Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Sun Blade 100 Rides Again

It's been awhile since I played around with the latest builds of Solaris Express Community Edition even though I spend most of my day at work in front of Solaris Express Developer Edition. So I decided I would blow off the dust on my old Sun Blade 100 and I gave build 78 a try and see where things are. I was very surprised to find that it still works very well the latest builds even if it is a little slow. For those that you don't know the Sun Blade 100 is an "entry level" Sparc workstation from around 2000. It's clock speed is 500 mhz but since this is Sparc it isn't as slow as you would think it is. Running a Sparc at home is kind of exotic thing to do now days. Its kind of like driving an old Lotus or Ferrari or something. Not real practical but cool nonetheless. It also uses ordinary IDE drives so it makes a nice Sparc machine for the home hacker on a budget. I have it stuffed with a scavenged CD burner and hard drives from Windows boxes that long ago became too slow to be of any interest. So its might be a little exotic but its cheap. My intention is build this into a ZFS backup server for my home network along with being a machine to play with Sparc.

A couple of things now work that never did when I last had OpenSolaris on this box. First, ZFS no longer seems to slow the box down to a crawl like it did before. I am running this headless and the power management works very nicely by default. Finally, my cheap external Firewire drive now just works. I could never get the thing to work before on any release of Solaris, Sparc or x86 so this was a nice surprise.

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