[rescue] You see a wild SPARCstation 20. What do?

Mouse mouse at Rodents-Montreal.ORG
Thu Jan 12 18:59:22 CST 2012

>> 2) I guess this will depend on #1, but is it worth bumping up from
>> 8x32MB to 6x or 8x64MB? It's relatively cost-effective... Also
>> pondering a VSIMM for it, although I'm just as likely to run serial
>> console.

> SS20 RAM is pretty cheap on eBay these days, I was able to max mine
> out for about $20.  VSIMM will cut your capacity, go with the serial
> console.

Also, it depends on what you intend to do with it and what OS you
intend to run.  In particular, as far as I can tell the hardware that
supports what acceleration the cg14 has is undocumented, meaning an
open-source OS will be stuck with dumb-frame-buffer levels of

If you are satisfied with 8-bit PseudoColor but want acceleration,
you're possibly better off with a cgsix in an SBus slot - a higher-end
cgsix, if you want more than 1152x900 (or, more precisely, more than
1<<20 pixels).  (The 4M VSIMMs are cheap but limit you to 1<<20 pixels
unless you're willing to live with 8-bit PseudoColor; the 8M VSIMMs
lift that limit to 2<<20 pixels, but are significantly more expensive
in my admittedly limited experience.)

And, yes, a VSIMM will lose you one RAM socket.

Personally - ie, this may or may not be useful as a guide for you - I
run NetBSD and use VSIMMs; I have very few cgsixes with more than a meg
of VRAM and am mostly willing to tolerate 8-bit PseudoColor.  I have a
few 8M VSIMMs for the cases where I do want good colour.  And, for my
workloads, a couple hundred megs of RAM is ridiculously over-specced
anyway, so I don't miss the RAM the VSIMM prevents me from having.

>> I'm pondering using it primarily as a router/firewall/proxy... [...]
> With Solaris, the qfe is an option, or slap 2 hmes in there.

Or, if your uplink is slow enough it can't max out 10Mb, you could use
the onboard le for the uplink side.

> It should proxy or NAT okay.  I wouldn't try to do fileservice even
> if money weren't an object -- remember, these machines are 20 years
> old now.

Well, don't forget, performance isn't necessarily the goodness metric
here.  If it is,  an SS20 is a bad choice for just about anything.

/~\ The ASCII				  Mouse
\ / Ribbon Campaign
 X  Against HTML		mouse at rodents-montreal.org
/ \ Email!	     7D C8 61 52 5D E7 2D 39  4E F1 31 3E E8 B3 27 4B

More information about the rescue mailing list