Subject: Re: Sparc questions
To: 'NetBSD-Users' <>
From: Mike Parson <>
List: netbsd-users
Date: 11/19/2004 11:46:47
On Fri, Nov 19, 2004 at 06:20:40PM +0100, Benjamin Walkenhorst wrote:
> Mike Parson wrote:
>> They're loud, sound like a jet engine spinning up, and come to think
>> of it, yeah probably like a dentist's drill when going full speed.
> Before I ever saw a data-center from the inside I always thought it
> would be quiet, like a library. Ever since I've seen one, I've been
> deeply humbled by the amount of noise professional equipment emits. ;)

Yeah, a lot of people have this 'quiet hum of the systems' view of data
centers, the reality is quiet different.  Between the large AC systems
and hordes of spinning discs and fans, they get quite loud.

>> In their day, we put up with the noise, since they couldn't be beat
>> for speed.  These days?  Hardly seems worth it. =)
> After watching Window Maker and depencies build - about three hours
> in total - and turning off the machine afterwards, my ears hurt a
> little. I don't want to know what it's like to sit there for a whole
> day... ;) Like I said, I think I'll rip out the harddrive and boot
> over ethernet until I can find a quiet replacement.  Since I got a
> second CPU with the machine which apparently works, too, I think I'll
> install Solaris once for fun and then set up NetBSD 2.0 to boot over
> ethernet.  Now that I know it's a sun4m, the rest doesn't seem to be
> too hard.

Yeah, once you get netbooting down, it's pretty easy to maintain.

> Another thought just pops up in my mind - it's funny somehow that a
> machine aimed at professional users "just works" like this, while PCs
> that aim for computer illiterates often are painful to configure and
> need a lot of tweaking and sometimes deep knowledge of the machines
> configuration.

Not quite a fair comparison, you need to see what that macine cost
new compared to anthing you could get with Intel Inside from the same
period.  Sun Workstations were high-end machines, designed for people
who could not or could not put up with downtime due to piddly failures,
or be bothered with silly configuration issues.

Michael Parson