Sun Blade 100

While at DEFCON this August, I picked up a Sun Blade 100 from a vendor table for $30. My primary motivation for the purchase was the irony of the processor. See, when starting at the datacenter in 2002, we bought a Sun Enterprise 250 to control a tape library. This E250 contained a UltraSparc II 400MHz processor, which was quite zippy at the time, and reasonably priced at only $10,000. And here I was, 6 years later, buying a desktop with an UltraSparc II 500MHz for $30 at a junk sale.

It mostly sat in the corner until this weekend. The frame contained structural damage, the power button was broken and the hard drive was dead, all most likely from a drop to the corner by its previous owner, I would guess. I banged the chassis back into shape, replaced the hard drive, and found a replacement power button on eBay, which should be here in the next week or so. In addition, it took me forever to get booting, since the memory was in the “wrong” slots, as slot order was apparently important on this computer.

Now, the other reason I bought it was, well, I collect computers. Basically, if Debian runs on it, and it’s cheap, I’ll get it. I recently enumerated my collection, which I’ll repeat here, grouped by Debian architecture:

  • 386: Many uninteresting AMD64 and 686 machines, a 486 (Cyrix 120MHz?) and a 586 (AMD K6 300MHz). The 586 has been in the same minitower since the mid-90s, and is my oldest surviving computer. The 486 I bought off eBay a few years ago, survived as parts for a few years (mostly in a cardboard box), but finally got a genuine AT desktop case this year.

  • sparc: Sun Ultra1 (eBay, 2002), Sun Blade 100 (DEFCON, 2008)

  • powerpc: Two Apple Beige G3 (pdx6, 2003), G4 MDD (coworker, 2005), G4 Mini (CompUSA, 2005)

  • mips: SGI Challenge S (work, 2003)

  • mipsel: Cobalt RaQ2 (eBay, 2007)

  • arm: Linksys NSLU2 (CompUSA, 2007)

Still missing: m68k, alpha, hppa, ia64, s390.