[rescue] "New" SPARCserver 20

Brian Hechinger rescue at sunhelp.org
Thu Jun 21 13:04:58 CDT 2001

On Thu, Jun 21, 2001 at 07:31:28AM -0400, sambo at charm.net wrote:
> Did I send this last night? I never saw it show up...

yeah, i got it.

> If I did, pardon the duplicate.

no worries.

> Yes. I've just got this habit of not wanting to wipe drives that have my
> data on them. I've still got an OS/2 drive around here somewhere. I
> think I thought I would boot it again someday. Still got a Slackware
> linux drive with a .9something kernel too.

i'm more along the lines of wipe every drive you can find, if you wipe something
that you wanted and you don't have it on tape you didn't want it that bad.

oh, and i never back anything up to tape either. :) (i should, but i just don't
ever seem to get myself around to it, even have a bunch of drives and 
everything too. heh)

> Yep. Solved it, though. I went to meet a new client for a project, and
> they'd just gotten rid of a bunch of SPARCs (on ebay, could be some of
> them ended up here). A bunch of parts laying around, and I asked if they
> had a framebuffer left. The guy said probably, let's go look in storage.
> So we went. Turns out there's a Sparcstation 20 sitting all by itself.
> He said it didn't boot, but if what I needed was in there, I could have
> it.

excellent.  hey, didn't you get the other one for free as well? damn, you're
good. :)

> I didn't even try booting it. Ripped the RAM out (2x16, 1x32 3(!)x4M
> VSIMMS) and swapped the system boards. Now it works like a charm. And I
> got three 4M VSIMMS, and an extra 32M RAM in the deal.


> Question. This thing had a small framebuffer that plugs in to the little
> white header on the right side of the board, taking up the bottom SBUS
> space. What is it for? Just so I can run a dual headed system? Shame I
> don't have a second Sun monitor

if you don't want it let me know, i'd love to dump a GX in favor of a second

> So Solaris 8 is installing right now. Woo-hoo!

all right!!

> So, with the VSIMMS, I assume this thing willspeed up a bit and maybe be
> worth keeping on the desktop? Or is it better off on the rack?

see below.

> > the sparc20 is never going to have the snappy graphics of the PC for a price
> > that you would enjoy.  the SX is an ok 24-bit framebuffer, but dog slow.
> Even with 8M of VSIMMS? Or is that the price you meant I wouldn't enjoy?
> I see these things go for ~$75 on ebay.

the only thing the 8MB gives you is 24-bit at higher resolution.  and that's
not the price i was talking about either. :)

the SX is slow.  very slow.  but it works.  it turns out that i'm a very patient
person, and so an SX is fine for me.  course i rip mp3s on my sparc20 and it
takes like 12 hours to convert a single CD from wav to mp3. :)

the framebuffer i was talking about is the RasterFlex cards.  very very very
awesome, very very very expensive.

anywho, later on,


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