NVRAM contents, Save some Suns, and a question

Arno1983 Arno_1983 at gmx.de
Fri Apr 8 15:37:03 CDT 2005

Ethan Dicks ethan.dicks at gmail.com wrote:
> IPXs, IPCs, SPARC1s, etc., all suffer from one weakness... dead or
> dying NVRAM batteries.  There are answers in the Sun NVRAM FAQ, but
> one does have to be aware of the issue before the machine comes up
> inert (FF:FF:FF:FF:FF:FF MAC address) one day.

Not quite. In some guide, I remember there was a "quick-and-dirty" way of
assembling some bogus NVRAM info for Suns. Basically you only have to get
the machine class designation right (there is a table for this) and you must
set the manufacturer part of the MAC ID to 8:0:20, or you'll get complaints
about a broken main board. The rest is totally free, so one usually winds up
with host parts and serial no.s that read de:ad or c0:ff:ee or anything like

On the other hand, Sun still maintains a complete database of the NVRAM
infos programmed into any machine that was delivered. If you want to get it
historically correct, you want to put those values back; in order to get
them, you have to read the four (later: six) character NVRAM ID off the
white or yellow bar-code sticker on the NVRAM. Then, the guys at sunopsis
(The Sun Museum) can help you. My contact person there is ruediger (dot)
frenk (at) sun (dot) com, he'll sure help you too. That is, if you don't
flood him all at once now.

While we're at it: Erlangen University in southern Germany is about to scrap
part of  its SUN inventory. There are (several of most types):
SPARCstation 1, 1+, 2, 5, 10, 20, SPARCclassic, Ultra 1.
The SPARCstation 1 come with mgone monochrome ECL frame buffers, matching
monitors are available.
10's and 20's have varying processors.
RAM, hard disks and drive sleds may be missing. Keyboards, Monitors, Mice
are there, also additional RAM (mostly smaller modules than those currently
installed, and a bunch of older Sbus framebuffers. Heck, even some FDDI
I'd like to see as much as possible saved; they're free for the taking, but
I'd rather not have to deal with shipping the stuff. Smaller items perhaps,
but not whole machines or monitors. Counter-donations accepted - anybody
have a SPARCstation 5/10/20 parallel port adapter spare?

And a question to the gurus around:
When going over the SPARCclassic systems, I noticed there are obviously two
variants. It's the pictograms on the back side of the housing, next to the
26-pin Micro-D connector - one kind only has the networking symbol < . . . >
there, the other has that *and* a speaker symbol (as on the SPARCstation 10,
where you need the splitter cable and the audio box to bring out the
signals). Both kinds have Line In and Out as two jack sockets, and the Sun
documentation says that only the AUI part of the connector is used in the


Anybody know if the Audio symbol was only put there erroneously, or can you
really connect and use a audio box on these systems?

Thanks in advance:

Arno Kletzander
Stud. Hilfskraft Informatik Sammlung Erlangen --- www.iser.uni-erlangen.de

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