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home :: tech :: obsolete :: cobalt

Oct 04, 2005

Cobalt Qube 2 NetBSD

With this NetBSD Restore CD I managed to shoe-horn NetBSD 2 onto my MIPS based Cobalt Qube 2.

Details on the NetBSD Cobalt port are here.

Now I just need to dig up a serial cable or setup a dhcp server so I can assign the thing an IP address and start messing around with it.

Its certainly quite a leap from the standard Qube 4Gb disk containing the old Cobalt Redhat-based Linux Kernel v2 (current in 1999 maybe) to the 40Gb disk containing NetBSD 2 (which is current as of 2004/5). Cobalt stopped updating their MIP's based OS when they moved their line of Qube and RAQ hardware to x86 which was much easier to keep in synch with advances in the Linux kernel.

For now it will probably go back into its box and storage until we get our study sorted out.

Permalink | 2005.10.04-20:37.00

Sep 28, 2004

Debian for the Qube

This looks like a nicer alternative to the NetBSD option - Debian on a Qube2.

I like the idea of using it with a sound card as a jukebox . . .

Permalink | 2004.09.28-02:42.00

Cobalt Qube

Next to the Netwinder, Cobalts Qube was perhaps the first of the 'internet appliances' that you could drop onto the network and use without having to be an IT Guru.

Cobalt had a range of pretty cool products starting with the MIPS powered Qube and Qube2 to the ISP friendly RaQ range of servers.

The Cobalt products were headless - you configured everything (user admin, email, web hosting, ftp, file serving) via a simple web interface.

The distinctive blue cubes preceeded the introduction of the Apple G4 Cube by a few years. Their compact size, idiot-proof admin interface and queit operation meant they were a good choice for small organisations needing to get online or requiring basic file/web services.

Newer machines (eg the Qube3) used an x86 based processor - which made it much simpler to keep up to date and current with Linux kernel and software updates rather than having to wait for MIPS specific ports.

Cobalt was bought out by Sun who didn't really do much with their product range (though there is a selection of SUN RaQ gear).

Fans of the Cobalt product have managed to get the web-interface open source'd - its now maintained by BlueQuartz.

Another lifeline for owners of the older MIPS based Cobalt gear is via the NetBSD/cobalt project. An interesting look at NetBSD in action is available at Project gigaQube. There is now a Netboot CD to take the pain out of installing NetBSD on the Qube - it runs on a standard PC, sets up a netboot server which the Qube can connect to for installation.

Permalink | 2004.09.28-02:41.00