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Blade 1000 Introductory Help?

807557
807557 Member Posts: 35,835
edited Sep 6, 2009 11:42AM in Workstations General Discussion
Hi there,

I'm quite new to the rather exotic and different-looking world of Sun, and have been given a Blade 1000 workstation.

Comments/questions:
a) It's huge.
b) It's noisy - is this normal? Sounds like a bad fan...
c) During what I would describe as the "POST", it takes a VERY long time to send a video signal. Why?
d) Brings up some kind of console, white background. What do I do at this prompt? Is this hard-drive based or is this running from ROM?
e) If it is a ROM-based console, how do I go about installing an OS? I have Solaris 10 media somewhere and my understanding is it will work fine on this machine.
f) May be giving to a friend for use as a web server or something along those lines...is this a particularly power-hungry machine? I see a 9-amp rating but in theory that should be a MAXIMUM rating, not a typical rating.

and...g)
How do I use the PC emulation card? Is there software for Solaris which provides an interface for that card?

Thanks a bunch.

Comments

  • 403074
    403074 Member Posts: 316
    Hello,

    a) It's huge.
    Yes and a very heavy sturdy case.

    b) It's noisy - is this normal? Sounds like a bad fan...
    During POST and until Solaris with a power-management driver is loaded, the fans run at full-speed. The fan speed is then decreased and the system becomes more silent.
    I would recommend to open the system after reading the User's Guide and decide if cleaning (removing the dust) is required. At that occasion you can review the installed options (memory modules, add-in boards, disks, etc.). The part-#s are on bar-code stickers, which can be used to locate the description in the Full Components List.

    c) During what I would describe as the "POST", it takes a VERY long time to send a video signal. Why?
    Probably the system runs the maximal diagnostics (after the standard POST) and depending on the amount of RAM the test requires more or less time. You can decrease the required time by disabling the detailed diagnostics (the output is sent to the serial console, therefore "invisible" on the attached monitor). Enter at the ok-prompt setenv diag-switch? false

    d) Brings up some kind of console, white background. What do I do at this prompt? Is this hard-drive based or is this running from ROM?
    It's from ROM and called OBP (OpenBoot Program). Detailed documentation is available at docs.sun.com.

    e) If it is a ROM-based console, how do I go about installing an OS? I have Solaris 10 media somewhere and my understanding is it will work fine on this machine.
    Read the Solaris 10 Installation Guide. There are some options and decisions to make. If a (working) DVD drive is installed just insert the DVD media into the drive and issue at the ok-prompt boot cdrom (the optical drive is called cdrom even if a DVD drive is installed).

    f) May be giving to a friend for use as a web server or something along those lines...is this a particularly power-hungry machine? I see a 9-amp rating but in theory that should be a MAXIMUM rating, not a typical rating.
    If you compare with a gamer's PC, no not really. Compared to an average office PC with power-management, yes.

    and...g) How do I use the PC emulation card? Is there software for Solaris which provides an interface for that card?
    Depends on the emulation card. If it's a SunPCI III/IIIpro even Windows XP is supported. If it's one of the earlier models (SunPCI, SunPCi II/IIpro) the most recent Microsoft OS is Windows 2000 and installations of the matching Sun driver package requires tweaking.

    Link to the [*Sun System Handbook page for the Blade 1000*|http://sunsolve.sun.com/handbook_pub/Systems/SunBlade1000/SunBlade1000.html] with a link to Related Documentation

    Link to download the [*OpenBoot 4.x Command Reference Manual*|http://dlc.sun.com/pdf/816-1177-10/816-1177-10.pdf] from docs.sun.com.

    Link to the [*Solaris 10 documentation*|http://docs.sun.com/app/docs/prod/solaris.10#hic] on docs.sun.com

    Michael
  • 807557
    807557 Member Posts: 35,835
    edited Sep 6, 2009 11:42AM
    Michael,
    Thanks for the reply. I did make some progress on my own which I meant to edit my post with, but it was late and I ended up going to bed instead. At this point in time, Solaris 10 for SPARC is installed and appears to run nicely, though the ethernet interface has not been automatically detected so I can't get online with it

    The noise was in fact the fan on the SunPCi II card. It is faulty as far as I can tell; the large case fans are silent except for the whooshing of the air through the case.

    Regarding opening the case after reading the manual...if I'd always kept to that rule, I would know nothing about x86 computers. As a point in favour of ripping things apart, I would not know which fan had been causing the noise if I hadn't opened it (and removed the PCi II card, as the screeching noise was unbearably loud). Props to Sun for using case intrusion/power interlocks.

    I do actually have two of this system, and they both have the same noisy PCi II fan...I hope it wasn't designed to sound like that because it's absolutely terrible. It sounds like people are dying inside the computer when installed.

    I'm giving strong consideration to parting one out because it looks like it might just be a gold mine.

    Thank you for the info regarding OpenBoot, I've got the PDF open in the other tab now and while it's rather lengthy I'll skim through it for topics of interest/relevance.

    Given the noise issue with the PCi II card, it doesn't look like I'll be able to use it/them, unless I can retrofit a different fan (looks impractical due to heatsink design). Given that it's 600mhz with 128mb of installed memory, I'd say it's a good candidate for Windows 98 if anything.
    (edit: oops, looked like 2x64, is actually 256+64. Win2000 territory for sure.)

    Last night I ended up locating and downloading all the PDF files regarding the Blade 1000; thank you for finding the link for me anyway. I should have edited the post to indicate it wasn't necessary anymore, my apologies.

    Out of personal opinion (if you have one on the system, that is), how would this fare as a web server?

    Thanks,
    Kevin

    Edited by: kishy on Sep 6, 2009 8:41 AM
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