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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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  • 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.
  • 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 melted (227442) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:37PM (#12946328) Homepage
    Now replace all references to Sun in the parent with references to Microsoft and remove open source and you'll get a good description of Slashdot.
  • 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.

  • Poor track record (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DogDude (805747) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @07:52PM (#12946435) Homepage
    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. Of course, they could've used their Java Desktop on their new laptop, but that would require more than one weeks' foresight, which is obviously more than the management can handle.
  • by alienw (585907) <alienw DOT slashdot AT gmail DOT 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.
  • Re:better idea (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @08:02PM (#12946508)
    Firstly, remember that OO.org is actually mainly maintained by Sun developers before you make a statement like that. Secondly remember that open-sourcing Solaris, which represents thousands of man-hours of work in exchange for a few drivers is quite a fair deal.
  • Re:better idea (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pedantic bore (740196) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @08:23PM (#12946620)
    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 historical footnote.

  • 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 Johnboi Waltune (462501) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @08:30PM (#12946675)
    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 have one of their own.

    Anyway, all of the machines I've built have been rock-solid stable and none have come back to me because of some goof up I made deciding on a configuration. If I'm not even in the white-box business and I can do that, you have to assume white-box builders have a dozen proven configurations that meet the assorted needs of almost everyone who walks into their shops. Maybe they use their customers as beta-testers, but if they couldn't deliver a solid configuration, they'd soon be out of business.

    The real problem with white-box builders is something you totally failed to mention: they can't really compete with Dell et. al. in price anymore. PCs have become a commodity and margins are so slim, companies that deal in massive volumes are the only ones that are competitive on price.

    I can't really say for sure, but I suppose the whitebox PC builders -- those of them that are left, in my town there are only a few remaining -- survive on jobs that are very customized to a customer's unusual needs (PVR, uber-gaming rig, case modding, selling hard to find or import parts, etc...) I don't really know for sure how those guys stay afloat since I haven't done business with any of them in several years.

  • First? WRONG (Score:2, Insightful)

    by olympus_coder (471587) * on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @09:11PM (#12946992) Homepage
    Sun sold laptops in the late 90s at least. I know. I had one. Couldn't tell you the model or name, but it was a sun and ran Solaris.

    Not sure what crack the people who wrote this were smoking, but good for them.
  • by suitepotato (863945) on Wednesday June 29, 2005 @09:19PM (#12947042)
    Might this have anything to do with Sun resisting Linux and trying to save Solaris the usual way many companies do, by not inovating and by "encouraging" partners to resist other platforms by way of strong-arm tactics? I seem to recall SGI being similarly oblivious to their workstation space being slowly eatent by WindowsNT years back, instead doing everything they could to jawbone customers into staying with them rather than giving them exactly what they wanted at the price point they wanted.

    Oh well. Wait a few years and you'll have 64-bit processors in your iPod multibooting six kinds of Linux and two of Windows and maybe even OSXXX. Forget a laptop. I want a PDA that does what a workstation can. Given rates of advancements, I won't be waiting long.
  • by segfaultcoredump (226031) on Thursday June 30, 2005 @12:13AM (#12947892)
    A sample size of 1? that's great.

    I'm currently managing 3 SunFire 280R's that were purchased in 2001 (among other systems). Total number of failures during 12+ 24/7/365 operational years: 0. Not even a single hard drive or dimm failure. Given my sample size (3x yours), Sun is more reliable than anything else. Do I think that are the best ever? No way. I have a PII gateway desktop in my basement running as a server. It has been running since '98. Mine has been perfect, yet where I work I've seen dozens fail.

    Want to know the most unreliable box I have? A Dell 1650 that randomly reboots at least once a week (its running linux). Dell refuses to do anything about it because "the diagnostics dont show anything". Just what I dont want to hear from the support folks.

    In general, sun servers have declined in quality simply because nobody was willing to pay the $100,000 it takes for a totally custom box. The memory in a new sun system? Micron or Kingston. The hard drive? Hitachi, Fujitsu, Seagate, etc. The cpu? AMD (for the Z line). NIC? broadcom.

    What does IBM or HP put into their boxes? Yup, same parts. Do you really think that they will spend R&D resources on designing and testing their own ethernet chips? Not at under $400 for a quad gig pci card they wont.

    In general, you get what you pay for when it comes to reliability. A $4,000 sun box will not be more reliable than a $4,000 IBM/HP/Dell/whoever box. A $2,000,000 SunFire 25K will be a lot more reliable than a $4,000 Dell box (is it worth it? depends on your environment).

    So how do I choose vendors? Simple, their proven ability to support me when something does go wrong over the full lifetime of the box (5+ years). All vendors have their 'lemons' (Sun 420R anybody? how about Intel's floating point bug that impacted every intel vendor?). It's how they deal with them that makes the lasting impression and determines if it is time to go look for another vendor.

    When a vendor fails to fix any problems, thats when I start to walk. So far, I'm staying with sun because their support has not let me down. When they decide to cut corners on support and it impacts my operation.... Well, that is the day I'm going to be an ex-sun customer.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 30, 2005 @12:32AM (#12947954)
    In my server room I have 4 servers.

    That's great. Thanks for sharing your wealth of experience on the subject.

    You often hear this stuff from windows users who probaby wouldn't know RSC from OpenBoot. Could there be a pattern?

    I recently worked at a site with approximately 40 racks of equipment. The site suffered a UPS malfunction which resulted in horrible spikes and phase variations being delivered to the data centre. Even IBM zSeries and pSeries systems had to have power supplies replaced, let alone Dells and HPs with with cooked system boards.

    Their Suns all came back up without even an fsck. The SF4900 & 6800 didn't even go down.

    What does this prove about the relative reliability and build quality of Sun systems?
    Nothing.

  • 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 Axe (11122) on Thursday June 30, 2005 @01:46AM (#12948216)
    With Java 2 5 1.5 they turned it into a crappy language. Almost all the features they added are badly designed, especially generics.

    Quite the opposite, in my opinion. They finally fixed all the stupid stuff.

    If you say that type-unsafe containers, no enums and no normal library for various threading feature was somehow a better state of affairs, then you do not know what you are talking about.

  • by rpdillon (715137) on Thursday June 30, 2005 @03:20AM (#12948509) Homepage
    Generics are key - they move what would be a lot of runtime errors to compile time. As any developer knows, its a whole lot easier to debug compile time errors.

    J2SE 5 actually is quite a good platform - they have improved performance, and almost all the sytactic sugar features they implemented are "free" from a performance perspective, while streamlining the code.

    The only exeception I know of is the enum's .values() call, which can be expensive if you put it inside your loop.

    I guess we just disagree.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 30, 2005 @04:48AM (#12948719)
    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?


    if a machine still runs while some of its components failed (and allowed you to fixed things without the interuption), that's _exactly_ reliability.

  • by crovira (10242) on Thursday June 30, 2005 @08:46AM (#12949320) Homepage
    Its so refreshing to find somebody who puts it that way...

    I work on the software side and I wish that the people who design software worked with the same thought.

    Anything complicated rarely works. (Rovira's law of systemantics: The availablity of a resouce [A] is inversely proportional to [=1/] its complexity [C] to the power of [^] the urgency with which it is required [U] therefore [A=1/C^U])

    Sometimes things are so complicated that total non-function is undetectable.

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