[Chicago] Finding a good home for some ancient computers

Warren Lindsey warren.lindsey at gmail.com
Tue Apr 10 03:49:39 CEST 2007

This is a very good point.  The old machines consume more power and
produce less results than more current machines.  It is difficult to
justify keeping them around for much else than nostalgia.

I have five Sparcstation 1 and 2 machines sitting in my basement
collecting dust right now.  These are the "pizzabox" servers.

There used to be a time when you could keep something like this around
just so that you had hardware available to run Solaris.  Now it's
possible to run OpenSolaris on Intel hardware for free.  You can
emulate Sparc hardware in QEMU at least as fast as these old machines
run.  You can virtualize four 900mhz linux servers with no noticable
lag on a modern off the shelf machine for less than $600.  Doing this
will cut both your power bill and the lower the noise floor in your

Anyone want some old Sparcs?  I'll throw in an HP PA-RISC machine to
make your trip worthwhile ;-)

On 4/5/07, Kapteyn, Rob <kapteynr at cboe.com> wrote:
> The Power Macs can be updated with "Yellow Dog Linux":
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_Dog_Linux
> But environmentally, it is better to put these power-hungry beasts out of their misery.
> -Rob
> -----Original Message-----
> From: chicago-bounces at python.org [mailto:chicago-bounces at python.org]On
> Behalf Of Carl Karsten
> Sent: Thursday, April 05, 2007 2:21 PM
> To: The Chicago Python Users Group
> Subject: Re: [Chicago] Finding a good home for some ancient computers
> Ted Pollari wrote:
> > On Apr 5, 2007, at 1:54 PM, Ken McIvor wrote:
> >
> >> Does anyone know of organizations in the Chicago area that might be
> >> interested in receiving a donation of almost a dozen old Macintosh
> >> computers?  We'd prefer seeing them advance a good cause to having
> >> them recycled.
> >>
> >> About half of them are Power Macintoshes and the rest are flavors of
> >> the Macintosh LC.  I'm not sure how many of them have monitors and
> >> peripherals.  I can provide specific details if anyone has an
> >> interesting lead.
> >
> > I'm not trying to be snarky here (I've probably owned all of the
> > various models you're trying to give away) but is there really much
> > that can be done, productively, with these machines?
> >
> > I guess limited usage as a web-browsing environment (and even there
> > they'll feel slow for complicated pages, etc. -- my old 1st gen. G4
> > certainly does with some SSL protected pages, for example)... but
> > they're more than worthless in the general sense because they don't
> > run a modern operating system and as such they can't really be used
> > as a teaching tool for too much (limited programming, I guess), but
> > certainly not computer literacy in any sense -- it'd be like teaching
> > someone ancient greek...good exercise and all, but not applicable in
> > the general day to day sense... Moreover, the amount of effort
> > required to get them running and to keep them running will not be
> > insignificant and this will be more of a burden to any organization
> > that might take them, given the shrinking mindshare that classic mac
> > os has.
> > I guess, some of the linux PPC offerings might be usable for the
> > power macs...
> >
> > I guess I'm looking for people to tell me I'm being too cynical in my
> > assessment here =)
> >
> In general, I agree.
> I'll bet they run basic CUI python.  seems that would be of some value somewhere.
> Carl K
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