Discussion:
[SunRescue] Q on "optimal" OS for Sun4c machines, now that Solaris 8 won't run
(too old to reply)
Ken Hansen
2000-07-12 00:11:45 UTC
Permalink
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Hello,
My question, simply, is since Sun have decided to no longer support Sun4c
architecture for Solaris 8, what would folks suggest running on these machines?

I never thought Solaris 8 would be a great OS to drop on a 64 Meg SPARC2,
but the issue did "sparc" this question... Solaris software seems keyed to
version 2.5.1 and above, and some fokls are reporting *nearly amazing" results
with some of the *BSD OSs, so I'm wondering what the popular opinion is.

In order to make this look like a reasonable question, let me add that my
thought is to use the machine at home, and being able to download pre-built
binaries would be very useful. This would be a desktop machine with very
low demand web serving (and maybe SAMBA file serving as well) duties. The
box in mind specifically is a SS/2 w/Weitek PowerUP and 96 Meg RAM
(that is 64 Meg + 32 Meg SBUS expansion card).

I am concerned that other OSs may drop support, following Suns lead...

Ken

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<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>Hello,</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; My question, simply, is since
Sun have decided to no longer support Sun4c</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>architecture for Solaris 8, what would folks
suggest running on these machines?</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I never thought Solaris 8 would
be a great OS to drop on a 64 Meg SPARC2,</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>but the issue did "sparc" this question... Solaris
software seems keyed to</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>version 2.5.1 and above, and some fokls are
reporting *nearly amazing" results</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>with some of the *BSD OSs, so I'm wondering what
the popular opinion is.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; In order to make this look like
a reasonable question, let me add that my</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>thought is to use the machine at home, and being
able to download pre-built</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>binaries would be very useful. This would be a
desktop machine with very</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>low demand web serving (and maybe SAMBA file
serving as well) duties. The</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>box in mind specifically is a SS/2 w/Weitek PowerUP
and 96 Meg RAM</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>(that is 64 Meg + 32 Meg SBUS expansion
card).</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I am concerned that other OSs
may drop support, following Suns lead...</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>Ken</FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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K***@bellatlantic.net
2000-07-12 00:11:45 UTC
Permalink
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

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Hello,
My question, simply, is since Sun have decided to no longer support Sun4c
architecture for Solaris 8, what would folks suggest running on these machines?

I never thought Solaris 8 would be a great OS to drop on a 64 Meg SPARC2,
but the issue did "sparc" this question... Solaris software seems keyed to
version 2.5.1 and above, and some fokls are reporting *nearly amazing" results
with some of the *BSD OSs, so I'm wondering what the popular opinion is.

In order to make this look like a reasonable question, let me add that my
thought is to use the machine at home, and being able to download pre-built
binaries would be very useful. This would be a desktop machine with very
low demand web serving (and maybe SAMBA file serving as well) duties. The
box in mind specifically is a SS/2 w/Weitek PowerUP and 96 Meg RAM
(that is 64 Meg + 32 Meg SBUS expansion card).

I am concerned that other OSs may drop support, following Suns lead...

Ken

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charset="iso-8859-1"
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<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">
<HTML><HEAD>
<META content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" http-equiv=Content-Type>
<META content="MSHTML 5.00.2920.0" name=GENERATOR>
<STYLE></STYLE>
</HEAD>
<BODY bgColor=#ffffff>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>Hello,</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; My question, simply, is since
Sun have decided to no longer support Sun4c</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>architecture for Solaris 8, what would folks
suggest running on these machines?</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I never thought Solaris 8 would
be a great OS to drop on a 64 Meg SPARC2,</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>but the issue did "sparc" this question... Solaris
software seems keyed to</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>version 2.5.1 and above, and some fokls are
reporting *nearly amazing" results</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>with some of the *BSD OSs, so I'm wondering what
the popular opinion is.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; In order to make this look like
a reasonable question, let me add that my</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>thought is to use the machine at home, and being
able to download pre-built</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>binaries would be very useful. This would be a
desktop machine with very</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>low demand web serving (and maybe SAMBA file
serving as well) duties. The</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>box in mind specifically is a SS/2 w/Weitek PowerUP
and 96 Meg RAM</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>(that is 64 Meg + 32 Meg SBUS expansion
card).</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; I am concerned that other OSs
may drop support, following Suns lead...</FONT></DIV>
<DIV>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=Arial size=2>Ken</FONT></DIV></BODY></HTML>

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Mike Nicewonger
2000-07-12 00:32:23 UTC
Permalink
I would try either OpenBSD www.openbsd.org or NetBSD www.netbsd.org . Both
are mature Unicies and have packages available as well as very easy to
install ports from source. My preference is OBSD. The only thing that does
not work is SMP.

Mike N
----- Original Message -----
From: Ken Hansen <***@bellatlantic.net>
To: <***@sunhelp.org>
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2000 8:11 PM
Subject: [SunRescue] Q on "optimal" OS for Sun4c machines, now that Solaris
8 won't run


Hello,
My question, simply, is since Sun have decided to no longer support
Sun4c
architecture for Solaris 8, what would folks suggest running on these
machines?

I never thought Solaris 8 would be a great OS to drop on a 64 Meg
SPARC2,
but the issue did "sparc" this question... Solaris software seems keyed to
version 2.5.1 and above, and some fokls are reporting *nearly amazing"
results
with some of the *BSD OSs, so I'm wondering what the popular opinion is.

In order to make this look like a reasonable question, let me add that
my
thought is to use the machine at home, and being able to download pre-built
binaries would be very useful. This would be a desktop machine with very
low demand web serving (and maybe SAMBA file serving as well) duties. The
box in mind specifically is a SS/2 w/Weitek PowerUP and 96 Meg RAM
(that is 64 Meg + 32 Meg SBUS expansion card).

I am concerned that other OSs may drop support, following Suns lead...

Ken
M***@twmaster.com
2000-07-12 00:32:23 UTC
Permalink
I would try either OpenBSD www.openbsd.org or NetBSD www.netbsd.org . Both
are mature Unicies and have packages available as well as very easy to
install ports from source. My preference is OBSD. The only thing that does
not work is SMP.

Mike N
----- Original Message -----
From: Ken Hansen <***@bellatlantic.net>
To: <***@sunhelp.org>
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2000 8:11 PM
Subject: [SunRescue] Q on "optimal" OS for Sun4c machines, now that Solaris
8 won't run


Hello,
My question, simply, is since Sun have decided to no longer support
Sun4c
architecture for Solaris 8, what would folks suggest running on these
machines?

I never thought Solaris 8 would be a great OS to drop on a 64 Meg
SPARC2,
but the issue did "sparc" this question... Solaris software seems keyed to
version 2.5.1 and above, and some fokls are reporting *nearly amazing"
results
with some of the *BSD OSs, so I'm wondering what the popular opinion is.

In order to make this look like a reasonable question, let me add that
my
thought is to use the machine at home, and being able to download pre-built
binaries would be very useful. This would be a desktop machine with very
low demand web serving (and maybe SAMBA file serving as well) duties. The
box in mind specifically is a SS/2 w/Weitek PowerUP and 96 Meg RAM
(that is 64 Meg + 32 Meg SBUS expansion card).

I am concerned that other OSs may drop support, following Suns lead...

Ken
Dave McGuire
2000-07-12 02:30:26 UTC
Permalink
There are no SMP 4c boxes anyway...

-Dave McGuire
Post by Mike Nicewonger
I would try either OpenBSD www.openbsd.org or NetBSD www.netbsd.org . Both
are mature Unicies and have packages available as well as very easy to
install ports from source. My preference is OBSD. The only thing that does
not work is SMP.
Mike N
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2000 8:11 PM
Subject: [SunRescue] Q on "optimal" OS for Sun4c machines, now that Solaris
8 won't run
Hello,
My question, simply, is since Sun have decided to no longer support
Sun4c
architecture for Solaris 8, what would folks suggest running on these
machines?
I never thought Solaris 8 would be a great OS to drop on a 64 Meg
SPARC2,
but the issue did "sparc" this question... Solaris software seems keyed to
version 2.5.1 and above, and some fokls are reporting *nearly amazing"
results
with some of the *BSD OSs, so I'm wondering what the popular opinion is.
In order to make this look like a reasonable question, let me add that
my
thought is to use the machine at home, and being able to download pre-built
binaries would be very useful. This would be a desktop machine with very
low demand web serving (and maybe SAMBA file serving as well) duties. The
box in mind specifically is a SS/2 w/Weitek PowerUP and 96 Meg RAM
(that is 64 Meg + 32 Meg SBUS expansion card).
I am concerned that other OSs may drop support, following Suns lead...
Ken
_______________________________________________
http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue
D***@neurotica.com
2000-07-12 02:30:26 UTC
Permalink
There are no SMP 4c boxes anyway...

-Dave McGuire
Post by Mike Nicewonger
I would try either OpenBSD www.openbsd.org or NetBSD www.netbsd.org . Both
are mature Unicies and have packages available as well as very easy to
install ports from source. My preference is OBSD. The only thing that does
not work is SMP.
Mike N
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2000 8:11 PM
Subject: [SunRescue] Q on "optimal" OS for Sun4c machines, now that Solaris
8 won't run
Hello,
My question, simply, is since Sun have decided to no longer support
Sun4c
architecture for Solaris 8, what would folks suggest running on these
machines?
I never thought Solaris 8 would be a great OS to drop on a 64 Meg
SPARC2,
but the issue did "sparc" this question... Solaris software seems keyed to
version 2.5.1 and above, and some fokls are reporting *nearly amazing"
results
with some of the *BSD OSs, so I'm wondering what the popular opinion is.
In order to make this look like a reasonable question, let me add that
my
thought is to use the machine at home, and being able to download pre-built
binaries would be very useful. This would be a desktop machine with very
low demand web serving (and maybe SAMBA file serving as well) duties. The
box in mind specifically is a SS/2 w/Weitek PowerUP and 96 Meg RAM
(that is 64 Meg + 32 Meg SBUS expansion card).
I am concerned that other OSs may drop support, following Suns lead...
Ken
_______________________________________________
http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue
Dave McGuire
2000-07-12 02:38:14 UTC
Permalink
On July 11, Ken Hansen wrote:
[OSs dropping support for 4c machines]
Post by Ken Hansen
I am concerned that other OSs may drop support, following Suns lead...
This will only happen on commercial OSs. They do it for a simple
reason...the sun4c machines aren't ready to "die" yet. There are
thousands upon thousands of them out there doing the same jobs they
were doing nearly ten years ago. Sun wants them all to go away so
that those people will (they assume) go buy new Ultras. It's called
"Forced obsolescence". In other words, commercial OSs
Unix and the other commercial OSs out there) are profit
vehicles...products, like any other, designed to make money.

The free operating systems, on the other hand, are purely
functionality-driven. They don't arbitrarily drop support for
hardware because that *removes functionality*. The NetBSD/sparc
folks, for example, will ENCOURAGE you to use that old SS2 sitting in
the corner...not tell you to "throw that old trash away, buy a new
Ultra!" like Sun will.

Use your sun4c machine, Ken. Don't stop using it until it can no
longer do the job. Run a free OS on it and you'll always have a
useful machine.


-Dave McGuire
D***@neurotica.com
2000-07-12 02:38:14 UTC
Permalink
On July 11, Ken Hansen wrote:
[OSs dropping support for 4c machines]
Post by Ken Hansen
I am concerned that other OSs may drop support, following Suns lead...
This will only happen on commercial OSs. They do it for a simple
reason...the sun4c machines aren't ready to "die" yet. There are
thousands upon thousands of them out there doing the same jobs they
were doing nearly ten years ago. Sun wants them all to go away so
that those people will (they assume) go buy new Ultras. It's called
"Forced obsolescence". In other words, commercial OSs
Unix and the other commercial OSs out there) are profit
vehicles...products, like any other, designed to make money.

The free operating systems, on the other hand, are purely
functionality-driven. They don't arbitrarily drop support for
hardware because that *removes functionality*. The NetBSD/sparc
folks, for example, will ENCOURAGE you to use that old SS2 sitting in
the corner...not tell you to "throw that old trash away, buy a new
Ultra!" like Sun will.

Use your sun4c machine, Ken. Don't stop using it until it can no
longer do the job. Run a free OS on it and you'll always have a
useful machine.


-Dave McGuire
Ken Hansen
2000-07-12 02:56:04 UTC
Permalink
Well, if I throw in a SunPC card it's *kinda* like SMP, only the CPUs
are *very* loosely coupled ;^)

(ASMP? ASymetric Multi Processing?)

He He He,

Ken
----- Original Message -----
From: "Dave McGuire" <***@neurotica.com>
To: <***@sunhelp.org>
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2000 10:30 PM
Subject: Re: [SunRescue] Q on "optimal" OS for Sun4c machines, now that
Solaris 8 won't run
Post by Dave McGuire
There are no SMP 4c boxes anyway...
K***@bellatlantic.net
2000-07-12 02:56:04 UTC
Permalink
Well, if I throw in a SunPC card it's *kinda* like SMP, only the CPUs
are *very* loosely coupled ;^)

(ASMP? ASymetric Multi Processing?)

He He He,

Ken
----- Original Message -----
From: "Dave McGuire" <***@neurotica.com>
To: <***@sunhelp.org>
Sent: Tuesday, July 11, 2000 10:30 PM
Subject: Re: [SunRescue] Q on "optimal" OS for Sun4c machines, now that
Solaris 8 won't run
Post by Dave McGuire
There are no SMP 4c boxes anyway...
James Lockwood
2000-07-12 08:17:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Hansen
Well, if I throw in a SunPC card it's *kinda* like SMP, only the CPUs
are *very* loosely coupled ;^)
(ASMP? ASymetric Multi Processing?)
Older SM100 CPU modules (shipped in early 4/600's) are AMP-only. The
kernel runs on the master CPU and other CPU's can only be used for
applications. Only SunOS 4 supported them which is why it wasn't a big
loss, it's impossible to get any degree of kernel concurrency with the
giant lock strategy anyway.

-James
J***@foonly.com
2000-07-12 08:17:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Hansen
Well, if I throw in a SunPC card it's *kinda* like SMP, only the CPUs
are *very* loosely coupled ;^)
(ASMP? ASymetric Multi Processing?)
Older SM100 CPU modules (shipped in early 4/600's) are AMP-only. The
kernel runs on the master CPU and other CPU's can only be used for
applications. Only SunOS 4 supported them which is why it wasn't a big
loss, it's impossible to get any degree of kernel concurrency with the
giant lock strategy anyway.

-James
James Lockwood
2000-07-12 11:27:25 UTC
Permalink
I hate to get involved with this, but I feel I have to say my piece.
Post by Dave McGuire
This will only happen on commercial OSs. They do it for a simple
reason...the sun4c machines aren't ready to "die" yet. There are
thousands upon thousands of them out there doing the same jobs they
were doing nearly ten years ago. Sun wants them all to go away so
that those people will (they assume) go buy new Ultras. It's called
"Forced obsolescence". In other words, commercial OSs
Unix and the other commercial OSs out there) are profit
vehicles...products, like any other, designed to make money.
Geez, and I thought I was cynical.

Forced obsolescence is something quite different. Forced obsolescence
would be if your brand new shiny toaster had a timer in it that would
force it to self-destruct after 5 years or 5000 slices of toast.

What Sun is doing is analogous to stopping the sale of toaster
enhancements. Your old Sun toaster still makes toast, in fact it makes
better toast with recent versions of Solaris than it did when it was new.
Software support for the versions of software that it does run will
continue for a number of years.

Sun isn't dropping support for all OS versions that run on sun4c. They
are dropping hardware support for _future_ OS versions. This is an
important distinction. Those systems doing the same jobs they did 10
years ago will continue to do them for another 10 years.

I know a few people inside of Sun involved with core OS work, and at no
time have I heard anything that would point towards the dropping of h/w
support being a marketing trick. It's simple cost/benefits analysis,
manpower that would go to maintaining things like the sun4c MMU code and
archaic 1.x PROM workarounds could be better used in other areas. As
someone whose day to day work requires the power of at least a dozen
UltraSparc CPU's just to get off the ground, I can understand their point
of view.

Companies who need Sun hardware support for their equipment already
upgraded to newer systems when Sun stopped h/w service agreements on
sun4c. Companies who need software support have no problems in the near
future as Solaris 7 has quite a few more years of life with patches before
becoming anything like obsolete. I still help run Solaris 2.4 on a batch
of 4/300's belonging to a friend, and it does the job admirably.
Post by Dave McGuire
The free operating systems, on the other hand, are purely
functionality-driven. They don't arbitrarily drop support for
hardware because that *removes functionality*. The NetBSD/sparc
folks, for example, will ENCOURAGE you to use that old SS2 sitting in
the corner...not tell you to "throw that old trash away, buy a new
Ultra!" like Sun will.
I'm a fan of the NetBSD project personally, but you have to keep in mind
that it has a different goal than the Solaris development group.

NetBSD will indeed continue to support hardware. _New_ hardware support,
on the other hand, is lacking. I distinctly remember being badly burned
back in 1995 when I considered it an alternative to Solaris 2.x for a pile
of sun4c systems. OBP 2.x support didn't exist as such, I had to hack it
in by hand. Keep in mind that 2.x systems had been shipping for nearly
four years.

Now it's 2000. UltraSparcs have been out for what, 5 years? Can I stick
with NetBSD when my computing needs outgrow the SS2 or SS5 sitting in the
corner? Fine-grained SMP and support for any modern Sun gear is still a
far-off dream, as is being able to "plug and play" a wide variety of SBus
cards. No other Unix I've seen can touch the ease of system installation
with Jumpstart, and Sun's NFS implementation is top notch.

Unfortunately, SPARC is a fringe port for all of the free Unices. It
doesn't have the price/performance or popularity of x86, and you lose the
integrated hardware support that you get when you run everything from a
single vendor (even if some of that support does eventually expire).
Sure, we all know that the hardware is "nice", but that doesn't sell it
for a lot of people.
Post by Dave McGuire
Use your sun4c machine, Ken. Don't stop using it until it can no
longer do the job. Run a free OS on it and you'll always have a
useful machine.
If NetBSD does indeed fit your needs better than Solaris, then by all
means go for it. Keep in mind that neither one is in any way perfect, and
_always_ consider your intended use first.

-James
J***@foonly.com
2000-07-12 11:27:25 UTC
Permalink
I hate to get involved with this, but I feel I have to say my piece.
Post by Dave McGuire
This will only happen on commercial OSs. They do it for a simple
reason...the sun4c machines aren't ready to "die" yet. There are
thousands upon thousands of them out there doing the same jobs they
were doing nearly ten years ago. Sun wants them all to go away so
that those people will (they assume) go buy new Ultras. It's called
"Forced obsolescence". In other words, commercial OSs
Unix and the other commercial OSs out there) are profit
vehicles...products, like any other, designed to make money.
Geez, and I thought I was cynical.

Forced obsolescence is something quite different. Forced obsolescence
would be if your brand new shiny toaster had a timer in it that would
force it to self-destruct after 5 years or 5000 slices of toast.

What Sun is doing is analogous to stopping the sale of toaster
enhancements. Your old Sun toaster still makes toast, in fact it makes
better toast with recent versions of Solaris than it did when it was new.
Software support for the versions of software that it does run will
continue for a number of years.

Sun isn't dropping support for all OS versions that run on sun4c. They
are dropping hardware support for _future_ OS versions. This is an
important distinction. Those systems doing the same jobs they did 10
years ago will continue to do them for another 10 years.

I know a few people inside of Sun involved with core OS work, and at no
time have I heard anything that would point towards the dropping of h/w
support being a marketing trick. It's simple cost/benefits analysis,
manpower that would go to maintaining things like the sun4c MMU code and
archaic 1.x PROM workarounds could be better used in other areas. As
someone whose day to day work requires the power of at least a dozen
UltraSparc CPU's just to get off the ground, I can understand their point
of view.

Companies who need Sun hardware support for their equipment already
upgraded to newer systems when Sun stopped h/w service agreements on
sun4c. Companies who need software support have no problems in the near
future as Solaris 7 has quite a few more years of life with patches before
becoming anything like obsolete. I still help run Solaris 2.4 on a batch
of 4/300's belonging to a friend, and it does the job admirably.
Post by Dave McGuire
The free operating systems, on the other hand, are purely
functionality-driven. They don't arbitrarily drop support for
hardware because that *removes functionality*. The NetBSD/sparc
folks, for example, will ENCOURAGE you to use that old SS2 sitting in
the corner...not tell you to "throw that old trash away, buy a new
Ultra!" like Sun will.
I'm a fan of the NetBSD project personally, but you have to keep in mind
that it has a different goal than the Solaris development group.

NetBSD will indeed continue to support hardware. _New_ hardware support,
on the other hand, is lacking. I distinctly remember being badly burned
back in 1995 when I considered it an alternative to Solaris 2.x for a pile
of sun4c systems. OBP 2.x support didn't exist as such, I had to hack it
in by hand. Keep in mind that 2.x systems had been shipping for nearly
four years.

Now it's 2000. UltraSparcs have been out for what, 5 years? Can I stick
with NetBSD when my computing needs outgrow the SS2 or SS5 sitting in the
corner? Fine-grained SMP and support for any modern Sun gear is still a
far-off dream, as is being able to "plug and play" a wide variety of SBus
cards. No other Unix I've seen can touch the ease of system installation
with Jumpstart, and Sun's NFS implementation is top notch.

Unfortunately, SPARC is a fringe port for all of the free Unices. It
doesn't have the price/performance or popularity of x86, and you lose the
integrated hardware support that you get when you run everything from a
single vendor (even if some of that support does eventually expire).
Sure, we all know that the hardware is "nice", but that doesn't sell it
for a lot of people.
Post by Dave McGuire
Use your sun4c machine, Ken. Don't stop using it until it can no
longer do the job. Run a free OS on it and you'll always have a
useful machine.
If NetBSD does indeed fit your needs better than Solaris, then by all
means go for it. Keep in mind that neither one is in any way perfect, and
_always_ consider your intended use first.

-James
Magnus Abrante
2000-07-12 12:22:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Lockwood
I know a few people inside of Sun involved with core OS work, and at no
time have I heard anything that would point towards the dropping of h/w
support being a marketing trick.
Me neither.

We do droped the sun4c support in Solaris 8, but sun4c was borned 1989,
and we sold the last sun4c box many years ago, i think its very unrealistic
expecting sun to support such old hardware.

The reason to why the sun4c was droped was most likely other reasons than
commercial/marketing issues.

Just take the IPX/SS2, the maximum amount of memory in those are 64 MB,
most of the other 4c's can take even less. Do you really want to run
Solaris 8 on an IPC with 48 mb memory? Well, perhaps you would, i'm
running Solaris 7 on a IPC and its working without any problems, but still.

There has been four new generations of CPUs after the sun4c; sun4m, sun4d
Ultra I and Ultra II, and i think the work requierd to support sun4c, both
from the software developers and the support organisation would be a lot
more than its actually worth, this is however my own opinion.

And i know, some customers still have support on their sun4c boxes.

Regards,

//Magnus Abrante
/* This is my own opinion and has nothing to do with my employeer */

/* Quote:
Sun4c - Born 1989, Expired 1999 - Rest In Peace

Services in memory of the late platform will be held at a time and
place to be determined. */
M***@nocke.Sweden.Sun.COM
2000-07-12 12:22:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Lockwood
I know a few people inside of Sun involved with core OS work, and at no
time have I heard anything that would point towards the dropping of h/w
support being a marketing trick.
Me neither.

We do droped the sun4c support in Solaris 8, but sun4c was borned 1989,
and we sold the last sun4c box many years ago, i think its very unrealistic
expecting sun to support such old hardware.

The reason to why the sun4c was droped was most likely other reasons than
commercial/marketing issues.

Just take the IPX/SS2, the maximum amount of memory in those are 64 MB,
most of the other 4c's can take even less. Do you really want to run
Solaris 8 on an IPC with 48 mb memory? Well, perhaps you would, i'm
running Solaris 7 on a IPC and its working without any problems, but still.

There has been four new generations of CPUs after the sun4c; sun4m, sun4d
Ultra I and Ultra II, and i think the work requierd to support sun4c, both
from the software developers and the support organisation would be a lot
more than its actually worth, this is however my own opinion.

And i know, some customers still have support on their sun4c boxes.

Regards,

//Magnus Abrante
/* This is my own opinion and has nothing to do with my employeer */

/* Quote:
Sun4c - Born 1989, Expired 1999 - Rest In Peace

Services in memory of the late platform will be held at a time and
place to be determined. */
Ken Hansen
2000-07-12 13:40:14 UTC
Permalink
Just make my intention clear - Iwas/am interested in what OS folks think
was/is
the "sweet-spot" for Sun4c systems:

Solaris 2.5.1 is still viable, as most widely-available SOlaris
"freeware" is built
for that release level.

Solaris 2.6 is running just fine on my SPARCbook 3GX, and will for the
forseeable future.

I have no exp. with Solaris 7, my question on this OS relates to it's
usefulness,
WRT "buggy-ness" - was it a good, stable OS or did it introduce some
bloat
that was later tuned in Solaris 8?

Solaris 8 is not an option for this type of system.

Linux works, but Sun4c is a "second tier" platform (for the commercial
distributions
anyway)...

And finally, *BSD is reported to be a "wonder OS" for older machines,
but my
experience with them is slight, at best.

So, since all the OS chices for the Sun4c platform are known, what is
considered to
be the most "efficient" OS to make maximum use of a SS/2 (for example)?

I'm not (in any way) mad/upset/frustrated that Sun will no longer offer the
option of
running the latest Solaris OS on an SS/2 - I wouldn't *want* to.

Ken

BTW - I agree with everything James said, I just snipped his comments for
brevity.

----- Original Message -----
From: "James Lockwood" <***@foonly.com>
To: <***@sunhelp.org>
Sent: Wednesday, July 12, 2000 7:27 AM
Subject: Re: [SunRescue] Q on "optimal" OS for Sun4c machines, now that
Solaris 8 won't run
Post by James Lockwood
I hate to get involved with this, but I feel I have to say my piece.
K***@bellatlantic.net
2000-07-12 13:40:14 UTC
Permalink
Just make my intention clear - Iwas/am interested in what OS folks think
was/is
the "sweet-spot" for Sun4c systems:

Solaris 2.5.1 is still viable, as most widely-available SOlaris
"freeware" is built
for that release level.

Solaris 2.6 is running just fine on my SPARCbook 3GX, and will for the
forseeable future.

I have no exp. with Solaris 7, my question on this OS relates to it's
usefulness,
WRT "buggy-ness" - was it a good, stable OS or did it introduce some
bloat
that was later tuned in Solaris 8?

Solaris 8 is not an option for this type of system.

Linux works, but Sun4c is a "second tier" platform (for the commercial
distributions
anyway)...

And finally, *BSD is reported to be a "wonder OS" for older machines,
but my
experience with them is slight, at best.

So, since all the OS chices for the Sun4c platform are known, what is
considered to
be the most "efficient" OS to make maximum use of a SS/2 (for example)?

I'm not (in any way) mad/upset/frustrated that Sun will no longer offer the
option of
running the latest Solaris OS on an SS/2 - I wouldn't *want* to.

Ken

BTW - I agree with everything James said, I just snipped his comments for
brevity.

----- Original Message -----
From: "James Lockwood" <***@foonly.com>
To: <***@sunhelp.org>
Sent: Wednesday, July 12, 2000 7:27 AM
Subject: Re: [SunRescue] Q on "optimal" OS for Sun4c machines, now that
Solaris 8 won't run
Post by James Lockwood
I hate to get involved with this, but I feel I have to say my piece.
Ken Hansen
2000-07-12 13:50:11 UTC
Permalink
----- Original Message -----
From: "Magnus Abrante" <***@nocke.Sweden.Sun.COM>
To: <***@sunhelp.org>
Sent: Wednesday, July 12, 2000 8:22 AM
Subject: Re: [SunRescue] Q on "optimal" OS for Sun4c machines, now that
Solaris 8 won't run
Post by Magnus Abrante
We do droped the sun4c support in Solaris 8, but sun4c was borned 1989,
and we sold the last sun4c box many years ago, i think its very
unrealistic
Post by Magnus Abrante
expecting sun to support such old hardware.
Agreed.
Post by Magnus Abrante
The reason to why the sun4c was droped was most likely other reasons than
commercial/marketing issues.
Agreed.
Post by Magnus Abrante
Just take the IPX/SS2, the maximum amount of memory in those are 64 MB,
most of the other 4c's can take even less. Do you really want to run
Solaris 8 on an IPC with 48 mb memory? Well, perhaps you would, i'm
running Solaris 7 on a IPC and its working without any problems, but
still.

Agreed.
Post by Magnus Abrante
There has been four new generations of CPUs after the sun4c; sun4m, sun4d
Ultra I and Ultra II, and i think the work requierd to support sun4c, both
from the software developers and the support organisation would be a lot
more than its actually worth, this is however my own opinion.
And i know, some customers still have support on their sun4c boxes.
An interesting aside - a previous employer decided to start charging
internal groups
"rent" for the floorspace their servers occupied - the smallest unit of
measure was
a 19" rack. But,if you had 4 servers in that 19" rack, you were assessed 4x
the
rack rate, because it was a "per server" charge. The charges were
non-trivial.

When management of my groups servers was going into this new organization
the
first bill was astounding - IPCs as "print servers" were being charged the
same rate
as a mid-range HP server occupying a 19" rack tower. And then they wanted to
charge the grop movement fees to physically relocate the "servers" to their
raised
floor (to ensure physical security).

The bill per IPC "print" server was approaching $2500/year...

We got them to agree that there was no need to either manage nor move those
"dedicated" IPCs, shaving tens of thousands of dollars off our annual costs.
I
can see how a business unit could still be paying for support on a Sun4c
box,
but I would hope the Sun Rep involved would try hard to get them to migrate
(at least up to an SS5/70 ;^) to allow them to run on "current" platforms...

Ken
K***@bellatlantic.net
2000-07-12 13:50:11 UTC
Permalink
----- Original Message -----
From: "Magnus Abrante" <***@nocke.Sweden.Sun.COM>
To: <***@sunhelp.org>
Sent: Wednesday, July 12, 2000 8:22 AM
Subject: Re: [SunRescue] Q on "optimal" OS for Sun4c machines, now that
Solaris 8 won't run
Post by Magnus Abrante
We do droped the sun4c support in Solaris 8, but sun4c was borned 1989,
and we sold the last sun4c box many years ago, i think its very
unrealistic
Post by Magnus Abrante
expecting sun to support such old hardware.
Agreed.
Post by Magnus Abrante
The reason to why the sun4c was droped was most likely other reasons than
commercial/marketing issues.
Agreed.
Post by Magnus Abrante
Just take the IPX/SS2, the maximum amount of memory in those are 64 MB,
most of the other 4c's can take even less. Do you really want to run
Solaris 8 on an IPC with 48 mb memory? Well, perhaps you would, i'm
running Solaris 7 on a IPC and its working without any problems, but
still.

Agreed.
Post by Magnus Abrante
There has been four new generations of CPUs after the sun4c; sun4m, sun4d
Ultra I and Ultra II, and i think the work requierd to support sun4c, both
from the software developers and the support organisation would be a lot
more than its actually worth, this is however my own opinion.
And i know, some customers still have support on their sun4c boxes.
An interesting aside - a previous employer decided to start charging
internal groups
"rent" for the floorspace their servers occupied - the smallest unit of
measure was
a 19" rack. But,if you had 4 servers in that 19" rack, you were assessed 4x
the
rack rate, because it was a "per server" charge. The charges were
non-trivial.

When management of my groups servers was going into this new organization
the
first bill was astounding - IPCs as "print servers" were being charged the
same rate
as a mid-range HP server occupying a 19" rack tower. And then they wanted to
charge the grop movement fees to physically relocate the "servers" to their
raised
floor (to ensure physical security).

The bill per IPC "print" server was approaching $2500/year...

We got them to agree that there was no need to either manage nor move those
"dedicated" IPCs, shaving tens of thousands of dollars off our annual costs.
I
can see how a business unit could still be paying for support on a Sun4c
box,
but I would hope the Sun Rep involved would try hard to get them to migrate
(at least up to an SS5/70 ;^) to allow them to run on "current" platforms...

Ken
P.A.Osborne
2000-07-12 14:16:24 UTC
Permalink
Uuurk the formatting of the original mail has gone mad - ho hum.

I will add some comments to Ken's points if no-one minds.
Post by Ken Hansen
Just make my intention clear - Iwas/am interested in what OS folks think
was/is
I like OpenBSD.
Post by Ken Hansen
Solaris 2.5.1 is still viable, as most widely-available SOlaris
"freeware" is built
for that release level.
Fair comment but I have not used it of late.
Post by Ken Hansen
I have no exp. with Solaris 7, my question on this OS relates to it's
usefulness,
WRT "buggy-ness" - was it a good, stable OS or did it introduce some
bloat
that was later tuned in Solaris 8?
I run several (20ish) Sun boxes here at UKC from 4m to u4s (450s) we are
running solely Solaris 7 now. I feel that 7 is better now than a year ago
if only for the multitude of patches which have been made available from
Sun. I wont install a 7 box without putting the latest cluster patch on
straight afterward.
Post by Ken Hansen
Solaris 8 is not an option for this type of system.
Havent looked at it yet - I dont want to test a new system until its
been around a little while - conservative attitude I know but I have
neither the time or hardware to take the risk at the moment.
Post by Ken Hansen
Linux works, but Sun4c is a "second tier" platform (for the commercial
distributions
I installed redhat 6.1 for sparc on a SunStation 5 a little while ago with
the KDEworkstation and it idled with a load of 1.5 - I wasnt best impressed.
Post by Ken Hansen
And finally, *BSD is reported to be a "wonder OS" for older machines,
but my
experience with them is slight, at best.
Fair enough.
Post by Ken Hansen
So, since all the OS chices for the Sun4c platform are known, what is
considered to
be the most "efficient" OS to make maximum use of a SS/2 (for example)?
I havent tried NetBSD but OpenBSD on a SparcStn2 feels considerably faster
than Solaris 7 on a SparcStn2. Yes I know that 'feels' is a matter of
opinion but I cant put it better than that. Running X and fvwm2 on a
SparcStn2 with a cg6 video card feels loverly - no its not lightening quick
but its a darn sight less painfull that Solaris's CDE - yes Solaris comes
with twm - but even that felt more than a tad sluggish to me.
Post by Ken Hansen
I'm not (in any way) mad/upset/frustrated that Sun will no longer offer the
option of
running the latest Solaris OS on an SS/2 - I wouldn't *want* to.
Having tried Solaris on a SparcStn2 I wouldnt want to do so again.

I dont know if the above thoughts help, but they are mine - honest.

Cheers

Paul
P***@ukc.ac.uk
2000-07-12 14:16:24 UTC
Permalink
Uuurk the formatting of the original mail has gone mad - ho hum.

I will add some comments to Ken's points if no-one minds.
Post by Ken Hansen
Just make my intention clear - Iwas/am interested in what OS folks think
was/is
I like OpenBSD.
Post by Ken Hansen
Solaris 2.5.1 is still viable, as most widely-available SOlaris
"freeware" is built
for that release level.
Fair comment but I have not used it of late.
Post by Ken Hansen
I have no exp. with Solaris 7, my question on this OS relates to it's
usefulness,
WRT "buggy-ness" - was it a good, stable OS or did it introduce some
bloat
that was later tuned in Solaris 8?
I run several (20ish) Sun boxes here at UKC from 4m to u4s (450s) we are
running solely Solaris 7 now. I feel that 7 is better now than a year ago
if only for the multitude of patches which have been made available from
Sun. I wont install a 7 box without putting the latest cluster patch on
straight afterward.
Post by Ken Hansen
Solaris 8 is not an option for this type of system.
Havent looked at it yet - I dont want to test a new system until its
been around a little while - conservative attitude I know but I have
neither the time or hardware to take the risk at the moment.
Post by Ken Hansen
Linux works, but Sun4c is a "second tier" platform (for the commercial
distributions
I installed redhat 6.1 for sparc on a SunStation 5 a little while ago with
the KDEworkstation and it idled with a load of 1.5 - I wasnt best impressed.
Post by Ken Hansen
And finally, *BSD is reported to be a "wonder OS" for older machines,
but my
experience with them is slight, at best.
Fair enough.
Post by Ken Hansen
So, since all the OS chices for the Sun4c platform are known, what is
considered to
be the most "efficient" OS to make maximum use of a SS/2 (for example)?
I havent tried NetBSD but OpenBSD on a SparcStn2 feels considerably faster
than Solaris 7 on a SparcStn2. Yes I know that 'feels' is a matter of
opinion but I cant put it better than that. Running X and fvwm2 on a
SparcStn2 with a cg6 video card feels loverly - no its not lightening quick
but its a darn sight less painfull that Solaris's CDE - yes Solaris comes
with twm - but even that felt more than a tad sluggish to me.
Post by Ken Hansen
I'm not (in any way) mad/upset/frustrated that Sun will no longer offer the
option of
running the latest Solaris OS on an SS/2 - I wouldn't *want* to.
Having tried Solaris on a SparcStn2 I wouldnt want to do so again.

I dont know if the above thoughts help, but they are mine - honest.

Cheers

Paul
Jonathan Katz
2000-07-12 14:41:46 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 12 Jul 2000, P.A.Osborne wrote:

:Uuurk the formatting of the original mail has gone mad - ho hum.

Since I work for Sun Professional Services I can give the official
unofficial view :^) [ we have guys posting here from *.sun.com on
occasion, so I don't feel bad about piping up... ]

:I like OpenBSD.

Me too... and if you can't find a copy of SunOS 4.1.[3,4] for your sun4c
box that's what I recommend.

:> Solaris 2.5.1 is still viable, as most widely-available SOlaris
:> "freeware" is built
:> for that release level.
:
:Fair comment but I have not used it of late.

Yes... lots of what's on sunsite is built for 2.5.1 and was built for
2.5.1 before anything else. But Sun wants to stop supporting older OSes
and start supporting the newer (Solaris 7, 8, etc) ones. [ this is a
known fact; I hope I'm not starting any scary rumours for folks ]

:I wont install a 7 box without putting the latest cluster patch on
:straight afterward.

Correct. A lot of people agree that Solaris 7 was shipped a little bit
prematurely. Most PS guys (me included) won't recommend 7 for production
boxes unless someone patches the hell out of it(tm.) However, if I'm at
a site that is pushing high-end Ultra's I'd sometimes prefer 7 because
it has better support than 2.6 for some of the higher-end gear (fuller
64bit support, etc.) It depends on the apps which are running, too.

:> Solaris 8 is not an option for this type of system.
:
:Havent looked at it yet - I dont want to test a new system until its
:been around a little while - conservative attitude I know but I have
:neither the time or hardware to take the risk at the moment.

If there was more app support for Solaris 8 from other commercial vendors
more Sun PS folks would be pushing 8 out to people. I'm involved with a
very complex e-commerce project right now and we wanted to use 8, but
because there were a few apps which won't be supported under 8 until
2001 we're SOL.... and we went back to 2.6.

Solaris 8 has a heck of a lot of nifty crap(tm) in it. I'll spare you the
whitepaper. Needless to say, even on a box like an SS2000 with 4 SM41s (or
something along those lines) I'd rather run Solaris 8 than 2.5.1.

:I installed redhat 6.1 for sparc on a SunStation 5 a little while ago with
:the KDEworkstation and it idled with a load of 1.5 - I wasnt best impressed.

FWIW when I was sysadminning @cadence.com I had a SS5/170 w/ only 64M of
RAM. I ran OpenBSD (2.4? 2.5? it was a while ago) w/ afterstep and it fared
quite a bit better than Solaris 2.6 and 7 (which had *just* come out.)

:I havent tried NetBSD but OpenBSD on a SparcStn2 feels considerably faster
:than Solaris 7 on a SparcStn2. Yes I know that 'feels' is a matter of
:opinion but I cant put it better than that. Running X and fvwm2 on a
:SparcStn2 with a cg6 video card feels loverly - no its not lightening quick
:but its a darn sight less painfull that Solaris's CDE - yes Solaris comes
:with twm - but even that felt more than a tad sluggish to me.

If you were to tweek the hell out of Solaris you could get better
performance on your SS2 or IPX. RAM helps... a lot of RAM helps a lot.
Beyond that you're looking at tweaking which daemons run (turn off sendmail,
etc.) and even fixing various sizes in /etc/system. Unless you really
want/need Solaris on the box it wouldn't be worth the effort.

:Having tried Solaris on a SparcStn2 I wouldnt want to do so again.

I did 2.5.1 on an IPX. Ugh. That wasn't too terrible, though... add in
CDE and friends and that can get ugly.
--
Jonathan Katz
e-mail: ***@jonworld.com
website: http://jonworld.com
proprietor: http://bachelor-cooking.com
Cell: 317-698-4023 * Pager: 800-759-8888 1770869 * FAX: 530-688-5347
J***@jonworld.com
2000-07-12 14:41:46 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 12 Jul 2000, P.A.Osborne wrote:

:Uuurk the formatting of the original mail has gone mad - ho hum.

Since I work for Sun Professional Services I can give the official
unofficial view :^) [ we have guys posting here from *.sun.com on
occasion, so I don't feel bad about piping up... ]

:I like OpenBSD.

Me too... and if you can't find a copy of SunOS 4.1.[3,4] for your sun4c
box that's what I recommend.

:> Solaris 2.5.1 is still viable, as most widely-available SOlaris
:> "freeware" is built
:> for that release level.
:
:Fair comment but I have not used it of late.

Yes... lots of what's on sunsite is built for 2.5.1 and was built for
2.5.1 before anything else. But Sun wants to stop supporting older OSes
and start supporting the newer (Solaris 7, 8, etc) ones. [ this is a
known fact; I hope I'm not starting any scary rumours for folks ]

:I wont install a 7 box without putting the latest cluster patch on
:straight afterward.

Correct. A lot of people agree that Solaris 7 was shipped a little bit
prematurely. Most PS guys (me included) won't recommend 7 for production
boxes unless someone patches the hell out of it(tm.) However, if I'm at
a site that is pushing high-end Ultra's I'd sometimes prefer 7 because
it has better support than 2.6 for some of the higher-end gear (fuller
64bit support, etc.) It depends on the apps which are running, too.

:> Solaris 8 is not an option for this type of system.
:
:Havent looked at it yet - I dont want to test a new system until its
:been around a little while - conservative attitude I know but I have
:neither the time or hardware to take the risk at the moment.

If there was more app support for Solaris 8 from other commercial vendors
more Sun PS folks would be pushing 8 out to people. I'm involved with a
very complex e-commerce project right now and we wanted to use 8, but
because there were a few apps which won't be supported under 8 until
2001 we're SOL.... and we went back to 2.6.

Solaris 8 has a heck of a lot of nifty crap(tm) in it. I'll spare you the
whitepaper. Needless to say, even on a box like an SS2000 with 4 SM41s (or
something along those lines) I'd rather run Solaris 8 than 2.5.1.

:I installed redhat 6.1 for sparc on a SunStation 5 a little while ago with
:the KDEworkstation and it idled with a load of 1.5 - I wasnt best impressed.

FWIW when I was sysadminning @cadence.com I had a SS5/170 w/ only 64M of
RAM. I ran OpenBSD (2.4? 2.5? it was a while ago) w/ afterstep and it fared
quite a bit better than Solaris 2.6 and 7 (which had *just* come out.)

:I havent tried NetBSD but OpenBSD on a SparcStn2 feels considerably faster
:than Solaris 7 on a SparcStn2. Yes I know that 'feels' is a matter of
:opinion but I cant put it better than that. Running X and fvwm2 on a
:SparcStn2 with a cg6 video card feels loverly - no its not lightening quick
:but its a darn sight less painfull that Solaris's CDE - yes Solaris comes
:with twm - but even that felt more than a tad sluggish to me.

If you were to tweek the hell out of Solaris you could get better
performance on your SS2 or IPX. RAM helps... a lot of RAM helps a lot.
Beyond that you're looking at tweaking which daemons run (turn off sendmail,
etc.) and even fixing various sizes in /etc/system. Unless you really
want/need Solaris on the box it wouldn't be worth the effort.

:Having tried Solaris on a SparcStn2 I wouldnt want to do so again.

I did 2.5.1 on an IPX. Ugh. That wasn't too terrible, though... add in
CDE and friends and that can get ugly.
--
Jonathan Katz
e-mail: ***@jonworld.com
website: http://jonworld.com
proprietor: http://bachelor-cooking.com
Cell: 317-698-4023 * Pager: 800-759-8888 1770869 * FAX: 530-688-5347
Jonathan Katz
2000-07-12 15:14:49 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 12 Jul 2000, BSD Bob the old greybeard BSD freak wrote:

:Anyone have any thoughts on Solaris 2.4? I have heard it is rather
:unsettled, compared to 2.5.1 or 2.6 or 7.

I guess I'll pipe up once again. You don't want to run anything branded
'Solaris' if its rev is BELOW 2.5.1. [ This blanket statement doesn't apply
to the 1.x stuff. ] 2.5 had some icky security and kernel stability issues
(IIRC) but there were a lot of improvements between 2.5 and 2.5.1 (printing
daemons and how printing w/in Solaris actually works, for one.) I've never
worked w/ 2.4 but after hearing the horror stories (and seeing some) when
working with 2.5 *shakes head* -- the dealie with 2.4 is that was the
first release which supported the Cray 6400s IIRC.

:crate, which one would be the one of choice to look out for, and where
:the dickens can one find it these days? All I have is Solaris 1.1.1
:and Solaris 2.4. And, my cheapskate's beer-bellie budget won't quite
:allow me the pleasure of a late-model biggie box, yet.....so, 4c it is.

Lots of "older" higher-end boxes are becoming cheaper. The U1s and U2s are
EOL'd -- ebay and others ( http://solarsys.com/specials ) had U1s for
under $800 at various points in time. Those will run 8 just peachy-keen.
--
Jonathan Katz
e-mail: ***@jonworld.com
website: http://jonworld.com
proprietor: http://bachelor-cooking.com
Cell: 317-698-4023 * Pager: 800-759-8888 1770869 * FAX: 530-688-5347
J***@jonworld.com
2000-07-12 15:14:49 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 12 Jul 2000, BSD Bob the old greybeard BSD freak wrote:

:Anyone have any thoughts on Solaris 2.4? I have heard it is rather
:unsettled, compared to 2.5.1 or 2.6 or 7.

I guess I'll pipe up once again. You don't want to run anything branded
'Solaris' if its rev is BELOW 2.5.1. [ This blanket statement doesn't apply
to the 1.x stuff. ] 2.5 had some icky security and kernel stability issues
(IIRC) but there were a lot of improvements between 2.5 and 2.5.1 (printing
daemons and how printing w/in Solaris actually works, for one.) I've never
worked w/ 2.4 but after hearing the horror stories (and seeing some) when
working with 2.5 *shakes head* -- the dealie with 2.4 is that was the
first release which supported the Cray 6400s IIRC.

:crate, which one would be the one of choice to look out for, and where
:the dickens can one find it these days? All I have is Solaris 1.1.1
:and Solaris 2.4. And, my cheapskate's beer-bellie budget won't quite
:allow me the pleasure of a late-model biggie box, yet.....so, 4c it is.

Lots of "older" higher-end boxes are becoming cheaper. The U1s and U2s are
EOL'd -- ebay and others ( http://solarsys.com/specials ) had U1s for
under $800 at various points in time. Those will run 8 just peachy-keen.
--
Jonathan Katz
e-mail: ***@jonworld.com
website: http://jonworld.com
proprietor: http://bachelor-cooking.com
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BSD Bob the old greybeard BSD freak
2000-07-12 17:14:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Hansen
Just make my intention clear - Iwas/am interested in what OS folks think
Good topic for consideration, especially amongst us ancient sunrunners.

Anyone have any thoughts on Solaris 2.4? I have heard it is rather
unsettled, compared to 2.5.1 or 2.6 or 7.
Post by Ken Hansen
Solaris 2.5.1 is still viable...
Solaris 2.6 is running just fine...
I have no exp. with Solaris 7, my question on this OS relates to it's
userfulness, WRT "buggy-ness"....
Linux works, but Sun4c is a "second tier"
Also, it is not as nice yet as it might be in my hands, compared to other
things. It tends to crash more often than the BSD's or Sunsomethingorother.
I load up new releases of Linux as they appear, but usually nuke it after
an hour or two in favor of the BSD side of the family.
Post by Ken Hansen
And finally, *BSD is reported to be a "wonder OS" for older machines,
but my experience with them is slight, at best.
I run NetBSD and OpenBSD servers and workstations on sunstuff.
IFF you are running a serious OLDIE machine, I would heartily
recommend OpenBSD first, NetBSD second, and Sunsomethingorother
third based upon my experiences. If running Sunsomethingorother,
I would tend to SunOS 4.1.3 patched and outfitted appropriately.
I still run one old 4/260 webserver crate on SunOS 4.1.3, and it
just runs and runs and runs and runs and runs, seemingly forever.
I would run Linux last, unless I really had to have a particular
Linux port of somethingorother that was not available on SunOS
or one of the BSD's. It is just not quite mature enough yet,
in my hands.
Post by Ken Hansen
So, since all the OS chices for the Sun4c platform are known, what is
considered to be the most "efficient" OS to make maximum use of a SS/2
(for example)?
On any lesser 4c class machine I would opt for OpenBSD first. It just
plain works, and works perfectly. Throw in a floppy and install off
the inet and away you go! This assumes you can port anything you need
that is not proprietary. OpenBSD has about 1000 ports up, and almost
anything you can get source to will compile fine. Netscraper is usable
if you have a set of the right Solaris libs handy.
Post by Ken Hansen
I'm not (in any way) mad/upset/frustrated that Sun will no longer offer the
option of running the latest Solaris OS on an SS/2 - I wouldn't *want* to.
Me neither, but out of curiosity, if one HAD to run a Solaris on a 4c
crate, which one would be the one of choice to look out for, and where
the dickens can one find it these days? All I have is Solaris 1.1.1
and Solaris 2.4. And, my cheapskate's beer-bellie budget won't quite
allow me the pleasure of a late-model biggie box, yet.....so, 4c it is.

That be my take on the issue.....

Thanks

Bob
B***@weedcon1.cropsci.ncsu.edu
2000-07-12 17:14:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Hansen
Just make my intention clear - Iwas/am interested in what OS folks think
Good topic for consideration, especially amongst us ancient sunrunners.

Anyone have any thoughts on Solaris 2.4? I have heard it is rather
unsettled, compared to 2.5.1 or 2.6 or 7.
Post by Ken Hansen
Solaris 2.5.1 is still viable...
Solaris 2.6 is running just fine...
I have no exp. with Solaris 7, my question on this OS relates to it's
userfulness, WRT "buggy-ness"....
Linux works, but Sun4c is a "second tier"
Also, it is not as nice yet as it might be in my hands, compared to other
things. It tends to crash more often than the BSD's or Sunsomethingorother.
I load up new releases of Linux as they appear, but usually nuke it after
an hour or two in favor of the BSD side of the family.
Post by Ken Hansen
And finally, *BSD is reported to be a "wonder OS" for older machines,
but my experience with them is slight, at best.
I run NetBSD and OpenBSD servers and workstations on sunstuff.
IFF you are running a serious OLDIE machine, I would heartily
recommend OpenBSD first, NetBSD second, and Sunsomethingorother
third based upon my experiences. If running Sunsomethingorother,
I would tend to SunOS 4.1.3 patched and outfitted appropriately.
I still run one old 4/260 webserver crate on SunOS 4.1.3, and it
just runs and runs and runs and runs and runs, seemingly forever.
I would run Linux last, unless I really had to have a particular
Linux port of somethingorother that was not available on SunOS
or one of the BSD's. It is just not quite mature enough yet,
in my hands.
Post by Ken Hansen
So, since all the OS chices for the Sun4c platform are known, what is
considered to be the most "efficient" OS to make maximum use of a SS/2
(for example)?
On any lesser 4c class machine I would opt for OpenBSD first. It just
plain works, and works perfectly. Throw in a floppy and install off
the inet and away you go! This assumes you can port anything you need
that is not proprietary. OpenBSD has about 1000 ports up, and almost
anything you can get source to will compile fine. Netscraper is usable
if you have a set of the right Solaris libs handy.
Post by Ken Hansen
I'm not (in any way) mad/upset/frustrated that Sun will no longer offer the
option of running the latest Solaris OS on an SS/2 - I wouldn't *want* to.
Me neither, but out of curiosity, if one HAD to run a Solaris on a 4c
crate, which one would be the one of choice to look out for, and where
the dickens can one find it these days? All I have is Solaris 1.1.1
and Solaris 2.4. And, my cheapskate's beer-bellie budget won't quite
allow me the pleasure of a late-model biggie box, yet.....so, 4c it is.

That be my take on the issue.....

Thanks

Bob
BSD Bob the old greybeard BSD freak
2000-07-12 17:57:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Hansen
I never thought Solaris 8 would be a great OS to drop on a 64 Meg SPARC2,
but the issue did "sparc" this question... Solaris software seems keyed to
version 2.5.1 and above, and some fokls are reporting *nearly amazing" results
with some of the *BSD OSs, so I'm wondering what the popular opinion is.
I dunno if it is amazing, but the BSD's run veddy well for my needs.
I use them as webservers, ftpservers, X boxes, troff/TeX boxes, and
playtoys for system development. IFF I can get it to run on a BSD on
a sun crate, I use that as the OS of choice. If I can't, then I drop
back to SunOS or Solaris, depending upon what I can get to run and which
CD I grapple for.
Post by Ken Hansen
In order to make this look like a reasonable question, let me add that my
thought is to use the machine at home, and being able to download pre-built
binaries would be very useful. This would be a desktop machine with very
low demand web serving (and maybe SAMBA file serving as well) duties. The
box in mind specifically is a SS/2 w/Weitek PowerUP and 96 Meg RAM
(that is 64 Meg + 32 Meg SBUS expansion card).
Machine at home is fine. I strongly avoid prebuilts and always compile
from source for anything I can get source to.... (old habit, I guess).
I use prebuilts for things like Netscrapers and things only available
in binaries.

If you wanna webserve a little, the game is Apache. It builds fine on
anything you can muster up a gcc on. You don't indicate what other
home software you need. That could be a problem, if you had to have
some proprietary binaries that only run on Solaris, although there is
binary support in the BSD's for many things Sunish.

You might check the NetBSD or OpenBSD ports trees and see if there are
things missing from available ports that might alter what OS or prebuilts
you would tend towards.

Also, OS updateability may be worth considering. Solaris is dead on
4c class hardware. It will be around for a long time, but it is dead
developmentally, patchwise, etc. Any of the Freebie *nices are source
patched nightly from the cannonical sources, for both the OS and all
the ports. THAT makes a very nice thing to consider, if you have to
keep a dead class machine running for a long time. Bugs are usually
fixed very quickly, and you HAVE the source. CERT vulnerabilities
are fixed very quickly, and you HAVE the source.... etc., etc., etc.
That is not likely to happen on dead versions of Solaris.

But, if you don't need these kinds of features, and can be happy
with a frozen OS, and it does what you need it to do (important point),
then there is merit in using a frozen OS, too. That could be a gotcha
if the machine is hooked up at home to the internet. In that case,
I would always opt for a later, more secure OS. Heck, I still run
a 4.3BSD box, at home, OFF the inet, but on my intranet, because it
has some features and simplicities I like on the particular hardware
I run it on. That is a dead OS, for sure, but, it does what I want
it to do. Likewise on an old AIX-1 box.... and AIX-1 is a dead
dinosaur, but it has my pet F77 suite.

So, rather than consider the OS, directly, consider what it is you want
to do specifically, and the binaries/source/software required to do that,
and then pick the OS that handles that best.
Post by Ken Hansen
I am concerned that other OSs may drop support, following Suns lead...
Nah, it will be there for a long time in any of the Freebie *nices.
Heck, they are still supporting Sun 3/60 crates and VAX 11/780's.
Old hardware runs forever, it seems, and the typist is the bottleneck
mostly, even on hotrod hardware. So, old hardware is still quite
usable. Granted, an SS1 or SS2 is not a speed skater, but, my SS1
makes a great websever and ftp archive server. Just don't try to
compile mozilla the gorilla on it, while running X and a webscraper,
unless you have lots of time....(:+}}.

Good Luck....

Bob
B***@weedcon1.cropsci.ncsu.edu
2000-07-12 17:57:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ken Hansen
I never thought Solaris 8 would be a great OS to drop on a 64 Meg SPARC2,
but the issue did "sparc" this question... Solaris software seems keyed to
version 2.5.1 and above, and some fokls are reporting *nearly amazing" results
with some of the *BSD OSs, so I'm wondering what the popular opinion is.
I dunno if it is amazing, but the BSD's run veddy well for my needs.
I use them as webservers, ftpservers, X boxes, troff/TeX boxes, and
playtoys for system development. IFF I can get it to run on a BSD on
a sun crate, I use that as the OS of choice. If I can't, then I drop
back to SunOS or Solaris, depending upon what I can get to run and which
CD I grapple for.
Post by Ken Hansen
In order to make this look like a reasonable question, let me add that my
thought is to use the machine at home, and being able to download pre-built
binaries would be very useful. This would be a desktop machine with very
low demand web serving (and maybe SAMBA file serving as well) duties. The
box in mind specifically is a SS/2 w/Weitek PowerUP and 96 Meg RAM
(that is 64 Meg + 32 Meg SBUS expansion card).
Machine at home is fine. I strongly avoid prebuilts and always compile
from source for anything I can get source to.... (old habit, I guess).
I use prebuilts for things like Netscrapers and things only available
in binaries.

If you wanna webserve a little, the game is Apache. It builds fine on
anything you can muster up a gcc on. You don't indicate what other
home software you need. That could be a problem, if you had to have
some proprietary binaries that only run on Solaris, although there is
binary support in the BSD's for many things Sunish.

You might check the NetBSD or OpenBSD ports trees and see if there are
things missing from available ports that might alter what OS or prebuilts
you would tend towards.

Also, OS updateability may be worth considering. Solaris is dead on
4c class hardware. It will be around for a long time, but it is dead
developmentally, patchwise, etc. Any of the Freebie *nices are source
patched nightly from the cannonical sources, for both the OS and all
the ports. THAT makes a very nice thing to consider, if you have to
keep a dead class machine running for a long time. Bugs are usually
fixed very quickly, and you HAVE the source. CERT vulnerabilities
are fixed very quickly, and you HAVE the source.... etc., etc., etc.
That is not likely to happen on dead versions of Solaris.

But, if you don't need these kinds of features, and can be happy
with a frozen OS, and it does what you need it to do (important point),
then there is merit in using a frozen OS, too. That could be a gotcha
if the machine is hooked up at home to the internet. In that case,
I would always opt for a later, more secure OS. Heck, I still run
a 4.3BSD box, at home, OFF the inet, but on my intranet, because it
has some features and simplicities I like on the particular hardware
I run it on. That is a dead OS, for sure, but, it does what I want
it to do. Likewise on an old AIX-1 box.... and AIX-1 is a dead
dinosaur, but it has my pet F77 suite.

So, rather than consider the OS, directly, consider what it is you want
to do specifically, and the binaries/source/software required to do that,
and then pick the OS that handles that best.
Post by Ken Hansen
I am concerned that other OSs may drop support, following Suns lead...
Nah, it will be there for a long time in any of the Freebie *nices.
Heck, they are still supporting Sun 3/60 crates and VAX 11/780's.
Old hardware runs forever, it seems, and the typist is the bottleneck
mostly, even on hotrod hardware. So, old hardware is still quite
usable. Granted, an SS1 or SS2 is not a speed skater, but, my SS1
makes a great websever and ftp archive server. Just don't try to
compile mozilla the gorilla on it, while running X and a webscraper,
unless you have lots of time....(:+}}.

Good Luck....

Bob
James Lockwood
2000-07-12 20:04:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jonathan Katz
Anyone have any thoughts on Solaris 2.4? I have heard it is rather
unsettled, compared to 2.5.1 or 2.6 or 7.
2.4 was IMHO the first "production quality" Solaris release out of the
box. 2.3 and before were quite buggy. Unfortunately 2.4 was fairly slow,
2.5 felt much faster to me.
Post by Jonathan Katz
Me neither, but out of curiosity, if one HAD to run a Solaris on a 4c
crate, which one would be the one of choice to look out for, and where
the dickens can one find it these days? All I have is Solaris 1.1.1
and Solaris 2.4. And, my cheapskate's beer-bellie budget won't quite
allow me the pleasure of a late-model biggie box, yet.....so, 4c it is.
I would say either 2.6 or 7. 2.6 isn't noticably bulkier than earlier
revs, and 7 has some nice features but parts of it are slower (chief among
these is the SGML manpage renderer).

I run 2.6 on my last sun4c (a SS2, 64MB).

-James
J***@foonly.com
2000-07-12 20:04:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jonathan Katz
Anyone have any thoughts on Solaris 2.4? I have heard it is rather
unsettled, compared to 2.5.1 or 2.6 or 7.
2.4 was IMHO the first "production quality" Solaris release out of the
box. 2.3 and before were quite buggy. Unfortunately 2.4 was fairly slow,
2.5 felt much faster to me.
Post by Jonathan Katz
Me neither, but out of curiosity, if one HAD to run a Solaris on a 4c
crate, which one would be the one of choice to look out for, and where
the dickens can one find it these days? All I have is Solaris 1.1.1
and Solaris 2.4. And, my cheapskate's beer-bellie budget won't quite
allow me the pleasure of a late-model biggie box, yet.....so, 4c it is.
I would say either 2.6 or 7. 2.6 isn't noticably bulkier than earlier
revs, and 7 has some nice features but parts of it are slower (chief among
these is the SGML manpage renderer).

I run 2.6 on my last sun4c (a SS2, 64MB).

-James
James Lockwood
2000-07-12 20:08:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jonathan Katz
I did 2.5.1 on an IPX. Ugh. That wasn't too terrible, though... add in
CDE and friends and that can get ugly.
I ran 2.4 on a SS2 with a GT console framebuffer for a year. This
probably explains why I can tolerate almost any degree of slowness.

It's kind of entertaining being able to watch individual pixels being
drawn, though.

-James
James Lockwood
2000-07-12 20:08:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jonathan Katz
I did 2.5.1 on an IPX. Ugh. That wasn't too terrible, though... add in
CDE and friends and that can get ugly.
I ran 2.4 on a SS2 with a GT console framebuffer for a year. This
probably explains why I can tolerate almost any degree of slowness.

It's kind of entertaining being able to watch individual pixels being
drawn, though.

-James
J***@foonly.com
2000-07-12 20:08:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jonathan Katz
I did 2.5.1 on an IPX. Ugh. That wasn't too terrible, though... add in
CDE and friends and that can get ugly.
I ran 2.4 on a SS2 with a GT console framebuffer for a year. This
probably explains why I can tolerate almost any degree of slowness.

It's kind of entertaining being able to watch individual pixels being
drawn, though.

-James
J***@foonly.com
2000-07-12 20:08:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jonathan Katz
I did 2.5.1 on an IPX. Ugh. That wasn't too terrible, though... add in
CDE and friends and that can get ugly.
I ran 2.4 on a SS2 with a GT console framebuffer for a year. This
probably explains why I can tolerate almost any degree of slowness.

It's kind of entertaining being able to watch individual pixels being
drawn, though.

-James
Dave McGuire
2000-07-12 20:20:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Lockwood
Geez, and I thought I was cynical.
;)
Post by James Lockwood
Forced obsolescence is something quite different. Forced obsolescence
would be if your brand new shiny toaster had a timer in it that would
force it to self-destruct after 5 years or 5000 slices of toast.
What Sun is doing is analogous to stopping the sale of toaster
enhancements. Your old Sun toaster still makes toast, in fact it makes
better toast with recent versions of Solaris than it did when it was new.
Software support for the versions of software that it does run will
continue for a number of years.
I understand your point; it is one that I hadn't considered. But
you must admit...there are attitudes within Sun's workforce that
insist that machines as recent as SS20s are "absolute trash",
"ancient", "not a viable computing platform for any application
nowadays"...these were all fairly recent quotes from a Sun employee
regarding an SS20/81 here (my main desktop machine that I just
upgraded to an SGI Indigo2/R10K).

I then took him to the computer room of a company I'm associated
with up in NJ and showed him a rack full of SS2s that are each
pulling in a few hundred $$$ per month. He was flabbergasted. He
just couldn't comprehend that machines that weren't shiny-brand-new
could possibly be useful anymore. I then asked him "what's so
different between what we're running on these machines now and what
we ran five years ago (bloated Perl scripts notwithstanding)?" and he
couldn't answer me.

I've found this is a common attitude within that company, and I
think it influences their operating system support decisions. How
much manpower would it *really* take to maintain that MMU code
etc. that you talked about? Not much, I suspect, compared to how much
they've got available.
Post by James Lockwood
NetBSD will indeed continue to support hardware. _New_ hardware support,
on the other hand, is lacking. I distinctly remember being badly burned
...pure manpower/motivation issue. The Sbus Ultra support is a
particular thorn in my side...the code has been in the tree for a
year or two now, but now the port maintainers have shiny new
Ultra10s to play with, so it seems the Sbus ultras aren't as
"interesting". *grumble* So sometimes the newer machines get even
more attention than the older ones.
Post by James Lockwood
Now it's 2000. UltraSparcs have been out for what, 5 years? Can I stick
with NetBSD when my computing needs outgrow the SS2 or SS5 sitting in the
corner? Fine-grained SMP and support for any modern Sun gear is still a
far-off dream, as is being able to "plug and play" a wide variety of SBus
cards. No other Unix I've seen can touch the ease of system installation
with Jumpstart, and Sun's NFS implementation is top notch.
Agreed.
Post by James Lockwood
Unfortunately, SPARC is a fringe port for all of the free Unices. It
doesn't have the price/performance or popularity of x86, and you lose the
integrated hardware support that you get when you run everything from a
single vendor (even if some of that support does eventually expire).
Sure, we all know that the hardware is "nice", but that doesn't sell it
for a lot of people.
I dunno, from my perspective it's pretty mainstream. I can drive
through my area and point to no less than a dozen buildings in which
there are SPARCstations running NetBSD. They're all around me. Seems
pretty mainstream to me. Maybe I'm just lucky?
Post by James Lockwood
Post by Dave McGuire
Use your sun4c machine, Ken. Don't stop using it until it can no
longer do the job. Run a free OS on it and you'll always have a
useful machine.
If NetBSD does indeed fit your needs better than Solaris, then by all
means go for it. Keep in mind that neither one is in any way perfect, and
_always_ consider your intended use first.
Absolutely agreed.

-Dave McGuire
D***@neurotica.com
2000-07-12 20:20:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by James Lockwood
Geez, and I thought I was cynical.
;)
Post by James Lockwood
Forced obsolescence is something quite different. Forced obsolescence
would be if your brand new shiny toaster had a timer in it that would
force it to self-destruct after 5 years or 5000 slices of toast.
What Sun is doing is analogous to stopping the sale of toaster
enhancements. Your old Sun toaster still makes toast, in fact it makes
better toast with recent versions of Solaris than it did when it was new.
Software support for the versions of software that it does run will
continue for a number of years.
I understand your point; it is one that I hadn't considered. But
you must admit...there are attitudes within Sun's workforce that
insist that machines as recent as SS20s are "absolute trash",
"ancient", "not a viable computing platform for any application
nowadays"...these were all fairly recent quotes from a Sun employee
regarding an SS20/81 here (my main desktop machine that I just
upgraded to an SGI Indigo2/R10K).

I then took him to the computer room of a company I'm associated
with up in NJ and showed him a rack full of SS2s that are each
pulling in a few hundred $$$ per month. He was flabbergasted. He
just couldn't comprehend that machines that weren't shiny-brand-new
could possibly be useful anymore. I then asked him "what's so
different between what we're running on these machines now and what
we ran five years ago (bloated Perl scripts notwithstanding)?" and he
couldn't answer me.

I've found this is a common attitude within that company, and I
think it influences their operating system support decisions. How
much manpower would it *really* take to maintain that MMU code
etc. that you talked about? Not much, I suspect, compared to how much
they've got available.
Post by James Lockwood
NetBSD will indeed continue to support hardware. _New_ hardware support,
on the other hand, is lacking. I distinctly remember being badly burned
...pure manpower/motivation issue. The Sbus Ultra support is a
particular thorn in my side...the code has been in the tree for a
year or two now, but now the port maintainers have shiny new
Ultra10s to play with, so it seems the Sbus ultras aren't as
"interesting". *grumble* So sometimes the newer machines get even
more attention than the older ones.
Post by James Lockwood
Now it's 2000. UltraSparcs have been out for what, 5 years? Can I stick
with NetBSD when my computing needs outgrow the SS2 or SS5 sitting in the
corner? Fine-grained SMP and support for any modern Sun gear is still a
far-off dream, as is being able to "plug and play" a wide variety of SBus
cards. No other Unix I've seen can touch the ease of system installation
with Jumpstart, and Sun's NFS implementation is top notch.
Agreed.
Post by James Lockwood
Unfortunately, SPARC is a fringe port for all of the free Unices. It
doesn't have the price/performance or popularity of x86, and you lose the
integrated hardware support that you get when you run everything from a
single vendor (even if some of that support does eventually expire).
Sure, we all know that the hardware is "nice", but that doesn't sell it
for a lot of people.
I dunno, from my perspective it's pretty mainstream. I can drive
through my area and point to no less than a dozen buildings in which
there are SPARCstations running NetBSD. They're all around me. Seems
pretty mainstream to me. Maybe I'm just lucky?
Post by James Lockwood
Post by Dave McGuire
Use your sun4c machine, Ken. Don't stop using it until it can no
longer do the job. Run a free OS on it and you'll always have a
useful machine.
If NetBSD does indeed fit your needs better than Solaris, then by all
means go for it. Keep in mind that neither one is in any way perfect, and
_always_ consider your intended use first.
Absolutely agreed.

-Dave McGuire
Jonathan Eisch
2000-07-12 20:29:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave McGuire
I dunno, from my perspective it's pretty mainstream. I can drive
through my area and point to no less than a dozen buildings in which
there are SPARCstations running NetBSD. They're all around me. Seems
pretty mainstream to me. Maybe I'm just lucky?
Actually, I live in central Wisconsin, and I've yet to find a bigger
installation of SparcStations than in my house (two sparcstations and my
SparcBook) in a 100 mile radius (the local colleges use all NT).

-Jonathan
J***@boku.net
2000-07-12 20:29:46 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave McGuire
I dunno, from my perspective it's pretty mainstream. I can drive
through my area and point to no less than a dozen buildings in which
there are SPARCstations running NetBSD. They're all around me. Seems
pretty mainstream to me. Maybe I'm just lucky?
Actually, I live in central Wisconsin, and I've yet to find a bigger
installation of SparcStations than in my house (two sparcstations and my
SparcBook) in a 100 mile radius (the local colleges use all NT).

-Jonathan
Dave McGuire
2000-07-12 21:04:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jonathan Eisch
Post by Dave McGuire
I dunno, from my perspective it's pretty mainstream. I can drive
through my area and point to no less than a dozen buildings in which
there are SPARCstations running NetBSD. They're all around me. Seems
pretty mainstream to me. Maybe I'm just lucky?
Actually, I live in central Wisconsin, and I've yet to find a bigger
installation of SparcStations than in my house (two sparcstations and my
SparcBook) in a 100 mile radius (the local colleges use all NT).
Microsoft is pushing NT into schools as hard as they can...so
they'll have wave after wave of college grads who've seen nothing but
NT, so they'll order NT when they get to their new jobs.

There's a lot of high-tech in my area...a *lot*. I've found that,
the higher the "tech", the lower the concentration of NT machines.

-Dave McGuire
D***@neurotica.com
2000-07-12 21:04:50 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jonathan Eisch
Post by Dave McGuire
I dunno, from my perspective it's pretty mainstream. I can drive
through my area and point to no less than a dozen buildings in which
there are SPARCstations running NetBSD. They're all around me. Seems
pretty mainstream to me. Maybe I'm just lucky?
Actually, I live in central Wisconsin, and I've yet to find a bigger
installation of SparcStations than in my house (two sparcstations and my
SparcBook) in a 100 mile radius (the local colleges use all NT).
Microsoft is pushing NT into schools as hard as they can...so
they'll have wave after wave of college grads who've seen nothing but
NT, so they'll order NT when they get to their new jobs.

There's a lot of high-tech in my area...a *lot*. I've found that,
the higher the "tech", the lower the concentration of NT machines.

-Dave McGuire
j***@picarefy.picarefy.com
2000-07-12 21:27:08 UTC
Permalink
For commercial OSes, the fundamental problem with supporting enormous
ranges of hardware is testing as much as anything else. Everything that's
supported has to be tested to some degree, and adding platforms can cause
testing work to grow exponentially. And systems of the correct type have
be to be available to developers and testers, which means they have to be
maintained... After a while, the temptation is almost overwhelming to pick
the platforms that the fewest customers care about and drop them, in order
to cut the development and testing efforts down to a more mangeable size.
Otherwise, any company will eventually be brought to a grinding halt,
anchored by the weight of supporting everything that it's ever done before.

For free OSes, nobody gives a damn about testing, it seems. Do not,
repeat NOT, assume that just because something is listed as supported that
it will actually work. It's listed because it worked at least one time in
one configuration for one person somewhere. Unless it's a popular piece of
hardware (or the pet of a maintainer), odds are that it probably doesn't
anymore. I've been burned too many times to have any faith in the
supported-hardware lists.

--James B.
j***@picarefy.picarefy.comjwbirdsa
2000-07-12 21:27:08 UTC
Permalink
For commercial OSes, the fundamental problem with supporting enormous
ranges of hardware is testing as much as anything else. Everything that's
supported has to be tested to some degree, and adding platforms can cause
testing work to grow exponentially. And systems of the correct type have
be to be available to developers and testers, which means they have to be
maintained... After a while, the temptation is almost overwhelming to pick
the platforms that the fewest customers care about and drop them, in order
to cut the development and testing efforts down to a more mangeable size.
Otherwise, any company will eventually be brought to a grinding halt,
anchored by the weight of supporting everything that it's ever done before.

For free OSes, nobody gives a damn about testing, it seems. Do not,
repeat NOT, assume that just because something is listed as supported that
it will actually work. It's listed because it worked at least one time in
one configuration for one person somewhere. Unless it's a popular piece of
hardware (or the pet of a maintainer), odds are that it probably doesn't
anymore. I've been burned too many times to have any faith in the
supported-hardware lists.

--James B.
Jonathan Eisch
2000-07-12 21:40:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave McGuire
There's a lot of high-tech in my area...a *lot*. I've found that,
the higher the "tech", the lower the concentration of NT machines.
I guess that explains why the bigger places around here are moving away
from their old win95 boxes.... and moving to win98. geesh. oh well,
some day I'll move to a place that uses networks for things other than
the cash registers at wal-mart. Anyone got a company that is looking
for interns next summer, in the Minneapolis, MN area?

-Jonathan
J***@boku.net
2000-07-12 21:40:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave McGuire
There's a lot of high-tech in my area...a *lot*. I've found that,
the higher the "tech", the lower the concentration of NT machines.
I guess that explains why the bigger places around here are moving away
from their old win95 boxes.... and moving to win98. geesh. oh well,
some day I'll move to a place that uses networks for things other than
the cash registers at wal-mart. Anyone got a company that is looking
for interns next summer, in the Minneapolis, MN area?

-Jonathan
Mike Hebel
2000-07-12 22:02:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@picarefy.picarefy.com
For commercial OSes, the fundamental problem with supporting enormous
ranges of hardware is testing as much as anything else. Everything that's
supported has to be tested to some degree, and adding platforms can cause
testing work to grow exponentially. And systems of the correct type have
be to be available to developers and testers, which means they have to be
maintained... After a while, the temptation is almost overwhelming to pick
the platforms that the fewest customers care about and drop them, in order
to cut the development and testing efforts down to a more mangeable size.
Otherwise, any company will eventually be brought to a grinding halt,
anchored by the weight of supporting everything that it's ever done
before.

Testing is certainly an issue but if a company sees that the product is
still being viably used they should at least make an effort to support it.
Linux, NetBSD, etc. makes that old hardware viable and companies aren't
ready for that. They've been working for so long on the premise that
"Anything beyond a certain age is completely useless" that they are having a
hard time accepting that people are still utilizing technology that is 10 -
15 years old. They will eventually catch up but it's going to take a decent
overhaul of their structure to handle the new model. For instance, if Sun
wanted to get old Sun users to buy new Suns then they should at least
partially support the old hardware. (Releasing all data/utilities to the
public freely would be a good start.) If they do that then they will almost
certainly have users that will buy new Sun hardware when they need to. Sure
some will still buy old units, in fact many will, but others will just go
out and buy a brand new box. And if Sun was "nice" or "helpful" then they
will be more likely to purchase a Sun box than a Dell or IBM or whatever.
Unfortunately for us most companies aren't ready to understand that yet.
Post by j***@picarefy.picarefy.com
For free OSes, nobody gives a damn about testing, it seems. Do not,
repeat NOT, assume that just because something is listed as supported that
it will actually work. It's listed because it worked at least one time in
one configuration for one person somewhere. Unless it's a popular piece of
hardware (or the pet of a maintainer), odds are that it probably doesn't
anymore. I've been burned too many times to have any faith in the
supported-hardware lists.
Hmm... I seem to see just the opposite. Because the open source developers
pool is so large they seem to run on more kinds of hardware than you can
count. (When was the last time you saw Arcnet cards? They're out there. I
know people are using them. I even have some, abeit not in use but they
work.) The point is this: the open source developers want to be better in
the long run than Windows or xOS or whatever. They know that to that they
have to be far more careful than M$ is because they know that their software
needs to run on as many things as possible and and run _better_ than other
things.

I'm not arguing that there aren't problems with the open source OS platforms
but what I will argue is that the compatability issues and "hardware
workability" issues are far less frequent than you might think.

Sincerely,

Mike Hebel
M***@pmail.net
2000-07-12 22:02:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@picarefy.picarefy.com
For commercial OSes, the fundamental problem with supporting enormous
ranges of hardware is testing as much as anything else. Everything that's
supported has to be tested to some degree, and adding platforms can cause
testing work to grow exponentially. And systems of the correct type have
be to be available to developers and testers, which means they have to be
maintained... After a while, the temptation is almost overwhelming to pick
the platforms that the fewest customers care about and drop them, in order
to cut the development and testing efforts down to a more mangeable size.
Otherwise, any company will eventually be brought to a grinding halt,
anchored by the weight of supporting everything that it's ever done
before.

Testing is certainly an issue but if a company sees that the product is
still being viably used they should at least make an effort to support it.
Linux, NetBSD, etc. makes that old hardware viable and companies aren't
ready for that. They've been working for so long on the premise that
"Anything beyond a certain age is completely useless" that they are having a
hard time accepting that people are still utilizing technology that is 10 -
15 years old. They will eventually catch up but it's going to take a decent
overhaul of their structure to handle the new model. For instance, if Sun
wanted to get old Sun users to buy new Suns then they should at least
partially support the old hardware. (Releasing all data/utilities to the
public freely would be a good start.) If they do that then they will almost
certainly have users that will buy new Sun hardware when they need to. Sure
some will still buy old units, in fact many will, but others will just go
out and buy a brand new box. And if Sun was "nice" or "helpful" then they
will be more likely to purchase a Sun box than a Dell or IBM or whatever.
Unfortunately for us most companies aren't ready to understand that yet.
Post by j***@picarefy.picarefy.com
For free OSes, nobody gives a damn about testing, it seems. Do not,
repeat NOT, assume that just because something is listed as supported that
it will actually work. It's listed because it worked at least one time in
one configuration for one person somewhere. Unless it's a popular piece of
hardware (or the pet of a maintainer), odds are that it probably doesn't
anymore. I've been burned too many times to have any faith in the
supported-hardware lists.
Hmm... I seem to see just the opposite. Because the open source developers
pool is so large they seem to run on more kinds of hardware than you can
count. (When was the last time you saw Arcnet cards? They're out there. I
know people are using them. I even have some, abeit not in use but they
work.) The point is this: the open source developers want to be better in
the long run than Windows or xOS or whatever. They know that to that they
have to be far more careful than M$ is because they know that their software
needs to run on as many things as possible and and run _better_ than other
things.

I'm not arguing that there aren't problems with the open source OS platforms
but what I will argue is that the compatability issues and "hardware
workability" issues are far less frequent than you might think.

Sincerely,

Mike Hebel
j***@picarefy.picarefy.com
2000-07-12 23:10:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Hebel
Post by j***@picarefy.picarefy.com
For free OSes, nobody gives a damn about testing, it seems. Do not,
repeat NOT, assume that just because something is listed as supported that
it will actually work. It's listed because it worked at least one time in
one configuration for one person somewhere. Unless it's a popular piece of
hardware (or the pet of a maintainer), odds are that it probably doesn't
anymore. I've been burned too many times to have any faith in the
supported-hardware lists.
Hmm... I seem to see just the opposite. Because the open source developers
pool is so large they seem to run on more kinds of hardware than you can
count. (When was the last time you saw Arcnet cards? They're out there. I
know people are using them. I even have some, abeit not in use but they
work.)
For PC ports, hardware support is, I will admit, pretty good: most
things that were even moderately popular at one time are supported and
working. However, as soon as you leave the PC world, things change, and
much of my opinion of free OSes has been formed by a months-long effort to
get NetBSD working on my Sun-3's and SPARCs. I've been reduced to running
everything on 3/50's and 3/60's because nothing else works reliably -- the
VME-based units have a variety of problems, and my poor 3/80 limps along
with a crashing problem due to a memory leak in the kernel. Supposedly at
least some of these problems are fixed in 1.4.2, and when I have some time
to experiment I'll check it out, but for production systems I'm limited to
3/50's and 3/60's, because that's what's *actually* supported in 1.4 to a
useful degree. The SPARCs were total non-starters: boot support for si SCSI
is totally broken, meaning that the 4/2xx was down for the count, and there
was some other problem on my SLC, so that it wouldn't boot either.
All of the hardware that failed is listed as being fully supported.

--James B.
j***@picarefy.picarefy.comjwbirdsa
2000-07-12 23:10:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Hebel
Post by j***@picarefy.picarefy.com
For free OSes, nobody gives a damn about testing, it seems. Do not,
repeat NOT, assume that just because something is listed as supported that
it will actually work. It's listed because it worked at least one time in
one configuration for one person somewhere. Unless it's a popular piece of
hardware (or the pet of a maintainer), odds are that it probably doesn't
anymore. I've been burned too many times to have any faith in the
supported-hardware lists.
Hmm... I seem to see just the opposite. Because the open source developers
pool is so large they seem to run on more kinds of hardware than you can
count. (When was the last time you saw Arcnet cards? They're out there. I
know people are using them. I even have some, abeit not in use but they
work.)
For PC ports, hardware support is, I will admit, pretty good: most
things that were even moderately popular at one time are supported and
working. However, as soon as you leave the PC world, things change, and
much of my opinion of free OSes has been formed by a months-long effort to
get NetBSD working on my Sun-3's and SPARCs. I've been reduced to running
everything on 3/50's and 3/60's because nothing else works reliably -- the
VME-based units have a variety of problems, and my poor 3/80 limps along
with a crashing problem due to a memory leak in the kernel. Supposedly at
least some of these problems are fixed in 1.4.2, and when I have some time
to experiment I'll check it out, but for production systems I'm limited to
3/50's and 3/60's, because that's what's *actually* supported in 1.4 to a
useful degree. The SPARCs were total non-starters: boot support for si SCSI
is totally broken, meaning that the 4/2xx was down for the count, and there
was some other problem on my SLC, so that it wouldn't boot either.
All of the hardware that failed is listed as being fully supported.

--James B.
Roger Walkup
2000-07-13 00:10:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jonathan Eisch
Post by Dave McGuire
I dunno, from my perspective it's pretty mainstream. I can drive
through my area and point to no less than a dozen buildings in which
there are SPARCstations running NetBSD. They're all around me. Seems
pretty mainstream to me. Maybe I'm just lucky?
Actually, I live in central Wisconsin, and I've yet to find a bigger
installation of SparcStations than in my house (two sparcstations and my
SparcBook) in a 100 mile radius (the local colleges use all NT).
-Jonathan
_______________________________________________
http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue
The state (WI) has a deal with MicroSoft
R***@cheqnet.net
2000-07-13 00:10:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jonathan Eisch
Post by Dave McGuire
I dunno, from my perspective it's pretty mainstream. I can drive
through my area and point to no less than a dozen buildings in which
there are SPARCstations running NetBSD. They're all around me. Seems
pretty mainstream to me. Maybe I'm just lucky?
Actually, I live in central Wisconsin, and I've yet to find a bigger
installation of SparcStations than in my house (two sparcstations and my
SparcBook) in a 100 mile radius (the local colleges use all NT).
-Jonathan
_______________________________________________
http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue
The state (WI) has a deal with MicroSoft
Roger Walkup
2000-07-13 00:27:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave McGuire
Post by Jonathan Eisch
Post by Dave McGuire
I dunno, from my perspective it's pretty mainstream. I can drive
through my area and point to no less than a dozen buildings in which
there are SPARCstations running NetBSD. They're all around me. Seems
pretty mainstream to me. Maybe I'm just lucky?
Actually, I live in central Wisconsin, and I've yet to find a bigger
installation of SparcStations than in my house (two sparcstations and my
SparcBook) in a 100 mile radius (the local colleges use all NT).
Microsoft is pushing NT into schools as hard as they can...so
they'll have wave after wave of college grads who've seen nothing but
NT, so they'll order NT when they get to their new jobs.
There's a lot of high-tech in my area...a *lot*. I've found that,
the higher the "tech", the lower the concentration of NT machines.
-Dave McGuire
_______________________________________________
http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue
Apple did the samething in the k-12 schools.
R***@cheqnet.net
2000-07-13 00:27:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave McGuire
Post by Jonathan Eisch
Post by Dave McGuire
I dunno, from my perspective it's pretty mainstream. I can drive
through my area and point to no less than a dozen buildings in which
there are SPARCstations running NetBSD. They're all around me. Seems
pretty mainstream to me. Maybe I'm just lucky?
Actually, I live in central Wisconsin, and I've yet to find a bigger
installation of SparcStations than in my house (two sparcstations and my
SparcBook) in a 100 mile radius (the local colleges use all NT).
Microsoft is pushing NT into schools as hard as they can...so
they'll have wave after wave of college grads who've seen nothing but
NT, so they'll order NT when they get to their new jobs.
There's a lot of high-tech in my area...a *lot*. I've found that,
the higher the "tech", the lower the concentration of NT machines.
-Dave McGuire
_______________________________________________
http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue
Apple did the samething in the k-12 schools.
Mike Nicewonger
2000-07-13 00:50:06 UTC
Permalink
I myself occasionally participate in the Linux Users Group at UMBC, I have
seen more than a few labs full of both Sun and SGI machines. I *really* hope
that this trend of borgification does not get here.

Mike N
----- Original Message -----
From: Roger Walkup <***@cheqnet.net>
To: <***@sunhelp.org>
Sent: Wednesday, July 12, 2000 8:27 PM
Subject: Re: [SunRescue] Q on "optimal" OS for Sun4c machines, now that
Solaris 8 won't run
Post by Roger Walkup
Post by Dave McGuire
Post by Jonathan Eisch
Post by Dave McGuire
I dunno, from my perspective it's pretty mainstream. I can drive
through my area and point to no less than a dozen buildings in which
there are SPARCstations running NetBSD. They're all around me.
Seems
Post by Roger Walkup
Post by Dave McGuire
Post by Jonathan Eisch
Post by Dave McGuire
pretty mainstream to me. Maybe I'm just lucky?
Actually, I live in central Wisconsin, and I've yet to find a bigger
installation of SparcStations than in my house (two sparcstations and
my
Post by Roger Walkup
Post by Dave McGuire
Post by Jonathan Eisch
SparcBook) in a 100 mile radius (the local colleges use all NT).
Microsoft is pushing NT into schools as hard as they can...so
they'll have wave after wave of college grads who've seen nothing but
NT, so they'll order NT when they get to their new jobs.
There's a lot of high-tech in my area...a *lot*. I've found that,
the higher the "tech", the lower the concentration of NT machines.
-Dave McGuire
_______________________________________________
http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue
Apple did the samething in the k-12 schools.
M***@twmaster.com
2000-07-13 00:50:06 UTC
Permalink
I myself occasionally participate in the Linux Users Group at UMBC, I have
seen more than a few labs full of both Sun and SGI machines. I *really* hope
that this trend of borgification does not get here.

Mike N
----- Original Message -----
From: Roger Walkup <***@cheqnet.net>
To: <***@sunhelp.org>
Sent: Wednesday, July 12, 2000 8:27 PM
Subject: Re: [SunRescue] Q on "optimal" OS for Sun4c machines, now that
Solaris 8 won't run
Post by Roger Walkup
Post by Dave McGuire
Post by Jonathan Eisch
Post by Dave McGuire
I dunno, from my perspective it's pretty mainstream. I can drive
through my area and point to no less than a dozen buildings in which
there are SPARCstations running NetBSD. They're all around me.
Seems
Post by Roger Walkup
Post by Dave McGuire
Post by Jonathan Eisch
Post by Dave McGuire
pretty mainstream to me. Maybe I'm just lucky?
Actually, I live in central Wisconsin, and I've yet to find a bigger
installation of SparcStations than in my house (two sparcstations and
my
Post by Roger Walkup
Post by Dave McGuire
Post by Jonathan Eisch
SparcBook) in a 100 mile radius (the local colleges use all NT).
Microsoft is pushing NT into schools as hard as they can...so
they'll have wave after wave of college grads who've seen nothing but
NT, so they'll order NT when they get to their new jobs.
There's a lot of high-tech in my area...a *lot*. I've found that,
the higher the "tech", the lower the concentration of NT machines.
-Dave McGuire
_______________________________________________
http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue
Apple did the samething in the k-12 schools.
Dave McGuire
2000-07-13 01:11:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roger Walkup
Apple did the samething in the k-12 schools.
D***@neurotica.com
2000-07-13 01:11:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roger Walkup
Apple did the samething in the k-12 schools.
Dave McGuire
2000-07-13 01:12:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roger Walkup
The state (WI) has a deal with MicroSoft
Any organization with a large concentration of suits has a deal with
Microsoft, it seems.

-Dave McGuire
D***@neurotica.com
2000-07-13 01:12:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roger Walkup
The state (WI) has a deal with MicroSoft
Any organization with a large concentration of suits has a deal with
Microsoft, it seems.

-Dave McGuire
Dave McGuire
2000-07-13 01:22:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@picarefy.picarefy.com
For PC ports, hardware support is, I will admit, pretty good: most
things that were even moderately popular at one time are supported and
working. However, as soon as you leave the PC world, things change, and
much of my opinion of free OSes has been formed by a months-long effort to
get NetBSD working on my Sun-3's and SPARCs. I've been reduced to running
everything on 3/50's and 3/60's because nothing else works reliably -- the
VME-based units have a variety of problems, and my poor 3/80 limps along
with a crashing problem due to a memory leak in the kernel. Supposedly at
least some of these problems are fixed in 1.4.2, and when I have some time
to experiment I'll check it out, but for production systems I'm limited to
3/50's and 3/60's, because that's what's *actually* supported in 1.4 to a
useful degree. The SPARCs were total non-starters: boot support for si SCSI
is totally broken, meaning that the 4/2xx was down for the count, and there
was some other problem on my SLC, so that it wouldn't boot either.
All of the hardware that failed is listed as being fully supported.
I think you're running into the "not what most of them run" problem
that was alluded to earlier in this thread. I hate it. It seems that
most people (myself included) who run NetBSD/sparc are running it on
SS2, SS5, SS10, and SS20 machines. I'd guess that probably 80% of all
NetBSD/sparc systems are those four models.

Those, however, install and run flawlessly, and have for years.
Hell, I just finished helping to build a company around the darned
things...hundreds of them. They just don't quit.

-Dave McGuire
D***@neurotica.com
2000-07-13 01:22:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@picarefy.picarefy.com
For PC ports, hardware support is, I will admit, pretty good: most
things that were even moderately popular at one time are supported and
working. However, as soon as you leave the PC world, things change, and
much of my opinion of free OSes has been formed by a months-long effort to
get NetBSD working on my Sun-3's and SPARCs. I've been reduced to running
everything on 3/50's and 3/60's because nothing else works reliably -- the
VME-based units have a variety of problems, and my poor 3/80 limps along
with a crashing problem due to a memory leak in the kernel. Supposedly at
least some of these problems are fixed in 1.4.2, and when I have some time
to experiment I'll check it out, but for production systems I'm limited to
3/50's and 3/60's, because that's what's *actually* supported in 1.4 to a
useful degree. The SPARCs were total non-starters: boot support for si SCSI
is totally broken, meaning that the 4/2xx was down for the count, and there
was some other problem on my SLC, so that it wouldn't boot either.
All of the hardware that failed is listed as being fully supported.
I think you're running into the "not what most of them run" problem
that was alluded to earlier in this thread. I hate it. It seems that
most people (myself included) who run NetBSD/sparc are running it on
SS2, SS5, SS10, and SS20 machines. I'd guess that probably 80% of all
NetBSD/sparc systems are those four models.

Those, however, install and run flawlessly, and have for years.
Hell, I just finished helping to build a company around the darned
things...hundreds of them. They just don't quit.

-Dave McGuire
Andy Wallis
2000-07-13 04:31:13 UTC
Permalink
My friends, and myself, have all been computer geeks from an early age, and now
in our late teens to early twenties, we are all unix users, and mostly unix and
network admins. We've been using computers all our lives and know how to take
one apart and put it together. We can even do this with computers we've never
heard of before, because we get the basic similarities, and our engineering
skills help us fill in the rest.
Wow. Is it possible that we are the last generation of people that
will know how computers actually *work*? No computer *science* will
be learnt on Windows boxes, in my opinion.
I don't think any generation will be the last to know how a
computer works. I agree with Chris that techs, engineers and the rest do
fall into those 3 categories. How technical someone is depends on how
they came into the field, what they have been exposed to and what the
general interests are.
It's very important that students(of any kind) know that there
is a world beyond the home computer or Wintel. They should know how to
work under heterogenous platforms and operating systems to get that
notion ground into them. Recenty, my now alma mater had to upgrade the
UNIX lab which used to run Gateways running Solaris Intel 2.5.1. After
those got run down, the professor who ran it asked for Ultra 5 and 10s
so they could keep Solaris in there and have the students exposed to
other platforms. The university gave him a bunch of Dells with Linux on
them and that was it. When I left the university, I talked to some of
the newer students who hadn't used the old Solaris lab but used the
Linux one. They had no real idea what other platforms were out there. I
got blank stares when I mentioned Sparc, Alpha, PA-RISC, RS/6000 and
some processors. Most of them thought that Intel was the only large chip
maker and that MS Windows was the only real OS with Linux being the
largest minority player.
The ones who were more hardware oriented had an easier time
learning about other platforms but the MIS and software only kids had a
very hard time understanding those concepts.When I've talked to fellow
new hires at my work, they have the same sentiments and/or knowledge
gaps. It's no wonder I got flagged down quickly and asked to go over to
sys admin and tech support.
-Andy Wallis
A***@earthlink.net
2000-07-13 04:31:13 UTC
Permalink
My friends, and myself, have all been computer geeks from an early age, and now
in our late teens to early twenties, we are all unix users, and mostly unix and
network admins. We've been using computers all our lives and know how to take
one apart and put it together. We can even do this with computers we've never
heard of before, because we get the basic similarities, and our engineering
skills help us fill in the rest.
Wow. Is it possible that we are the last generation of people that
will know how computers actually *work*? No computer *science* will
be learnt on Windows boxes, in my opinion.
I don't think any generation will be the last to know how a
computer works. I agree with Chris that techs, engineers and the rest do
fall into those 3 categories. How technical someone is depends on how
they came into the field, what they have been exposed to and what the
general interests are.
It's very important that students(of any kind) know that there
is a world beyond the home computer or Wintel. They should know how to
work under heterogenous platforms and operating systems to get that
notion ground into them. Recenty, my now alma mater had to upgrade the
UNIX lab which used to run Gateways running Solaris Intel 2.5.1. After
those got run down, the professor who ran it asked for Ultra 5 and 10s
so they could keep Solaris in there and have the students exposed to
other platforms. The university gave him a bunch of Dells with Linux on
them and that was it. When I left the university, I talked to some of
the newer students who hadn't used the old Solaris lab but used the
Linux one. They had no real idea what other platforms were out there. I
got blank stares when I mentioned Sparc, Alpha, PA-RISC, RS/6000 and
some processors. Most of them thought that Intel was the only large chip
maker and that MS Windows was the only real OS with Linux being the
largest minority player.
The ones who were more hardware oriented had an easier time
learning about other platforms but the MIS and software only kids had a
very hard time understanding those concepts.When I've talked to fellow
new hires at my work, they have the same sentiments and/or knowledge
gaps. It's no wonder I got flagged down quickly and asked to go over to
sys admin and tech support.
-Andy Wallis
Chris Drelich
2000-07-13 04:39:11 UTC
Permalink
My friends, and myself, have all been computer geeks from an early age, and now
in our late teens to early twenties, we are all unix users, and mostly unix and
network admins. We've been using computers all our lives and know how to take
one apart and put it together. We can even do this with computers we've never
heard of before, because we get the basic similarities, and our engineering
skills help us fill in the rest. Most of us never went to college or went and
dropped out after a few days/semesters/years, some have been on "hiatus" for
years now. We know our stuff, do good work, and our well paid for it.
However, recently we have noticed that a lot of the people our age, who learned
their knowledge through college instead of life have a different view of
computers. Sure, they can code well, and some of them even know a thing or two
about UNIX. Open a computer in front of them, and they won't know what to do.
Its a case of "We never learned that in college."/"Im too good for that, call
tech support/technician." I mean, back in the real glory days of computers,
even the college educated ones could take apart a computer, sometimes better
then the life educated ones. Today though its not the case, and this is sad.
All companies I've been with have had the tech department divided among three
lines: Hackers(college or life educated, they can take apart a computer and
love to tinker), College Boys(college educated, they may think some computer is
neat, but for the most part the are 100% Windows at heart, at most they might
have built a computer once and brag about it a lot, they also used the manual a
lot), Others(they may or may not have college education, but if they do, its in
another field, they switched to computers after having decided what to do with
their life once before, they are in it for the money or a love similar to the
hacker.) Either way, this current state of affairs is sad.
Chris
Post by Roger Walkup
Apple did the samething in the k-12 schools.
C***@interport.net
2000-07-13 04:39:11 UTC
Permalink
My friends, and myself, have all been computer geeks from an early age, and now
in our late teens to early twenties, we are all unix users, and mostly unix and
network admins. We've been using computers all our lives and know how to take
one apart and put it together. We can even do this with computers we've never
heard of before, because we get the basic similarities, and our engineering
skills help us fill in the rest. Most of us never went to college or went and
dropped out after a few days/semesters/years, some have been on "hiatus" for
years now. We know our stuff, do good work, and our well paid for it.
However, recently we have noticed that a lot of the people our age, who learned
their knowledge through college instead of life have a different view of
computers. Sure, they can code well, and some of them even know a thing or two
about UNIX. Open a computer in front of them, and they won't know what to do.
Its a case of "We never learned that in college."/"Im too good for that, call
tech support/technician." I mean, back in the real glory days of computers,
even the college educated ones could take apart a computer, sometimes better
then the life educated ones. Today though its not the case, and this is sad.
All companies I've been with have had the tech department divided among three
lines: Hackers(college or life educated, they can take apart a computer and
love to tinker), College Boys(college educated, they may think some computer is
neat, but for the most part the are 100% Windows at heart, at most they might
have built a computer once and brag about it a lot, they also used the manual a
lot), Others(they may or may not have college education, but if they do, its in
another field, they switched to computers after having decided what to do with
their life once before, they are in it for the money or a love similar to the
hacker.) Either way, this current state of affairs is sad.
Chris
Post by Roger Walkup
Apple did the samething in the k-12 schools.
P.A.Osborne
2000-07-13 07:57:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave McGuire
Microsoft is pushing NT into schools as hard as they can...so
they'll have wave after wave of college grads who've seen nothing but
NT, so they'll order NT when they get to their new jobs.
We notice that. Some of the students here are starting to demand
Unix access (they dont get it by default - Unix isnt sexy - apparently)
so they can mention it on their CVs - worringly though the Comp Sci
students do get access to Unix and only around 20% of them use it
during their first year - at least.

I do notice as News Admin (amongst other things) that our local unix
questions news group gets quite a lot of traffic.

However UKC has 'won' a contract to help get other colleges initially
connected to JANET and hence the internet - and we are not overly
keen to recommend MS software for running mail/www/proxys etc.

So hopefully word will spread about Unix - the problem is training them.

--Paul
P***@ukc.ac.uk
2000-07-13 07:57:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave McGuire
Microsoft is pushing NT into schools as hard as they can...so
they'll have wave after wave of college grads who've seen nothing but
NT, so they'll order NT when they get to their new jobs.
We notice that. Some of the students here are starting to demand
Unix access (they dont get it by default - Unix isnt sexy - apparently)
so they can mention it on their CVs - worringly though the Comp Sci
students do get access to Unix and only around 20% of them use it
during their first year - at least.

I do notice as News Admin (amongst other things) that our local unix
questions news group gets quite a lot of traffic.

However UKC has 'won' a contract to help get other colleges initially
connected to JANET and hence the internet - and we are not overly
keen to recommend MS software for running mail/www/proxys etc.

So hopefully word will spread about Unix - the problem is training them.

--Paul
P.A.Osborne
2000-07-13 08:28:32 UTC
Permalink
Wow. Is it possible that we are the last generation of people that
will know how computers actually *work*? No computer *science* will
be learnt on Windows boxes, in my opinion.
hehehe - sorry.

The Comp Sci people here have always given the students Unix access,
until about three years ago there was a taught course on Unix as it
was essential for other courses. Since then the Uni has decided that
we are a MS campus (dont say a word) and the Comp Sci's get access
to Unix but most work is done on NT (core services such as email/news/
www etc have never left unix - as a number of us offered to leave if
the mail system got switched to exchange).

However the Comp Sci techy staff have been keeping the Unix stuff up
to date so the students can use Unix - if they choose to. The killer
bit is that Sun have decided that they want to be friendly to the
Comp Sci dept (someone high up at Sun did a degree here) and have
been throughing money at them. This has lead to the reinstatement
of the Unix course for Comp Sci students and reasonable equipment
for them to use (a fully stuffed E450 is being commissioned to replace
three (not quite) teaching machines).

In the meantime the students on the study bedroom network are using
unix more and more and thats not just the comp scis - its because
some of them are tired on windows and just want to experiment.

So at UKC at least Unix is becoming more popular amongst the students
and is going to be taught again.

--Paul
P***@ukc.ac.uk
2000-07-13 08:28:32 UTC
Permalink
Wow. Is it possible that we are the last generation of people that
will know how computers actually *work*? No computer *science* will
be learnt on Windows boxes, in my opinion.
hehehe - sorry.

The Comp Sci people here have always given the students Unix access,
until about three years ago there was a taught course on Unix as it
was essential for other courses. Since then the Uni has decided that
we are a MS campus (dont say a word) and the Comp Sci's get access
to Unix but most work is done on NT (core services such as email/news/
www etc have never left unix - as a number of us offered to leave if
the mail system got switched to exchange).

However the Comp Sci techy staff have been keeping the Unix stuff up
to date so the students can use Unix - if they choose to. The killer
bit is that Sun have decided that they want to be friendly to the
Comp Sci dept (someone high up at Sun did a degree here) and have
been throughing money at them. This has lead to the reinstatement
of the Unix course for Comp Sci students and reasonable equipment
for them to use (a fully stuffed E450 is being commissioned to replace
three (not quite) teaching machines).

In the meantime the students on the study bedroom network are using
unix more and more and thats not just the comp scis - its because
some of them are tired on windows and just want to experiment.

So at UKC at least Unix is becoming more popular amongst the students
and is going to be taught again.

--Paul
RR
2000-07-13 10:26:54 UTC
Permalink
rescue-***@sunhelp.org wrote:
<snip>

Gee, what a lot of posts in one day!

My $0.02:

Solaris is fine on Sun4c kit provided you don't want to run it as a
'station. CDE really slows the poor things up, Openwin is a bit better,
but is showing it's age now. I've managed very well with some recycled
IPCs (using one as a jumpstart server, the other as a web server project
waiting for some of time to actually do something with) running 2.6, at
least it's usable for something. My classic and LX each get a bit more
work (one as a firewall, one as an alternate desktop to my M$ box) for a
total investment of less than $100AUS. I haven't bothered trying any of
the *BSDs yet 'cos Solaris hasn't given me any problems, and Linux sucks
(I'm sure to get flamed for that!) in comparison to the *BSDs. The
other boxen are still unused (Sparc 10 and Sparc 4/370) due to lack of
time and lack of a 4/600 board, but it will be Solaris for the '10 and
maybe 4.1.4 for the 100 kilogram wonder.

FWIW, I did my degree in computing and disagree with Chris Drelich's
comments, I don't think I'm either a product of the system, or unique in
being contractictory to the system. We used a little Unix at Uni, did
quite a bit of Windows stuff, but probably half of my close friends went
down the Evil Empire path, the others didn't. I am saddened by the
people I work with though (most in their early to mid 20's) that don't
understand there is a difference. I had a Sparc 10 with it's cover off
on my desk, he came over to have a look at "this wierd new slimline PC",
he didn't believe me it was built in 1993, could take 4 CPUs and 512Mb
of RAM. I'm also saddened by the Microserfs I work with that cover
themselves and everything they do with M$ logos, qualifications
(MCSE+IAMADRONE), and other such stuff. They just don't realise that
there is something else out there in the real world.

That's enough out of me, I'll go back into lurk mode now. Flame me if
you like, agree with me if you like, I don't mind :)

Rob.

PS. I support the push-pin initiative, let's make it so!
I'm in Canberra, Australia, have 6 Sun boxes, some leftover bits and an
Indy on the way. Pictures just as soon as I get time to get my rack
organised, the Sparc 10 together and some time to breathe at work.
PPS. Does anyone else find it ironic that the item that got Bill into
trouble with Sun is now hosting sunhelp.org ?
R***@rits.com.au
2000-07-13 10:26:54 UTC
Permalink
rescue-***@sunhelp.org wrote:
<snip>

Gee, what a lot of posts in one day!

My $0.02:

Solaris is fine on Sun4c kit provided you don't want to run it as a
'station. CDE really slows the poor things up, Openwin is a bit better,
but is showing it's age now. I've managed very well with some recycled
IPCs (using one as a jumpstart server, the other as a web server project
waiting for some of time to actually do something with) running 2.6, at
least it's usable for something. My classic and LX each get a bit more
work (one as a firewall, one as an alternate desktop to my M$ box) for a
total investment of less than $100AUS. I haven't bothered trying any of
the *BSDs yet 'cos Solaris hasn't given me any problems, and Linux sucks
(I'm sure to get flamed for that!) in comparison to the *BSDs. The
other boxen are still unused (Sparc 10 and Sparc 4/370) due to lack of
time and lack of a 4/600 board, but it will be Solaris for the '10 and
maybe 4.1.4 for the 100 kilogram wonder.

FWIW, I did my degree in computing and disagree with Chris Drelich's
comments, I don't think I'm either a product of the system, or unique in
being contractictory to the system. We used a little Unix at Uni, did
quite a bit of Windows stuff, but probably half of my close friends went
down the Evil Empire path, the others didn't. I am saddened by the
people I work with though (most in their early to mid 20's) that don't
understand there is a difference. I had a Sparc 10 with it's cover off
on my desk, he came over to have a look at "this wierd new slimline PC",
he didn't believe me it was built in 1993, could take 4 CPUs and 512Mb
of RAM. I'm also saddened by the Microserfs I work with that cover
themselves and everything they do with M$ logos, qualifications
(MCSE+IAMADRONE), and other such stuff. They just don't realise that
there is something else out there in the real world.

That's enough out of me, I'll go back into lurk mode now. Flame me if
you like, agree with me if you like, I don't mind :)

Rob.

PS. I support the push-pin initiative, let's make it so!
I'm in Canberra, Australia, have 6 Sun boxes, some leftover bits and an
Indy on the way. Pictures just as soon as I get time to get my rack
organised, the Sparc 10 together and some time to breathe at work.
PPS. Does anyone else find it ironic that the item that got Bill into
trouble with Sun is now hosting sunhelp.org ?
Steven Lawrance
2000-07-13 10:44:43 UTC
Permalink
I hope that includes GST. ;-)
Post by RR
PS. I support the push-pin initiative, let's make it so!
I'm in Canberra, Australia, have 6 Sun boxes, some leftover bits and an
Indy on the way. Pictures just as soon as I get time to get my rack
organised, the Sparc 10 together and some time to breathe at work.
I'm just wondering, whereabouts did you pick up your Sun machines? I
don't see very many around here second-hand/whatever. All I have is
an IPX with 16mb of ram.
--
Steven Lawrance RSA 2048/0x9F030653
***@tmbg.net DH/DSS 1024/0x76F301DE
http://www.resentment.org/~stl/ (for keys)
S***@sia.net.au
2000-07-13 10:44:43 UTC
Permalink
I hope that includes GST. ;-)
Post by RR
PS. I support the push-pin initiative, let's make it so!
I'm in Canberra, Australia, have 6 Sun boxes, some leftover bits and an
Indy on the way. Pictures just as soon as I get time to get my rack
organised, the Sparc 10 together and some time to breathe at work.
I'm just wondering, whereabouts did you pick up your Sun machines? I
don't see very many around here second-hand/whatever. All I have is
an IPX with 16mb of ram.
--
Steven Lawrance RSA 2048/0x9F030653
***@tmbg.net DH/DSS 1024/0x76F301DE
http://www.resentment.org/~stl/ (for keys)
Harry Regan
2000-07-13 13:22:28 UTC
Permalink
Chris' comment strikes a nerve with me. I'm an old dude-- I've been playing
with computers since 1967-- "Why, back in my day, we had to stoke the boilers
before we did a compile!" At the risk of sounding like a geezer, I think the
way people are educated in technology these days is inadequate-- and a major
culprit is our buddy Microsoft.

As a mainframe assembler programmer, you had to have a deep understanding of
the physical limits of the machine, what its peripherals were, how to make
them function, and most important, how to restore the damned thing to
operating status when it blew up at 2 AM.

I get really stressed with new Microsoft Certified architects and programmers
who design applications that clearly have of understanding of a production
processing environment. "Dude! When it does that, just reboot it!" Yeah, and
kill the other three apps running on the same server ("Oh! Should I only run
one app per server-- why, that would mean I'd have to run six hundred servers
to support the company...")

Bottom line-- to do real effective admin support and real effective production
ops, you need to understand how the darn machine works at a hardware level,
you've got to understand how to systematically diagnose "strange behavior",
and you've got to understand exactly how to recover from a failure. It's not
education and it's not certification. It does take a logical mind, it's takes
a personality that let's you focus on a task, and it takes a basket full of
common sense. Oh, and a love of carry-out Chinese food doen't hurt either...


___________________________________________________________________
---- Harry J. Regan
---- Phone: 202.310.2719
---- FAX: 212.202.3923
---- ***@usa.net
---- ***@lepus.com


____________________________________________________________________
Get free email and a permanent address at http://www.amexmail.com/?A=1
H***@usa.net
2000-07-13 13:22:28 UTC
Permalink
Chris' comment strikes a nerve with me. I'm an old dude-- I've been playing
with computers since 1967-- "Why, back in my day, we had to stoke the boilers
before we did a compile!" At the risk of sounding like a geezer, I think the
way people are educated in technology these days is inadequate-- and a major
culprit is our buddy Microsoft.

As a mainframe assembler programmer, you had to have a deep understanding of
the physical limits of the machine, what its peripherals were, how to make
them function, and most important, how to restore the damned thing to
operating status when it blew up at 2 AM.

I get really stressed with new Microsoft Certified architects and programmers
who design applications that clearly have of understanding of a production
processing environment. "Dude! When it does that, just reboot it!" Yeah, and
kill the other three apps running on the same server ("Oh! Should I only run
one app per server-- why, that would mean I'd have to run six hundred servers
to support the company...")

Bottom line-- to do real effective admin support and real effective production
ops, you need to understand how the darn machine works at a hardware level,
you've got to understand how to systematically diagnose "strange behavior",
and you've got to understand exactly how to recover from a failure. It's not
education and it's not certification. It does take a logical mind, it's takes
a personality that let's you focus on a task, and it takes a basket full of
common sense. Oh, and a love of carry-out Chinese food doen't hurt either...


___________________________________________________________________
---- Harry J. Regan
---- Phone: 202.310.2719
---- FAX: 212.202.3923
---- ***@usa.net
---- ***@lepus.com


____________________________________________________________________
Get free email and a permanent address at http://www.amexmail.com/?A=1
E***@centigram.com
2000-07-13 16:56:36 UTC
Permalink
Hey, I use the manual lots. :P,','',',',',', I can't help it if my memory
sucks!!!!! Like one old grisled admin from v7 days once told me, "It's
about knowing where to find the answer, even if it means RTFM for the third
time."

And I can vouch for the accuracy of that statement, being college educated
in something not even remotely related to computers.



From: Chris Drelich <***@interport.net> on 07/13/2000 04:39 AM GMT

Please respond to ***@sunhelp.org

To: ***@sunhelp.org
cc: (bcc: Ed Mitchell/US/Centigram)
Subject: Re: [SunRescue] Q on "optimal" OS for Sun4c machines, now that
Solaris 8 won't run




My friends, and myself, have all been computer geeks from an early age, and
now
in our late teens to early twenties, we are all unix users, and mostly unix
and
network admins. We've been using computers all our lives and know how to
take
one apart and put it together. We can even do this with computers we've
never
heard of before, because we get the basic similarities, and our engineering
skills help us fill in the rest. Most of us never went to college or went
and
dropped out after a few days/semesters/years, some have been on "hiatus"
for
years now. We know our stuff, do good work, and our well paid for it.
However, recently we have noticed that a lot of the people our age, who
learned
their knowledge through college instead of life have a different view of
computers. Sure, they can code well, and some of them even know a thing or
two
about UNIX. Open a computer in front of them, and they won't know what to
do.
Its a case of "We never learned that in college."/"Im too good for that,
call
tech support/technician." I mean, back in the real glory days of
computers,
even the college educated ones could take apart a computer, sometimes
better
then the life educated ones. Today though its not the case, and this is
sad.
All companies I've been with have had the tech department divided among
three
lines: Hackers(college or life educated, they can take apart a computer and
love to tinker), College Boys(college educated, they may think some
computer is
neat, but for the most part the are 100% Windows at heart, at most they
might
have built a computer once and brag about it a lot, they also used the
manual a
lot), Others(they may or may not have college education, but if they do,
its in
another field, they switched to computers after having decided what to do
with
their life once before, they are in it for the money or a love similar to
the
hacker.) Either way, this current state of affairs is sad.
Chris
Post by Roger Walkup
Apple did the samething in the k-12 schools.
E***@centigram.comEd.Mitchell
2000-07-13 16:56:36 UTC
Permalink
Hey, I use the manual lots. :P,','',',',',', I can't help it if my memory
sucks!!!!! Like one old grisled admin from v7 days once told me, "It's
about knowing where to find the answer, even if it means RTFM for the third
time."

And I can vouch for the accuracy of that statement, being college educated
in something not even remotely related to computers.



From: Chris Drelich <***@interport.net> on 07/13/2000 04:39 AM GMT

Please respond to ***@sunhelp.org

To: ***@sunhelp.org
cc: (bcc: Ed Mitchell/US/Centigram)
Subject: Re: [SunRescue] Q on "optimal" OS for Sun4c machines, now that
Solaris 8 won't run




My friends, and myself, have all been computer geeks from an early age, and
now
in our late teens to early twenties, we are all unix users, and mostly unix
and
network admins. We've been using computers all our lives and know how to
take
one apart and put it together. We can even do this with computers we've
never
heard of before, because we get the basic similarities, and our engineering
skills help us fill in the rest. Most of us never went to college or went
and
dropped out after a few days/semesters/years, some have been on "hiatus"
for
years now. We know our stuff, do good work, and our well paid for it.
However, recently we have noticed that a lot of the people our age, who
learned
their knowledge through college instead of life have a different view of
computers. Sure, they can code well, and some of them even know a thing or
two
about UNIX. Open a computer in front of them, and they won't know what to
do.
Its a case of "We never learned that in college."/"Im too good for that,
call
tech support/technician." I mean, back in the real glory days of
computers,
even the college educated ones could take apart a computer, sometimes
better
then the life educated ones. Today though its not the case, and this is
sad.
All companies I've been with have had the tech department divided among
three
lines: Hackers(college or life educated, they can take apart a computer and
love to tinker), College Boys(college educated, they may think some
computer is
neat, but for the most part the are 100% Windows at heart, at most they
might
have built a computer once and brag about it a lot, they also used the
manual a
lot), Others(they may or may not have college education, but if they do,
its in
another field, they switched to computers after having decided what to do
with
their life once before, they are in it for the money or a love similar to
the
hacker.) Either way, this current state of affairs is sad.
Chris
Post by Roger Walkup
Apple did the samething in the k-12 schools.
E***@centigram.com
2000-07-13 16:59:14 UTC
Permalink
The eerie part is running into people that don't understand endian-ness or
why it should even matter. As an aside, I recently read that the PowerPC
arch doesn't give a rat's behind about the endianess expectations of
software executing on it. On other words, it seems to be able to figure
out what endian-ness your data is in and can act accordingly. Anyone shed
light on this?



From: Dave McGuire <***@neurotica.com> on 07/13/2000 01:11 AM GMT

Please respond to ***@sunhelp.org

To: ***@sunhelp.org
cc: (bcc: Ed Mitchell/US/Centigram)
Subject: Re: [SunRescue] Q on "optimal" OS for Sun4c machines, now that
Solaris 8 won't run



Wow. Is it possible that we are the last generation of people that
will know how computers actually *work*? No computer *science* will
be learnt on Windows boxes, in my opinion.

-Dave McGuire
_______________________________________________
Rescue maillist - ***@sunhelp.org
http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue
E***@centigram.comEd.Mitchell
2000-07-13 16:59:14 UTC
Permalink
The eerie part is running into people that don't understand endian-ness or
why it should even matter. As an aside, I recently read that the PowerPC
arch doesn't give a rat's behind about the endianess expectations of
software executing on it. On other words, it seems to be able to figure
out what endian-ness your data is in and can act accordingly. Anyone shed
light on this?



From: Dave McGuire <***@neurotica.com> on 07/13/2000 01:11 AM GMT

Please respond to ***@sunhelp.org

To: ***@sunhelp.org
cc: (bcc: Ed Mitchell/US/Centigram)
Subject: Re: [SunRescue] Q on "optimal" OS for Sun4c machines, now that
Solaris 8 won't run



Wow. Is it possible that we are the last generation of people that
will know how computers actually *work*? No computer *science* will
be learnt on Windows boxes, in my opinion.

-Dave McGuire
_______________________________________________
Rescue maillist - ***@sunhelp.org
http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue
BSD Bob the old greybeard BSD freak
2000-07-13 17:07:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@picarefy.picarefy.com
For PC ports, hardware support is, I will admit, pretty good: most
things that were even moderately popular at one time are supported and
working. However, as soon as you leave the PC world, things change, and
much of my opinion of free OSes has been formed by a months-long effort to
get NetBSD working on my Sun-3's and SPARCs. I've been reduced to running
everything on 3/50's and 3/60's because nothing else works reliably -- the
VME-based units have a variety of problems, and my poor 3/80 limps along
with a crashing problem due to a memory leak in the kernel. Supposedly at
least some of these problems are fixed in 1.4.2, and when I have some time
to experiment I'll check it out, but for production systems I'm limited to
3/50's and 3/60's, because that's what's *actually* supported in 1.4 to a
useful degree. The SPARCs were total non-starters: boot support for si SCSI
is totally broken, meaning that the 4/2xx was down for the count, and there
was some other problem on my SLC, so that it wouldn't boot either.
All of the hardware that failed is listed as being fully supported.
Jim... respectfully, I will have to play the devil's advocate, and counter
that, a bit. First, I too, have had bountiful troubles trying to get
anything sun3 up on NetBSD. The 3/60 class machines with the builtin
esp controllers do fine. The VME based controller systems have only
worked for me just recently, with the 1.4.2 suite. It is running like
a striped arsed ape on my 3/260 crate, although the tape drivers are
still a bit munged, but everything else seems fine. It loads OK from
tape, but once up, is slow as molasses, reading or writing tapes.

On the sun4 crates, the only thing I have gotten up was OpenBSD (loaded on
a 4c box then transferring drives to a 4/110 with esp built-in controller),
and that was fine. It was on the generic kernel, which has sun4 support.
But, it is only on the built-in controllers, AFIK. On the sun4 VME scsi
controller crates, still no go. My 4/260 still runs SunOS 4.1.3.

But, all of the 4c machines I have tried (4/20, 4/60, etc.) seem to just
load and go on NetBSD and OpenBSD (although my preference is for OpenBSD
since it seems to install a trifle better, and be a little less fussy
about setting up etc scripts). This is probably because most of the
sparc development has been on 4c class boxes. The old VME monsters
just are not plentiful enough to give the support base to.

On 4c class machines, I have no problem recommending NetBSD or OpenBSD
and the support seems to be quite good there. There may be some odd
or lesser used boards that might not be supported, but, the generic
machine as a workstation or server, seems quite good. I use an SS1
on OpenBSD with 40M ram and 6 gig of HD as a web/ftp archive server,
and it has been stable as a rock. X, as expected, browser in tow,
is a little slow, but other than that, it does well for a lowend box.

Hopefully, the dust will settle in the 3/xxx line, and we will all
be happy. I do wish, though, better 4/xxx support was there, but,
maybe it will come.

Bob
B***@weedcon1.cropsci.ncsu.edu
2000-07-13 17:07:47 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@picarefy.picarefy.com
For PC ports, hardware support is, I will admit, pretty good: most
things that were even moderately popular at one time are supported and
working. However, as soon as you leave the PC world, things change, and
much of my opinion of free OSes has been formed by a months-long effort to
get NetBSD working on my Sun-3's and SPARCs. I've been reduced to running
everything on 3/50's and 3/60's because nothing else works reliably -- the
VME-based units have a variety of problems, and my poor 3/80 limps along
with a crashing problem due to a memory leak in the kernel. Supposedly at
least some of these problems are fixed in 1.4.2, and when I have some time
to experiment I'll check it out, but for production systems I'm limited to
3/50's and 3/60's, because that's what's *actually* supported in 1.4 to a
useful degree. The SPARCs were total non-starters: boot support for si SCSI
is totally broken, meaning that the 4/2xx was down for the count, and there
was some other problem on my SLC, so that it wouldn't boot either.
All of the hardware that failed is listed as being fully supported.
Jim... respectfully, I will have to play the devil's advocate, and counter
that, a bit. First, I too, have had bountiful troubles trying to get
anything sun3 up on NetBSD. The 3/60 class machines with the builtin
esp controllers do fine. The VME based controller systems have only
worked for me just recently, with the 1.4.2 suite. It is running like
a striped arsed ape on my 3/260 crate, although the tape drivers are
still a bit munged, but everything else seems fine. It loads OK from
tape, but once up, is slow as molasses, reading or writing tapes.

On the sun4 crates, the only thing I have gotten up was OpenBSD (loaded on
a 4c box then transferring drives to a 4/110 with esp built-in controller),
and that was fine. It was on the generic kernel, which has sun4 support.
But, it is only on the built-in controllers, AFIK. On the sun4 VME scsi
controller crates, still no go. My 4/260 still runs SunOS 4.1.3.

But, all of the 4c machines I have tried (4/20, 4/60, etc.) seem to just
load and go on NetBSD and OpenBSD (although my preference is for OpenBSD
since it seems to install a trifle better, and be a little less fussy
about setting up etc scripts). This is probably because most of the
sparc development has been on 4c class boxes. The old VME monsters
just are not plentiful enough to give the support base to.

On 4c class machines, I have no problem recommending NetBSD or OpenBSD
and the support seems to be quite good there. There may be some odd
or lesser used boards that might not be supported, but, the generic
machine as a workstation or server, seems quite good. I use an SS1
on OpenBSD with 40M ram and 6 gig of HD as a web/ftp archive server,
and it has been stable as a rock. X, as expected, browser in tow,
is a little slow, but other than that, it does well for a lowend box.

Hopefully, the dust will settle in the 3/xxx line, and we will all
be happy. I do wish, though, better 4/xxx support was there, but,
maybe it will come.

Bob
Aaron D. Teche
2000-07-13 17:49:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roger Walkup
Apple did the samething in the k-12 schools.
A***@biostat.wisc.edu
2000-07-13 17:49:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roger Walkup
Apple did the samething in the k-12 schools.
Roger Walkup
2000-07-14 00:02:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roger Walkup
Apple did the samething in the k-12 schools.
R***@cheqnet.net
2000-07-14 00:02:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Roger Walkup
Apple did the samething in the k-12 schools.
j***@picarefy.picarefy.com
2000-07-14 21:31:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by BSD Bob the old greybeard BSD freak
The 3/60 class machines with the builtin
esp controllers do fine.
si, actually.
Post by BSD Bob the old greybeard BSD freak
The VME based controller systems have only
worked for me just recently, with the 1.4.2 suite.
I read your reports, which is why I'll be looking at 1.4.2 when I have
time to experiment. Have they fixed the crashing problems with the ie
driver, too?


Actually, we're pretty much saying the same thing: hardware that is more
common is better supported. There's nothing wrong with that per se, but it
would be nice if the documentation distinguished between things that really
work because everybody is using them and things which kinda work because
some people have dinked with them for completeness' sake but nobody is
actually using.
I keep grinding this axe because all of my more powerful hardware has
been sidelined by lack of support. The 3/60 is a capable machine, but I do
have a few things that really need more memory than it can take. Once I get
all my services back online, then I can take the time to experiment with
newer versions and kernel debugging and such, but right now I need things
that work right now.

--James B.
j***@picarefy.picarefy.comjwbirdsa
2000-07-14 21:31:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by BSD Bob the old greybeard BSD freak
The 3/60 class machines with the builtin
esp controllers do fine.
si, actually.
Post by BSD Bob the old greybeard BSD freak
The VME based controller systems have only
worked for me just recently, with the 1.4.2 suite.
I read your reports, which is why I'll be looking at 1.4.2 when I have
time to experiment. Have they fixed the crashing problems with the ie
driver, too?


Actually, we're pretty much saying the same thing: hardware that is more
common is better supported. There's nothing wrong with that per se, but it
would be nice if the documentation distinguished between things that really
work because everybody is using them and things which kinda work because
some people have dinked with them for completeness' sake but nobody is
actually using.
I keep grinding this axe because all of my more powerful hardware has
been sidelined by lack of support. The 3/60 is a capable machine, but I do
have a few things that really need more memory than it can take. Once I get
all my services back online, then I can take the time to experiment with
newer versions and kernel debugging and such, but right now I need things
that work right now.

--James B.
Matthew Haas
2000-07-14 22:06:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by E***@centigram.com
The eerie part is running into people that don't understand endian-ness or
why it should even matter. As an aside, I recently read that the PowerPC
arch doesn't give a rat's behind about the endianess expectations of
software executing on it. On other words, it seems to be able to figure
out what endian-ness your data is in and can act accordingly. Anyone shed
light on this?
I don't know but I've heard that one of Intel's next generation chips
(Merced? If that still exists) can do the same.

----|||-------------------------------------------------------------
- ||| Atari 8-bit! Star Wars * SPARCbook 3GX * SUMMER!! -
- ||| 400/800/XL/XE Battlestar: Galactica * SPARC * Linux -
- | | | | | 2600/5200/7800 NetBSD1.4.2 * StarTrek * Galaga * SCSI -
- || | || Lynx/Jaguar Star Raiders * Descent * Voltron * UNIX -
--------------------------------------------------------------------
M***@lightlink.com
2000-07-14 22:06:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by E***@centigram.com
The eerie part is running into people that don't understand endian-ness or
why it should even matter. As an aside, I recently read that the PowerPC
arch doesn't give a rat's behind about the endianess expectations of
software executing on it. On other words, it seems to be able to figure
out what endian-ness your data is in and can act accordingly. Anyone shed
light on this?
I don't know but I've heard that one of Intel's next generation chips
(Merced? If that still exists) can do the same.

----|||-------------------------------------------------------------
- ||| Atari 8-bit! Star Wars * SPARCbook 3GX * SUMMER!! -
- ||| 400/800/XL/XE Battlestar: Galactica * SPARC * Linux -
- | | | | | 2600/5200/7800 NetBSD1.4.2 * StarTrek * Galaga * SCSI -
- || | || Lynx/Jaguar Star Raiders * Descent * Voltron * UNIX -
--------------------------------------------------------------------
j***@picarefy.picarefy.com
2000-07-14 22:37:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew Haas
I don't know but I've heard that one of Intel's next generation chips
(Merced? If that still exists) can do the same.
I don't know of any that "figure it out", but chips of switchable
endianness are nothing new, even for Intel. The 80960 could do so circa
1991. My employer at the time was developing emulators for several versions
of the 80960, and while I wasn't working on them myself, I know that that
feature gave the developers a lot of hell. IIRC, the endianness could be
flipped programmatically, so it could for example support per-process
endianness with an appropriately written kernel. When you're trying to
disassemble the instruction stream based on snooping memory fetches, the
last thing you need is for the world to turn upside down.

--James B.
j***@picarefy.picarefy.comjwbirdsa
2000-07-14 22:37:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Matthew Haas
I don't know but I've heard that one of Intel's next generation chips
(Merced? If that still exists) can do the same.
I don't know of any that "figure it out", but chips of switchable
endianness are nothing new, even for Intel. The 80960 could do so circa
1991. My employer at the time was developing emulators for several versions
of the 80960, and while I wasn't working on them myself, I know that that
feature gave the developers a lot of hell. IIRC, the endianness could be
flipped programmatically, so it could for example support per-process
endianness with an appropriately written kernel. When you're trying to
disassemble the instruction stream based on snooping memory fetches, the
last thing you need is for the world to turn upside down.

--James B.
James Lockwood
2000-07-15 00:59:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@picarefy.picarefy.com
I don't know of any that "figure it out", but chips of switchable
endianness are nothing new, even for Intel. The 80960 could do so circa
1991. My employer at the time was developing emulators for several versions
of the 80960, and while I wasn't working on them myself, I know that that
feature gave the developers a lot of hell. IIRC, the endianness could be
flipped programmatically, so it could for example support per-process
endianness with an appropriately written kernel. When you're trying to
disassemble the instruction stream based on snooping memory fetches, the
last thing you need is for the world to turn upside down.
One of the big pushes for bi-endianality for the Alpha was because it
simplified compatibility with x86 code. Unfortunately the time taken to
flip endianness was nearly two orders of magnitude higher than the time
taken to do a "regular" context switch, so the idea of per-process
endianness (with some sort of endianness id bit in the process table)
went out of favor in that case.

-James
J***@foonly.com
2000-07-15 00:59:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@picarefy.picarefy.com
I don't know of any that "figure it out", but chips of switchable
endianness are nothing new, even for Intel. The 80960 could do so circa
1991. My employer at the time was developing emulators for several versions
of the 80960, and while I wasn't working on them myself, I know that that
feature gave the developers a lot of hell. IIRC, the endianness could be
flipped programmatically, so it could for example support per-process
endianness with an appropriately written kernel. When you're trying to
disassemble the instruction stream based on snooping memory fetches, the
last thing you need is for the world to turn upside down.
One of the big pushes for bi-endianality for the Alpha was because it
simplified compatibility with x86 code. Unfortunately the time taken to
flip endianness was nearly two orders of magnitude higher than the time
taken to do a "regular" context switch, so the idea of per-process
endianness (with some sort of endianness id bit in the process table)
went out of favor in that case.

-James
RR
2000-07-15 01:02:08 UTC
Permalink
Gee, I must be doing well, no flames for my Linux comment (yet)!
Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2000 20:44:43 +1000
I hope that includes GST. ;-)
Of course, but i forgot to write "Tax Invoice" so you can't claim it as
an input credit :)
I'm just wondering, whereabouts did you pick up your Sun machines? I
don't see very many around here second-hand/whatever. All I have is
an IPX with 16mb of ram.
Lots of places :) I've been lucky with Sun kit, almost nobody wants it,
and I've been in the right places at the right times (well I was with
the IPCs and the 370). I paid a small fortune for the '10 but got a
nice-ish 20" monitor, 2 x SM51 CPUs and a fair lump of RAM.

For the LX and Classic, I went to the auctions and bid on them every
week for 3 months before they finally sold them to me. They were
selling them as "Untested" and being PC-centric, had no idea what they
were. I took in my null modem cable and satisfied myself they were fine
(both booted Solaris 2.4 from their internal disk) then bid for them
that auction. The auctioneers knew that anything with a Sun logo
usually goes for a lot (Exabytes usually go for $20, Sun branded
exabytes go for up to $100 !!!) so they kept saying I hadn't reached the
reserve. In the end, they eventually sold them to me for less than half
what I bid the first night they came up. Sun kit is usually rare in
Canberra auctions, I just keep going and eventually find some, but get
beaten by the dealers that just buy based on the logos on the boxes.
There has been quite a few Axil boxes come up recently, a Sparc 10SX
complete with VSIMM that I got outbid on, and lots of dead monitors
(yes, the PC people pay a fortune for these as well because of the Sun
logo!)
Post by RR
PPS. Does anyone else find it ironic that the item that got Bill into
trouble with Sun is now hosting sunhelp.org ?
What is that supposed to mean? Did I miss something?
Probably. Ask Bill next time he's in a good mood.
R***@rits.com.au
2000-07-15 01:02:08 UTC
Permalink
Gee, I must be doing well, no flames for my Linux comment (yet)!
Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2000 20:44:43 +1000
I hope that includes GST. ;-)
Of course, but i forgot to write "Tax Invoice" so you can't claim it as
an input credit :)
I'm just wondering, whereabouts did you pick up your Sun machines? I
don't see very many around here second-hand/whatever. All I have is
an IPX with 16mb of ram.
Lots of places :) I've been lucky with Sun kit, almost nobody wants it,
and I've been in the right places at the right times (well I was with
the IPCs and the 370). I paid a small fortune for the '10 but got a
nice-ish 20" monitor, 2 x SM51 CPUs and a fair lump of RAM.

For the LX and Classic, I went to the auctions and bid on them every
week for 3 months before they finally sold them to me. They were
selling them as "Untested" and being PC-centric, had no idea what they
were. I took in my null modem cable and satisfied myself they were fine
(both booted Solaris 2.4 from their internal disk) then bid for them
that auction. The auctioneers knew that anything with a Sun logo
usually goes for a lot (Exabytes usually go for $20, Sun branded
exabytes go for up to $100 !!!) so they kept saying I hadn't reached the
reserve. In the end, they eventually sold them to me for less than half
what I bid the first night they came up. Sun kit is usually rare in
Canberra auctions, I just keep going and eventually find some, but get
beaten by the dealers that just buy based on the logos on the boxes.
There has been quite a few Axil boxes come up recently, a Sparc 10SX
complete with VSIMM that I got outbid on, and lots of dead monitors
(yes, the PC people pay a fortune for these as well because of the Sun
logo!)
Post by RR
PPS. Does anyone else find it ironic that the item that got Bill into
trouble with Sun is now hosting sunhelp.org ?
What is that supposed to mean? Did I miss something?
Probably. Ask Bill next time he's in a good mood.
Bill Bradford
2000-07-15 02:04:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by RR
PPS. Does anyone else find it ironic that the item that got Bill into
trouble with Sun is now hosting sunhelp.org ?
Yeah, I find it funny that a "topdog" AXe board is now
hosting (actually, not yet, but will be soon; I'm still
waiting on my new SDSL line at the house) the site. 8-)

Bill
--
+-------------------\ /-----------------+
| Bill Bradford | www.sunhelp.org |
| ***@mrbill.net | www.decvax.org |
| Austin, Texas USA | www.pdp11.org |
+-------------------/ \-----------------+
B***@mrbill.net
2000-07-15 02:04:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by RR
PPS. Does anyone else find it ironic that the item that got Bill into
trouble with Sun is now hosting sunhelp.org ?
Yeah, I find it funny that a "topdog" AXe board is now
hosting (actually, not yet, but will be soon; I'm still
waiting on my new SDSL line at the house) the site. 8-)

Bill
--
+-------------------\ /-----------------+
| Bill Bradford | www.sunhelp.org |
| ***@mrbill.net | www.decvax.org |
| Austin, Texas USA | www.pdp11.org |
+-------------------/ \-----------------+
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