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.: CONTROL PANEL :.
+-----------------+
 IBM RT 6150
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>SPARCSTATION 20
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 MAIN


SPARCstation 20 MP (2 X SuperSPARC-II), Keyboard Present
ROM Rev. 2.25, 160 MB memory installed, Serial #3663261.
***************************************
.: HISTORY :.
***************************************
The SPARCstation 20 (a.k.a. SS20, codename Kodiak) is a Sun Microsystems workstation based on the SuperSPARC or hyperSPARC CPU. It was the last model in the SPARCstation family of Sun "pizza box" computers, which was superseded by the UltraSPARC design in 1995.

The system had dual 50 MHz MBus ports that allowed it to use faster CPUs than the SPARCstation 10. With two dual-CPU modules and updated firmware, the SPARCstation 20 supported a maximum of 4 CPUs. The fastest CPU produced for the SPARCstation 20 was the 200 MHz Ross hyperSPARC.

It has 8 200-pin DSIMM slots, and supports a maximum of 512 MB of memory with 64 MB modules. Memory modules for the SPARCstation 20 are compatible with the SPARCstation 10, Sun Ultra 1, and other computers in the sun4m and Sun4d family, but they are physically incompatible with the SIMM slots found in PC computers.

***************************************
.: SPECIFICATIONS :.
***************************************
  • Size 16" x 16" x 3"
  • 160 megabytes of RAM
  • 2x75 MHz Sun SuperSPARC-II processor
  • SunOS 5.9 (Solaris 9/905)
  • Quad Fast Ethernet (QFE) card
  • 36GB storage

***************************************
.: USAGE :.
***************************************
This system was given to me by a housemate in March 2008; she had won a large lot of the machines at a local property yard auction in June 2007. Before that fate, they had been used for many years in the Tech Computer Center as diskless workstations. While in the property yard - an outside location they remained at for almost a year - these machines were rained on and gathered a large quantity of silicate dust; in spite of this, all of them seem perfectly capable of booting just fine. At the time I received it, I dubbed it Daystar - my intention was to turn it into an astrophysics workstation, and considering the manufacturer's name, I thought the name was appropriate.

Because the property yard auction was selling computers technically owned by the government, most systems there had their hard drives removed; the SPARCstations were an exception, because they didn't have a hard drive to begin with. As a result, I had to find an 80-pin SCA SCSI drive online. I ended up obtaining a 36GB drive for this purpose within the week. Borrowing an external SCSI CD-ROM drive, I installed Solaris 9, a process that took a full day due to the installation process' repeated issues with various settings and whatnot. It was during this install that I decided to change its name to Morningstar, because it seemed everything I did involving it brought pain. This is the name it has kept to this day.

The following week, I began installing astrophysics tools; specifically, I needed an observation utility, a programming language, and a plotting system. These were provided respectively by IRAF, Python, and gnuplot. All were incredibly difficult to install, but all work just fine now. Since that time, I have utilized the coupling of Python and gnuplot to demonstrate via a programmed model how Cepheid-type variable stars function, proving the utility of the system to myself and my professors.

            $$$$                                   
         $$$    $$$           "I'll mace you good!"
       $$          $$/\                            
    | $             / /                 MORNINGSTAR
 \ ### /           / /       ----------------------
  #####           / /        SPARCstation 20 system
--##+##--        / /                      SunOS 5.9
  #####         / /                                
 / ### \       /\/                                 
    |         /\/                                  
             /\/                                   
             \/