[rescue] Blade 100 - X86 CPU option?

Patrick Giagnocavo xemacs5 at gmail.com
Sat Feb 3 10:58:48 CST 2018

IMHO it was such a sad thing that they never re-spun those chips and
got the clock speed higher, to about 1Ghz (or added more cache, or

The second generation v120s (used a similar board I think?) could have
been astounding deals for Web hosting, given the many stumbles Intel
made with early P4 architecture, if they had just fixed the onboard
ATA chips and had faster CPUs. As it was they were in real world use
about as fast as mid-range P3s.

On Sat, Feb 3, 2018 at 9:31 AM, Dave McGuire <mcguire at neurotica.com> wrote:
> On 02/03/2018 05:07 AM, Jonathan Katz wrote:
>>>> That would surprise me quite a lot.  What does that jumper nomenclature
>>> actually say?
>>> I will also be surprised as I've never heard of this being possible. The
>>> Jumper is labeled:
>>> "For X86 CPU North Bridge"
>>> In addition there is a jumper labeled:
>>> "PS2 Keyboard"
>> Yes, in pre-production they had the ability to run an AMD K6(?) CPU of
>> that era, but it required special firmware. There were two reasons for
>> this, IIRC.
>   That's terrifying.  And it also says a lot about the Blade 100.  No
> wonder I've never been particularly interested in those.  I must've
> known somehow, deep down inside. ;)  Those machines always looked a lot
> like the garbage Ultra5/Ultra10 systems to me.
>> The first was they were thinking of offering an x86
>> workstation as some people did see the writing on the wall with Sparc
>> at that point in time (circa 2001.)
>   Hah, and almost two decades later it's almost coming to pass. ;)
> Those "they're going out of business any day now!!" people are always so
> funny to listen to.  Stewart Alsop II: "I predict that the last
> mainframe will be unplugged on March 15, 1996."
>   That reminds me of a fun conversation with a guy at the museum a few
> weeks ago.  We were talking about VAXen, and he asked why the product
> failed.  Now...in the museum, we adopt a very formal manner, and I would
> never call an idiot an idiot to his/her face in there. (as opposed to
> outside the museum, where I do so with glee)  But I had to explain, as
> patiently as possible, that with hundreds of thousands of systems
> shipped (some of which cost in the six digits) over nearly thirty years,
> with some still in production use today, by what possible metric could
> that be considered a "failed product"?
>> The other reason was that the IIi
>> was taking a while to get production units and they wanted to test the
>> ancillary hardware. The box is essentially a PC of that era with
>> special firmware and a Sparc CPU shoved in, built that way by SUNW to
>> cut costs on Sparc workstations.
>   It's amazing that they were able to design in any degree of bus-level
> compatibility there.  Such a neat (but again, terrifying) idea.
>               -Dave
> --
> Dave McGuire, AK4HZ
> New Kensington, PA
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