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Unread postPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 8:01 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:24 pm
Posts: 145
Location: Upstate, NY
I just finished putting this baby together. I've wanted to assemble a maxed out SS20 for years.

It took parts from three different SS'es. Its not completely maxed out, but close enough for me.
It boots up faster than my pc, and it runs solaris 7 and CDE plus netscape, very quickly. I'm
impressed with how well this architecture has held up. I'm working on getting a copy of solaris 8
and 9 now, so I can get something a little newer on it.

I just love the way these baby's are built, so compact and modular.

Image

Image

Heres the guts. Dual 150Mhz ROSS HyperSPARC MBUS chips. 256MB of ram, maxed I think. Internal CD, and Foppy.
TGX framebuffer, as finding the VSIMM video memory is exceedingly hard.
Latest revision of the Aroura Chassis, with the extra disk area fan, and larger cooling fins on the outside.


Image

heres the donors, and a Ultra1E thats my next project.

Now, finding anything useful that solaris will run... thats the tough one.. I think I need to be running at least solaris 8 to use
the blastwave software.

Thanks! Enjoy


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Unread postPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 8:38 am 
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Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 11:12 am
Posts: 555
Location: Uppsala, Sweden
They are nice! I like both their look and clever insides. I gave away _bunch_ of SSs but I keep one SS20 which is waiting for some love.

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:BA213: <- MicroVAX 3500 :BA213: <- DECsystem 5500 :BA215: <- MicroVAX 3300
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Unread postPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 12:19 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 7:37 am
Posts: 5749
Location: Renton, WA
Auroras are very solidly built compared to most other machines. Better than Indy, better than the Ultra series, and the Mbus does a good job considering its age.

Sun was a latecomer to SMP, but their desktop models were pretty good once they finally came on board (PA-RISC, RS/6000, SGI and Alpha didn't have anything comparable in the desktop field until much later, if at all).

Hate to burst your bubble, but there was another revision of the Aurora chassis that's newer than yours (if I'm reading your machine right) - it used a low-profile FDD allowing the use of a standard 1/2 ht CD-ROM drive.

I have two: 1 2x150 HS and one 2xSM81 SuperSPARC (can run NeXTSTEP).

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There are those who say I'm a bit of a curmudgeon. To them I reply: "GET OFF MY LAWN!"

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Unread postPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 12:26 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:24 pm
Posts: 145
Location: Upstate, NY
aw no! your right, yep, its the silly 2x toshiba cd, thats a funny size. I never knew they made an
aroura that would fit a full height cd! Learn somethin every day...

Anyone know what my best solaris options are? will it run 9?
Oh, and I can run next step on the HyperSPARCS?


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Unread postPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 1:45 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2008 7:38 pm
Posts: 431
Location: Socal
Nice machine! The pizzabox is my favorite Sun form factor. I have SS20 and a non-working SS5 (power supply problem).

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Last edited by bigD on Sun May 16, 2010 3:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 3:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 7:37 am
Posts: 5749
Location: Renton, WA
NeXTSTEP/OpenStep is SuperSPARC/MicroSPARC on Sun4m only :( . They'd given up by the time HyperSPARC/TurboSPARC/UltraSPARC came out (that would have been nice - a U2 or U80 running on Elite3D or Creator3D with a SMP kernel). They made the wise choice to not mess with trying to work around Sun4c's oddities as well.

Solaris from 2.3 up through 9 will work, but I'd recommend not messing with anything under 2.6 - there's a reason that Sun kept SunOS 4.1 around. If you want the BSD experience you can run SunOS 4.1.4 just fine on SM151s (done it) - plenty fast, but it isn't the best at SMP and it's hard to find software for it.

If you want the *Step experience you might want to try and pick up LuBu OpenMagic for Solaris. It's semi-offical, since it's a repackaging with a few tweaks of Sun's Openstep/Solaris product and will run on modern Solarises. Find it at http://alge.anart.no/projects/openmagic/

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Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

There are those who say I'm a bit of a curmudgeon. To them I reply: "GET OFF MY LAWN!"

:Indigo: :Octane: :Indigo2: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: :PI: :O3x0: :ChallengeL: :O2000R: (single-CM)


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Unread postPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 5:55 pm 
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Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:58 pm
Posts: 300
Location: San Diego, Ca
I too have soft spot for the SS20. The memory max is 512MB [8x64mb] you can use the later 128MB sticks from the early ultra's the SS20 will see them as 64mb. I run 2x200mhz ROSS hypersparcs but I also have 2x75mhx SM-71. Solaris 9 is usable on it but I forward the X window to a new machine.

Openstep sparc on runs with 1 CPU and as SQ noted SuperSPARC only. So if you want want go with a single SM-71. I also install NetBSD every few years to see how it is working.

-Mike


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Unread postPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 6:53 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 07, 2008 6:47 pm
Posts: 322
Location: Seattle, WA
The SS20 is one of those machines that has great form-factor karma, like the Mac SE/30 and original Indigo. Please don't ask me to define it any more concretely than that; I don't think I can.

The SS20 is the first unix machine I was ever responsible for. One was a four-head dual SM71 workstation, the other was a dual SM52X server with 30 GB in an SSA110. Except for the SSA110, I've since assembled complete replicas of both of them. I'd actually kind of like to find one of these arrays in working condition, locally, even though it's barely more than a boat anchor at this point. I had a few opportunities in years past but never quite convinced myself to pull the trigger while I had the chance.

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Unread postPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 11:04 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:18 am
Posts: 104
Location: Lansingerland, Netherlands
He, he - lots of pizza box lovers here, it seems... Same here - my first contact at the time was with the lunch box systems (IPX/Classic/LX), but for some reason the SS5 and SS20 always fascinated me. When I shrunk down my collection a few years back, all sun4[cm] except an SS20 and an IPX went, both waiting for TLC. However, I always kind of regretted getting rid of the others, so when someone gave away his collection recently, I jumped at it and got several machines (IPC, SS1/1+/2, finally a SS5 again). They have yet to arrive at my place, so I don't even know the exact specs yet, but "gift horse" and all... :)

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Hooked up: :Octane: [R12k/400, V6] :Indigo2IMP: [R10k/195, HI] :Indy: [R5k/180, XL24] :Indy: [R5k/150, -];
Sun U60/2x450, U10/440, U2/2x200, AXi/440; some PCs
In storage: :O2: [R10k/195] :O2: [R10k/150] :Indigo2IMP: [R4k4/250, SI]; DEC VX40;
Sun SS1/1+/2/4/5/10/20/ELC/IPC/IPX/Classic/LX/Classic X/Xterminal 1, U1/1E/5/30, JS1/NC;
DTK Station U-2/2x360; Apple iMac DV G3/400; Toshiba Libretto 110CT + even more PCs


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Unread postPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 11:41 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 11, 2004 4:07 pm
Posts: 1380
Location: New York
I love my SS20. As mentioned, it's a very well-built system, and it's amazing how much hardware they crammed into such a tiny form factor. In roughly the same physical space as an Indy, it offered a CD-ROM, a floppy, two internal hard drives, four processors, a half-gig of RAM, and enough expansion slots to do just about anything.

Mine is fully maxed-out: quad 200MHz HyperSPARC chips, a 24-bit RasterFlex framebuffer, 512MB RAM, and plenty of storage. Runs Solaris 2.6 but as you've mentioned, there aren't many apps available for the platform.


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Unread postPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 11:45 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 6:06 am
Posts: 768
Location: Sweden
I myself has a SS20 with dual SM71s and somewhere around 200MB och RAM in it. It's even got the original 9GB SUN harddrive in it. :-)
It sits in a Aurora2 chassie donated from a dead SS5-170 many years ago, so it's got a 40x NEC CDROM in it. Graphics is still TGX as the VDIMMs are pretty rare sight.
Played a little with NEXTstep on it, but have touched it since then.

I'm torn between keeping it or just let it off to someone else, since I have too much stuff on my hands as it is already.

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Unread postPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 2:31 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2005 4:10 pm
Posts: 920
Location: IRL
I have a maxed out SS5 TurboSPARC 170 in aurora2 chassis running Solaris 7. It also has the PCMCIA and SunPC 5x86 SBus options, but I haven't yet put an OS and software on it that will take advantage of them. I've picked up a Sun DVD drive for it, but haven't tried installing it yet.
BTW, Has anyone with a parts SS5 machine got a nice 'SPARCstation 5' badge they could donate? Mine has none.

I also have an SS20 in aurora1 chassis, with 2 x 125MHz HyperSPARCs, 448Mb RAM and 4Mb VRAM. Its a bit of a work in progress - the case is badly damaged (held together with tape!). The maximum RAM and CPU limits on this box are very impressive considering the SPARCstation 20 was designed and introduced back in the early nineties.

@ajerimez
Have you put extra cooling in your SS20 or something? I'm sure that combination was listed on the MBus guide as 'deadly' in terms of the potential for failure due to heat issues.


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Unread postPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 5:02 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:24 pm
Posts: 145
Location: Upstate, NY
Haha, yeah, I've heard of the dual 200mhz double wide modules, but I've never seen one, and judging by how hot the SS20 gets now, I would think it needs
an extra fan with those! I've never seen this Rasterflex framebuffer either, the TGX framebuffer I have is depressing visually (compared to SGI GFX). Nice to know theres another upgrade, besides the vsimms.

Great to see so many others enjoy these machines!

I still have all the boxed software, manuals, and licenses for the SS5 I have. As well as the accessories, matching monitor, keyboard, mouse.
Solaris 2.3, dated 8/94.

Image


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Unread postPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 5:51 am 
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Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 7:37 am
Posts: 5749
Location: Renton, WA
mgtremaine wrote:
I too have soft spot for the SS20. The memory max is 512MB [8x64mb] you can use the later 128MB sticks from the early ultra's the SS20 will see them as 64mb.

-Mike


Some of them I suspect. I tried it and got memory errors with the sticks/SS20 combination I had (worked fine in an Ultra).

_________________
Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

There are those who say I'm a bit of a curmudgeon. To them I reply: "GET OFF MY LAWN!"

:Indigo: :Octane: :Indigo2: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: :PI: :O3x0: :ChallengeL: :O2000R: (single-CM)


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Unread postPosted: Mon May 17, 2010 9:24 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:58 pm
Posts: 300
Location: San Diego, Ca
Hmm I have 4 in mine that I had put in by mistake from a larger pile of memory and they worked. Next time I open the bugger I'll check the part numbers for clues. [Which ROM where you on by the way? I've only used 2.25 and 2.25r]

-Mike


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