[rescue] fastethernet on SPARC 10 - SunOS 4.1.4

john jferg977 at aol.com
Fri Jan 5 09:36:15 CST 2018

> Message: 1
> Date: Tue, 2 Jan 2018 21:29:30 -0500
> From: john <jferg977 at aol.com>
> To: rescue at sunhelp.org
> Subject: [rescue] Fwd: sparcstation 10 fast-ethernet
> Message-ID: <c17b1740-4ec6-b0e4-ffaf-5cfe1e37cfb0 at aol.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8; format=flowed
>   > SunFastEtherNet 1.x is first-generation Sun 100MB/sec hardware, in
> one form:
>>      1. X1056A "BigMac" card
>> This uses the "be" device-driver which is built-in to Solaris 2.4, 2.5,
>> 2.5.1 and 2.6.
>> For Solaris 4.1.3, 4.1.3u1, 4.1.4 and Solaris 2.3 HW 5/95, the
>> SunFastEthernet Software 1.1 CD is needed. Other SunOS and Solaris versions
>> are *not supported*.
>> The "BigMac" can only do half-duplex, thus can be difficult to make work
>> with some modern switches. It was also notoriously buggy at the
>> hardware/register level, requiring the (unbundled) device-driver software
>> to perform considerable contortions just to make the thing work at least
>> somewhat reliably.
>> SunFastEthernet 2.x is a 2nd-generation Sun 100MB/sec hardware, in two
>> forms, both based on the "HappyMealEthernet" controller core:
>>       1. X1059A "Colossus-Lite" card
>>       2. X1018A "Colossus" card, formally known as SunSwift adaptor. This
>> also provides an external 20Mb/sec Fast_Wide-SCSI port.
>> Both of these use the "hme" device-driver which is built-in to Solaris 2.5
>> 11/95 through Solaris 9. For SunOS 4.1.3u1 through Solaris 2.4, you need
>> the SunFastEthernet Software 2.1 CD.
>> The HappyMeal is much less buggy than BigMac, and can do full-duplex.
>> However, you still sometimes need to *force* duplex mode either in OpenBOOT
>> or at the O/S level, rather than letting it auto-negotiate
>> half-/full-duplex when connecting to some particular switches; it always
>> negotiates speed correctly, but the IEEE specs for autonegotiation of
>> full-/half-duplex were not quite as 100% unambiguous as could have been
>> hoped, and some manufacturers had different opinions about how to interpret
>> the duplex-negotiation specs (hint: Sun were probably overly liberal in
>> interpretation).
>> *** I have an original SunFastEthernet 2.1 Software CD *** (original Sun
>> package purchased in 1996), which I could turn into a downloadable ISO
>> file, if you so wish.
>> Based on having to live with both "be" and "hme" for quite a while, on both
>> my SPARCstation-10s, as well as an SS-20 and SS-1000E, I strongly recommend
>> you try to get an "hme" card, either X1018A SunSwift or X1059A
>> SunFastEthernet-2.x.
>> Regards,
>> Mike
> Thanks Mike for sharing this.B  information.B  I need to check some things
> on my end before anyone (you) spends anymore time on this. I'm running
> part of our system on Cisco carrier current ethernet transponders (now
> sold as Linksys PLS(?) 400 series). I need to check if the ones I'm
> using support fast-ethernet - i think they do, also check on the sun
> sbus card availability. And then I'll get back to you.
> best,
> john
Hi Mike, it looks like there is some confusion in the documentation as 
to whether Sun Fastethernet 2.1 drivers will work ok with SunOs 4.1.4.B  
I will rely on the Sun Technotes which I found which say it will.B  It 
also looks as if my Cisco buzz-boxes support fastethernet and that I can 
buy an X1059A for a reasonable price.

Soooooo, if you are willing, I would very much like an ISO of your CD.B  
No hurry whatever, but do let me know what works best for you.

Thanks much for helping me with this.

john ferguson

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