Accelerator boards - no future? Bad business?

Chris Hanson cmhanson at
Sat Apr 23 20:10:56 CDT 2016

Overall I'm personally much more about using the system *as a whole* than using it *as it was*.

For example, I have a Mac IIci with maxed-out RAM, some large SCSI disks, Ethernet, and an accelerated NuBus video card, all possible at the time. (Though 128MB RAM and the 1GB disks would have bankrupt a small nation in 1989.) I'm not going to plug it into a period monitor though, I just acquired a multi sync LCD with which to replace its current late-1990s CRT. Similarly, I have a BigMessOWires MacFloppyEmu for most of my real storage needs, which has virtually no latency and virtually infinite capacity, so I can spend my time with the system using it rather than spend it all booting it and launching applications.

Similarly, I pulled the 4GB drive from my SPARCstation 20[1] and put in a pair of 167GB 15.5K Cheetahs, so I could run Solaris 8 and NetBSD fast and never worry about space. I have an external 411 to put the 4GB drive in, so I can still run SunOS, I've put in a SunSwift 100Base-T card to make getting things to the system faster, and if I add more storage it'll be with a SCSI2SD or equivalent, again so I can use the system rather than wait to use it.

I've even looked a little at ProFile emulation for my Lisa 2/10. I don't even know if its current ProFile still works, since all ProFiles are old enough at this point that their formatting is decaying, and I've also moved a few times in the dozen years since I last booted it. (At least the MacFloppyEmu will also work with the Lisa, so I don't need its 3.5in drive to work, or to run Dart on my IIci to write 400KB floppies…) And again, to avoid spending all my time with it waiting, I've looked a tiny bit at how to replace the two 512KB RAM boards with a single board with 2MB, 8MB, or whatever it will take, using some more modern hardware.

I want to use the systems as a whole enough not to just live in emulation, but I only have a limited amount of time to spend with them, so replacing just a few subsystems in ways that make the use of the overall systems smoother seems like a reasonable compromise.

  -- Chris

[1] When I first got my SS20 home and booted it, it came up as and said it was starting Cadence license servers. I assume it was an identity server for Sun Microcomputer, if anyone knows more I'd love to hear about it.

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