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Sun SPARCStation 20.

Discussion in 'Sun Hardware' started by retrocomtoday@aol.com, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. Guest

    Hi all,

    Excuse me for sounding dumb, but I've just picked up the above machine
    with three external SCSI drives, an optical mouse and keyboard, and a
    21" massive monitor. I've no idea what spec this machine is, what it
    does or what it is useful for, so any advice, help or pointers are
    welcome.

    Many thanks,

    Shaun Bebbington.
     
    , Apr 23, 2008
    #1
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  2. John Burns Guest

    > Excuse me for sounding dumb, but I've just picked up the above machine
    > with three external SCSI drives, an optical mouse and keyboard, and a
    > 21" massive monitor. I've no idea what spec this machine is, what it
    > does or what it is useful for, so any advice, help or pointers are
    > welcome.


    Nice bit of kit in it's day :)

    It can take two (four with the right cards) cpus. If you're lucky it has
    fast Ross cpus, but few did. What you need to do is get the first 7
    digits of the CPU part numbers and google them (501-xxxx or whatever),
    it'll be written on the connectors probably.

    You can offload web or other network services to an SS20. It's probably
    a bit slow for a desktop box these days.

    I've sold 100s of them and have yet to see anything better put together.

    --
    Who needs a life when you've got Unix? :)
    Email: , John G.Burns B.Eng, Bonny Scotland
    Web : http://www.unixnerd.demon.co.uk - The Ultimate BMW Homepage!
    Need Sun or HP Unix kit? http://www.unixnerd.demon.co.uk/unix.html
    www.Strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible price
     
    John Burns, Apr 23, 2008
    #2
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  3. writes:
    >Excuse me for sounding dumb, but I've just picked up the above machine
    >with three external SCSI drives, an optical mouse and keyboard, and a
    >21" massive monitor. I've no idea what spec this machine is, what it
    >does or what it is useful for, so any advice, help or pointers are
    >welcome.


    This was quite the workstation for the early 1990's.

    The CPUs ranged from 50MHz up to 170MHz, you could have up to 4 in
    some configurations (only 2 MBUS slots though).

    You should be able to run Solaris 8 on it. Mostly you can run SunOS v4.1.x
    or Solaris 2.3 through 2.8. It'll run NetBSD or some versions of linux too.

    Its a SPARC CPU. You should be able to find more info in the Sun
    Hardware Service Manual

    http://docs.sun.com/app/docs/doc/801-6189-12

    As well as many sites around the Net, as it was quite a popular
    machine for its time.
     
    Doug McIntyre, Apr 23, 2008
    #3
  4. Guest

    > You can offload web or other network services to an SS20. It's probably
    > a bit slow for a desktop box these days.

    Oh, I'm not worried about the speed. The other computer that I picked
    up today was a 1Mhz, 32K Commodore 8096-SK (basically an 80-columns
    PET), with dual 5.25" floppy disk drive and a printer. Not got much
    use for the printer to be honest, but it was in with the bundle. I
    also own a few other 8-bits, just for fun ;-)

    Regards,

    Shaun.
     
    , Apr 23, 2008
    #4
  5. John Burns Guest

    > Oh, I'm not worried about the speed. The other computer that I picked
    > up today was a 1Mhz, 32K Commodore 8096-SK (basically an 80-columns
    > PET), with dual 5.25" floppy disk drive and a printer. Not got much
    > use for the printer to be honest, but it was in with the bundle. I
    > also own a few other 8-bits, just for fun ;-)


    I had one of those for a few years :)

    Sold it on ebay when I moved house and donated the proceeds to a cat
    charity (well it was a PET) :)

    You should visit www.1000bit.com, an italian site with zillions of old
    computer brochures. I donated some HP brochures to them.

    --
    Who needs a life when you've got Unix? :)
    Email: , John G.Burns B.Eng, Bonny Scotland
    Web : http://www.unixnerd.demon.co.uk - The Ultimate BMW Homepage!
    Need Sun or HP Unix kit? http://www.unixnerd.demon.co.uk/unix.html
    www.Strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible price
     
    John Burns, Apr 24, 2008
    #5
  6. Dave Guest

    Doug McIntyre wrote:
    > writes:
    >> Excuse me for sounding dumb, but I've just picked up the above machine
    >> with three external SCSI drives, an optical mouse and keyboard, and a
    >> 21" massive monitor. I've no idea what spec this machine is, what it
    >> does or what it is useful for, so any advice, help or pointers are
    >> welcome.

    >
    > This was quite the workstation for the early 1990's.


    Yes, very nice for its day.

    The only real problem I have found with SS20's is the heat - put a
    couple of modern 10,000 rpm disks in it and they will get very very hot.

    > The CPUs ranged from 50MHz up to 170MHz, you could have up to 4 in
    > some configurations (only 2 MBUS slots though).


    I thought Ross did a 180 and possibly a 200 MHz CPU.
    >
    > You should be able to run Solaris 8 on it. Mostly you can run SunOS v4.1.x
    > or Solaris 2.3 through 2.8. It'll run NetBSD or some versions of linux too.


    Why not Solaris 9? It was only 10 which needs a 64-bit machine.

    > Its a SPARC CPU. You should be able to find more info in the Sun
    > Hardware Service Manual
    >
    > http://docs.sun.com/app/docs/doc/801-6189-12
    >
    > As well as many sites around the Net, as it was quite a popular
    > machine for its time.
     
    Dave, Apr 26, 2008
    #6
  7. John Burns Guest

    > I thought Ross did a 180 and possibly a 200 MHz CPU.

    There was certainly a 200, I've a feeling there may even been Ross's
    above that.

    > Why not Solaris 9? It was only 10 which needs a 64-bit machine.


    Yes, 9 works just fine. Although I've heard it said that 8 runs faster.

    If anyone in the UK wants to play with dual cpu Suns I have an SS10 that
    I'd love to give away rather than bin!

    --
    Who needs a life when you've got Unix? :)
    Email: , John G.Burns B.Eng, Bonny Scotland
    Web : http://www.unixnerd.demon.co.uk - The Ultimate BMW Homepage!
    Need Sun or HP Unix kit? http://www.unixnerd.demon.co.uk/unix.html
    www.Strathspey.co.uk - Quality Binoculars at a Sensible price
     
    John Burns, Apr 27, 2008
    #7
  8. Huge Guest

    On 2008-04-27, John Burns <> wrote:
    >> I thought Ross did a 180 and possibly a 200 MHz CPU.

    >
    > There was certainly a 200, I've a feeling there may even been Ross's
    > above that.
    >
    >> Why not Solaris 9? It was only 10 which needs a 64-bit machine.

    >
    > Yes, 9 works just fine. Although I've heard it said that 8 runs faster.
    >
    > If anyone in the UK wants to play with dual cpu Suns I have an SS10 that
    > I'd love to give away rather than bin!


    I've given away all my antique Sun stuff on Freecycle.


    --
    "Be thankful that you have a life, and forsake your vain
    and presumptuous desire for a second one."
    [email me at huge {at} huge (dot) org <dot> uk]
     
    Huge, Apr 28, 2008
    #8
  9. John Burns wrote:

    |>> I thought Ross did a 180 and possibly a 200 MHz CPU.

    |> There was certainly a 200, I've a feeling there may even been Ross's
    |> above that.

    AFAIR 200 was max, and the 165/180/200 ran the cache at half CPU clock
    while the <=150 ran it at full CPU clock; the faster cache may outweigh
    the faster CPU depending on your application.

    See http://mbus.sunhelp.org/

    --

    "I'm a doctor, not a mechanic." Dr Leonard McCoy <>
    "I'm a mechanic, not a doctor." Volker Borchert <>
     
    Volker Borchert, Apr 28, 2008
    #9
  10. Dave Guest

    John Burns wrote:

    > If anyone in the UK wants to play with dual cpu Suns I have an SS10 that
    > I'd love to give away rather than bin!
    >



    I used to work with a guy from Canada, who told me they had an excellent
    scheme for things like this. Basically on one day per year, you put
    outside your house any items you did not want, but thought others might
    - like the SS10. The stuff stayed there for 3 days, during which time
    anyone would look around, find anything of interest and take it. After
    the 3 days, the local council collected the rest and it was recycled or
    taken to the landfill

    I recall once when I was at work we had some stuff (forget what, but at
    least one had a CRT) which we no longer needed in the lab. I stuck an
    email around the department saying anyone could collect it if they
    wanted it. Someone emailed me to say I should not do this, but instead
    cut off the power cords, and smash the necks of the CRTs to make them
    inopperable. Unfortunately, there seems to be quite a few like that, who
    view the risks of being sued if someone manages to injure them self.
     
    Dave, May 1, 2008
    #10
  11. Tim Hogard Guest

    wrote:
    >> You can offload web or other network services to an SS20. It's probably
    >> a bit slow for a desktop box these days.

    > Oh, I'm not worried about the speed. The other computer that I picked
    > up today was a 1Mhz, 32K Commodore 8096-SK (basically an 80-columns
    > PET), with dual 5.25" floppy disk drive and a printer. Not got much
    > use for the printer to be honest, but it was in with the bundle. I
    > also own a few other 8-bits, just for fun ;-)


    The Sparcstation 20 is not going to be an impressive workstation
    however it will run apache and named just fine and you can lock it
    down tight with Solaris 9.

    We pulled our last one out of production just a few months ago but
    we are keeping them for backups if the newer hardware fails and for
    disaster recovery.

    -tim
    http://web.abnormal.com
     
    Tim Hogard, May 6, 2008
    #11
  12. Hi,

    Tim Hogard wrote:
    > wrote:
    >>> You can offload web or other network services to an SS20. It's probably
    >>> a bit slow for a desktop box these days.

    >> Oh, I'm not worried about the speed. The other computer that I picked
    >> up today was a 1Mhz, 32K Commodore 8096-SK (basically an 80-columns
    >> PET), with dual 5.25" floppy disk drive and a printer. Not got much
    >> use for the printer to be honest, but it was in with the bundle. I
    >> also own a few other 8-bits, just for fun ;-)

    >
    > The Sparcstation 20 is not going to be an impressive workstation
    > however it will run apache and named just fine and you can lock it
    > down tight with Solaris 9.
    >
    > We pulled our last one out of production just a few months ago but
    > we are keeping them for backups if the newer hardware fails and for
    > disaster recovery.
    >
    > -tim
    > http://web.abnormal.com


    We still have two SS20 on S8 and S7 for HW schematic tools, works perfectly.


    /michael
     
    Michael Laajanen, May 7, 2008
    #12
  13. Craig Dewick Guest

    Michael Laajanen <> writes:

    >Hi,


    >Tim Hogard wrote:
    >> wrote:
    >>>> You can offload web or other network services to an SS20. It's probably
    >>>> a bit slow for a desktop box these days.
    >>> Oh, I'm not worried about the speed. The other computer that I picked
    >>> up today was a 1Mhz, 32K Commodore 8096-SK (basically an 80-columns
    >>> PET), with dual 5.25" floppy disk drive and a printer. Not got much
    >>> use for the printer to be honest, but it was in with the bundle. I
    >>> also own a few other 8-bits, just for fun ;-)

    >>
    >> The Sparcstation 20 is not going to be an impressive workstation
    >> however it will run apache and named just fine and you can lock it
    >> down tight with Solaris 9.
    >>
    >> We pulled our last one out of production just a few months ago but
    >> we are keeping them for backups if the newer hardware fails and for
    >> disaster recovery.
    >>
    >> -tim
    >> http://web.abnormal.com


    >We still have two SS20 on S8 and S7 for HW schematic tools, works perfectly.


    And they make perfect small servers for just about any application. Solaris
    8 is the best version of Solaris for the SS20's, but I like to run NetBSD on
    them too. Thinking about trying BSD out on an old MIPS-based Raq2 (pre-Sun
    purchase of Cobalt Networks) as well.

    Craig.
    --
    Post by Craig Dewick (tm). Web @ "http://lios.apana.org.au/~cdewick".
    Email 2 "". SunShack @ "http://www.sunshack.org"
    Galleries @ "http://www.sunshack.org/gallery2". Also lots of tech data, etc.
    Sun Microsystems webring at "http://n.webring.com/hub?ring=sunmicrosystemsu".
     
    Craig Dewick, May 8, 2008
    #13
  14. Tim Hogard Guest

    Michael Laajanen <> wrote:
    > We still have two SS20 on S8 and S7 for HW schematic tools, works perfectly.

    We took ours out of the rack because the pair of them took 4RU but one was
    getting a bit slow. We still have SS1000 thats crusing along but we can't
    pull it out since we have heavy stuff stacked on it.

    -tim
    http://web.abnormal.com
     
    Tim Hogard, May 10, 2008
    #14
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