I’ve joined the Gentoo/FreeBSD/SPARC64 team

Or I’m just about to join it. Yesterday the Ultra 5 I ordered on eBay arrived.. took me a while to clean up the polystyrene, but after that it was simple to test it out.

The box has a sexy look, I have to admit that much, but as I expected its disk is tiny (8.6 GB), so I replaced it with the one on Odissey (sorry this ended up removing my installation of Syllable, but I’ll try to get a new disk for that box sooner or later), but for one thing and the other, yesterday I didn’t have time to continue and start installing the box, but today I then started, although I had a couple of problems, first because the nvram had the CD-Rom device set on IDE Secondary Master, while for me it was Primary Slave, then because the original CD reader (an LG CRD-8322b, that’s an interesting model for me, because it was my first spare part, I bought such a CD reader for my Pentium 133 when the original one broke) didn’t support CD-RW (and I mostly use CD-RWs for LiveCDs Install CDs and so on..), so I took also the DVD reader from Odissey.

Now I’m building the kernel, but before I can actually start working on the kernel bug, I need a nullmodem cable, unfortunately I never had one, and the shops here around don’t have them anymore.. and of course all my serial cables aren’t the kind you can open and solder as you need. I’ll probably go to the nearest components’ shop to buy the cable and the connections, I’ll then be soldering it myself, the do it yourself approach will also amuse me, as I like doing stuff with the solder iron.

I’m impressed with this Ultra5 box, really. The chassis is sleek and easy to fit even in small spaces, the support for serial consoles is something I miss on the other boxes, OpenBoot is an interesting tool too, surely better than the classic PC BIOS (I’m curious to look at EFI to be honest), and even to replace the internal parts, it’s easier than with some old IBM box I used to tinker with :/ The Sun keyboard is pretty impressive too, even if it’s old, it has good typing, better than my previous keyboard, and the presence of the extra keys to the left is something that just now keyboard producers learnt from.

Considering the coolness of this box, naming it after a Klingon ship (because it’s something I bought second hand, it’s not a Federation ship 😉 ) seems to be the only choice, so it’s now Klothos.

I’m not really sure which kind of memory should I put on that box though, or I would have tried adding something to it, even after the bad experience with Odissey (I’m now using the burnt memory module as bookmark for The Firm – thanks Tony!).

Oh yeah, thanks to the VideoLan guys, I’m now preparing the ebuild for VLC 0.8.6-test2a, they are always nice guys when it comes to release 🙂