Subject: Re: DEC sun3 gear available in Ottawa
To: None <>
From: Douglas A. Tutty <>
List: regional-ca
Date: 11/13/2007 06:57:34
On Tue, Nov 13, 2007 at 03:18:25AM -0500, der Mouse wrote:
> > I'm somewhat interested.  Caveat:  I'm totally unfamiare with
> > Sun/VAX/etc.  So I would want it for the learning experience.
> If I can help, let me know; Suns have been the closest thing I have to
> a specialty, and I know a fair bit about VAXen as well, especially the
> MicroVAX-II.  (However, this is mostly hardware and low-level software
> knowledge; I can't, for example, help you with Solaris or recent VMS.)
> > I'll carry on searching for info on these boxes.  What is their
> > current status: do they run, can one install the current release of
> > NetBSD on them?
> I don't think NetBSD really works on the MicroVAX-II any longer; the
> "16M is too tiny to even think about supporting" voices have gotten too
> strong.  Suns with a 64M or more should Just Work; the -3/60 maxes out
> at 24M, which is plenty for me, but I run 1.4T.

I'll be away for a few days but I have been able to get a beginning
glance (via google and wikipedia) at the specs.  Yes, the Sun 3's and
microVax seem too small to be usefull.  In comparision, I have a 486DX4-100,
its main problem being a small hard drive.  It will still run NetBSD or
OpenBSD just fine.

What I've found:

The DecStation 3100's run at 16 MHz with 24 MB ram, MIPS based, and are
about as powerful as a 486DX-33.  The question is what is the drive

The SparcStation IPC runs at 25MHz with 48 MB ram, and are about as
powerful as a 486DX-50.  Again, the question is drive space.

The AlphaServer, I must admit, looks like it _could_ be good, with up to
2 GB ram, running 200-400 MHz up to 4-way SMP.  However, it doesn't look
like there's any free OS that runs on it.

I've often wished I'd had a good terminal.  The VT100 if the screen and
keyboard are still good would be helpfull at times.

I don't know what ethernet (UTP) is available on these boxes.  I'd want
some kind of network connectivity with my other boxes, I suppose even if
its ppp via a serial port (been there, done that, ran NFS on an old


I've been wanting to play with non-i386/amd64 boxes.  I've been wanting
to support other arches that are open enough to be supported by NetBSD
or OpenBSD.  I have two needs right now:  

	A slow thin client.  Perhaps basic X, but primarily just a slow
	box.  My wife gets headaches around high frequency EMF; my
	486DX4-100 is better for her than my Athlon64 2 GHz.

	A file server for the home network.  I would like to separate my
	/home directory from the Debian box on which I: 
		watch movies;
		surf the net with Javascript and flash
		With the potential now for malignant pdf files, read

Any insight you can offer would be great.  Thanks,