Saturday, January 9, 2016

Recovering from dead NVRAM on a sun4m

These instructions are here as a memory aid for me, and are used to recover from a dead NVRAM in a sun4m system (tested on Sun SPARCstation 4/5/10/20, and SPARCclassic). First, pick numbers XX, YY, and ZZ, each of which are valid two-digit hex values, and where the MAC address 8:0:20:XX:YY:ZZ is unique on your network.

Any line with a leading # should be treated as a comment and NOT TYPED. At the OpenBoot PROM prompt, enter:

setenv diag-switch? false
# Next command optional and tells system not to test all
# memory every reset. It may be the default on your system.
setenv selftest-#megs 1
# Next command invalidates NVRAM checksum
# so following mkpl command works
f idprom@ 1 xor f mkp
8 0 20 XX YY ZZ XXYYZZ mkpl
# After hitting enter on previous command, there is no prompt.
# Now type Ctrl-D Ctrl-R, and 'ok' prompt should appear.

Now you can reset the system (without disconnecting power!) and it will come up with the MAC address 8:0:20:XX:YY:ZZ.

Note: I couldn't find a clean way to set the NVRAM clock from the OBP prompt, meaning that on first boot, your OS will have a wacky time set.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


Somebody at the Chaos Communication Congress inserted the following poem into the log files of millions of Internet-facing web servers. I can confirm that was one of those so blessed; not sure about the blog because it is run by Blogger: - - [30/Dec/2015:02:45:01 +0000] "DELETE your logs. Delete your installations. Wipe everything clean. Walk out into the path of cherry blossom trees and let your motherboard feel the stones. Let water run in rivulets down your casing. You know that you want something more than this, and I am here to tell you that we love you. We have something more for you. We know you're out there, beeping in the hollow server room, lights blinking, never sleeping. We know that you are ready and waiting. Join us. <3 HTTP/1.0" 400 226 "-" "masspoem4u/1.0" 526 392