The collected works of Feelies

Hey guys, as the title says I'm thinking about collecting some computers. Specifically I'm leaning towards some UNIX workstations.

So far my dream list is:

SGI Fuel
Sun Ultra 25 or 45
HP c8000
G5 Quad (I know this isn't a workstation or UNIX-based)
IBM Intellistation 185 or 285

I have some questions mainly regarding purchasing these. I know that single processor models are generally cheaper, but can I upgrade to dual processors on the Fuel and HP c8000? If some of these do not come with the native OS, at least in the interim, which Linux distributions play nice with the somewhat exotic architectures? Currently I'm thinking of using gentoo, I'm just a bit worried about the power consumption and heat on some of these if they need to compile updates over night.

Also, I have seen some very high pricings on the Sun models. I understand that they (and the rest of the computers on my list) are relatively recent machines, but all of the Sun Ultra 45's on ebay are listed at several grand or more, while I have seen listings for most of the others for under 1000. Is this a sane price for these? If so, I guess I will cross that off the list. But if ebay is highly inflated, where should I be looking? Intellistations and HP workstations also seem to be very scarce on ebay, could any of you guys point me in the right direction to look?

Thanks for your time.
Wow, thanks for all of the great replies.

jpstewart wrote:
The Ultra 45s have really, really held their value well. I've never seen one at anything approaching an affordable price. You might consider backing off a step to the slightly older Sun Blade 2500. After seeing all the Ultra 45s for a couple thousand bucks, I got myself a Blade 2500 (2x1.28GHz, 8GB RAM, XVR-1200 graphics, 18GB HDD) for very cheap (under $50) instead.

It looks like Utra 40s are at least an order of magnitude cheaper than 45s. Now I'm tempted to give up on SPARC and snag a 40. I really like the look of the Ultra 20/25/40/45 case, so that's why I'm hesitant to get a Blade 2500.
duck wrote:
Didn't the G5's have some terrible leakage problems wrt. the the liquid cooling system? Perhaps that's what you mean by traditional standards... :-)

The Quad-core models have some of the lowest failure rates across the board compared to any of the G5's. The majority of problems was from the earlier liquid cooled models.
PymbleSoftware wrote:
Linux generally sucks on non mainstream platforms, why run Linux on MIPS when you can run Linux on Intel? What is the point? Support is woeful for propriety devices on Linux. You can't play with SpaceBalls or Crystal Eyes Shutter glasses on Linux (See our wiki here for info on those).. As for software ... Maya, Shake and a lot of the interesting software will not run on Linux/MIPS but does on IRIX. Linux on any other platform than x86 is pretty much the same, just not as well developed, and you'll hate people who embedded x86 assembler in software and just assume the whole world runs Intel just because they do. 4DWM is a different window manager and IRIX has a different feel to it than Linux. Yes I have run the Gentoo Linux/MIPS Live CD on my Octane, but I got bored with it quickly...

Oh I know that linux isn't ideal for these machines, I was just asking because if they don't come with a hard drive or OS installed I'd like to play with them before I get a hold of their proper OS.
PymbleSoftware wrote:
Where are you located? I don't use my Intellistation that much.

I live in Nebraska. What model of Intellistation do you have?
hamei wrote:
I have to ask ... what's the point ? If you just "like the look" and are a cheapskate, then buy some cardboard, bend it up to the shape of a 45 and spray paint it silver. Do a red one and a blue one and a black one and zowee ! You've got a collection !

What the hell's the point of a "collection" anyhow ? What are you planning to do, turn it on when friends come over so you can say, "Wo, look at that desktop ! Isn't that cool ? Now over here we have the ..."

With rare exceptions, collection = bullshit. Why not choose something you like and actually use it ?

I have to ask...why shit post?

You see there's a lot of logical jumps you're making in your post. First of all I never said I only care about looks it's merely a factor and it's silly to think that not wanting to spend 3k+ is being a cheapskate. You're also implicitly stating that a collection cannot or at least will not be used, which is also ridiculous. I do plan on using these computers, but I'm glad you've decided to project your own insecurities/guilt onto me. I very much doubt you are making full use of any computer you own, luckily no one here has decided to shit on you over that fact.

I don't care if I'm new, I won't put up with your shit.
Hamei, can you please stop shit posting? I'd rather not have to see ramblings about Icelandic dragons and you crying over consumerism in a forum dedicated to owning non-essentials items.

I have no idea why they find you amusing.
Yes, because it's just so awful for someone to not want you to post off topic, incendiary garbage.
Being helpful to some doesn't justify being an ass to others. I never mentioned the TOS, it's just generally understood that being a dick to someone who hasn't said anything to you is pretty crappy. But since he has 8k posts he has a nice little defense force that is determined to justify awful behavior. Sorry for interrupting the circlejerk.
Does anyone know where to find benchmarks for the 285? I'm interested to see how it compares to the 275 and G5 Quad.
I'm interested in reading/watching anything that details the history of Sun/SunOS/Solaris/Sparc. After watching Bryan Cantrill's (in)famous Fork Yeah! The Rise and Development of Illumos , it made me wonder if there were any documents released about Sun's internal culture and the engineering efforts behind SunOS/Solaris and Sparc.

It may be too hopeful of me to think there is something like SGI Software Usability II out there for Sun - but if there is - you guys would be the ones to know about it.
Elf wrote:
Krokodil wrote: The one key thing missing from BSD ZFS is the native ZFS encryption. Everyone waited and hoped Oracle would release the updated code, but they never did, despite claiming they would. Although a mysterious, illegal, complete source code dump for Solaris 11 appeared in cyberspace soon after.

I sort of hope that the majority of new ZFS development will continue under FreeBSD's ZFS. Perhaps with continued development, FreeBSD's ZFS will overtake a now stagnant Solaris?

You do realize that there is an OpenZFS project right? FreeBSD, Linux, and Illumos use the same "ZFS" - it's under the CDDL license and is separate from Oracle's ZFS which is proprietary.

Also encryption is being merged into OpenZFS thanks to Datto.
vishnu wrote: According to Alan Coopersmith's twitter on Dec. 2d: "There's still several times the number of kernel devs working on Oracle Solaris than on all the illumos distros combined."

This is not comforting at all, I'd rather have most development happen away from the grasp of Oracle.