the
"ok" prompt and you see an option called "vme-loopback?" then you ROMs
are new enough. Set that option to "yes"...multiple boards can now
coexist in the same backplane. I've seen this done with up to four or
five 4/600 boards in a 690 chassis.
UMD, eh? I'm up Route 1 from you in Laurel.
-Dave McGuire
Post by Rob
Hi,
I recently picked up a Sun 670/MP, and a spare cpu board, and it would be
really nifty if I could get them to both work at the same time.
Kevin Loch
2001-06-15 15:37:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave McGuire
You need to be running relatively new boot ROMs, though I don't
recall which version in particular...if you do a "printenv" at the
"ok" prompt and you see an option called "vme-loopback?" then you ROMs
are new enough. Set that option to "yes"...multiple boards can now
coexist in the same backplane. I've seen this done with up to four or
five 4/600 boards in a 690 chassis.
UMD, eh? I'm up Route 1 from you in Laurel.
-Dave McGuire
Ooh, I did not know that. BTW, my 670 chassis came from UMD according
to the inventory tags.
Martin Wedel
2001-06-15 00:11:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave McGuire
You need to be running relatively new boot ROMs, though I don't
recall which version in particular...if you do a "printenv" at the
"ok" prompt and you see an option called "vme-loopback?" then you ROMs
are new enough. Set that option to "yes"...multiple boards can now
coexist in the same backplane. I've seen this done with up to four or
five 4/600 boards in a 690 chassis.
Speaking of which, does anyone with a 6X0 and proms later then 2.14 here
have the ability to make copies of the PROMS? Is this even feasible?
What would it involve?

I'd *love* to be able to get some hypersparcs running in my system, but
without the proms... :(

/Martin Wedel
***@minor-element.net
www.minor-element.net
Joshua D. Boyd
2001-06-15 12:50:40 UTC
Permalink
What about, say Sun3 and Sun4 in the same case, both with their own
expansion boards (say, main board and 2 memory boards for Sun4, and
Mainboard, memoryboard, and SCSI board for Sun3, with a CG2 that could be
used by either).

--
Joshua Boyd
Post by Dave McGuire
Untrue. While they WILL be completely separate systems, they will
happily coexist in the same unmodified backplane if configured
properly. There are a bunch of them running a block up the street
from where I'm sitting.
-Dave McGuire
Post by Kevin Loch
Not only do they not work together as one system, you cannot
use them in the same chassis without gutting the VME interconnects.
KL
Post by Rob
Hi,
I recently picked up a Sun 670/MP, and a spare cpu board, and it would be
really nifty if I could get them to both work at the same time.
Bill Bradford
2001-06-15 13:46:19 UTC
Permalink
Of course you cant do multiple CPU boards *with expansion cards*.

The 4/6x0 boards are complete self-contained systems-on-a-card.

Bill
Post by Joshua D. Boyd
What about, say Sun3 and Sun4 in the same case, both with their own
expansion boards (say, main board and 2 memory boards for Sun4, and
Mainboard, memoryboard, and SCSI board for Sun3, with a CG2 that could be
used by either).
--
Joshua Boyd
Post by Dave McGuire
Untrue. While they WILL be completely separate systems, they will
happily coexist in the same unmodified backplane if configured
properly. There are a bunch of them running a block up the street
from where I'm sitting.
-Dave McGuire
Post by Kevin Loch
Not only do they not work together as one system, you cannot
use them in the same chassis without gutting the VME interconnects.
KL
Post by Rob
Hi,
I recently picked up a Sun 670/MP, and a spare cpu board, and it would be
really nifty if I could get them to both work at the same time.
Rob
2001-06-15 15:16:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave McGuire
You need to be running relatively new boot ROMs, though I don't
recall which version in particular...if you do a "printenv" at the
"ok" prompt and you see an option called "vme-loopback?" then you ROMs
are new enough. Set that option to "yes"...multiple boards can now
coexist in the same backplane. I've seen this done with up to four or
five 4/600 boards in a 690 chassis.
*Kick*Ass*! Thanks!

I got it working so far with 2 boards and a 670 chasis. For the record,
'skip-vme-loopback?' was the name of the option, but I was all ready to go to
town on the chassis circuitry with a soldering iron and a chisel.. this was
*so* much easier than I thought it would be :) I had version 2.15 roms on
both boards, if anyone cares.

So, the next big question is : where can I get more boards? And potentially,
more ram? ebay seems like a reasonable start, but presumably the members of
this list know where to get stuff cheap :)

Also, ideas for an os? Last I heard, linux didn't work on these things, but
I've never gotten a clear answer why? I fancy myself kinda a kernel hacker,
so I would love to get this thing penguin powered. I guess my other choices
are netbsd/openbsd and sunos/solaris. For people out there who are running
these things, what are you using? (Not trying to start/restart an OS flame
war :)

Thanks again!

- Rob
.
Dave McGuire
2001-06-15 15:44:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rob
Post by Dave McGuire
You need to be running relatively new boot ROMs, though I don't
recall which version in particular...if you do a "printenv" at the
"ok" prompt and you see an option called "vme-loopback?" then you ROMs
are new enough. Set that option to "yes"...multiple boards can now
coexist in the same backplane. I've seen this done with up to four or
five 4/600 boards in a 690 chassis.
*Kick*Ass*! Thanks!
I got it working so far with 2 boards and a 670 chasis. For the record,
'skip-vme-loopback?' was the name of the option, but I was all ready
Oh, ok...brain parity failure...sorry 'bout that.
Post by Rob
So, the next big question is : where can I get more boards? And potentially,
more ram? ebay seems like a reasonable start, but presumably the members of
this list know where to get stuff cheap :)
They're around...Mike Nicewonger has a few, I have a few...we're
both local to you...
Post by Rob
Also, ideas for an os? Last I heard, linux didn't work on these things, but
I've never gotten a clear answer why? I fancy myself kinda a kernel hacker,
so I would love to get this thing penguin powered. I guess my other choices
are netbsd/openbsd and sunos/solaris. For people out there who are running
these things, what are you using? (Not trying to start/restart an OS flame
war :)
Eh? No way. Unless they've *broken* support for the 4/600, Linux
sure does run on them. My main desktop machine about three years ago
was a 4/600 with two SM61s and two CG6s in a 4/110 chassis running
a very early SparcLinux/SMP. It was VERY zippy and quite stable,
surprisingly enough.

But...for serious performance and much greater stability, I'd put
NetBSD on them.

-Dave McGuire
James Fogg
2001-06-15 15:43:21 UTC
Permalink
I knew there was a reason I never bothered with college. I like
money too much.
-Dave McGuire
Dave is my hero.
No degree here either. I've said it before, but smartest people I've met in
this industry had no degree or an unrelated degree. I am _so tired_ of
employers relying on a little piece of sheepskin (come to think of it, some men
*do* rely on a little peice of sheepskin.... nevermind).
--
=======================================================
James D. Fogg, Network Engineer
Vicinity Corporation - Lebanon, NH

DESK (603) 442-1751 - CELL (603) 252-1864
PAGER (802) 742-0280 - HOME (603) 526-7729
EMAIL ***@vicinity.com

If you can read this e-mail, Thank a Network Engineer!
=======================================================
James Fogg
2001-06-15 16:24:56 UTC
Permalink
I made it to within 20 credits. I hated my teachers and stupid classes. More
credits for non-core studies than I thought appropriate. Many profs were
clueless on their primary subjects and the cluefull ones were like little
Hitlers who were deeply insulted that they weren't out making bigbucks in the
industry.

I actually started as an EE major, went CS and ended up DP (doctor of
partyology). I Blutowski'd (for you young wippersnappers, Blutowski was the
name of John Belushi's character in Animal House - he got a 0.0 GPA, known in
my circles as Blutowski-ing).

My mistake was finding way awesome summer intern work (Bose, Prime,
Proteon, Digital, Raytheon..... easy in the Boston area). With a little money
in my pocket I got spoiled and did stupid things, like spend it on things that
needed gasoline (and more money). With the mounting bills and _extreme_ bordom
at school (many topics I already knew) I left.
Post by James Fogg
Dave is my hero.
No degree here either. I've said it before, but smartest people I've met in
this industry had no degree or an unrelated degree. I am _so tired_ of
employers relying on a little piece of sheepskin (come to think of it, some men
*do* rely on a little peice of sheepskin.... nevermind).
Here either. I burned out of college with 1 year to go (I stupidly didnt
take summers off), ended up doing what I wanted to do anyway, making
more money than I would have if I'd stayed at it and ended up working
in my bohunk redneck hometown.
(I remember thinking "wow, <friend> made $20K straight out of college!")
I make almost 4x that now.
Bill
Bill Bradford
2001-06-15 16:41:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Fogg
Dave is my hero.
No degree here either. I've said it before, but smartest people I've met in
this industry had no degree or an unrelated degree. I am _so tired_ of
employers relying on a little piece of sheepskin (come to think of it, some men
*do* rely on a little peice of sheepskin.... nevermind).
Here either. I burned out of college with 1 year to go (I stupidly didnt
take summers off), ended up doing what I wanted to do anyway, making
more money than I would have if I'd stayed at it and ended up working
in my bohunk redneck hometown.

(I remember thinking "wow, <friend> made $20K straight out of college!")

I make almost 4x that now.

Bill
--
Bill Bradford
***@mrbill.net
Austin, TX
Mike Nicewonger
2001-06-15 17:09:12 UTC
Permalink
college
That there's a flower thingy right? :)

Mike N
G W Adkins
2001-06-15 18:10:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Nicewonger
college
That there's a flower thingy right? :)
nawww, that's that po-po-ree stuff. that there college is that stuff women
have injected inta their lips, ya know, the college-n-jection?
G W Adkins
2001-06-15 18:01:52 UTC
Permalink
more money than I would have if I'd stayed at it and ended up working
in my bohunk redneck hometown.
Ha! someone else who's heard the term bohunk!

George
Dave McGuire
2001-06-15 17:04:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Fogg
No degree here either. I've said it before, but smartest people I've met in
this industry had no degree or an unrelated degree. I am _so tired_ of
employers relying on a little piece of sheepskin (come to think of it, some men
*do* rely on a little peice of sheepskin.... nevermind).
A degree doesn't prove that you KNOW anything...it just proves that
you're able to kiss a great deal of professorial ass and follow
rules. A lot of managers in big companies still insist on degrees
because they want just that...someone to kiss their ass and follow the
rules. Not be innovative, not to invent things, and not to solve
problems.

This industry changes far too quickly to expect to learn about it ONCE
and then rely on that knowledge for the rest of a career. Anyone who
can't learn on-the-fly, often learning by doing, simply will not
survive here...unless you count following the "click this, click that"
instructions in a Microsoft administrators' guide as a
computer-related career, which I certainly don't.

End rant.

-Dave McGuire
Al Potter
2001-06-15 15:49:37 UTC
Permalink
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Post by Rob
So, the next big question is : where can I get more boards? And
potentially, more ram?
Talk to Mike Nicewonger... I know for fact that he has several of the type
Post by Rob
Also, ideas for an os? Last I heard, linux didn't work on these things...
You heard wrong. Linux may not be _supported_, that does not mean it doesn't
run. I had it running on a 600 board with dual SM-100s (quad 40Mhz) for a
while. Support for the VME bus was supposedly, but in the configuration we're
discussing, who cares?



AL
Rob
2001-06-15 15:52:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kevin Loch
Ooh, I did not know that. BTW, my 670 chassis came from UMD according
to the inventory tags.
Heheh... it was probably one of ours :) I don't think too many departments
had 'em. Does it have a 'Computer Science Department' tag on it?

FYI, if you are in the DC metro area, Terapin Trader is a great place to get
old crappy^H^H^H^H neat hardware. I picked up the 670/MP with 4 cpu's and
128MB for $50! I can post directions if people are interested.


- Rob
.
Kevin Loch
2001-06-15 15:56:57 UTC
Permalink
Yep. It has a UMD tag and a Comp. Sci sticker. I bought it at
the recent Timonium Hamfest.

KL
Post by Rob
Post by Kevin Loch
Ooh, I did not know that. BTW, my 670 chassis came from UMD according
to the inventory tags.
Heheh... it was probably one of ours :) I don't think too many departments
had 'em. Does it have a 'Computer Science Department' tag on it?
FYI, if you are in the DC metro area, Terapin Trader is a great place to get
old crappy^H^H^H^H neat hardware. I picked up the 670/MP with 4 cpu's and
128MB for $50! I can post directions if people are interested.
- Rob
.
_______________________________________________
http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue
G W Adkins
2001-06-15 16:02:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rob
FYI, if you are in the DC metro area, Terapin Trader is a great place to get
old crappy^H^H^H^H neat hardware. I picked up the 670/MP with 4 cpu's and
128MB for $50! I can post directions if people are interested.
mmm, please!

George
James Sharp
2001-06-15 16:09:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Al Potter
You heard wrong. Linux may not be _supported_, that does not mean it doesn't
run. I had it running on a 600 board with dual SM-100s (quad 40Mhz) for a
while. Support for the VME bus was supposedly, but in the configuration we're
discussing, who cares?
Don't forget, Linux's idea of a "supported machine" is one that gets
almost to multiuser about 50% of the time.
Bill Bradford
2001-06-15 16:36:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Sharp
Don't forget, Linux's idea of a "supported machine" is one that gets
almost to multiuser about 50% of the time.
"supported machine" = "it can init the framebuffer enough to
display the penguin logo at boot.

Bill
--
Bill Bradford
***@mrbill.net
Austin, TX
Dave McGuire
2001-06-15 16:45:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Sharp
Don't forget, Linux's idea of a "supported machine" is one that gets
almost to multiuser about 50% of the time.
What a crock. I have Linux boxen that are more stable than any other OS
with the exception of NetBSD. The biggest problem with Linux is that
*most* people run it on an intel platform which sucks to begin with. You
put it on something stable liek a Sparc, and it's great.
Now in the past Linux had some problems, but for sure it has come a LONG
way and it's growing faster than *any* other unix like os anywhere. All
this ranting about Linux being bad is like complaining about tires when
the last one you used was in the stone age and carved out of a rock. Grab
a recent version/distro and try it - you might be pleasently
suprised.
*sigh*.

LINC!! Relax. Both James and I run Linux on at least one or two of
our machines. We like it. Pipe down and put the LinuxTribesman
spears away. What James was referring to was writing half of the
support for a new architecture (VAX, for example) and then calling it
"done".

This type of knee-jerk business is what gives the linux crowd a bad
name. The only entity that's out to kill or hurt Linux is Microsoft.
Direct your anger at them.

By the way...I've got dozens of AUI fanout boxes here. Feel free to
come down and get them. I can also hook you up with some of the MMJ
cables you've been needing for a while. And maybe some more
DECstations. And maybe another VAX. And maybe...

-Dave McGuire
Rob
2001-06-15 16:14:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave McGuire
Eh? No way. Unless they've *broken* support for the 4/600, Linux
sure does run on them. My main desktop machine about three years ago
was a 4/600 with two SM61s and two CG6s in a 4/110 chassis running
a very early SparcLinux/SMP. It was VERY zippy and quite stable,
surprisingly enough.
No, it's more my information was 2 years out of date. Not only do they
support it, my coworker has a redhat 6.2 sparc cd already burnt, and I'm
installing as we speak :)
Post by Dave McGuire
But...for serious performance and much greater stability, I'd put
NetBSD on them.
I'll have to check that out too... hell, if I get a bunch of machines, I can
test out lots of os's ! :)

Also, in theory, these things will take anything on an MBus card, right?
Right now, I have the Cypress CY7C605b's, but I should be able to upgrade to
something zippier, right? Any recommendations for someone trying to do this
on a small to nonexistent budget?

- Rob
.
Dave McGuire
2001-06-15 16:30:20 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rob
Also, in theory, these things will take anything on an MBus card, right?
Right now, I have the Cypress CY7C605b's, but I should be able to upgrade to
SM100. Garbage.

I know from experience that you can run SM61s in them with no
problems...I haven't tried anything higher than that.
Post by Rob
something zippier, right? Any recommendations for someone trying to do this
on a small to nonexistent budget?
I knew there was a reason I never bothered with college. I like
money too much.

-Dave McGuire
Joshua D. Boyd
2001-06-15 16:15:26 UTC
Permalink
I thought the definition was machine that has a distribution that claims
to support in. On some machines (like the VME machine in question), that
probably has the same effect, but some distributions are more responsible
than others.

--
Joshua Boyd
Post by James Sharp
Post by Al Potter
You heard wrong. Linux may not be _supported_, that does not mean it doesn't
run. I had it running on a 600 board with dual SM-100s (quad 40Mhz) for a
while. Support for the VME bus was supposedly, but in the configuration we're
discussing, who cares?
Don't forget, Linux's idea of a "supported machine" is one that gets
almost to multiuser about 50% of the time.
_______________________________________________
http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue
Dave McGuire
2001-06-15 16:34:05 UTC
Permalink
I think what James was referring to is the Linux world's penchant for
doing half of a port to a new architecture and then announcing it as
"ported to a new architecture". They started screaming "we run on
DECstations! we run on VAX! penguin penguin penguin! blaaaahhh!!"
as soon as they had basic CPU support and bootstrap code written. The
machine would come up, identify the CPU, probe memory, and promptly
crash.

This was their idea of "supported".

-Dave McGuire
Post by Joshua D. Boyd
I thought the definition was machine that has a distribution that claims
to support in. On some machines (like the VME machine in question), that
probably has the same effect, but some distributions are more responsible
than others.
--
Joshua Boyd
Post by James Sharp
Post by Al Potter
You heard wrong. Linux may not be _supported_, that does not mean it doesn't
run. I had it running on a 600 board with dual SM-100s (quad 40Mhz) for a
while. Support for the VME bus was supposedly, but in the configuration we're
discussing, who cares?
Don't forget, Linux's idea of a "supported machine" is one that gets
almost to multiuser about 50% of the time.
_______________________________________________
http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue
_______________________________________________
http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue
Bill Bradford
2001-06-15 16:39:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave McGuire
I think what James was referring to is the Linux world's penchant for
doing half of a port to a new architecture and then announcing it as
"ported to a new architecture". They started screaming "we run on
DECstations! we run on VAX! penguin penguin penguin! blaaaahhh!!"
Dammit, I got this new FD Trinitron 21" sun monitor here at work
last week, and now i've got diet coke all over it. damn you. 8-)

Bill
--
Bill Bradford
***@mrbill.net
Austin, TX
Dave McGuire
2001-06-15 17:06:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Bradford
Post by Dave McGuire
I think what James was referring to is the Linux world's penchant for
doing half of a port to a new architecture and then announcing it as
"ported to a new architecture". They started screaming "we run on
DECstations! we run on VAX! penguin penguin penguin! blaaaahhh!!"
Dammit, I got this new FD Trinitron 21" sun monitor here at work
last week, and now i've got diet coke all over it. damn you. 8-)
I think I'll ship you a ceremonial bottle of Windex with a picture
of a penguin on it. ;)

-Dave McGuire
Dave McGuire
2001-06-15 17:15:50 UTC
Permalink
If you look at any of the websites for DecLinux or Linux-Vax, the first
thing they say is that if you want a good working OS for your machine to
follow the link to NetBSD. Pretty honest, and checking the net as I type
I can't find any reference to any Linux claim to have VAX or DS ported
with the one exception of www.kernal.org, and I had to search for that.
No disrespect to you Dave, but I am getting slightly irritated in the
blanket linux bashing from people whom evidently have never tried it or
haven't tried anything recent for a very long time. Most of us have the
balls to say " Solaris sucks but then again I haven't tried 8 yet, only
7" but this is not so with Linux.. They just spew misinformation and then
giggle their ignorant asses off.
Why am I so bothered about this? I use Linux, I admin Linux
professionally, and I also run a sizeable LUG. I also happen to run quite
current versions of most other Unix and Unix-like operating systems
(especially the free ones) so I am qualified to have an informed opinion
on the subject.
I'm sure you are. But don't make the mistake of assuming that
everyone who says something bad about Linux has never seen, tried or
run it. I for one have run it extensively on four processor
architectures...Intel, Alpha, MIPS, and SPARC...even fairly
recently...and stand by my statements.

This does NOT constitute "blanket Linux bashing" by any stretch of
the imagination. Keep in mind that all of the people who you accuse
of said bashing run Linux run it on some of their personal machines by
choice.

Relax, man.

-Dave McGuire
Dan Debertin
2001-06-15 16:17:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rob
Also, in theory, these things will take anything on an MBus card, right?
Right now, I have the Cypress CY7C605b's, but I should be able to upgrade to
something zippier, right? Any recommendations for someone trying to do this
on a small to nonexistent budget?
Check out your PROM revision, and compare it with the possibilities for
your system at mbus.sunhelp.org. If you have SM100's in it now, chances
are you're running 2.5 or 2.8, which severely limits your options as far
as CPU's.

Incidentally, I am STILL looking for a PROM upgrade for my 670. If any of
you have mainboards you're not using that have PROMs later than 2.10, I'd
like to hear about it.

Dan
--
Dan Debertin
***@nodewarrior.org
www.nodewarrior.org
Robert Novak
2001-06-15 16:18:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rob
Also, ideas for an os? Last I heard, linux didn't work on these
things, but > I've never gotten a clear answer why? > I guess my
other choices > are netbsd/openbsd and sunos/solaris.
Eh? No way. Unless they've *broken* support for the 4/600, Linux
sure does run on them.
I ran Redhat (4.2 maybe?) years ago and it wasn't stable on my dual-SM100
4/600 with a multiprocessor kernel, but it ran fine in uniprocessor mode.
However, I have run more recent distributions successfully on SMP SPARCs.
I'd guess current SuSE or Debian would be sweet. Maybe I should power up
one of my 600 boards with the SM61s I was trying (and failing) to sell,
put in the 4MB simms (trying and failing too), and see how it does with
Debian 2.2r3.
But...for serious performance and much greater stability, I'd put
NetBSD on them.
One problem, and this might be outdated (please correct me if this is
inaccurate).
Bill Bradford
2001-06-15 16:38:46 UTC
Permalink
Linux run's great on good hardware, and Sparc's are ideal.. Anyone who
says different hasn't tried it since RH4.2 or before :-) I, myself, am
dying to try the new Slackware port when it matures a little more. Bet
that will be fantastic.
Personally, linux/sparc has never felt "stable" to me. Always shaky
and a little bit funky.

Bill
--
Bill Bradford
***@mrbill.net
Austin, TX
Bill Bradford
2001-06-15 17:04:27 UTC
Permalink
Ahh, but when's the last time and version you actually "felt" Linux on
your machine? I have RH6.2 on a Sparc 20 and you just can't kill
it. That and it'll run anything.
Try RH6.2 on an Ultra 1/200E/Creator3D.

Are you using it as a graphical desktop, or as a headless server?

Bill
--
Bill Bradford
***@mrbill.net
Austin, TX
Mike Nicewonger
2001-06-15 17:19:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Bradford
Try RH6.2 on an Ultra 1/200E/Creator3D.
Are you using it as a graphical desktop, or as a headless server?
Bill
I have used SuSE 7.0 on my AXi (Ultra Sparc IIi 333MHz) box and was very
pleased with the performance and stability. The big problems I ran into with
it were pretty much the core complaint I have with Linux. There are a lot of
code hackers out there writing apps for Linux. They proudly proclaim "It
runs on Linux!!" so my reply is "cool! I'll download and try!" when I do
this I find to my horror, yes it runs on Linux, if you have x86 hardware. I
have been forced to abandon Linux on my Sparc hardware since I cannot get
the software I want in either RPM or source that will build/work on the
Sparc.

Understand I am not bashing the Penguin. However until more work goes to
make the software more portable I will be forced to run the Penguin on x86
stuff only.

Mike N
Dave McGuire
2001-06-15 17:18:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Bradford
Linux run's great on good hardware, and Sparc's are ideal.. Anyone who
says different hasn't tried it since RH4.2 or before :-) I, myself, am
dying to try the new Slackware port when it matures a little more. Bet
that will be fantastic.
Personally, linux/sparc has never felt "stable" to me. Always shaky
and a little bit funky.
Ahh, but when's the last time and version you actually "felt" Linux on
your machine? I have RH6.2 on a Sparc 20 and you just can't kill
it. That and it'll run anything.
I will say that I'm very impressed with the performance of Linux on
SPARC hardware. I wish they'd put the same amount of effort into
optimizing their Alpha support...it's just plain SLOW. If they
address this, a DS10 or DS20 running Linux might very well be desktop
nirvana.

NO BASHING HERE, DAMMIT.

-Dave McGuire
Dave McGuire
2001-06-15 16:39:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Novak
Post by Dave McGuire
But...for serious performance and much greater stability, I'd put
NetBSD on them.
One problem, and this might be outdated (please correct me if this is
inaccurate).
Bill Bradford
2001-06-15 16:44:39 UTC
Permalink
FreeBSD is a VERY Intel-specific operating system (and a damn fine one
at that!), despite half-ports and propaganda to the contrary.
It is?

http://www.freebsd.org/platforms/alpha.html

AFAIK freebsd/alpha is release/production quality.

Bill
--
Bill Bradford
***@mrbill.net
Austin, TX
Dave McGuire
2001-06-15 17:11:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Bradford
FreeBSD is a VERY Intel-specific operating system (and a damn fine one
at that!), despite half-ports and propaganda to the contrary.
It is?
http://www.freebsd.org/platforms/alpha.html
AFAIK freebsd/alpha is release/production quality.
I've run it in production at skycache. One of the other dev guys is a
total FreeBSD freak...I wrote the code specifically for NetBSD, and he
argued that they were close enough that no "porting" (per se) would be
needed...he was right of course. I, however, was not impressed with
the performance or the stability. Not surprising actually, since it's
undergone years of very hard work optimizing every inch of it for
Intel boxes.

I guess "production quality" is in the eye of the beholder.

-Dave McGuire
Robert Novak
2001-06-15 16:39:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Sharp
Don't forget, Linux's idea of a "supported machine" is one that gets
almost to multiuser about 50% of the time.
I'd guess that if the kernel works, it's supported. I'd also guess most
people here are tired of the trolling even if linc bit bigtime on it.

I've had intel (Celeron 300 OC'ed to 375 with 128-384MB of PC66 RAM) and
sparc (SPARCclassic with 72MB of RAM) run quite nicely on Redhat 5.x for
the record. I reboot my FreeBSD machines every month just to get the new
world and kernel. I like my coffee brewed from freshly-ground beans and
cut 50/50 with cold 2% milk. And I believe in the laws of physics.

Can we get over the OS-bashing, or at least take it to
dead-***@pop3free.com where it belongs?

Also, please consider adjusting subject headers when appropriate. The
Crays fell out of the J90 thread long ago, for example. Thanks. Buh bye.

--Rob
--
Robert Novak, Indyramp Consulting * ***@indyramp.com * indyramp.com/~rnovak
"And it's been a long December and there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last...." -- counting crows
Bill Bradford
2001-06-15 16:42:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Novak
I've had intel (Celeron 300 OC'ed to 375 with 128-384MB of PC66 RAM) and
sparc (SPARCclassic with 72MB of RAM) run quite nicely on Redhat 5.x for
the record.
I had a Pentium 120 at a previous job running RH 4.2, with an updated
kernel, that was also the company web server, MRTG/nocol server, AND my
desktop box - running X / netscape / ssh with 64meg of RAM. It gave me
a new look at "enough machine for the job".

"no, you cant upgrade it, we have legacy code that only compiles on
that box.."

Bill
--
Bill Bradford
***@mrbill.net
Austin, TX
Dave McGuire
2001-06-15 17:07:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Bradford
I had a Pentium 120 at a previous job running RH 4.2, with an updated
kernel, that was also the company web server, MRTG/nocol server, AND my
desktop box - running X / netscape / ssh with 64meg of RAM. It gave me
a new look at "enough machine for the job".
"no, you cant upgrade it, we have legacy code that only compiles on
that box.."
It is truly amazing how much performance Linux can wring out of an
older PeeCee.

-Dave McGuire
amy
2001-06-15 16:51:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Novak
I've had intel (Celeron 300 OC'ed to 375 with 128-384MB of PC66 RAM) and
sparc (SPARCclassic with 72MB of RAM) run quite nicely on Redhat 5.x for
the record. I reboot my FreeBSD machines every month just to get the new
world and kernel. I like my coffee brewed from freshly-ground beans and
cut 50/50 with cold 2% milk. And I believe in the laws of physics.
Can we get over the OS-bashing, or at least take it to
Also, please consider adjusting subject headers when appropriate. The
Crays fell out of the J90 thread long ago, for example. Thanks. Buh bye.
i am reminded of 'when harry met sally', when harry explains that
sally is "high-maintenance"....
James Sharp
2001-06-15 16:57:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Bradford
http://www.freebsd.org/platforms/alpha.html
AFAIK freebsd/alpha is release/production quality.
Yeah, it is. I'm running it on a handful of Alphaserver DS-10s (Mmmmmm
466Mhz 21264s with 2GB of RAM. *drooooool*). I've yet to run into
anything that would trip up the mahine or make it do funny things.

I haven't done any benchmarking tests of FreeBSD/alpha versus
NetBSD/alpha, though. Maybe I'll do that when I get bored or have a
really bad case of apathy toward Cidera & don't feel like doing anything
productive.
Bill Bradford
2001-06-15 17:05:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Sharp
Post by Bill Bradford
http://www.freebsd.org/platforms/alpha.html
AFAIK freebsd/alpha is release/production quality.
Yeah, it is. I'm running it on a handful of Alphaserver DS-10s (Mmmmmm
466Mhz 21264s with 2GB of RAM. *drooooool*). I've yet to run into
anything that would trip up the mahine or make it do funny things.
I haven't done any benchmarking tests of FreeBSD/alpha versus
NetBSD/alpha, though. Maybe I'll do that when I get bored or have a
really bad case of apathy toward Cidera & don't feel like doing anything
productive.
I woudl kill for an alpha box newer than this 3000-600.

Bill
--
Bill Bradford
***@mrbill.net
Austin, TX
Mike Nicewonger
2001-06-15 17:13:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Sharp
Yeah, it is. I'm running it on a handful of Alphaserver DS-10s (Mmmmmm
466Mhz 21264s with 2GB of RAM. *drooooool*). I've yet to run into
anything that would trip up the mahine or make it do funny things.
I haven't done any benchmarking tests of FreeBSD/alpha versus
NetBSD/alpha, though. Maybe I'll do that when I get bored or have a
really bad case of apathy toward Cidera & don't feel like doing anything
productive.
James per our discussion over dinner yesterday, are you running FreeBSD or
NetBSD on the DS-10? I have the quad AS2100 4/275 on my porch that is
begging for an OS.

Mike N
Dave McGuire
2001-06-15 17:19:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Sharp
Post by Bill Bradford
http://www.freebsd.org/platforms/alpha.html
AFAIK freebsd/alpha is release/production quality.
Yeah, it is. I'm running it on a handful of Alphaserver DS-10s (Mmmmmm
466Mhz 21264s with 2GB of RAM. *drooooool*). I've yet to run into
anything that would trip up the mahine or make it do funny things.
I haven't done any benchmarking tests of FreeBSD/alpha versus
NetBSD/alpha, though. Maybe I'll do that when I get bored or have a
really bad case of apathy toward Cidera & don't feel like doing anything
productive.
They've fixed it since I left? In January those machines would run
in short spurts between exploding for no apparent reason.

-Dave McGuire
Hatle, Steven J.
2001-06-15 17:04:00 UTC
Permalink
I agree with Rob- or at least take the Linux debate over to geeks, where I
can filter/ignore it easier <grin>

Steve

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Novak [mailto:***@indyramp.com]

Can we get over the OS-bashing, or at least take it to
dead-***@pop3free.com where it belongs?

--Rob
Kurt Mosiejczuk
2001-06-15 17:08:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Sharp
Don't forget, Linux's idea of a "supported machine" is one that gets
almost to multiuser about 50% of the time.
I've got to object here, at least for the Debian distribution. The
sparc guys there put a LOT of effort into making sure each
release works well on the hardware they say is supported.

--Kurt
James Sharp
2001-06-15 17:10:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave McGuire
LINC!! Relax. Both James and I run Linux on at least one or two of
our machines. We like it. Pipe down and put the LinuxTribesman
spears away. What James was referring to was writing half of the
support for a new architecture (VAX, for example) and then calling it
"done".
Exactly. My main workstation is a Linux box right now. I like Linux.
Sure, it has its quirks, but what OS doesn't?

My 2 biggest beefs with it are:

There are proponents and developers that have crossed the line from
advocacy to zealotry. They take any little poke at the OS, whether
founded or unfounded, and turn it into some shitstorm of "OHMYGOD YOU'RE
BASHING LINUX, YOU WORK FOR MICROSOFT, DON'T YOU".
linc
2001-06-15 17:10:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Sharp
Post by Al Potter
You heard wrong. Linux may not be _supported_, that does not mean it doesn't
run. I had it running on a 600 board with dual SM-100s (quad 40Mhz) for a
while. Support for the VME bus was supposedly, but in the configuration we're
discussing, who cares?
Don't forget, Linux's idea of a "supported machine" is one that gets
almost to multiuser about 50% of the time.
What a crock. I have Linux boxen that are more stable than any other OS
with the exception of NetBSD. The biggest problem with Linux is that
*most* people run it on an intel platform which sucks to begin with. You
put it on something stable liek a Sparc, and it's great.
Now in the past Linux had some problems, but for sure it has come a LONG
way and it's growing faster than *any* other unix like os anywhere. All
this ranting about Linux being bad is like complaining about tires when
the last one you used was in the stone age and carved out of a rock. Grab
a recent version/distro and try it - you might be pleasently
suprised.
--
1:03pm up 58 days, 1:01, 4 users, load average: 2.23, 1.87, 1.47
linc
2001-06-15 17:12:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rob
Post by Dave McGuire
Eh? No way. Unless they've *broken* support for the 4/600, Linux
sure does run on them. My main desktop machine about three years ago
was a 4/600 with two SM61s and two CG6s in a 4/110 chassis running
a very early SparcLinux/SMP. It was VERY zippy and quite stable,
surprisingly enough.
No, it's more my information was 2 years out of date. Not only do they
support it, my coworker has a redhat 6.2 sparc cd already burnt, and I'm
installing as we speak :)
There seems to be a lot of that on this list - but at least you didn't
take great pains to bash Linux before getting better info. Thanks :-)

-Linc.
--
1:11pm up 58 days, 1:09, 4 users, load average: 1.05, 1.61, 1.56
linc
2001-06-15 17:14:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Novak
I ran Redhat (4.2 maybe?) years ago and it wasn't stable on my dual-SM100
4/600 with a multiprocessor kernel, but it ran fine in uniprocessor mode.
However, I have run more recent distributions successfully on SMP SPARCs.
I'd guess current SuSE or Debian would be sweet. Maybe I should power up
one of my 600 boards with the SM61s I was trying (and failing) to sell,
put in the 4MB simms (trying and failing too), and see how it does with
Debian 2.2r3.
Linux run's great on good hardware, and Sparc's are ideal.. Anyone who
says different hasn't tried it since RH4.2 or before :-) I, myself, am
dying to try the new Slackware port when it matures a little more. Bet
that will be fantastic.

-Linc.
--
1:12pm up 58 days, 1:10, 4 users, load average: 1.02, 1.50, 1.52
James Sharp
2001-06-15 17:18:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave McGuire
Post by James Fogg
No degree here either. I've said it before, but smartest people I've met in
this industry had no degree or an unrelated degree. I am _so tired_ of
employers relying on a little piece of sheepskin (come to think of it, some men
*do* rely on a little peice of sheepskin.... nevermind).
A degree doesn't prove that you KNOW anything...it just proves that
you're able to kiss a great deal of professorial ass and follow
rules. A lot of managers in big companies still insist on degrees
because they want just that...someone to kiss their ass and follow the
rules. Not be innovative, not to invent things, and not to solve
problems.
I use the knowledge I gained while getting my AS in Electronics
Engineering everyday.

Uh. Yeah. Right.

I learned more in the first month of the job I got while going to school
than I did in the 2 years I was in school. But, on the lighter side,
working & going to school did give me a chance to adapt my body to only
needing 3 hours of sleep a night...its quite useful.

Oh, and don't forget about all those wild frat parties and binge drinking
that make college everything you've ever dreamed about.
Dave McGuire
2001-06-15 17:24:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Sharp
Oh, and don't forget about all those wild frat parties and binge drinking
that make college everything you've ever dreamed about.
Woohoo!! 8-)

-Dave McGuire
Bill Bradford
2001-06-15 17:27:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Sharp
Oh, and don't forget about all those wild frat parties and binge drinking
that make college everything you've ever dreamed about.
Wild frat parties? I was a founding father of the first national
fraternity on my college campus (Phi Lambda Chi, Sigma chapter),
and we had some parties, but nothing like "Animal House", etc.

Think the wildest thing we ever did was rappell off the back of
the 5-story Arts building (which was perfectly flat, no windows)
at 3am one night. Ride the elevator up, go out onto the roof,
zip zip down, ride elevator back up...

Campus security drove up, we scattered into the bushes.

Rentacop comes up. Sees rapelling lines swaying in the breeze.
Sees the 12-pack sitting on the ground at the bottom of the rope.
"Come on guys, come out of the bushes".

We all stood up. "What are you doing here?"

"oh, a little practice"

(half the guys in the fraternity were in the climbing club or
something like that.. we all had safety gear on and were using
proper procedures.. it wasjust the LOCATION that was strange..)

"yeah, right"

One of the stupid drunk ones spoke up. "Hey, want a beer?"

"No.. And I didnt see you here doing this either. Have a nice
evening."

He drove off.
James Fogg
2001-06-15 17:19:56 UTC
Permalink
I wish there was something like that here. Would you buy some apple junque for
me and ship it?
http://www.purchase.umd.edu/ttrader/
The web page has directions, and an (old) list of the inventory. Be
forewarned, their hours *blow*! They are open Tues-Fri 10am-3pm, so basically
you have to go during work. (Which is fine for me, seeing as I work here :).
Also, the 670/MP is not common place there, and was decent buy... you have to
go often and keep tabs on what's there. Also, they don't take cash (!) and
have a funky tiered system of who can buy things when. Check out the page for
details. OTOH, they sold a lot of 10 166Mhz Alpha's and a couple 233Mhz
alphas for $200 because they couldn't make them boot, so it can really be
worth your while to go there.
- Rob
.
_______________________________________________
http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue
--
=======================================================
James D. Fogg, Network Engineer
Vicinity Corporation - Lebanon, NH

DESK (603) 442-1751 - CELL (603) 252-1864
PAGER (802) 742-0280 - HOME (603) 526-7729
EMAIL ***@vicinity.com

If you can read this e-mail, Thank a Network Engineer!
=======================================================
James Sharp
2001-06-15 17:20:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Nicewonger
James per our discussion over dinner yesterday, are you running FreeBSD or
NetBSD on the DS-10? I have the quad AS2100 4/275 on my porch that is
begging for an OS.
FreeBSD on the DS-10s at the office. NetBSD on the one at home.
James Sharp
2001-06-15 17:22:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Bradford
I woudl kill for an alpha box newer than this 3000-600.
you haven't lived until you've seen a DS-10 blow through a NetBSD kernel
compile in 48 seconds.

Set it all up just right so the source tree is in the Unified Buffer Cache
memory and have /tmp set up as a memory mounted file system....the system
never touches the disk or the network, everything is being handled in the
memory system.
Kurt Mosiejczuk
2001-06-15 17:26:19 UTC
Permalink
i386 platform bias...All these companies run out screaming "Our product
runs on Linux!". No...it runs on Linux/i386. What about those of us
running it on an Alpha or Sparc platform? Its not that hard to copy your
source code to an Alpha or Sparc box and type "make" and then tweak the
little 32/64 bit issues that might or might not come up.
I understand this one a lot. I've been using sparclinux for years now
and it is disheartening how many packages are i386 only. One company
that has really earned my love is Opera Software. The other day I was
downloading their browser onto a linux laptop with lynx. They misdetected
what I was running and put up Win9x, so I chose the 'Other...' button.
Right under linux(i386) was linux (sparc) and linux (ppc). This is
even before they have a Solaris port, which makes sense, since it's
easier to recompile for sparc linux from the i386 linux source than to
go to Solaris, but so many companies don't go to that small effort. And
don't even get me started on the amount of free software that doesn't.
(The exception to this being the debian sparc folks, but who knows
how many upstream maintainers don't take their patches)

--Kurt
James Sharp
2001-06-15 17:28:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave McGuire
They've fixed it since I left? In January those machines would run
in short spurts between exploding for no apparent reason.
The machines out in the field would blow chow cause of a bug in the SCSI
controller that got worked around in FreeBSD 4.0. I haven't heard
anything about the MCs doing stuff like that.
Dave McGuire
2001-06-15 17:30:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Sharp
Post by Dave McGuire
They've fixed it since I left? In January those machines would run
in short spurts between exploding for no apparent reason.
The machines out in the field would blow chow cause of a bug in the SCSI
controller that got worked around in FreeBSD 4.0. I haven't heard
anything about the MCs doing stuff like that.
The MCs would freeze up...just plain STOP...every day or two. A
certain member of dev (you know who I'm talking about) did his best to
sweep the whole issue under the rug.

-Dave McGuire
Kurt Mosiejczuk
2001-06-15 17:28:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave McGuire
I will say that I'm very impressed with the performance of Linux on
SPARC hardware. I wish they'd put the same amount of effort into
optimizing their Alpha support...it's just plain SLOW. If they
address this, a DS10 or DS20 running Linux might very well be desktop
nirvana.
NO BASHING HERE, DAMMIT.
I seem to recall the reason for this being the amount of 64-bit unclean
code that is out there. I recall someone telling me that an Alpha
running linux spends most of its time trapping invalid memory accesses
and correcting them. I suspect the only reason ultrasparc isn't bitten
a LOT more by this is the 32-bit compatability.

--Kurt
Dave McGuire
2001-06-15 17:39:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kurt Mosiejczuk
Post by Dave McGuire
I will say that I'm very impressed with the performance of Linux on
SPARC hardware. I wish they'd put the same amount of effort into
optimizing their Alpha support...it's just plain SLOW. If they
address this, a DS10 or DS20 running Linux might very well be desktop
nirvana.
NO BASHING HERE, DAMMIT.
I seem to recall the reason for this being the amount of 64-bit unclean
code that is out there. I recall someone telling me that an Alpha
running linux spends most of its time trapping invalid memory accesses
and correcting them. I suspect the only reason ultrasparc isn't bitten
a LOT more by this is the 32-bit compatability.
That would explain the performance issues I complained about. An
unaligned access on an Alpha is a VERY expensive thing...I haven't
looked at it myself but I've heard other say that it sometimes costs
DOZENS of cycles of overheard. It sounds like, if someone took a few
weeks and just went through everything for 64-bit cleanliness and
alignment, that performance problem might just go away. That would
rock!

-Dave McGuire
Dan Debertin
2001-06-15 17:28:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Sharp
Set it all up just right so the source tree is in the Unified Buffer Cache
memory and have /tmp set up as a memory mounted file system....the system
never touches the disk or the network, everything is being handled in the
memory system.
Okay, you've piqued my interest. Exactly how does one do this? Sounds
quite nice....

Dan

--
Dan Debertin
***@nodewarrior.org
www.nodewarrior.org
Rob
2001-06-15 17:41:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by G W Adkins
Post by Rob
FYI, if you are in the DC metro area, Terapin Trader is a great place to
get
Post by Rob
old crappy^H^H^H^H neat hardware. I picked up the 670/MP with 4 cpu's and
128MB for $50! I can post directions if people are interested.
mmm, please!
http://www.purchase.umd.edu/ttrader/

The web page has directions, and an (old) list of the inventory. Be
forewarned, their hours *blow*! They are open Tues-Fri 10am-3pm, so basically
you have to go during work. (Which is fine for me, seeing as I work here :).
Also, the 670/MP is not common place there, and was decent buy... you have to
go often and keep tabs on what's there. Also, they don't take cash (!) and
have a funky tiered system of who can buy things when. Check out the page for
details. OTOH, they sold a lot of 10 166Mhz Alpha's and a couple 233Mhz
alphas for $200 because they couldn't make them boot, so it can really be
worth your while to go there.

- Rob
.
linc
2001-06-15 17:45:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave McGuire
I think what James was referring to is the Linux world's penchant for
doing half of a port to a new architecture and then announcing it as
"ported to a new architecture". They started screaming "we run on
DECstations! we run on VAX! penguin penguin penguin! blaaaahhh!!"
as soon as they had basic CPU support and bootstrap code written. The
machine would come up, identify the CPU, probe memory, and promptly
crash.
This was their idea of "supported".
-Dave McGuire
If you look at any of the websites for DecLinux or Linux-Vax, the first
thing they say is that if you want a good working OS for your machine to
follow the link to NetBSD. Pretty honest, and checking the net as I type
I can't find any reference to any Linux claim to have VAX or DS ported
with the one exception of www.kernal.org, and I had to search for that.
No disrespect to you Dave, but I am getting slightly irritated in the
blanket linux bashing from people whom evidently have never tried it or
haven't tried anything recent for a very long time. Most of us have the
balls to say " Solaris sucks but then again I haven't tried 8 yet, only
7" but this is not so with Linux.. They just spew misinformation and then
giggle their ignorant asses off.
Why am I so bothered about this? I use Linux, I admin Linux
professionally, and I also run a sizeable LUG. I also happen to run quite
current versions of most other Unix and Unix-like operating systems
(especially the free ones) so I am qualified to have an informed opinion
on the subject.

My $0.02

-Linc.
Al Potter
2001-06-15 17:47:21 UTC
Permalink
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Post by Dave McGuire
A degree doesn't prove that you KNOW anything...
Agree so far...
Post by Dave McGuire
it just proves that
you're able to kiss a great deal of professorial ass and follow rules.
Nope. Some of us kiss no asses, never have.

A degree does prove that you had the discipline to stick with the program for
the requisite number of years, that you can work within a system, etc. That
is the reason many companies use a degree as a discriminator.

FWIW: several of the guys I've hires over the years don't have degrees, and
have been some of my most valued employees.





AL
linc
2001-06-15 17:48:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Bradford
Linux run's great on good hardware, and Sparc's are ideal.. Anyone who
says different hasn't tried it since RH4.2 or before :-) I, myself, am
dying to try the new Slackware port when it matures a little more. Bet
that will be fantastic.
Personally, linux/sparc has never felt "stable" to me. Always shaky
and a little bit funky.
Bill
Ahh, but when's the last time and version you actually "felt" Linux on
your machine? I have RH6.2 on a Sparc 20 and you just can't kill
it. That and it'll run anything.
--
1:46pm up 58 days, 1:44, 4 users, load average: 1.00, 1.04, 1.24
Devin L. Ganger
2001-06-15 18:23:00 UTC
Permalink
Ahh, but when's the last time and version you actually "felt" Linux on
your machine? I have RH6.2 on a Sparc 20 and you just can't kill
it. That and it'll run anything.
There's a big difference between running Linux on a SS20 and running it
on a 4/690. Believe me, on less common hardware, Linux starts feeling
shaky and less solid -- and this is as of Redhat 7.0.

Hell, NetBSD 4.2 had some problems on the 4/690 that kept folks from
compiling certain programs.

It's that combination of VME and Sbus, I think, that confused most of
the kernels out there. It's all a matter of how common your hardware
is, and how well worked-over the code is.
--
Devin L. Ganger <***@thecabal.org>
find / -name *base* -exec chown us:us {} \;
su -c someone 'export UP_US=thebomb'
for f in great justice ; do sed -e 's/zig//g' < $f ; done
linc
2001-06-15 17:50:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Bradford
FreeBSD is a VERY Intel-specific operating system (and a damn fine one
at that!), despite half-ports and propaganda to the contrary.
It is?
http://www.freebsd.org/platforms/alpha.html
AFAIK freebsd/alpha is release/production quality.
Bill
Yes, I have heard it run's great on an Alpha, and I can't wait to get my
hands on one so I can try it for myself!

-Linc.
--
1:49pm up 58 days, 1:47, 4 users, load average: 1.68, 1.26, 1.28
James Sharp
2001-06-15 17:54:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave McGuire
That would explain the performance issues I complained about. An
unaligned access on an Alpha is a VERY expensive thing...I haven't
looked at it myself but I've heard other say that it sometimes costs
DOZENS of cycles of overheard. It sounds like, if someone took a few
weeks and just went through everything for 64-bit cleanliness and
alignment, that performance problem might just go away. That would
rock!
You'd be surprised (or not, depending) on how many of the developers I've
seen don't have a clue on how to write 64-bit clean code. I requested a
64-bit clean Linux/Alpha driver for a Digital Video Broadcast card I was
testing for Cidera and it took the company 9 weeks to finally tell me,
"Uh...we don't know how to write drivers for Alpha machines. Can't you
run this on an i386 box?".

*THWACK*
Joshua D. Boyd
2001-06-15 18:05:32 UTC
Permalink
One employer explained the degree expectation this way. He said that it
shows you can stick something out, even when it is hard and/or
unreasonable (like having to take a phys ed class to get a college
diploma).

That is why many places want you to have a degree, even if it is totally
unrelated.

I personally am trying to get a degree in large part because I would like
to go to a research oriented grad school for awhile before really entering
industry.

--
Joshua Boyd
Post by James Fogg
I knew there was a reason I never bothered with college. I like
money too much.
-Dave McGuire
Dave is my hero.
No degree here either. I've said it before, but smartest people I've met in
this industry had no degree or an unrelated degree. I am _so tired_ of
employers relying on a little piece of sheepskin (come to think of it, some men
*do* rely on a little peice of sheepskin.... nevermind).
--
=======================================================
James D. Fogg, Network Engineer
Vicinity Corporation - Lebanon, NH
DESK (603) 442-1751 - CELL (603) 252-1864
PAGER (802) 742-0280 - HOME (603) 526-7729
If you can read this e-mail, Thank a Network Engineer!
=======================================================
_______________________________________________
http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue
Dave McGuire
2001-06-15 18:24:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joshua D. Boyd
One employer explained the degree expectation this way. He said that it
shows you can stick something out, even when it is hard and/or
unreasonable (like having to take a phys ed class to get a college
diploma).
Hard I have no problem with. Hell, I've been working with startup
companies for twelve years. Unreasonable, however, I avoid. There's
no excuse for it.
Post by Joshua D. Boyd
I personally am trying to get a degree in large part because I would like
to go to a research oriented grad school for awhile before really entering
industry.
Cool! What sort of research will you be doing?

-Dave McGuire
G W Adkins
2001-06-15 18:38:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joshua D. Boyd
One employer explained the degree expectation this way. He said that it
shows you can stick something out, even when it is hard and/or
unreasonable (like having to take a phys ed class to get a college
diploma).
That is why many places want you to have a degree, even if it is totally
unrelated.
Mmmm, then this means that 10 years Active Duty Army, assigned to combat
arms units, should be the equivalent of.... oh.... a PhD?

No, I disagree... Most employers want a sheepskin because they think it
weeds out the terminally clueless and or worthless. Unfortunately, most
colleges have programs where even these people can 'do their time' and come
away with a degree. (After all, it would be discriminatory to deny someone
a college diploma just because they were "intellectually challenged." )

George
Joshua D. Boyd
2001-06-15 18:07:53 UTC
Permalink
For some bizarre reason, I'm looking forward to 68k SMP support for both
NetBSD and Linux. I don't actually have any 68k SMP boards, but I'd like
one or two some day.

--
Joshua Boyd
True, yes, it will be uniprocessor only for now. Currently, though,
NetBSD/alpha, NetBSD/vax and NetBSD/i386 all do SMP rather
well...NetBSD/sparc SMP is right around the corner.
linc
2001-06-15 18:11:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Bradford
Ahh, but when's the last time and version you actually "felt" Linux on
your machine? I have RH6.2 on a Sparc 20 and you just can't kill
it. That and it'll run anything.
Try RH6.2 on an Ultra 1/200E/Creator3D.
Are you using it as a graphical desktop, or as a headless server?
Bill
Both, and I *wish* I had an Ultra to play with :-) Anyone wanna loan me
one?

-Linc.
--
2:11pm up 58 days, 2:09, 4 users, load average: 1.00, 1.06, 1.25
BSD Bob the old greybeard BSD freak
2001-06-15 18:12:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Sharp
Post by Bill Bradford
I woudl kill for an alpha box newer than this 3000-600.
you haven't lived until you've seen a DS-10 blow through a NetBSD kernel
compile in 48 seconds.
Set it all up just right so the source tree is in the Unified Buffer Cache
memory and have /tmp set up as a memory mounted file system....the system
never touches the disk or the network, everything is being handled in the
memory system.
Grumble... grumble.... and the same compile on an MVII crate at 0.9 vups
takes 24+ hours! Grumble....grumble....

I would think the machine was broken, if it compiled in 48 seconds!

Some folks have all the luck.....

Bob
Dave McGuire
2001-06-15 18:26:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by BSD Bob the old greybeard BSD freak
Post by James Sharp
you haven't lived until you've seen a DS-10 blow through a NetBSD kernel
compile in 48 seconds.
Set it all up just right so the source tree is in the Unified Buffer Cache
memory and have /tmp set up as a memory mounted file system....the system
never touches the disk or the network, everything is being handled in the
memory system.
Grumble... grumble.... and the same compile on an MVII crate at 0.9 vups
takes 24+ hours! Grumble....grumble....
I would think the machine was broken, if it compiled in 48 seconds!
Some folks have all the luck.....
But your MVII has more personality than even James' DS10.

You know, Bob...KA650/655 boards aren't difficult to come by...speed
that machine up by a factor of three...

-Dave McGuire
Joshua D. Boyd
2001-06-15 18:14:34 UTC
Permalink
(I remember thinking "wow, <friend> made $20K straight out of college!")
How thinks change. Many people I know make close to $30k or more straight
out, and I made nearly $20k last year while still being a full time
student (albeit a full time student who gots lots of through away credits
because that is what fit around working). Too bad taxes and tuition eat
virtually all of it. I don't qualify for finacial aid, so I have to find
way's to make enough money for school. In turn, that removes me even
farther from being considered from finacial aid.

Then I look at friends about my age and a number of them are married and
purchased houses already.

--
Joshua Boyd
Joshua D. Boyd
2001-06-15 18:19:04 UTC
Permalink
I was under the impression that the biggest problem with linux for the
alpha was GCC being really aweful at compiling alpha code.

--
Joshua Boyd
Post by Dave McGuire
I will say that I'm very impressed with the performance of Linux on
SPARC hardware. I wish they'd put the same amount of effort into
optimizing their Alpha support...it's just plain SLOW. If they
address this, a DS10 or DS20 running Linux might very well be desktop
nirvana.
NO BASHING HERE, DAMMIT.
-Dave McGuire
_______________________________________________
http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue
Dave McGuire
2001-06-15 18:28:09 UTC
Permalink
Hmmm...that may be a big part of it. Is anyone working on GCC's
non-Intel support? The MIPS code generation kinda blows dog too..

-Dave McGuire
Post by Joshua D. Boyd
I was under the impression that the biggest problem with linux for the
alpha was GCC being really aweful at compiling alpha code.
--
Joshua Boyd
Post by Dave McGuire
I will say that I'm very impressed with the performance of Linux on
SPARC hardware. I wish they'd put the same amount of effort into
optimizing their Alpha support...it's just plain SLOW. If they
address this, a DS10 or DS20 running Linux might very well be desktop
nirvana.
NO BASHING HERE, DAMMIT.
-Dave McGuire
_______________________________________________
http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue
_______________________________________________
http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue
Joshua D. Boyd
2001-06-15 18:20:19 UTC
Permalink
What wild frat parties and binge drinking? Never been invited to either.
Wildest I've ever seen was barbequing stuff.

--
Joshua Boyd
Post by Dave McGuire
Post by James Sharp
Oh, and don't forget about all those wild frat parties and binge drinking
that make college everything you've ever dreamed about.
Woohoo!! 8-)
-Dave McGuire
_______________________________________________
http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue
linc
2001-06-15 18:24:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave McGuire
I will say that I'm very impressed with the performance of Linux on
SPARC hardware. I wish they'd put the same amount of effort into
optimizing their Alpha support...it's just plain SLOW. If they
address this, a DS10 or DS20 running Linux might very well be desktop
nirvana.
NO BASHING HERE, DAMMIT.
-Dave McGuire
I would love to thry this myself - alas no Alpha hardware :-)
Maybe someday!
--
2:23pm up 58 days, 2:21, 4 users, load average: 1.29, 1.15, 1.16
Robert Novak
2001-06-15 18:26:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by BSD Bob the old greybeard BSD freak
Post by James Sharp
Post by Bill Bradford
I woudl kill for an alpha box newer than this 3000-600.
you haven't lived until you've seen a DS-10 blow through a NetBSD kernel
compile in 48 seconds.
Grumble... grumble.... and the same compile on an MVII crate at 0.9 vups
takes 24+ hours! Grumble....grumble....
I would think the machine was broken, if it compiled in 48 seconds!
Easy to do.

# make CC=/bin/rm 2>/dev/null

:-)

(Wow, it optimizes diskspace too!)

--Rob (who may get that multia hooked up tonight, or at least throw
FreeBSD on his 250 4/266)
--
Robert Novak, Indyramp Consulting * ***@indyramp.com * indyramp.com/~rnovak
"And it's been a long December and there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last...." -- counting crows
Rob
2001-06-15 18:28:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Fogg
I wish there was something like that here. Would you buy some apple junque for
me and ship it?
I'm sure we could work something out... I have to warn you though that a lot
of their stuff is rip off... it's more that they screw up/apathy takes over
every once in a while, and then you can get the good deals. Right now they're
selling ram-less (I think) sparc4's for $100 or so... when you can get a
decent PC for about the same price these days. If anyone is looking for
something in specific, I can take a looksee ... I know first hand that most
of the apple stuff is 68k cruft for too high prices, and most anything that
runs linux has been stripped by students a while ago.

- Rob
.
Dave McGuire
2001-06-15 18:38:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Rob
I'm sure we could work something out... I have to warn you though that a lot
of their stuff is rip off... it's more that they screw up/apathy takes over
every once in a while, and then you can get the good deals. Right now they're
selling ram-less (I think) sparc4's for $100 or so... when you can get a
decent PC for about the same price these days. If anyone is looking for
...but who in their right mind would choose the PC?

-Dave McGuire
Rob
2001-06-15 18:37:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave McGuire
Hmmm...that may be a big part of it. Is anyone working on GCC's
non-Intel support? The MIPS code generation kinda blows dog too..
I know there are good things happening for PPC linux(including altavec
register support). In fact, for the money, a nice powerbook with MacX or
Linux PPC is, IMHO, about as good a laptop's get.

- Rob
.
Robert Novak
2001-06-15 18:37:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by Joshua D. Boyd
I was under the impression that the biggest problem with linux for the
alpha was GCC being really aweful at compiling alpha code.
Might be worth trying Compaq's Linux Alpha compilers then?

http://www.support.compaq.com/alpha-tools/software/index.html

Seems to be free, supposedly matches features of their Tru64 compilers and
some GCC compatibility stuff too. I haven't tried it yet (still have Tru64
5.1 on my lightest working Alpha) but it might be worth a look.

--Rob

Robert Novak, Indyramp Consulting * ***@indyramp.com * indyramp.com/~rnovak
"And it's been a long December and there's reason to believe
Maybe this year will be better than the last...." -- counting crows
BSD Bob the old greybeard BSD freak
2001-06-15 18:38:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by Robert Novak
Post by BSD Bob the old greybeard BSD freak
Post by James Sharp
you haven't lived until you've seen a DS-10 blow through a NetBSD kernel
compile in 48 seconds.
Grumble... grumble.... and the same compile on an MVII crate at 0.9 vups
takes 24+ hours! Grumble....grumble....
Easy to do.
# make CC=/bin/rm 2>/dev/null
:-)
(Wow, it optimizes diskspace too!)
Yeah, but on an MVII, speedily chunking along at 0.9 x the speed of
VAX 11/780 light, that would still take an hour or more!

(:+}}...

Bob
Joshua D. Boyd
2001-06-15 18:39:22 UTC
Permalink
So, I tried that on a PeeCee, and it still took a few minutes. Still
significant improvement over normal compile speed. ;)

--
Joshua Boyd
Post by Robert Novak
# make CC=/bin/rm 2>/dev/null
:-)
(Wow, it optimizes diskspace too!)
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