Peter's Sun4 Zoo

What's new
Blog - old news sorted by date
Location - where to find the museum
Calendar - opening hours
Projects - what is going on
The Zoo - pictures of my computers
Spare Parts - and even more pictures
Tips and Tricks - Docs of Hard- und Software
History of the Sun4 Series - how it happened
Links - other Sun4 related stuff on the Net
Imprint and price list

What's new

May 01 2010 - Ending

Dear friends!

I have to give up my collection.

So if you're interested in some pieces or know someone who might, please send me an e-mail.

Dec 15 2009 - Ultra Enterprise 4000

The last few days i revived an Enterprise 4000. Great machine!

Dec 06 2008 - Santa Claus

Today was for me Santa Claus day - for my fellow friend Klaus it was Doomsday! He has to empty his rooms at the DFKI, where he stores all his treasures.

It i so sad to see that many old computers with all the equippment, software and documentation going to be discarted - what nobody claims now will be ditched into the trash on monday.

Ok, i take comfort in my loot: Two fully equipped Sun Enterprise E-450, three Sun Ultra 2, tow Sun 3/80, one Apple PowerMac 8600/200, one Apple PowerMac G3 Tower and last, but not least the huge chest with dozens of s-bus cards and m-bus modules. Plus a lot of bits and pieces like memory, hard drives and frames, cables, adaptors and processors, software and manuals.

But there comes the point when even a VW Touran is full. I looked longingly on several remaining stacks of Suns (Ultra 1 and SparcStations), DECs, Apollos, HPs, SGIs and Apples. Even worse: 50 boxes with documentation and manuals for all these.

Every time such a collection is thrown away a piece of computer history is gone too. Besides all the mass products and trivial things we might miss some jewels that sould be preserved. But what exactly should we preserve? The hardware? Ready to run? What's about the software? Operating system? Applications (with licenses)? The whole ambience - manuals, periperals and network? You see, this can lead into unexpected complexity.

During lunch at the Mexican we discussed extensively this topic. To give form to the thing i suggested to launch and register a club here in Germany for preserving old computers. If you're interested, please contact me via e-mail (address see below)!

Nov 30 2008 - AppleShareIP on MacOS 7.5.5

Whoever wants to use MacOS 7.5.5 with newer AppleShare servers, especially those who don't use AppleTalk as transport protocol anymore, should read this article. And of course anyone who plays with BasiliskII!

Nov 23 2008 - Mac emulators

For a few days i'm busy with BasiliskII, SheepShaver and PearPC. This are emulators (software simulators) for old (and not so old) Mac hardware: Basilisk emulates a 680x0 Mac, SheepShaver an "old world" PowerMac and PearPC a G3/G4 Mac.

'Cause i own some kind of working Mac hardware (for example Performa 630, PowerMac 6100/66, PowerMac 7500/100, G4 Cube) i think i can judge the quality of these emulators quite well - my conclusion: very advisable!

Nov 22 2008 - Museum closing

I am sorry, but i cannot operate the museum any longer. Some of the machines are already taken down and in some weeks i have to leave my rented premises.

This means that in the future i cannot show my machines running anymore. But of couse i'd be glad if still someone wanted to visit me and my computers.

Oct 06 2008 - Test: SuSE-11.0

My experiences with SuSE-11.0 (German only)

Sep 15 2008 - Newton continued

The last week i've played a lot with it and i've written an article about the Newton.

Sep 04 2008 - Apple Newton

Last week, Guido from the Karate club (Dojo Sandokan) asked me, if i'd like to have his Apple Newton.

Hello? Am i colecting old computers or what???

Yesterday night he gave the thing into my hands and feeling very proud i drove home. Additionally i got a power supply and serial cable and hopefully he'll find software and manuals somwhere too.

Sep 03 2008 - Google Chrome

All the hype had made me curious - but my first try of Chrome had been a disaster. It wanted to access the internet via a proxy server, one that had been abandoned for ages. And i couldn't change this stupid setting. Eventually i deinstalled Chrome.

Ok, it still is beta. Maybe i'll try later again.

Have you found a way to submit a bug report? I haven't. Bummer!

Sep 01 2008 - Visitors

Yesterday, Dennis and Michael, two computer collectors like me, visited my museum. They came from south germany to talk, power up some ancient machines and to trade this and that.

First, we gave energy to John, an old Sun 3/260 which Dennis had given to me years ago. We were curious if he would still run and yes, he did! We noticed a yellow light on the second memory board indicating a correctable ECC error, but that didn't stop the show. We were able to identify the offending chip where the one bit had flipped in less than five minutes.

Later on we screwed together my 4/670, where i had massive problems with the memory board - and made it run. Oh, yes, the 4/600MP is a topic i never get tired of. Dennis wanted to have one of my 4/630, but unfortunately their serial ports were fried.

Stuffing a couple of VAXen and some other treasures into Dennis car, they left late at night heading home.

Aug 01 2008 - Eclipse

Today from 10:45 to 12:20, a solar eclipse was visible in Germany. Unfortunately the weather wasn't as good as yesterday so my son and i jumped into the car and drove behind that blue patch on the sky that promised a viable look to the sun. We came just to Feilbingert (near Bad Kreuznach) and there we had an exceptional good view - for some moments. We used the old glasses from 1999. Then we mounted the telescope with filter (Baader sun-foil) and webcam (Philips ToUcam Pro) and used my laptop to record about half an hour. The best minutes can be downloaded here:

Video 1 (3,5 MB) Video 2 (1,8 MB) Video 3 (3,1 MB) Video 4 (9,1 MB)

The last two videos are typical for the whole time - wind shakes the telescope and clouds obscure the sun or confuse the webcam shutter settings. Some shreds of clouds are better - they even add some vibe to the first two videos.

May 09 2008 - Sun 4/600 MP

Last week i concentrated on my four precious 4/6x0 machines. I had to fix two NVRAMs and repaired the defective cabinet rolls on my two 4/630.

I won't conceal a curious symptom of a failed NVRAM here: The machine doesn't initialize its hardware properly: It won't boot from either disk or ethernet until the NVRAM checksum is correct.

May 08 2008 - TME and serial line works

When i tried first, i had no luck with the serial line emulation. In the meantime, i got it working.

Apr 23 2008 - New Projects

There is a new version 0.6 of Matt Fredettes Sun2/Sun3/Sun4 emulator TME available. Without further ado i made a Project TME out of it!

And now something completely different - Project Games.

Gaming on computers is almost as old as computers themselves and probably most computers were victims of gaming, except for these extraordinary expensive ones that were run by white-collar workers (or worse: suits).

On most of my computers you can find the one or the other game too. And all these old games have one thing in common: They win over modern graphics oriented games by their brilliant game idea. So try it and have fun!

Feb 17 2008 - Opening of my computer museum in Halsenbach!

In a couple of days it's going to happen: A dream will come true and i'll open my computer museum on 31 of March.

Now everybody is invited to visit my collection live!

Sooner or later it will be inevitable to take a little fee, but for some weeks (beta test) i'll only place a donation piggy bank at the entrance.

My Museum is open Monday and Wednesday from 18 to 22 and Tuesday and Thursday from 20:30 to 23 o'clock. Of course i'd be glad to arrange other appointments.

Since the museum is more of a hobby it might happen that i come late or have to close for a day. To avoid hassles, i'd suggest that you send me an e-Mail before you visit me. Plus having your e-Mail address will allow me to postpone.

And please have a look at my Calendar, because i'll announce all open and close hours here, especially the short terms.

Copyright 2007-2008 Peter Koch