Subject: Re: Sun 3/50
To: Andy Ball <>
From: Alan Pearson <>
List: port-sun3
Date: 01/13/2001 01:06:47

The 386 I had was an sx/40, and was quite a fast board in its time.
I'm using it now as my main xterm and it runs very well except sometimes when
kmail starts I might have to wait 4 seconds. Netscape and every other app is
fine. 8mb of ram in it now, and a 40Mb hard drive. There is 8 Mb of swap but it
is never used. Slakware 4 is installed on it, because at the time it was
installed it only had 4Mb of ram, and slackware had some nice things to cope
with this. Works very well however.

Only advice is get a good video board if you want X. Trident boards are just
I have a 1Mb ISA circus logic and it runs fine, allowing me to drag full
windows around the screen really fine. (inidently the Sun 3 also lets me drag
full windows round the screen fine even if it is only B&W).

I put together this 386 cause I got a real nice slimline case, and had the bits
lying around. You'd swear looking at the front it is a real xterm because it
has LEDs for Com1 and Com2.. and that confuses PC people.

This sun seems fast enough for apps, although I wouldn't fancy my chances
compiling stuff on it.  It boots quick, loads X quick (faster than the 386!!!!),
and runs fine. Only bitch is the mouse. I've got the proper mat for it, but it
is just a pain... Oh yeah and the keyboard sucks big time!

Anyway rant over....

On Wed, 31 Jan 2001, Andy Ball wrote:
> Hello Alan!
>   AP> no, very surpisingly it runs with little or no
>     > swapping ( I use fvwm2 as my window manager).
> That's excellent news!  I've seen 3/50s going for a song,
> but the lack of memory was a little offputting.  If it will
> run X without thrashing, it'll presumably run light loads
> without X okay.  I almost bid on a 3/80 the other day, but
> someone else bid about US$10 so hopefully it's gone to a
> good home :-)
>   AP> I ran X on a 386 with 4M recently, and it thrashed...
> That's interesting.  I guess it could be because a 4Mb PC
> only has 3Mb of contiguous RAM (and 384Kb probably set aside
> for shadowing, or just disabled).  I wonder if it's fair to
> say that the 386 is just plain less efficient.  Out of
> interest, was it a 386 DX or SX?
>   AP> I could of course build a 386/486 box, but where is
>     > the fun in that ! :-)
> Speaking as someone who's building one at the moment (for
> NetBSD/i386) ...I haven't found it yet ;-)
> Regards,
>   - Andy.