SparcBook Tadpole

Dave McGuire mcguire at
Mon Aug 9 21:51:24 CDT 2010

On 8/9/10 9:39 PM, dwight elvey wrote:
>  I just got a old SparcBook Tadpole.

  That would be "Tadpole SparcBook". =)  Nice score!  I used a 3GS for
years, back when they were new.  Good, solid, fast machines with nice
bright displays.

> I checked on the web and all they have is info
> about newer models ( like G3 and G3S ).

  The 3G and 3GS are basically SPARCstation-5s in laptop form-factors,
if memory serves.  Sun4m architecture.  If yours predates those, it'll
be a SPARCstation-1/1+/2 processor, which is sun4c architecture.  Both
are 32-bit.

> This one is old. Weighs a ton. and has a small LCD
> screen.
>  The batteries have failed and they look like they are
> most likely NiCads. The pack says 12V and it has 12
> cells. I'd think that NiMetalHydride would have fewer
> cells.

  Both NiCd and NiMH chemistries have nominal cell voltages of 1.2V.

>  It needs a little internal cleaning but boots without
> the battery.
>  The next problem is that I don't have the password.
> I'm wondering if there is a way to clear the password
> files from openboot so that I can log on as root?

  What OS is it booting?  A lot of what we do will be determined by
that.  It's likely SunOS 4.x, probably 4.1.x.  Please find out for sure.

  Then...If you can get to an OpenBoot prompt, you can type "boot -s" to
boot into single-user mode.  That should get you straight to a root
shell if it's running the earlier BSD-based SunOS 4.x.  Let me know
when/if you can get that far, then I'll help you through getting rid of
the root password.


Dave McGuire
Port Charlotte, FL

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