Strange things found in a free SPARC 20
ethan.dicks at gmail.com
Fri Jan 19 23:38:14 CST 2007
So I get this pair of free SS20s today at the weekly geek lunch at the
Chinese restaurant down the street - one nice, clean one, and one
that, um... well... was corroded inside due to an unfortunate meeting
with a dog, I'm told. I stripped down the soiled unit before I even
got home to recover a (clean) 1"-tall Toshiba SCSI CD-ROM, two (clean)
SM50 processor modules, and a mixed pile of DIMMs with some corrosion
on the fingers. The motherboard was a total loss, as was the chassis.
I have washed and brushed the SIMMs, a mix of 8MB and 32MB - not sure
about a couple of them, but most seem to be visually intact. I was
planning on an alkalai wash before testing them.
The other box being clean made it a good candidate to boot up... it
had a single SM50 (now two), 48MB of RAM, a TGX framebuffer, and an
internal SCSI drive of a type I'd never seen before. I had to google
it - an ST5660NC. I was surprised to confirm that even though it was
an SCA-connector drive, it was a whopping 545MB, and *narrow* (thus
the "NC"). I didn't know anyone made a) SCA drives below 1GB, and b)
narrow SCSI SCA drives. I think the drive bracket is probably one of
the most expensive things in the box, really.
I think there was some recent list traffic about using an SS20 as,
essentially, an X terminal with that optional internal frame buffer,
but since I don't have one, I'm thinking "headless server". Not as
powerful as the cheapest of "haul-it-away" commodity boxes, but
substantially more robust. At least I'd expect this box to stay up
for 6 months at a time.
At least it runs Solaris 9.
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