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Sun Microsystems Hardware

Sun Announces Its First Laptop 365

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-machine dept.
boarder8925 writes "Enterprise computer maker Sun Microsystems announced its first-ever laptop yesterday, saying the machine was designed to let engineers and scientists perform demanding computer tasks away from their desks. Sun, which has seen sales fall for the last four years, said that it was also lowering prices for some of its computers by up to 40 percent."
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Sun Announces Its First Laptop

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  • Partnering with Sun? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by XorNand (517466) * on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:16PM (#12946174)
    Running my own small VAR/intergrator shop, Sun has really piqued my interest recently. Right now, I'm kinda in limbo as far as aligning myself with a server vendor.

    I can't stand dealing with HP on a number of levels, one being how they've handled the Proliant brand of servers. Dell couldn't possiblity have a decent channel partner program since their whole business model is focused on direct sales. IBM is an option, but it's apparent that they're trying to get out of the hardware business and further into the more lucrative services biz. The (obvious) alliance between IBM Global Services and IBM's hardware divisions would make me feel like I'm sleeping with the devil. The big selloff to Lenovo was the real wakeup call for me. And rounding out the bunch: Toshiba seems to only be half interested in playing in the space, and their lackluster offerings reflect that.

    Sun interests me because they have brand recognition and seem to be increasingly investing in the market. Until rather recently, I didn't even know that they sold wintel boxes. However, news such as the release of this notebook further shows their intent on being a contendor. My biggest concern is that Sun gear tends to overly pricey, but if they're addressing that I might just start buying from them. Does anyone have experience with partnering with Sun on the hardware end of things? What kind of reputation do they have? Or can anyone suggest another server vendor that I could investigate? I realize there are a thousand white box vendors out there, but I'm more interested in a mature partner program: coop marketing opportunities, top-notch support resources, etc.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:39PM (#12946347)
      My biggest concern is that Sun gear tends to overly pricey, but if they're addressing that I might just start buying from them.

      While Suns tend to be pricey, it's because their built like tanks (both in terms of chasis/frame, and from CPU and internal layout). Like Macs, they're designed to work well, and you have to pay the designers.

      A while ago AnandTech had a review [anandtech.com] on Sun's V40z [sun.com].

      You could also call up Sun and ask them for a loaner. They frequently let let people try out machines for a couple of weeks to run them through their paces. You can get either Solaris or Linux installed. BTW, make you open the box up and look at the internals: they're very well designed from a space, air flow, and maintenance point of view (part of the cost).
      • by IANAAC (692242) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @08:23PM (#12946624)
        While Suns tend to be pricey, it's because their built like tanks (both in terms of chasis/frame, and from CPU and internal layout).

        While that used to be true, I don't think it's true anymore. You can still find good, solid boxes, but the parts inside fail every bit as much as our Dells and Proliants. Everything from disk drives, to backplanes to memory. All of these have failed on me at some point in the last year with three year old boxes. Truth be told, our IBM x-series cluster has outlasted any other piece of hardware in our shop.

        • by AstroDrabb (534369) * on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @09:17PM (#12947027)
          Why did mods mod up the GP and not this? I always hear about how "Sun boxes are tanks". However I have not seen that to be the case. Sun boxes fail as much as any other box. A Sun server will have redundant parts, just as any other real server should have. I work at a fortune 500 and all of our Oracle and PeopleSoft servers are running on Sun/Sparc boxes (though I pushed for x86 Linux which was 1/3 the cost and at least twice the performance, though I digress). In the past year we have had two processors fail, some memory sticks fail and about 8 NICs fail on our Sun boxes. So exactly _where_ is this great Sun/Sparc reliability? I will admit that Sun has very good enterprise class support, though so do many other big vendors. Sun doesn't make all the internals, just like no other major U.S. computer vendor does. So your are really not going to get any more hardware reliability from a Sun/Sparc server than you would get with a _much_ faster and far less expensive x86 based server. Heck, if you don't need more than a 2-way box, you can get better price and performance from an Apple Xserve G5.

          Your not going to get any more reliability out of a Sun server than you would get with an equivalent, yet less expensive, x86 based server.

          Oh, and to get back on topic, why would someone want a dog-slow Sparc for a laptop? Is there really any software out there that _only_ runs on Sparc Solaris and not x86 Solaris or Linux? Your going to get far more performance and a much better price out of an x86 laptop than a Sparc based one. Just RTFA! The Sparc laptop is $3,400! The specs on it suck. 512MB and 40GB? For $3,400 for a laptop, I better be getting some state-of-the-art hardware and not some dog-slow sparc with poor specs. ; )

        • by ryanov (193048) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @10:35PM (#12947449)
          Sun has been disappointing, to me, in recent months. Being that I attended a lot of the Solaris 10 brouhaha in NJ, I was pretty excited about the prosepects of what it could do, and I had 4 V20z boxes to try it out on.

          Come to find that Sun's own support for Solaris 10 and indeed for Solaris x86 is sad to say the least. Many of their management apps/tools do not support Solaris x86 or Solaris 10 yet. Major issues with, say, disk drives... patches are out for 9, but not for 10 yet. C'mon, folks, get with the program.

          Their hardware's been OK, but frankly, that doesn't make up for the rest of the hell that is dealing with them. Don't get me started on their documentation.
        • by veldstra (107520) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @11:54PM (#12947818)
          SUN may not build tanks anymore, but I think they're building the mercedes'. When going for SUN you get a machine that will do an exceptional milage, maybe not with the biggest bang for the buck, but with an extreme reliability. I've seen computers from just about every brand available on this planet, and what amazes me most with SUN is their eye for detail. With rack servers for instance, you always get an extra screw and casenut because they know that sooner or later one of them falls from your hands when installing them... I know it's most of the time a meaningless detail, but I still need to find another manufacturer that thinks of this.
      • by Builder (103701) on Thursday June 30, 2005 @04:17AM (#12948657)
        Here's some anecdotal evidence for you...

        The bank I work for started their Linux initiative, so we bought in boxes from Dell, HP and Sun to trial Linux on. 2 Dell 2850's, 3 HP DL-380's and 3 Sun Fire V65x's.

        Firstly, the sun's don't ship with hardware RAID by default. As soon as you add this, they start to look more expensive than all of the competition.

        Within the first 6 months I had one critical hardware failure PER MACHINE! And even though these machines were under maintenance, Sun considers a motherboard in a V65x to be a user servicable component. So when the board blew, I had to swap out the memory, the disks and the CPUs into another box. This is NOT what I pay maintenance for!

        We had no problems at all with the HPs or the Dells.

        On the enterprise hardware front, I've had two major failures in the last 2 days. For one of them, sun advise that I leave a terminal connected in the data centre and run down and see what messages are on the screen when it crashes. This is what you pay sun for!
        • by xdroop (4039) on Thursday June 30, 2005 @09:10AM (#12949463) Homepage Journal
          Here's some counter-annecdotal evidence.

          We purchased 40 V60x servers (the 1U equivilent to your V65x) 18 months ago; we also have one V65x, which is statistically uninteresting. We also don't care about RAID.

          Of the 40 V60x servers, I've had one failed mainboard and one ethernet jack that doesn't hold onto its ethernet wire properly. That's it. Oh, and Sun sent a guy to fix the mainboard for me. Regular warrantee, no extra service.

          Of course, since I'm Canadian, I might be more special than you Americans.

          What really annoyed me is that we bought into these computers, and then Sun goes and EOLs them for the Opterons, which are not immediately suitable for what we are doing with them. We are looking at the Opterons, but these V20z systems are rebadged computers, not Genuine Sun Things. (For the record, yes the V60x computers are also rebadged computers, but they work pretty well.)

    • by ericspinder (146776) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:40PM (#12946349) Journal
      Until rather recently, I didn't even know that they sold wintel boxes.
      Because, until recently, they didn't. I've worked with applications running on Sun boxes for a number of years, at one point during the tech boom, they were a must have, but now they are just over priced. Sure this article talks of some lower prices (for wintel desktops) but I'm sure they still want big money for anything that can be called a server.

      If you are looking for a partner, choose a Linux builder, there's plenty of them out there,many with the warrenty and service plans which I am sure your customers are looking for, don't be afraid to 'go local' with a white box builder. Some are really good, and they might even be able to throw some business your way.

      • by alienw (585907) <alienw...slashdot@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:58PM (#12946476)
        If you want to have every problem imaginable, go with a white-box builder. Hardware these days usually has very poor compatibility, produces lots of heat, and has other issues. A shop that slaps together PCs with no regard for quality assurance, engineering, and compatibility testing will sink your business in no time, and most local shops are exactly like that.

        Unlike Sun or Dell or any other large commercial maker, a small shop won't have a compatibility testing lab where machines are subjected to hundreds of tests to verify performance. They are generally happy if the box gets to the POST screen. When compounded with the fact that Linux is rather picky about hardware (due to varying driver quality), you really don't want to buy an untested, unproven solution from some garage-based PC builder.
        • I'm just an average geek, and over the years I've built dozens of systems using various Linux distros, all versions of Windows, and hardware from hundreds of manufacturers.

          Many of them I have built for friends and family for only the cost of parts and maybe some barter. (I don't do that too much anymore because it's cheaper and easier to order a system from Dell, plug everything together, and just migrate their files and settings.) Recently, I've built a few PVRs after someone sees mine and simply must

      • Well technically... (Score:5, Informative)

        by bluGill (862) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @08:05PM (#12946523)

        Back before the sparc, and after the 68020 sun3, Sun had some i386 machines that you could call wintel. (though nobody used Windows then, and I'm not sure if Dos would run). They also made the sun3x in those days, both of which didn't sell many. (In part because the sparc soon came out, and in those days the sparc killed the 80386.

        • by GreatDrok (684119)
          I had one of those Sun boxes. It was called the SUN 386i and it had a 386DX at 20Mhz with 8MB of RAM. It ran SUNOS 4.0.x and was actually pretty quick and able to run X11R4 nicely albeit with only an 8bit framebuffer. There were prototypes of a 486i but that was killed before many were made. The architecture was very different from a PC; the only real similarity was that it used an Intel processor but there was no way to boot DOS. Upgrade options were limited so I replaced it with a SPARC1 although I k
    • Poor track record (Score:3, Insightful)

      by DogDude (805747)
      Just keep in mind that Sun has a very consistent track record of trying out the low end market, only to decide that they'd be better off sticking with the high end, after all. You may end up stuck with no support in just a few months. Really, Sun should just keep doing what they're good at, instead of continually trying to break into the hyper-competitive (read: profitless) consumer market. The just got finished discontinuing their brand new Java Desktop (today), and they've tried PC's numerous times. O
      • Re:Poor track record (Score:3, Informative)

        by illumin8 (148082)
        Just keep in mind that Sun has a very consistent track record of trying out the low end market, only to decide that they'd be better off sticking with the high end, after all. You may end up stuck with no support in just a few months.

        I call bullshit. Name me one Sun hardware product that they have dropped support for before the support lifecycle was over? There isn't one. Sun's hardware support is second to none. They guarantee that a box you buy now will continue to be supported up until 5 years af
    • About That IBM (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      IBM gets more server revenue than any other vendor in the world and has been gaining marketshare. (So say IDC and Gartner.) Their product line has greater span than anyone, small to large. For example, where else can you buy a zSeries that supports thousands of Linux guests on a single server? And it's the only server vendor that actually does R&D any more -- including server R&D. (See: Cell processor, POWER, millipede storage, UNIX/Linux LPARs, etc., etc.) You don't build multi-billion dollar fab p
    • by illumin8 (148082) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @09:56PM (#12947232) Journal
      Does anyone have experience with partnering with Sun on the hardware end of things? What kind of reputation do they have? Or can anyone suggest another server vendor that I could investigate? I realize there are a thousand white box vendors out there, but I'm more interested in a mature partner program: coop marketing opportunities, top-notch support resources, etc.

      As a former Sun Systems Support Engineer (SSE, basically onsite hardware/OS support), I can probably answer this for you.

      First of all, you're right about the price. Sun servers, especially the UltraSparc line of servers tend to be much more pricey than your average x86 server vendor. They also tend to be relatively slow in CPU-speed, but make up for this in spades with I/O throughput and memory bandwidth. You see, Sun was one of the first server vendors to have the full 64-bit support necessary for large enterprise databases that banks, telcos and other high-end OLTP outfits require. For the first time you could run an Oracle instance on a single server with up to 106 CPUs and 512GB (that's half a terabyte) of physical memory. Of course there are only limited market segments that need this technology, but during the .com days, everybody thought they needed it and this is how Sun got away with charging ridiculous prices for this type of servers.

      Now that the reality of the IT market has been back in effect, Sun has realized it can't keep up with Intel and AMD on the CPU speed front, so Sun has decided to focus on its great operating system and Unix that can scale so well and perform on such a large number of processors, and hopefully sell some nice AMD Opteron servers to run their great, full-featured Unix OS on.

      One of the benefits that Sun can offer is true enterprise, 24/7, international on-site and telephone support. If you have an investment bank that's located in 10 countries worldwide, at stock exchanges in London, NY, Singapore, etc., and you want a single 1-800 number to call for a 2-hour onsite response, 2 hour fix time repair on your Oracle database cluster, Sun is a great choice. They are truly on the level of IBM Global Services and only a couple others when it comes to knowledgeable onsite support.

      Their newer AMD Opteron server offerings are starting to be much more competitively priced than HP or Dell in the x86 arena. You also have the advantage of natively running either Solaris 10 x86-64 or Linux on the same hardware, with enterprise level onsite support.

      Whether Sun can turn themselves around in the market or not is one question, but they provide so many services to government agencies and fortune 500 corporations at the highest levels that their continued survival (in however small a role that might be) in the computer industry is pretty much guaranteed. When their systems are used on a lot of military installations, do you really think the US government would let them go out of business or sell off their assets to a foreign corporation?

      Anyway, Sun is a solid choice and reliable server provider, with a true enterprise level support channel. I no longer work there, but I know enough people that do to know you can't really go wrong recommending them.

  • $3,400 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by thzinc (679235)
    Geez, if they really want to coax developers, they should target the sub-$2,000 developers, though, I'm no marketing genius...
    • Re:$3,400 (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@gmai[ ]om ['l.c' in gap]> on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:26PM (#12946251) Homepage Journal
      You think $3,400 is bad? You obviously haven't shopped for a Sparc laptop from Tadpole! [tadpolecomputer.com]
    • By Ashlee Vance in Chicago
      Published Monday 27th June 2005 14:42 GMT

      Sun Microsystems has polished off its cheapest and likely most attractive Opteron-based workstation to date.

      The hardware maker today introduced the world to the Ultra 20 a one-way (one socket) box that starts at $895. That price has to please a lot of Sun customers who complained when the much higher-end W2100z amd W1100z workstations arrived, costing thousands of dollars. With the Ultra 20, Sun is really delivering some of the price/perfo
    • Geez, if they really want to coax developers, they should target the sub-$2,000 developers, though, I'm no marketing genius...

      Sadly, you're right.

      I could even see somethin around $2500 price mark, but this is a tad too high.
  • by caryw (131578) <carywiedemann.gmail@com> on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:18PM (#12946190) Homepage
    Sun has never been super keen on the design aspect of the computer world, not that I agree there should even be a design aspect in mind when it comes to computers. I hope they don't expect to put an E450 in a backpack and call it a laptop.

    Any guesses as to how much this behemoth is going to weigh?
    --
    Fairfax Underground: Fairfax County, VA forums and chat [fairfaxunderground.com]
  • by The_Rippa (181699) * on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:18PM (#12946191)
    It doesn't seem big enough (dimension-wise) to fulfill it's purpose.

    I mean, in two years will it be able to hold down as much paper from blowing away as a full-size SparcStation does?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:18PM (#12946193)
    There was a company called Tadpole that made SPARC laptops before. Dunno if they're still around.
  • When I need my computer to do a really demanding task when I'm not at the desk, I usually start the task, go do something else, and then come back and hope it's finished!
    • When I need my computer to do a really demanding task when I'm not at the desk, I usually start the task, go do something else, and then come back and hope it's finished!

      Me too. This is what remote computing is for - you can kick off a big, data intensive task from your cellphone, fer chrissakes.

  • by hsmith (818216) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:19PM (#12946200)
    at work for a project, they have been out for a long time AFAIK

    plus they run about $17,000 they aren't cheap. i don't know where this article is coming from at all.
    • by Guy Harris (3803) <guy@alum.mit.edu> on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:59PM (#12946487)
      i don't know where this article is coming from at all.

      It's coming from Sun announcing [sun.com] the Sun Ultra 3 Mobile Workstation [sun.com], although the picture on that page suggests that perhaps Sun are just re-branding Tadpole and Naturetech SPARC laptops. (The announcement mainly talks about a new x86 workstation, but it also mentions the SPARC laptops.)

      The article didn't say "first SPARC laptop", it said "Sun announces its first laptop", i.e. the first one that Sun is selling as a Sun, rather than somebody else selling it as a SPARC-compatible.

      The Sun announcement clearly says "Entry-level pricing for the Sun Ultra 3 Mobile Workstation begins at $3,400 (USD)." Perhaps, as they've "been out for a long time", your workplace bought SPARC workstations when they were a lot more expensive.

  • by BrK (39585) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:21PM (#12946209) Homepage
    I had a Sun laptop in something like '97. And it wasn't brand new even then.
  • oh man .. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by torpor (458) <jayv@@@synth...net> on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:24PM (#12946236) Homepage Journal
    .. i have, literally, as a computer geek, been praying (not religious) that Sun was going to be doing this.

    well, not actually, just this. that Sun would do it. and then SGI would do it.

    i tell you, it'd make up for the bizaare experience that can only be described as the last 5 years of 'Apple make the only Unix laptop worth a damn' reality bubble distortion field ..

    please, SGI, make us a laptop, put your Linux on it, and make it rock like it should.

    *sniff..
  • by johansalk (818687) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:26PM (#12946248)
    Sun suffers more than anything from a disproportionate and hugely unjust share of bad publicity that is thrown at it. It just had become too fashionable to bash Sun. Whatever Sun does or come up with, you can be certain there'll be a crowd of idiots who'll badmouth it and can't wait to sing its obituary. I don't want to hear nonsense in replies as to why this is so - I don't want to hear anyone tell me any such nonsense; I know this company and I have followed it for years, and fuck you and your thoughtless kneejerk impending-doom reponses to anything Sun does. I know that it innovates and contributes a lot to the industry and to open source, yet all eyes are scornfully on and all tongues are poisonously about it, all the while other giants while in their mediocrity under the radars of the crowds of fucktard wannabe pundits.
  • I thought there was a Sparc laptop from Tadpole back in the mid-1990's that Sun promoted for a while. Does anyone else remember that?
  • why doesn't sun just add support for common x86 laptop chipsets to OpenSolaris.....oh wait, they want us to do it for them. for free.
    • Re:better idea (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pedantic bore (740196)
      Why didn't Linus just add support for common x86 laptop chipsets to Linux...oh, wait, he let us do it for him. for free.

      Why didn't *BSD just add support for common x86 laptop chipsets to Linux...oh, wait, they let us do it for them. for free.

      etc.

      Oh, grow up! Sun opens solaris, and all you can do is gripe that they expect someone else to flesh out the hardware support. If everyone had your attitude, Linus would probably be just another anonymous code monkey and Linux wouldn't even be a histori

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:29PM (#12946276)
    "Enterprise computer maker Sun Microsystems announced its first-ever laptop yesterday..."

    I heard it was just a Sun Blade 2500, but it now comes with this really big backpack.
  • Specifications (Score:5, Informative)

    by Noksagt (69097) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:29PM (#12946280) Homepage
    One of:
    UltraSPARC IIi (550 MHz or 650 MHz)
    UltraSPARC IIIi (1.28 GHz)

    Up to:
    2 GB SDRAM

    Either
    80-GB IDE HD
    73-GB UltraSCSI HD

    802.11
    Solaris 10
    JDE
  • Processor? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:37PM (#12946330) Homepage Journal
    Didnt mention the processor used. Perhaps a ultraSPARC?

    That would give some of us soon to be ex apple fans somewhere to go, other then just a ix86.
  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:39PM (#12946343) Journal
    That's right! Sun's cutting prices up to 40%! Mad Dog McNealy is running throughout the store, lifting his leg to great deals! Look at this great workstation! Was 5 trillion dollars, now only 443 billion dollars! With prices like these, this sale won't last long! Get down here while there are stil LOW LOW prices!

    Mad Dog McNealy says "Linux is Red Hat, Red Hat is evil, but Microsoft is A-okay!"

    This sale is brought to you by Sun Computers, maker of Java, slower than Espresso, and guaranteed to run badly on any platform!

  • Looks better than Apple G5, and uses a _real_ processor (Opteron).
    • I totally agree. Looks nice and has a 3yr warranty - what comes with a warranty that long (without paying extra)? And this looks like an interesting 90 day trial offer [sun.com]:

      If you do not wish to keep the system, you must notify Sun in writing (by email to ultra20_try_buy@sun.com) with your order confirmation number within 90 days of the product shipment date. If Sun does not receive your email cancellation within such 90-day period, you will be charged the price listed for the product at the time of your order. In the event of cancellation, Sun will be responsible for picking up the equipment from you.
  • I'm amazed that sun would bother to create a non-server machine (even if they call it a 'server-laptop' or some other such nonsense).

    Why buy sun hardware these days when better unix-based OSs and better price-performance are available everywhere else?
    • Why buy sun hardware these days when better unix-based OSs and better price-performance are available everywhere else?

      Sun x86 stuff has a pretty good price/performance ratio, and Solaris is a decent OS, especially compared to Linux with the flaky 2.6.x kernel (why the fuck isn't there a 2.7.x for unstable stuff?), poor backwards-compatibility and compatiblity between distros. What are you comparing it to exactly?
  • by toby (759) * on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:42PM (#12946368) Homepage Journal
    Sun's SPARCstation Voyager [milestonesolutions.com] (1994) may not have been a laptop exactly, but "transportable" and at 12lb dubbed a "nomadic" solution... Maybe something like the 15.8lb Mac Portable [lowendmac.com] (1989), a.k.a. the "Luggable".
  • Sun had a machine called a Voyager which was an official Sun portable IIRC.

    RDI and Tadpole both made Sparc notebooks, as well as a few others. Milspec mostly.

    IBM had a PPC RS/6000 notebook... It limited in version of AIX it will run though.

    The SGI luggables in Twister were made by banned from the ranch or another group. They are fake, just Indy presenter displays. Given the sizes of the boxes, it would have been trivial to pack an Indy in a case that size. RDI or someone I believe offered portab
  • by DAldredge (2353) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:43PM (#12946378) Journal
    By Ashlee Vance in Chicago
    Published Monday 27th June 2005 14:42 GMT

    Sun Microsystems has polished off its cheapest and likely most attractive Opteron-based workstation to date.

    The hardware maker today introduced the world to the Ultra 20 a one-way (one socket) box that starts at $895. That price has to please a lot of Sun customers who complained when the much higher-end W2100z amd W1100z workstations arrived, costing thousands of dollars. With the Ultra 20, Sun is really delivering some of the price/performance benefits associated with x86 chips to the developer crowd.

    Sun has long been a major player in the workstation market, pumping out Solaris on SPARC boxes for engineers, developers and designers. The rise, however, of Intel Xeon's processor ate into a huge chunk of Sun's workstation share. Sun's line of Opteron-based systems is its response to this loss, and the Ultra 20 is the first box in this line aimed square at developers.

    Sun unveiled the system at its Java One conference which starts today in San Francisco.

    "This system is meant to reach a much broader audience," said John Fowler, Sun's vice president in charge of the x86 systems. "Java One is the world's biggest developer conference, so it made sense to show it off there."

    While you can buy the Ultra 20 flat out just like any another bit of hardware, Sun also has a much weirder pricing option. Customers can pay $30 per month over three years ($1,080) and get the system, Solaris 10, Java Studio Enterprise 7, Java Studio Creator and support. This package full of Java tools is meant for the developer crowd.

    Initially, the Ultra 20 will ship with a single-core version - 1.8GHz to 2.6GHz - of AMD's Opteron. As El Reg reported last week, AMD will make a dual-core version of this 100 Series chip available in the third quarter. (AMD confirmed the move to customers in a note issued Friday.)

    The Ultra 20 also ships with up to 4GB of memory, up to 2 SATA drives (80GB or 250GB), six USB 2.0 ports and two IEEE 1394a ports. The box will run Solaris x86, Red Hat and SuSE Linux 32-bit and 64-bit and Windows XP Pro 32-bit and 64-bit.

    Sun continues to see a sharp rise in it Opteron system sales. The company is currently battling with HP for the top spot among all Opteron server sellers.

    Sun has enjoyed particular success in Germany where it holds 41 per cent of the Opteron server market versus 23 per cent for HP, according to the first quarter figures from Gartner.

    You can see the Ultra 20 in all its glory available here.

    Along with the Ultra 20, Sun also pointed to the new Ultra 3 Mobile Workstation, which runs on its UltraSPARC chip and starts at $3,400. This system looks like a rebranded version of a Tadpole laptop. ®

    http://www.sun.com/desktop/workstation/ultra20/rev [sun.com] iews.jsp
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/06/27/sun_ultra2 [theregister.co.uk] 0_opteron/
  • by neosake (655724) * on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:46PM (#12946407) Homepage
    here's a link to the actual product page http://www.sun.com/desktop/workstation/ultra3/inde x.xml [sun.com]
  • by mrbill (4993) <mrbill@mrbill.net> on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:46PM (#12946409) Homepage
    Sun is just reselling the Tadpole and Naturetech portables. I've got one of the Naturetech systems right now (for review on sunhelp.org) and <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrbill/sets/489 821/">some pictures up</a>. It's *very* nice, but *very* pricey.
  • Sparc lappie...meh.
  • I hope this new trend toward AMD processors, Linux/OpenSolaris and cheaper prices works out for them. I've liked Sun hardware for years until the Sparc line fell so far behind the curve. I'd hate to see them go away, just for nostolgia's sake. This may be their last "chance to survive".

    Remember when Apple's stock was at rock bottom, pre-Steve, and Sun made a lowball offer to buy them out (which they thankfully refused)?

    It'd be really funny and ironic if Apple bought out Sun now. Yeah, sure it proba

  • by Un pobre guey (593801) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @08:04PM (#12946517) Homepage
    Mountain View, CA - June 29, 2005 - Sun Microsystems announced today a radically new information storage and communications system using nanotechnology. Using tiny carbon-based fibers carefully prepared, purified and pressed into paper thin sheets, along with sleek, ergonomic pigment deposition units, Sun has introduced a tablet-based handwriting-centric system they believe will inundate the world.

    Availlable in units of 75 sheets each, the beautiful yellow nanotech material is easy to hold in the user's hand or attached to a conventional clipboard. It requires no external power, relying exclusively on passive power derived from the user's physical manipulation of the material. The stylus is available in models that apply black, red, blue, or green pigment to the nanotech sheets. They also rely entirely on the user's physical manipulation for power, and only require periodic changing of toner cartridges that are small tubular components only a few millimeters in diameter. Sun has thus eliminated the cost and logistics required to distribute electrical power, UPS facilities, and expensive rechargeable batteries to users. Data storage is for all intents and purposes permanent, and is impervious to even multi-Tesla magnetic fields and large amounts of electromagnetic radiation across a wide spectrum. Styli that contain precisely machined lengths of purified graphite-based toner will soon be available and will add erasable read/write capability.

    The nanosheets will be available in units of 10 pads of 75 sheets each for $2500 list price, and non-erasable styli are available in packages of 25 for $1295. The advanced machined graphite styli were not available at press time.

  • I'm not sure about the rest of you, but I think that Ultra 20 Workstation is one sleek and sexy looking machine. Even the 24inch Sun branded LCD they show it with looks nice. If I could get a general purpose GPU, and a dual core processor in the thing I'd consider it. It'd sure beat the pants off a Dell, HP, or Gateway workstation...
  • by SethJohnson (112166) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @11:01PM (#12947571) Homepage Journal


    If you look closely at the garbage movie, Twister [imdb.com], there are a couple scenes where the meteorologists are out in the field with their stupid school bus looking at satellite data on a laptop. I'm guessing because they got a deal on CGI work, Silicon Graphics wanted every computer in the movie to be one of theirs. So on this laptop, they had a piece of masking tape on the bottom of the screen with the letters handwritten- 'SGI'.

    More ridiculous than that, though, was when the hailstorm came. This ragtag group of meteorologists, working on a shoestring budget, grabbed their stuff and ran for cover. Philip Seymour Hoffman's character uses the 'SGI laptop' as a shield from the hail holding it over his head as he ran towards the school bus.
  • Why only 40 gigs? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by windowpain (211052) on Thursday June 30, 2005 @12:47AM (#12948014) Journal
    This uberlaptop comes with a puny 40 gig drive. I know if you're not filling your machine with movies, pr0n and tunes a gig goes a long way. But still, it seems ridiculous to saddle it with such a small HD. At newegg a Samsung OEM 40GB 2.5" drive sells for $69 while a 60GB costs $13 more. I guess every buck counts.
  • by merlyn (9918) on Thursday June 30, 2005 @03:42AM (#12948576) Homepage Journal
    ... who are too young to remember the Sparcbook [xs4all.nl].

    First ever!!!?? Sheesh.

  • by DrHyde (134602) on Thursday June 30, 2005 @04:53AM (#12948728) Homepage
    ... they're just reselling the Sparc laptops that Tadpole and Naturetech have already been making for ages. As you can see by the image in the top left of this page [sun.com].
  • by WidescreenFreak (830043) on Thursday June 30, 2005 @10:10AM (#12949840) Homepage Journal
    "Hello! We're Sun Microsystems! You see that logo? It instills awe in you, doesn't it? You are getting sleepy! Keep staring at the Sun logo. You are getting sleepy. Focus on the logo. Now repeat after me - 'I will pay far more than someone with common sense would pay because of the Sun logo.' Say it. Good. Now, keep repeating it. That's right. Just keep repeating it. Excellent!"

    STARTING at $3,400 for a Sun-branded laptop running at 1.28 GHz.

    Compare that to less than $2,000 for a brand name laptop (pick one) w/ Pentium M 1.8-2.0 GHz, DVD writer, 1 GB RAM, and so forth - and it's very likely that Linux will run just fine on it, perhaps with some drivers.

    Oh, look! I can get a screaming fast 3 GHz Pentium IV system w/ 1 GB RAM, 500 GB drive space, 19" LCD panel, dual-layer DVD writer, Gb Ethernet, etc. starting at ~$1,900 from brand name A. Again, it's very likely that Linux + some drivers will work with this system.

    Compare that to a Sun Blade 150 at 650 MHz, 512 MB of RAM, 80 GB drive, 100 Mb Ethernet, etc that STARTS at a measly $3,400!

    I really wish that Sun would realize that the Sun brand name is no longer sufficient to jack up the prices on their hardware. I honestly don't see this laptop selling any more than it normally would if Sun didn't bring it to the forefront, since us Sun geeks knew about Tadpole for years now.

    Before you think I'm trolling, I'm actually a Sun bigot. I have three Sun workstations at home (yes, home) and I've already contacted my Sun sales rep regarding purchasing the new Ultra 20 [sun.com], (which is actually VERY reasonably priced, particularly for Sun) as a personal workstation for me at home (yes, home). But the simple fact of the matter is that for years I have watched major, international, engineering corporations trade in their Sun workstations for Dell workstations simply because of the price per performance. Sun's continually high prices due to the Sun name has been a pet peeve of mine for over six years.

    When a Sun workstation offers 1/2 to 2/3 the speed at twice the price, the purchasing decision is a no-brainer. This laptop sadly continues that trend. The dot-com bubble is dead. Most companies take a much harder look at the bottom line than before. I don't see how this laptop will sell any more than before, particularly since us Sun geeks have known about Tadpole laptops for many years.

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