[rescue] another sandia/los Alamos auction

Patrick Finnegan pat at computer-refuge.org
Thu Feb 12 23:54:13 CST 2004

I guess I'm gonna have to cut in to this conversation...

On Friday 13 February 2004 00:13, Dan Sikorski wrote:
> Stephen Sukovich wrote:
> >I left purdue when the place was moving. The Computer science labs
> > had tons and tons of ultra 5s in them that we did our java
> > development on, and the other labs had Pentium 3 500 and flat panel
> > monitors that we used visual J++ on.
> Well, i guess that they're moving again, in that case.  where were
> they before the move you're talking about?

I'm guessing he means the move they're "currently" doing... they've been 
"moving" since last September or October.  Before that, they've been 
where they are now since at least the 80s.  I know, because of some of 
the stuff that's resurfaced which has been there since then while 
they've been moving.

> AFAIK, the labs still have the u5's, i was hoping to see them show up
> at salvage when i used to go there, but they never did, and my friend
> who is down there hasn't seen them there yet either, but i don't know
> how often he goes by there anymore.

Actually, most/all of the labs now have SunBlade 100s due to a strange 
deal with Sun (ordering the SunBlades with a new server they were 
getting was cheaper than the server without the SunBlades...).  The 
U5's have moved to being used as workstations for grad students, profs, 
etc., and the SS5's that used to be on their desks got sent out to my 
apar^W^Wsalvage.  Actually, I haven't gone through as many as a friend 
of mine who had a pile of 30-40 of them.  I'm more into snagging the 
higher-end MCA RS/6000s lately than Sun stuff.  I've got a pair of 
desktop 66MHz Power2 boxes (3CT's) and my friend has a couple of frames 
worth of MCA SP (but only one cabinet and no switch...for now ;).

I've found some neat stuff out there... VAXstations, DECstations DEC 300 
Alphas, piles of S-100 systems, an SGI Indy, SS5's, 10s, 20s, some U1s, 
and a broken U2 and broken U30 (which got sold on ebay for "parts").  
Oh yea, and my DEC AS500/400MHz box.  I've been able to turn this into 
a bit of a side-job while helping them get rid of "such worthless 
machines" as those "darn VAXen."  Well, most of the stuff on my web 
site (which isn't quite up-to-date) originated from Purdue Salvage: 

I'm still waiting for a PDP-8 to show up out there, but I'm not too 
hopeful.  From Dave's pictures, I think his 3 (that he was willing to 
put in the picture!) are emitting gravity waves which are pulling them 
away from here, towards Florida.

> >Funny how as a computer science major there I never touched C or C++
> >only java... guess that's why I left before finishing up my degree.
> > Oh well once my girlfriend finished college she gets to take over
> > the role of sugar daddy then I can go back to college :)
> Around what timeframe were you there?  I started in fall 1997, and
> left after spring semester 2002, also without my bachelor's.  There
> was several semesters off in there, however, i was in the co-op
> program (hence the job in valpo).  I was in CPT, but had some friends
> in CS.

I know they're currently teaching C and C++ in CS, as some of my friends 
that are a year or two behind me (I'm graduating at the end of this 
semester in CompE) have taken classes in them.  In fact I think they've 
switched one or both of the CS intro classes (CS 180/181) to C or C++.

Java is a decent teaching and prototyping language, but it's not very 
well suited to production (compute-bound) applications.  I don't think 
we've got many people (researchers) that use it for compute jobs at 
work, but there's probably some... just like the ones that use MATLAB 
for compute bound tasks, becuase they refuse to learn a new language. 
In one example, converting one professor's code from MATLAB to C 
dropped the runtime from about 12-24hrs to 30mins.  That's a quite 
significant increase in speed!

Purdue University ITAP/RCS
Information Technology at Purdue
Research Computing and Storage

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