C is for... Computers, (various topics).

(c)2019 Sarah B / Planet-Tharg

The Sun Microsystems Enterprise 10000 server

enterprise 10000 multi-processor server from sun. known as the E10K, or starfire.
it stands about six foot tall and was the server to have in the 1990s. Some companies
were raided for the processors and memory at gunpoint, that's how expensive these
systems were! Now you can buy one for a thousand. And they are worth more for gold-scrap

My current system has eight fast processors with loads of ram and will give one
of these a good race!. And use a fraction of the power too! Where systems like this win
is the "width" instead of the "speed".They have impressive interfaces, and fast discs, loads
of processors each able to do seperate tasks, also DMA and cache all over the place.
On top of all that, they run what is probably the best OS in the world UNIX (solaris).
a few of my machines still use MS-Win for compatibility reasons. But the majority use
various unix / Unix-Like operating systems and are better off performance and security wise.

Operating systems.

I started my (desk-top) computer life with 8080 and Z80 processors running FLP80-dos, and cp/m, and also with
mp/m, cpm86, concurrent dos, isis, and rt11 before going to ms/dos. Even when I had my first PC running
DOS I still had a DEC Mate II a rainbow a DEC Mate III and a cp/m system. I was using my Intel IPDS
running ISIS until it died in 2007. And I still have a prime EXL running it's original unix in the office.
a single-board Z80 running CP/M, and a few other rather primative systems too...

Then later on a windows 3.11 system, and two Sun SparcStation IPC machines running SunOS 4.1.1 with/without
openview/openwin. and an early version of SPARC-Linux. Also at that time I had a microvax II running VMS, and
two Hewlett-Packard HP-UX systems.

Then in the WIN95/98 era, Linux on a pc, SparcStation 1 and SparcStation 2. Solaris and linux on various
SparcStation 4/5/10/20 systems, NetBSD OpenBSD on DEC Alpha / MicroVAX 3100 / Sun SparcStation systems.

Then in 2015.
I had three eeebox machines running as fanless servers. an asterisk server with loads of lines
a file/print server, and a link to remote-site.Then there are the 10 sun ultra systems running solaris/BSD although
these will go soon. I have a Win7 PC(the "compatibility machine") sitting on the electronics workshop bench. Then
the 3 HP proliant servers running ubuntu, and a dual-boot lappie with ubuntu and win7 for compatibility issues.

Server Changes in mid 2019
The EEEbox servers are still running very well. One has been running a live audio-streamer for the past
five years. the other is a live audio unit on the political clandestine radio service (TOR Radio). and a
third is a media-player, archives-management-terminal, and admin-terminal on the VOIP phone lines.
I still have an 8-processor memory-packed sodding-fast system that dual-boots into linux/win7 and both
solaris (running on SUN-Microsystems hardware) and win7 on a small pc in the electronics workshop.
More about the operating systems will arrive here soon, or you can visit www.qq22.net and click on qq22
to read more about the computers I've used over the past 30 years.

Back in 2008 I said on an earlier version of this page that I was rather pleasently supprised when I was at
Gatwick airport and went to went to look at some laptopsin the shop there. Amongst them was pocket sized
linux/KDE system I gnd got chatting to a 50-something year old lady came over and said "they're good! I've got one"
Then a chap in his late 40's came over, he had one too and uses it when he is away from home.
well, I now am that 50+ year old and I'm using linux even more.

I have been using linux on-and-off for the past 30 years, Back then it was just a free-OS with some useable
programs, felt a bit like unix, and you needed to be GeeK+ just to get it installed on your system successfully.
When a few more applications were written/ported to linux it became a little more acceptable to talk about it
in public as long as you did it wearing your anorak. Even a few years ago I was considered to be a bit of a nut
by those around me for running this odd operating system, and not towing the microsoft/windows/office line. Now,
I feel almost normal, people older than me are doing it too!

If it carries on like this I'll have to go back to using cp/m on a dumb green-screen terminal over an RS232 cable,
and give up e-mail in favour of leaving messages on a BBS with a 1200 baud modem. Or if all else fails, I'll dig
out the teletype, the 20mA current-loop converter,the accoustic coupler and a 706 dial-telephone..
now, there's some retro for you!

(Actually....) I am a member of a few BBS groups, and still have CP/M system green-screen VT420 termial and
both line and radio modems! so although I've grown with the times and adopted the latest hardware. I still retain
some rather old technology too!....

Apple Computers...


The best part of a newer apple computer is the badge. My thoughts to Alan Turing....

I have a fond part inside me that kind-of likes the older apple systems. Those with 68k cpu's
But then again I also love unix running on motorola 68K processors. (again see the qq22.net old computers link)
BUT I no-longer advise my microsoft windows hating friends to use apple machines. I have one here, an old
and rather out-of-date music / MIDI system. but they are in all honesty no better than PC/MS-Win nowadays.


A friend of mine was looking for a laptop and called in to the local PC-World. Wanting to stay with an old MS-Win
for software compatibility with colleagues, and as the external disc drive units, and some of our other hardware
does not work with, or is not supported by later MS windows, She asked what they had in stock. NOTHING! so the keep-up
or sod off message is clear. So don't be tempted to buy into the Microsoft shite-for-life scam.

Well She now runs three ubuntu machines and a windows 7 PC. for software compatibility problems. Being
a teacher / tutor. everyone taught by her now gets an early introduction to linux / ubuntu and if they want it
a free DVD install-kit for the operating system and utilities. Go suck on that one billy gates from Microsoft!

If you have a requirement for compatability with existing hardware or software, then, you may be stuck with win.
But do try to avoid the latest versions of windows. They are a hacker's prime target. windows 10 and later are a joke.
Better still try to AVOID MICROSOFT COMPLETELY. and encourage others around you to avoid microsoft too.