[rescue] Sun Kit Needed for EE Student Here
mouse at Rodents.Montreal.QC.CA
Wed May 3 13:13:06 CDT 2006
> IMHO, the biggest *problem* with the PC route is that he'll quickly
> be envious of his friends with *4* GHz machines, etc.
Never mind envious; he'll find that after a year or two, he can't get
new bits any longer.
I was depressed when I went to buy a new disk for a peecee that was
about two or three years old and they told me, oh, I'm not sure it'll
work, that's considered obsolete now. With my 20-year-old Suns, I can
get a disk fresh from the factory and plug it in and it Just Works.
(I'll need an adapter from 50-pin to 68-pin, or for slightly more
recent machines perhaps a wide-SCSI card instead, but that's it.)
This goes with the reliability issue. I've got everything from a
Sun-3/60 to just before the UltraSPARCs, in live use today. Peecees
die long before that kind of lifespan - or at least the $200 kind do;
there *is* reliable peecee hardware made, but it's relatively hard to
find and it's *not* cheap.
> *I* wouldn't recommend any of my neighbors, friends, etc. to go the
> "non-PC" route. [...] Business is less eager to hire them (they
> want someone that can *work*, not that needs to be trained on their
> tools). "Gee, it's great that you know 213 different emacs modes...
> but we don't run emacs, here..."
So, there are fewer jobs, but the ones there are still need someone.
When you *do* run emacs here, the hordes who know just Word are of no
use to you whatever. I'm a Unix geek. I've worked as a Windows
admin for all of one month (an experience which convinced me I never
want to be a Windows admin ever again - now I know what I'm talking
about when I say that). Most of the computer jobs out there have no
interest in me. But the handful that do need a Unix geek find that
good people are pretty thin on the ground.
> If he wants to explore other hardware/OS's, great! See what sort of
> hardware you can get FOR FREE and let him play with it.
I've gotten Suns up through U2s for free (generally cost of shipping,
which in many cases is just a half-hour on my bike). I probably could
have gotten more recent ones except that I'm not interested in the
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