[rescue] ss10 upgrades ?

Arthur Wouk awouk at nilenet.com
Tue Apr 12 13:54:53 CDT 2005

mike tuffs wrote:

:Subject: [rescue] ss10  upgrades ?
:I just found a nice SS10 for $20 at the Goodwill, it has:
:40 Mhz CPU
:128 mb RAM (5 cards)
:9 gb SCSI
:GX graphics
:clean install of sol 2.6 with a root account with no password (yeah)
:Should I stick with Sol 2.6 or is there something better ? ( I might 
:try & run some work stuff, which will want a later version of 
:Looking on the web there are faster/multi processor options available - 
:does anyone have any old mbus
:cpus ?
:Any help appreciated,
i am a hobbyist, not doing any production work.

i have four of these beasts around. my last one was free, together with
a free ultra-1 200mhz creator. an earlier one came off of ebay at $20.

i run sol8 on these, and can run sol9, which i am getting ready to
install.  two run single hypersparc 150mhz cpus, one runs two sm71s
(75mhz) cpus. the extra cache makes the sm71s about as fast as the
hypersparcs in effect. the fourth runs two 125mhz hypersparcs. 

you can find these fast cpus on ebay, where i got most of mine over
the years. some of them came in the ss10s when i bought them. they are
pretty cheap, if you wait the vendors out.

right now i am trying firefox on a single 150mhz hypersparc cpu with
512megs of ram. loading is slow, but once loaded it runs reasonably fast.
my comparison is my daughter's macintosh g4 400mhz machine. we have
broadband. my system is somewhat slower, but still usable.  i want to
move to firefox on the dual 125mhz hypersparcs. i don't know if that
software is threaded enough to utilize the two cpus. after that i will
put it up on the ultra-1.  i am in no hurry.

the problems with these machines are threefold.

1) the boot prom batteries are near the end of their lives. i have
replaced all of mine, and, if you don't care about time-of-fay
complaints on power up, you can ignore this one.

2) there are no good supplies of ram. i have gotten a number from ebay.
(i have the largest collection of 16meg sticks imaginable as i have
replaced them with 32 and 64meg sticks.) more ram has an appreciable
effect on performance. also i have noticed that the incidence of bad
64meg sticks is growing in my recent acquisitions. you can use the
same ram as ss20 and ultra-1/2/60s.

3) hard drives are the real problem. most of them are about 10 years
old (50-pin scsi drives of not more than 1" height). they die
randomly. the 9gig drives are more recent, so have more life in them.
but i have had one of these die on me.

two solutions to this problem. you can fit a sca drive of 9megs or
more capacity into an external 411 box, together with the adaptor
for 50 pin connections. it will NOT fit inside the ss10 box.
in addition, there are a number of recent ibm ultra-star drives which
can be reformatted (i use sformat) for use on suns. (wrong block size
- 520 instead of 512.) 4gig drives don't overheat  the ss10's cooling
system by much. 9gig or higher do. these boxes originally came with up
to two drives, each idling at about eight or nine watts. the
ultrastars idle at nine watts. their peak is higher however. 

i have no experience running anything but solaris on these machines.

More information about the rescue mailing list