Linked by Tony Bourke on Wed 21st Jan 2004 02:41 UTC
Oracle and SUN A few weeks ago, I stubbed my toe on my old Sun Ultra 5 as it sat there lifeless and unused in my apartment. Once my primary desktop, the envy of my geek friends, and a way to woo the ladies, its glory days have long since passed. As much as I would like to let it live out its days looking sexy and taking up space, I live on the island of Manhattan, where space is a premium. Since I can't charge it rent, I decided I'd better use it or lose it. But what to use it for? What operating system would I run on it? Solaris? What about Linux? FreeBSD? NetBSD? OpenBSD? They all run on the SPARC platform, so I thought why not do a quick review.
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by Larry on Thu 22nd Jan 2004 23:52 UTC

That was a really neat tip that the fellow posted above, to change the console scroll rate.

About the Ultra_5 versus others (Ultra_2, Ultra_10, Ultra_60) I think the built-in video and
storage (I/O) differences are significant. What I liked in the Ultra workstations (aside from
the processor/memory architecture) were the higher UPA graphics and fast SCSI options.
In the Ultra_60, you could use the built-in SCSI and/or add LVD SCSI via a PCI card ... and
no simba issues (the initial Darwin Ultra_10 had some bad issues with balancing the bus bridges).

So, for really good graphics you want an Ultra_10 with FFB2+ (UPA graphics). For simultaneous high
storage and network throughput, you want an Ultra_60 with PCI cards for LVD SCSI and multiple
network ports. The Ultra_60 and Ultra_2 (for example) should ideally have both processors.
The Ultra_80 expanded beyond the Ultra_60, in size/capacity.

The I/O bandwidth of the Ultra_10 was a limiting factor but with the Creator3D (FFB2+) Graphics
board installed, it is a really super desktop workstation. (Sun's Type 5 keyboard is still my
favorite, but use the Type 6 i.e. Crossbow mouse!)

The UltraSPARC and UltraSPARC-IIi-based workstations are going to be worthwhile for many, many
years to come. Thanks for this forum; Larry.