This Old SPARC

Friday, June 06, 2003

This particular weblog isn't maintained any more, but this one is.

Monday, January 06, 2003

Well, old zap went in the mail this morning. He's on his way to his new home in Nebraska.

Sunday, December 29, 2002

I put zap on the auction block on Thursday and he was sold the next day. A fellow eBay'er paid my "buy it now" price of $600, after determining that the Elite3D card in zap was the exact one he wanted. Great! I'm thinking that I'll "convert" zap into a new digital camera. The 1.3 megapixel Olympus that I've had since '99 is getting a little long in the tooth.

Thursday, December 26, 2002

Well, given that I just bought a brand-new dual-processor Mac G4 desktop, good old zap (the Ultra 10) is likely to find himself on the auction block real soon now. He's served me well, but the new Macs and OS X were just too sexy to pass up. My remaining Sparcs will continue on in a server role. Buzz serves this site, and sparky will soldier on as my MySQL server once I get him a new hard drive. The old IPC, fizz, still awaits my attention - he needs an OS install.

Monday, December 16, 2002

The new account on zap that I created recently to fix a Gnome problem reappeared this weekend in the new account. I created yet another new account, and immediately downloaded the latest version of Gnome for Solaris hoping that it would fix the problem. Well, I still can't get into Gnome from either old account -- we'll see how long the new account continues to work.

All of this may be inconsequential in a few days. I've ordered a Mac G4 from, and will use it as my main desktop from now on. I feel that it will give me all the advantages of Unix on the desktop, with the additional advantages of a consumer OS (digital music, photography, and video support, etc.).

I will likely sell zap (U10) on eBay, but I'll keep buzz (U1) and sparky (SS10) for the long haul.

Sunday, October 27, 2002

Sparky has been down for a long time now. I just haven't had the time or inclination to shop for an old SCSI disk for him.

Zap went down recently, and when he came back up there were tons of disk errors. I 'fsck'd everything, but then I couldn't use Gnome in my normal login account. However, I could use CDE. This leads me to believe that some of my .gnome settings have been SNAFU'd. So, I created a new account for myself, and am working out of that. Everything works from here, so that's cool. I'll eventually migrate stuff over from my old account into this one.

I finally got around to fixing my uptime generation scripts to account for the fact that sparky is down, so that page will now be generated appropriately. I also re-established my backup job(s) so that the web site (served from buzz) is backed up to zap.

Friday, June 07, 2002
Well, I've had to give up on sparky for now. His hard drive seems to have bitten the dust. Install attempts of both Debian Linux and Solaris report a non-responsive device. I've found an old 2.1G SCSI drive on eBay that I'll try to buy to bring him back to life.

Sunday, May 19, 2002

Sparky's very sick. We had a power outage a couple of weeks ago (as a matter of fact, right before I left for my TOSRV trip), and I thought everybody came back up fine. Well, I found out tonight that Sparky didn't come back up at all. He couldn't find his boot partition, which is, as we say in the Unix world, a bad thing. Anyway, I took this opportunity to install Debian Linux on Sparky. As I write this, the installer is going thru a gnat's-ass inspection of Sparky's disk.

I'm able to do this OS install because of the kindness and generosity of Jeff Rankin, an "internet friend" (we've never met face-to-face). He wanted to be rid of a CD-ROM drive in a Sun 411 case, and offered it to me at the cost of shipping. He even included the SCSI cable and terminator. Thanks Jeff!

Pretty quiet on the home computing front until lately. I've been putting off installing the PCI co-processor card for some time now. I hate doing hardware admin-type work. Anyway, I recently was reminded of the software called Virtual Network Computing (VNC), by AT&T. This software lets you remotely control another machine on your network, regardless of the platform on either side. Let me tell you, this is cool software. It literally took me 10 minutes from doing a Google search for VNC to displaying my windows desktops (from two different machines) on my Solaris box. It's not super-speedy, but it does the trick in a foolproof way. I'm editing this blog entry using VNC right now! Here's an image showing my laptop's Windows desktop being displayed on my Ultra 10.