1999 Q3 First exotic hardware

I have always been interested by exotic hardware ! When I started working for Catholic University of Louvain-la-Neuve, I saw a lot of Sun, Digital, SGI stations. Each of them where the Star for one month, in magazines like Byte or PC Magazine. Once, the University get free of a Sun 3/60, I saved it from destruction to try to run Linux on it. Unfortunately, I got only the Pizza box, without any keyboard, mouse, disk or event the giant 21" monitor !

A that time Linux was already multi-architecture and the Motorola 68000 was one of the supported one. Unfortunately there was no distribution available for the SUN and I had to install linux from scratch !

This means, first build a binary kernel for the M68K ! This kind of exercise require what is called a toolchain to cross compile kernel and applications. I build one and compiled my first exotic kernel. Because I had no disk, I had to netboot the station and use a serial terminal. I used bootp and tftp protocols, the kernel was loading, and started but crashed ! I found some patches, tried with different versions of the compiler but I never get something to wake up the Beast. To be sure there was no problems with the hardware, I tried to install NetBSD. A distribution was available for the Sun 3/60, It was painfully slow because of the NFSROOT and the slow 10mbit/s Ethernet (with AUI connector) ! But It worked.

I left my SUN 3/60 behind me when I left the University some month later. I never get any M68K hardware after this one, despite that a lot of interesting hardware used it.

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