kaashif's blog

Programming, software freedom and Unix


Hardware Census

Before I get my Sun Ultra 5 working and can write something about that, I thought I’d go through all the hardware I’m using right now and the OSes I’m running on them. Spoilers: it’s all OpenBSD and Debian.

I have accumulated quite a few laptops in various states of disrepair. The working ones, I prefer to install OpenBSD on them. The non-working ones become spare parts for the working ones. Occasionally I see a great laptop on eBay for 99p with the comment “for parts”. Except the “problem” is that the memory is bad, or the HDD died, or something easy to fix, so I snag it and get it working.

Enough with the backstory, let’s see some dmesgs!

thinkpad-t61

hw.machine=amd64
hw.model=Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU T7300 @ 2.00GHz
hw.ncpu=2
hw.byteorder=1234
hw.pagesize=4096
hw.disknames=cd0:,sd0:6ec4c14a8e9df601
hw.diskcount=2
hw.cpuspeed=2001
hw.setperf=100
hw.vendor=LENOVO
hw.product=765912G
hw.version=ThinkPad T61
hw.serialno=L3B4859
hw.uuid=c4ede381-495a-11cb-a14e-9b55a480804b
hw.physmem=1047199744
hw.usermem=1042952192
hw.ncpufound=2
hw.allowpowerdown=1
hw.perfpolicy=manual

This was my main laptop for quite a while and I still use it occasionally. It’s got enough RAM to get work done and a strong enough CPU so you don’t die waiting for things to compile. But while the graphics are well supported (Intel GMA), they are very weak.

Now, 2/3 times it fails to boot with a bad memory error. So I moved on. I still test a port or two on it occasionally.

Here is the dmesg. It runs OpenBSD-current.

thinkpad-r61

This one runs Debian, since it has an Nvidia Quadro graphics card (unaccelerated on OpenBSD). I suppose I could run NetBSD or FreeBSD on it, but it works fine. Besides, an OS monoculture is bad, right?

It has 2GB of RAM, a decent enough CPU and the GPU is actually capable of running some games at an OK speed. But when you have to turn the graphics to low on 15 year old games, you get the feeling this laptop wasn’t designed for gaming.

Here is the dmesg.

thinkpad–760el

hw.machine = i386
hw.model = Intel Pentium (P54C) ("GenuineIntel" 586-class)
hw.ncpu = 1
hw.byteorder = 1234
hw.physmem = 33140736
hw.usermem = 32948224
hw.pagesize = 4096
hw.disknames = wd0,fd0
hw.diskcount = 2

This is the old one. Since I only use it as a serial terminal, it really doesn’t matter what OS I run on it. I run OpenBSD 3.3 on it. This is because I tried to install NetBSD, but there were network problems even though my card (see the dmesg if you want to know which card) is supported. So I went the easy route and installed OpenBSD 3.3. It installed from a single floppy, which is great. Even OpenBSD 6.1 installs from a single floppy, so that hasn’t changed at least.

Here’s the dmesg.

acer-vn7–591g

hw.machine=amd64
hw.model=Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4720HQ CPU @ 2.60GHz
hw.ncpu=8
hw.byteorder=1234
hw.pagesize=4096
hw.disknames=sd0:050a15853dd14169,sd1:
hw.diskcount=2
hw.cpuspeed=2601
hw.setperf=99
hw.vendor=Acer
hw.product=Aspire VN7-591G
hw.version=V1.15
hw.serialno=NXMUVEK046514021B66600
hw.uuid=64980eb6-aa08-4cf3-80f6-ff6cd8648269
hw.physmem=12788166656
hw.usermem=12738244608
hw.ncpufound=8
hw.allowpowerdown=1
hw.perfpolicy=manual

This is the laptop I do most of my work on. It has an Intel GPU (the one I use most of the time) and an Nvidia GPU (I only use this to boot into Debian and play the occasional game of whatever).

I, of course, run OpenBSD-current on it. This is where I play with ports and stuff.

Here is the dmesg.

I have a few more laptops, but since I never use them for anything, listing them here would be pointless.

ibm-system-x3455

hw.machine=amd64
hw.model=Dual-Core AMD Opteron(tm) Processor 2218
hw.ncpu=4
hw.byteorder=1234
hw.pagesize=4096
hw.disknames=wd0:a216e88897876460
hw.diskcount=1
hw.cpuspeed=2593
hw.vendor=IBM
hw.product=IBM System x3455-[7984W20]-
hw.serialno=KDYHXP7
hw.uuid=0b2a5418-7277-3bc8-a15a-85dc8760d5d2
hw.physmem=12867076096
hw.usermem=12867051520
hw.ncpufound=4
hw.allowpowerdown=1

I picked this up for cheap to be my build server, file server, etc. It doesn’t have many places to put HDDs, but that’s not an issue since I only have 2 hard drives to put in it, and I keep one disconnected from it (long term backups like photos, videos, etc). I also keep off-site backups and backups on other people’s computers (also known as the cloud).

Here is the dmesg, it’s fairly boring.

So there we have it, that’s my in-use hardware.

Soon, I’ll be adding a Sun Ultra 5 workstation to that. Finally, I’ll be able to see what specs it has (I forgot and don’t have the documents). I could open it up and look inside, but who knows how many of the disks, sticks of RAM, etc actually work. Maybe the CPU doesn’t work.

Hopefully the next post won’t be a post-mortem of the workstation.