[rescue] Have/had a Tadpole Voyager, how do you like it?

Ray Arachelian ray at arachelian.com
Wed Jul 23 09:46:26 CDT 2014

On 07/18/2014 08:37 PM, Jerry Kemp wrote:
> I was reviewing some posts on another "old computer rescue" mailing
> list, and the discussion had drifted towards Sparc powered portable
> systems.
> I don't really have any experience in this area, so I hit up
> duckduckgo and started poking around to see what is/was available.
> I came across one system, the Tadpole Voyager, that looks kind of
> interesting, and possibly worth exploring further.
> I'm wondering, if you have one, or had one in the past, is this an
> interesting system to work with?  OTOH, is it a terrible box that
> breaks physical parts frequently with no source of replacements, that
> I should veer away from?
> Thanks for any comments,

I have one, they're very very nice, and seem to be rock solid (hard
drives will of course fail, but other than that it's very stable).

Despite the name, it's got nothing in common with the Sun Voyager (other
than being capable of running Solaris and being somewhat portable). It
has two interesting drive bays, each can hold a 2.5" IDE/ATA drive, so
you can do RAID.

It happily runs Solaris 7-10, although Solaris 10 dies on boot if you
try to use the PS/2 keyboard/mouse ports.  (It has a built in SDB port
as well, so you can use a real Sun keyboard/mouse if you want Solaris
10).  I don't remember off the top of my head, but you'd need special
drivers for some of the hardware like the PCMCIA slot.

There's only 1 PCI slot, mine had a third party video card in it, and
the memory seems to be proprietary.

Unlike the Sun Voyager which is more of a notebook converted to a
workstation, it has no option for batteries.  It's sort of meant for a
bring-along server for things like trade shows and such.

It's about the size of a phonebook or two and not very heavy.  Makes for
a very nice low end sparc64 server.

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