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[Fsuk-manchester] Sun hardware in need of a good home

From: Bob Ham
Subject: [Fsuk-manchester] Sun hardware in need of a good home
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2016 19:59:26 +0000

Hi all,

Let me tell you a little story.  Many moons ago, while I was living away
from Bristol, a man appeared at a meeting of the Bristol and Bath Linux
User Group offering abundant gifts to all and sundry.  Inside the boot
of his car lay a treasure trove of Sun computers, as I understand,
originating from the University of Bath.  A number of these were taken
by a LUG regular, a hacker of great skill named John Honniball, who took
them in order to offer the gems to any who sought to learn the ways of
the SPARC and the arcane magic of Engineering Workstations The Right
Way.  When I returned to Bristol I was honoured to be offered, and
accept, a SPARCclassic from John.

Some years later, after I had left Bristol and returned again, another
LUG regular, a Unix wizard from the University of Bristol's department
of physics named Winnie Lacesso, notified us that there were a number of
Sun workstations being disposed of by her department.  (The same
department providing part of the computing grid for the LHC no less.)  I
took the opportunity to visit the department and acquire a SPARCstation
4, along with two Sun monitors, from the learned folks.

Now, I live in Liverpool.  I have tinkered and explored and learned.  I
have gained a great deal from these gifts.  However, I have moved on and
I feel it is right that instead of gathering dust, these gems should
again be offered to any who seek.  So, in need of a good home are:

* Sun SPARCclassic workstation, 64MB memory, 9GB SCSI disk


The battery in the NVRAM has gone.  If you're not familiar with NVRAM
issues on SPARC, see:


and for an adventure to whose excitement I can personally attest:


* Sun SPARCstation 4 workstation, 64MB memory, 9GB SCSI disk


* Sun GDM-17E20 monitor


* Sun GDM-17E10 monitor


From what I recall (and the scribblings on the top of it), this monitor
is unstable sometimes.  Having just plugged it in, it displays the
console fine but I haven't tried X with higher resolutions, or for an
extended period.

* I also have an Ultra 5 which has a brand new NVRAM :-) but this is
available only in return for pieces of silver as it was purchased rather
than a donation.  It will be on eBay shortly.


It has a 64-bit UltraSPARC IIi, 256 MB memory and an 80 GB IDE disk.

* I also have a type 6 keyboard and mouse.  This was bought for £20 on
eBay so that I could press two keys, Stop+N, in order to reset the NVRAM
on the SPARCclassic and get the serial port back.  A good lesson there:
don't fiddle with the flow control settings of a serial port if said
serial port is the only way to access a machine :-)  As I paid for it,
again, I'd like to have some token offering in return.

* In Bristol, I have a monster 21" Sun monitor which needs two people to
carry it safely (this is not a joke).  It'll be coming up from Bristol
at some point regardless so if anyone is interested, let me know.

Note that a monitor and keyboard isn't necessary to install or operate
the workstations as they default to serial port access in the absence of
a keyboard and monitor.  They make excellent servers, in fact.

If you wish to receive any of these gifts, email me back and we'll sort
it out.  First come, first served.

Happy hacking,


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