[rescue] Interest in sun4m? Rescuing systems in Portland, OR

Paxton innfosun at gmail.com
Fri Jun 9 04:26:28 CDT 2006

Hi chris,

I just started volunteering there myself and brought home a nice 17E10
for an U1 I am working on. It was headed to recycle.

They have quite a collection for their Museum including an Altair.

I am interested in helping you sort and test. I live in Astoria but
get to Free Geeks once or twice a month.

And Chris is not kidding. I saw a Burroughs B26 on the pile headed to scrap.


On 6/9/06, Skeezics Boondoggle <skeezics at q7.com> wrote:
> Folks,
> Sorry for the length... but I need your input.
> There's a local outfit here in Portland called Free Geek that does a ton
> of re-use and recycling of discarded computers.  It's almost all PC stuff,
> with some Mac stuff; most of it is pretty generic.  Their deal is that
> folks can volunteer n hours learning how to test, clean, inventory and
> disassemble and reassemble machines, pulling out all the working/useful
> stuff, and recycling the rest -- and then build their own machine, put
> Linux or another free OS on it, and take it home for free.  They teach
> classes, run a small thrift store, contribute to open source projects, and
> do lots of cool stuff.  It's chaotic and crazy and kind of a zoo, but
> they're great folks and it's a wonderful way to keep machines out of the
> landfills and bridge the "digital divide"...
> My interest, of course, is picking out the diamonds in the rough.  They
> have collected over the last 6 months at least 75-100 Suns and probably
> 25+ SGIs, as well as some other oddball machines.  Usually they can spot
> the classic old micros - really old Ataris, Apples, Commodores, etc. - and
> they have folks who are interested in those boxes.  I go to help identify
> the Unix stuff - I found a Tek 6130 today that nobody had a clue about.
> :-)  Old H19 and ADM3a terminals, a Maxtor XT1140 (people want a GRAND for
> those on Ebay these days!!??!), a Sun 4/670MP motherboard, all sorts of
> nifty old stuff.
> Problem is, they're expecting to get deluged with 1200 more PCs a month as
> a local hospital starts dumping their old machines and upgrading - and the
> place is already packed to the rafters.  My concern is that if we can't
> find homes for the Sun/SGI stuff, much of it is going to end up in the
> recycle room, to be broken down and sold for scrap or recycled.
> I'd like to gauge possible interest from Rescuers for sun4m kit - mostly
> SS4's, 5's and 20's - since that'll probably be the hardest to move out.
> There are also piles of U5's, 10's, a handful of U1's and U2's, and
> (sadly) some U60 carcasses that had been picked over pretty thoroughly.
> There are lots of internal CDROM drives, some external SCSI enclosures, a
> fair number of (big!) monitors, plenty of Type5 kbds/mice.  A random IPX,
> Classic, SS2, or U30 might be in the mix; a small number of misc. Sbus or
> Mbus modules are available.
> Almost all the machines are quite clean inside, and the cases are
> generally in good shape but with old stickers and/or property tags that
> need some cleaning up.  Almost every box has at least 64-128MB or more -
> not great, but some have more.  (We try to "even out" the RAM when we find
> a box that's packed full - one of the U2's had 2x 400Mhz CPUs and 2GB of
> RAM!)  Some have 2-9GB drives, but most are diskless.  We have been
> methodically testing and inventorying each box, booting it diskless and
> gathering up machine info using some snazzy "expect" scripts over the
> serial console - we'll summarize and post an inventory soon.
> And we haven't even started in on the SGIs, which are mostly Indigos,
> Indigo2s, Indys, or other desktops of that vintage.
> I have volunteered to help coordinate placing these machines in good
> homes, and have shipping experience if folks outside the PNW are
> interested.  Of course, we're pushing hard to find local takers who'll
> come pick up the items, especially the monitors... but if push comes to
> shove and they have to purge all this kit to make room for the influx of
> PCs, my friends and I will attempt to locate storage and work space so
> that we can keep all this great gear out of the recycle stream.
> Are any Rescuers still interested in sun4m gear?  (A 4/5/10/20 is the
> perfect box for NeXTstep/Openstep!)  Anyone still collecting up older SGI
> kit?  Are even U5/10 vintage machines starting to fall below the threshold
> for most of you?
> ** Please email me off-list if you have any interest. **
> I will report back to the FreeGeek folks if there are willing takers.  At
> least if they know I can help place n machines, they may not be so quick
> to just toss 'em.
> These guys are non-profit, almost all their labor is volunteers, and they
> will probably recycle the stuff before they put it on Ebay - Ebay is just
> too time consuming and difficult to coordinate on any scale.  So that
> means these machines will be very competitively priced (just enough to
> cover packing materials and shipping - I'll donate my time and labor to
> get them out).  Shel -- I may try to snag a dual-CPU Ultra 2 for you if I
> can, if you'd find that a suitable upgrade from your Classic to replace
> the dying Challenge. :-)
> Thanks guys,
> -- Chris
> _______________________________________________
> rescue list - http://www.sunhelp.org/mailman/listinfo/rescue

Paxton Hoag
Astoria, OR

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