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News about SPARC systems and related companies

2002, February week 2

See also:- article:- Emerging Bright Spots in the SPARC Systems Market
article:- Looking Back on Sun's Cache Memory Problem
Squeak! - The Top 10 Storage Software Companies
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Tech-Source GFX 200 Quad Graphics Accelerator
Quad Graphics Accelerator
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ACSL 10 Years Ago - the SBus Product Directory

February 14, 2002 - 10 years ago, in February 1992, ACSL started getting its first customer orders for the SBus Product Directory, an independently researched and published buyers guide on hardware in the Sun Market. As a print publication, it was big, heavy and cost about $60 a copy. Later, as the number of pages and weight, increased, the price increased to $89 plus shipping.

Publisher Zsolt Kerekes said, "The SBus directory, started as a concept in 1991, and was supposed to be a short term thing. I never imagined that I'd still be working on the same publication more than a decade later."

In 1998 ACSL branched into the storage market with its web publication STORAGEsearch aimed at the enterprise storage market. With over 346,000 readers last year, the storage readership is expected to double in 2002.

Despite Sun's problems in 2001, Kerekes believes that 2002 will be a recovery year for Sun and its VARs. "There are many hot spots in the SPARC market which grew, despite the recession. One thing remains constant. Users want computers that are faster, more connectable and ever more reliable. Vendors which meet those needs will always find a market." ...ACSL profile

See also:- SPARC History
10 Years Ago - the SBus Product Directory

Sun Announces New Marketing Promotion "Project Blue-Away"

As Valentine's Day Approaches, Sun Wants to be More Loved

Quatech Introduces The First Single Port USB-Serial Adapter for the Sun Ray (TM) Thin Client

Adax Announces Support For New PICMG2.16 Telecoms Architecture

Second Beta of Mandrake Linux 8.2 Now Available

earlier news - archive
tape storage
Tape drives & systems on
STORAGEsearch.com
Megabyte found that the advantage of taped storage was that he could store a huge amount. But it sometimes took a long time to retrieve what he wanted.

View From the Hill:- Sun Comes Down to Earth with New Marketing Promotions

I was in an editorial meeting last week, when one of the mice, turned to me and said "Here's something you might be interested in. Sun has put out some new press releases. Looks like they are going to start selling computers!"

Defensively, before I replied, and had to admit that I'd missed this one, I looked at my spreadsheet which listed all the tick boxes for Sun, based on analysing their last 8,192 press releases.

Scrolling past many screenfuls of minute text, which listed products like Dots for Dotcoms, Storage for people who think that Sun's web site really is "the web", Software like Java, Jini, Jiro, Solaris and Linux, followed by Wireless fluff, iForce fluff, Workstations (a Sun exclusive category which is so old that no one can remember what it means anymore), TCO fluff, ROI fluff and then I got onto Servers. But by then my brain had turned to mush.

"Run that past me again I said."

And to my surprise, it turned out that the mice were right.

Sun has actually put out a couple of press releases recently to the effect that if you are the owner of some obsolete end of life IBM computers which I'd never heard of before, or some other computers, running something which I had always mentally categorised as crashware from Microsoft, then Sun was going to offer you the chance to throw them away and upgrade to (code for "buy") some better computers - from Sun.

Nowadays I'm used to reading reading between the lines of Sun press releases, because mostly they are fluff designed to put maximum space between you and their last set of sales figures. So I had another look. But after close scrutiny these two really did seem like a different sort of Sun press release.

It's true folks...

Sun really wants to let you know that they are in the computer business. They're not afraid to say that, if your present supplier has end of lifed your current system, then maybe you should give Sun a try. Forget the aliens, forget the dotty dotcom stuff, this is a simple sales proposition which anyone can understand.

It's many years since Sun last tried these downmarket "try this - it's better" type marketing promotions. You never know, they might work. But who's going to be brave enough to tell their advertising agency? That's another story.

EDT
Engineering Design Team (EDT) specializes in high-speed interface products that link devices such as digital cameras, medical, and telemetry systems, to almost any computer.

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Sun As Valentine's Day Approaches, Sun, No Longer a Teenager, Wants to be More Loved

February 13, 2002 - As Valentine's Day approaches, so too does Sun's 20th birthday. Maybe it's the fear of no longer being a teenager that has Sun worrying about how to be more loved. But Sun is taking pro-active measures to improve things.
  • Sun is going to be more sensitive to what customers say. In an effort to do this, Sun has recently hired marketing services company NFO Prognostics to bring new levels of data-driven discipline to assessing real-world impacts of Sun's Customer Loyalty programs via a broswer interface. Sun will use the NFO Prognostics ASP technology to quickly assess how customers feel about products, services, and account management. In addition to real-time reporting, Sun managers can access customer loyalty data from virtually any offsite location, including a customer's own site.
  • The natural look is out. The wrinkles are starting to show, so Sun is learning how to apply more make up to its press releases.

    A good example is Sun's gushing release yesterday saying that Sun again holds the number one UNIX/RISC server vendor position in the US, shipping two out of every three systems. But look behind the makeup, and you'll see a little zit. The same market research (which we reported on last week) shows that Sun shipped about 53,000 servers less last year than in 2000. In fact Sun lost market share in the server market, but clever wording and segmenting makes this look like a good result.
We know it's hard going from teenager to twenty something, but we hope that Sun learns to adapt to its new situation.
Quatech Quatech Introduces The First Single Port USB-Serial Adapter for the Sun Ray (TM) Thin Client

AKRON, OHIO - February 12, 2002 - Quatech Inc. today announced the release of a USB to serial adapter, the first single port adapter supported by Sun Ray(TM) thin clients from Sun Microsystems, Inc. The Quatech SSU-100 enables serial devices, such as the Palm hand-held computer, to connect with Sun Ray clients. For some applications, an adapter is the only solution for connecting serial devices to newer computer systems, such as Sun Ray thin clients.

"When the opportunity arose to co-develop a serial-to-USB adapter for Sun Microsystems' thin client products we were immediately enthusiastic about the project," said Steve Runkel, Quatech's President and CEO. "This new adapter leverages Quatech's extensive technology base to develop application-specific designs for large industry players, and is a significant part of Quatech's growth strategy."

"Sun Ray thin clients continue to gain momentum in several markets, including education, government, financial services and technical markets," said Brian Healy, group marketing manager in Sun Microsystems' Client and Technical Market Products group. "This adapter solution will provide more options for our customers, and we're delighted to have Quatech's support and expertise behind the new offering."

The adapter supports serial transmission at all common legacy device bit rates. It was designed to allow the continued use of existing application software created for legacy serial devices, thus the SSU-100 enumerates itself as a standard COM port, and consistent identification is ensured with internal unique electronic serialization. The SSU-100 is a low-powered device that conveniently draws its power from the USB bus itself. It supports suspend and resume operations, and remote wake-on-ring.

Quatech's SSU-100 lists for $79. Volume pricing for Sun Ray Thin Client deployments is available. ...Quatech profile
ADAX
. The Compact PCI Packet Switching Backplane is an extension to the PICMG2.x family of specifications that overlays a packet based switching architecture to create an embedded system area network (ESAN).

It supplements the robust, reliable and hot swap capable CompactPCI architecture with the easily integrated, low cost, high performance and extensible Ethernet.

The purpose of the Packet Switching Backplane specification is to provide designers, manufacturers and integrators with a common platform for implementing an ESAN that provides all the benefits of a LAN in an embedded system environment. An ESAN can provide high availability by providing redundancy in both interconnections and switching components.
Adax Announces Support For New PICMG2.16 Telecoms Architecture

Reading, England – February 12, 2002 – Adax has announced support for the much anticipated PICMG2.16 specification (released 5th September 2001) to its ATM Plus and HDC-cPCI cards. By supporting the PICMG2.16 Packet Switching Backplane, the Adax HDC and ATM plus cPCI boards are well suited to the integration of components for the most demanding systems.

These boards give greater flexibility for system architecture design and support of distributed and HA models. Adax support of PICMG2.16 Packet Switching Backplane increases the inter-board communication capabilities of subsystems within the chassis by moving data onto a high availability, high speed, switched Ethernet-based network topology. The PICMG2.16 Backplane eliminates the need for card-to-card bridging, providing unparalleled system scalability through the backplane. Supported controllers and interfaces can interoperate directly via the J3 connection. ...ADAX profile

See also:- High Availability SPARC systems
Mandrake Linux Second Beta of Mandrake Linux 8.2 Now Available

February 11, 2002 - the second beta of Mandrake Linux 8.2 is ready, and waiting for users to download, and test it. ...Mandrake-Linux

See also:- Operating systems for SPARC servers

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SPARCproductDIRectory.com
Marketing Views STORAGEsearch SPARC Product Directory ACSL - the publisher

SPARC(R) is a registered trademark of SPARC International, Inc. SPARC PRODUCT DIRECTORY(SM) is a service mark of SPARC International, Inc used under license by ACSL. Products using the SPARC trademarks are based on an architecture developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc.