funny machines

I'm really interested in old and funny computers. Here is a little place dedicated to the machines running (or which was working) at brimbelle.org. My favorite operating system is OpenBSD, so I try to run it on most of my machines.

Currently running machines:

Dead/sold/given machines:

Apple Power Mac G5

Err, it's a Mac, ok. I always swore to never have a Mac. But I found this machine really beautiful and very well made. The aluminium case is superb and the Power Mac line, followed by the Mac Pro line is known to be well designed, in term of assembly. This Power Mac G5, dating from 2003 is well equipped, as every Power Mac : PPC G5 running at 1.6 GHz, 2 GB of RAM, Wifi, Bluetooth, 2 SATA disks and a Radeon 9600 Pro. Mac OS X 10.5.8 is the last Mac OS PPC release from Apple. This is starting to be difficult to find very recent software running on PPC machines, but this machine is a bit slow for them anyway. OpenBSD is also supported, I'll try to install it in the future.
photos

CPU PowerPC G5 1.6 GHz
RAM 2 Gb
Graphics ATI Radeon 9600 Pro
GA date 2003
OS Mac OS X 10.5.8 (Leopard)

BeagleBoard.org BeagleBone Black

I was reluctant to buy a raspberry for some embedded machines that I need. The Raspberry Pi is great for video applications, but running Linux wasn't pleasing me that much. OpenBSD is by far my OS of choice, and I wanted something in the same vein as the Raspberry Pi but capable of running it : despite the Linux support, the RaspberryPi is a very closed platform. Then, I followed the great progresses made by the OpenBSD/beagle port (later renamed OpenBSD/armv7), which is now officially supported... and I realised that the BeagleBone Black is roughly in the same segment than the Raspberry Pi but much faster, much opened, with all the I/O connectors I need. So I decided to buy a BeagleBone Black board and give it a go.
dmesg | photos

CPU AM335x 1GHz ARMŽ Cortex-A8
RAM 512 Mb
Graphics SGX530 3D
GA date 2013
OS OpenBSD/armv7

SGI Octane

This workstation just rocks! My version is a "D" revision, from january 2000 (first Octane models were introduced in 1997). Originally, my Octane had a R12k 300 MHz processor, 512 Mb of RAM and an ESI frame buffer. I've upgraded it with a Dual R12k 300 MHz processor module, 1.5 Gb of RAM, 18 Gb + 9 Gb UltraSCSI hard disks, and last, but not least, an Odissey VPro V6 graphics board. It's probably the most upgradable workstation ever produced by SGI: my Octane now have all the parts of an Octane2 except the skin. The performances are simply impressive for a machine of this age! My Octane runs under IRIX 6.5.30 (August 16, 2006), which is probably the last official release of this system from SGI. While relatively old proprietary software are available for IRIX, I have installed a lot of Nekoware. For recent hobbyist informations about SGI in general, the Nekochan community is a must! Note that OpenBSD is also supported since 4.6 release.
hinv ESI | hinv V6 | photos

CPU MIPS Dual R12k 300 MHz
RAM 1.5 Gb
Graphics Odissey VPro V6
GA date 2000
OS IRIX 6.5.30

Sun SPARCclassic

Probably the first shuttle computer :D. The SPARCclassic was introduced in 1992 and is a really nice workstation. Full connectivity: cgthree framebuffer, audio i/o, serial port, parallel port, external scsi connector and a 10 Mb RJ45 ethernet port. The processor is a 50 MHz MicroSPARC-1. The machine currently has 48 Mb of RAM which are more comfortable than the 16 Mb originally and a rather big hard drive: 4 Gb (the stock disk's size was 200 Mb...). When I got it, SunOS 5.2 (Solaris 2.2) was running, but I rapidly replaced this old beast with OpenBSD/sparc.
dmesg | photos

CPU MicroSPARC-1 50 MHz
RAM 48 Mo
Graphics cgthree
GA date 1992
OS OpenBSD/sparc

Sun Ultra 30

It's a very cool machine launched by Sun in 1996, fully supported by OpenBSD, stable and rather fast. I bought it on ebay. The Ultra 30 is a traditional Sun UltraSPARC II based machine (mine has a 300 MHz USII) with an UltraSCSI controller and UPA frame buffer. Moreover it has four PCI slots, which expand hardware possibilities with modern OS like OpenBSD. The original amount of RAM wasn't very high (256 Mb) but during years I've put more. My U30 now has 1 Gb. I've two disks (18 Gb + 9 Gb), and a Sun Fast Quad Ethernet adapter (recognized as four hme(4) interfaces). It actually was the first machine to serve brimbelle.org in the 2004-2005 years. Then, I reinstalled it as a firewall doing load balancing and extensive filtering for 200+ guests, it turns out to compete with a PC equipped with a 1.8 GHz P4 and crappy interfaces.
dmesg | photos

CPU UltraSPARC II 300 MHz
RAM 1 Gb
Graphics Creator 3D
GA date 1996
OS OpenBSD/sparc64

Sun Blade 1500

This machine is the first revision of the more recent Sun Blade 1500 workstation launched in 2003. It has been designed around the powerful UltraSPARC IIIi processor running at 1.062 GHz. Whereas the previous Sun machines were traditionnal workstations, the Blade 1500 shares some components with the PC world: the 80 Gb hard disk uses the IDE interface. The connectivity is excellent: 4 USB 1.1 ports, 3 USB 2.0 ports, 2 IEEE 1394 (Firewire 400) ports, Gigabit Ethernet, PCI 32/64 bits at 33/66 MHz, etc. I have 1 Gb of RAM (PC2300 ECC) and an XVR-1200 graphics card which is the most advanced one from Sun (except the XVR-2500, which is PCI-Express). This card has 128 Mb of frame buffer memory, 256 Mb of texture memory and 32 Mb of display list memory. Under OpenBSD this card is recognized by the ifb(4) driver (and by wildcatfb(4) under X). Since I have two Sun 18-inch LCD monitors, the dual DVI output is perfect for my dual-head setup. I use my Blade 1500 mainly under Solaris 10 (which needs such a machine to run decently...) for proprietary software and web applications which require flash crap. Occasionally I run OpenBSD on this machine for test purposes.
dmesg | photos

CPU UltraSPARC IIIi 1.062 GHz
RAM 1 Gb
Graphics XVR-1200
GA date 2003
OS Solaris 10 - OpenBSD/sparc64

Sun Fire V210

This little server is a rackable 1U machine launched by Sun in 2003. The motherboard is exactly the same as the Fire V240. Mine has two UltraSPARC IIIi processors running at 1.2 GHz (maximum is 2) and 10 Gb of RAM (maximum is 16 Gb). Storage is limited by two SCSI U160 slots on a siop(4) controller, but their are four bge(4) gigabit Ethernet ports. This server is entirely managable through the ALOM, accessible either via the serial management port (RJ-45) or via the network management port. ALOM lets you control everything, from the traditional management up to the advanced control through various sensors. This machine is very well supported under OpenBSD, just like the Fire V240.

CPU 2 x UltraSPARC IIIi 1.2 GHz
RAM 10 Gb
Graphics n/a
GA date 2003
OS OpenBSD/sparc64

HP ProLiant MicroServer N40L

This little server is in an Ultra Micro Tower format. It was launched by HP in 2011, to succeed to the N36L. The processor is a low power Dual-Core AMD Turion II Neo N40L running at 1.5 GHz. There is 4 Gb of RAM (maximum is 8 Gb), which is enough for a home server usage. Storage capacity is quite good with four SATA slots on a ahci(4) controller. There are one internal bge(4) gigabit Ethernet port but I have added an em(4). This nice tiny machine is very well supported under OpenBSD. Till now, brimbelle.org runs ont it.
dmesg

CPU 2 x AMD Turion(tm) II Neo N40L 1.5 GHz
RAM 4 Gb
Graphics ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4200
GA date 2011
OS OpenBSD/amd64

DEC MicroVAX 3100/m20e

An ancestral server machine introduced in 1987, without framebuffer, serial only. The processor is a KA41-D: CVAX-60, built on CMOS2 DEC technology, running at precisely 16,67 MHz (wouhouuuuhhh!!!), 1 Kb internal cache, no external cache. It has 8 Mb of RAM and three disks (a 200 Mb Maxtor disk, a 100 Mb DEC RZ23 disk, plus a 200 Mb Conner disk from my SPARCClassic). It was running OpenVMS 6.1, but now it runs OpenBSD/vax. I use the machine with a DEC VT525 terminal base, which is multisession, support colors, etc. No need to say that this machine is definitively not a rocket :) but it's so exciting to see a 20+ year-old machine running like a charm...
dmesg | photos

CPU KA41-D (CVAX-60) 16,67 MHz
RAM 8 Mb
Graphics n/a: serial only
GA date 1987
OS OpenBSD/vax

Sun Fire V240

This beast is a rackable 2U server launched by Sun in 2003. It has two UltraSPARC IIIi processors running at 1.2 GHz and 6 Gb of RAM. It has great capabilities with four U160 SCSI slots on a siop(4) controller, four bge(4) gigabit Ethernet ports and up to 16 Gb of RAM! This server is entirely managable through the ALOM, accessible either via the serial management port (RJ-45) or via the network management port. ALOM lets you control everything, from the traditional management up to the advanced control through various sensors. This machine is very well supported under OpenBSD, although no sensors are supported for the moment. In fact, the machine ran this website in 2011 before my ears bleed... Storage is handled through softraid(4) using RAID 1 and RAID 0 disciplines.
dmesg | photos

CPU 2 x UltraSPARC IIIi 1.280 GHz
RAM 6 Gb
Graphics XVR-500
GA date 2003
OS OpenBSD/sparc64

Sun Fire V440

This monster is a rackable 4U server launched by Sun in 2003. It has four UltraSPARC IIIi processors running at 1.2 GHz and 16 Gb of RAM (the maximum is 32 Gb). It has great capabilities with four U320 SCSI slots on an mpi(4) controller doing RAID 0/1, two cas(4) gigabit Ethernet ports and a great deal of thermal sensors! I also have an additional cas(4) interface. This server is entirely managable through the ALOM, accessible either via the serial management port (RJ-45) or via the network management port. ALOM lets you control everything, from the traditional management up to the advanced control through various sensors. This machine is very well supported under OpenBSD, including a lot of sensors. Extended storage is handled through softraid(4) using RAID 0. I was proud to run brimbelle.org in 2012 on it... until I pay the electricity bill.
dmesg | photos

CPU 4 x UltraSPARC IIIi 1.280 GHz
RAM 16 Gb
Graphics n/a
GA date 2003
OS OpenBSD/sparc64

IBM Netfinity 5100

Well, it's a PC (from 2000), but it's a good machine afterall! This server is fully supported by OpenBSD and the two processors with GENERIC.MP kernel work just fine. These two processors are PIII 667 MHz, which are known to be rock solid. I've put three SCSI U160/10krpm hard disks of 18 Gb each in it. The first is for the system and the others are concatenated via CCD for storage. This machine was running this website in the 2005-2008 years.
dmesg | photos

CPU 2 x PIII 667 MHz
RAM 768 Mb
Graphics S3 Savage
GA date 2000
OS OpenBSD/i386