[geeks] A Few Sun Blade Observations
geeks at sunhelp.org
Sun Apr 1 17:25:19 CDT 2001
After a couple of days of more playing than anything else, here's a
of how the new toy feels to me. I've not got the same level of
experience that some of you have, so things that strike me may seem
ho-hum to you.
Bear in mind that going from an IPX(PowerUP/64mb/5gb total) was pretty
The first thing to do is buy more ram. My budget allowed for 3 128mb
sticks for a total of 512mb. That seems to be a good amount right now.
swaps like NT with only the stock 128mb.
Let's see - in no particular order:
1) mpg123 actually works!
2) java doesn't bring the machine to a (dang near literal) halt
3) netscape doesn't use 80% of the resources of the machine
4) my old 16" color Sun monitor works just fine with an adapter cable.
Higher resolutions worked just fine on the NEC FE700 from a different
5) angband actually runs in graphics mode (my biggest time waster)
6) my smalltalk environments (Squeak 3.0 and Visual Works 5i) and lisp
(CMUCL 18c for V9 UltraSparc and Allegro CL 6.0) run smoothly.
7) 24 bit color - you get to the point in PC land where you take it for
granted until you look at a web site that has many photos and all you
have is 8 bit...
8) Pysol (my other big time waster) runs smoothly too...
9) The internal speaker is really annoying. I ended up unplugging it
from the riser board because I couldn't get it to respond to the
10) The CD doesn't have the audio out on the drive attached to the
mother board. I ran a patch cable from the headphone jack on the drive
to the line in jack on the back of the machine. I could simply rip my
cd's to disk, but that's a game for another day.
11) Compiles are _much_ faster.
12) Even with the same DSL connection, downloads are faster. I'm
guessing that the dsl "modem" has a 100 megabit ethernet built in and
the two are simply able to talk to each other at full speed.
13) The keyboard is ok. I'd love to find a Type 4 USB, but this will do.
14) the mouse stinks to me. Then again, I like track balls. I have a
Trackball Explorer (one of the new optical ones) that plugged right into
the USB port and works just fine. No "wheel" functionality, but I never
used that much.
All in all the main feeling is smoothness. There is enough horsepower to
actually do several cpu intensive things at once. Right now I have
Netscape, Star Office, and a mp3 playing with out noticing anything (Top
says .021 load average with all this running. .00 - .03 when the mp3 is
Connected to the Net via a DSL line, and it's almost everything that I
could want in a computer. That last will be fixed when my CD-RW arrives.
The only other thing I need to
do is save some pennies for an IBM 75 gb ide drive for the other bay.
By far and away the best bang for the buck in a >$1500 computer on the
market right now I think.
Hope this is interesting to someone.
You better watch out What you wish for;
It better be worth it So much to die for.
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