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Ono-Sendai :

Ono-Sendai is a brand of computer from William Gibson’s cyberpunk novels. The Ono-Sendai “Samurai VII” is the top of the range cyber deck that you can purchase. A few people I know, who like fast, tricked out computers, have built their own, “Ono-Sendai”. A top of the line computer with as many optional extras as they can manage. These are not the people who go to Circuit City and purchase an off-the-shelf unit with six months CompuServe thrown in for free.

The specs listed below make up my computer for 1998. This machine is the third in the series, the second has been retired to run as a network server for backup storage and a firewall.

The computer is your standard Wintel system, it currently runs Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 98 and an early Beta of Windows 2000. The machine has dual 933Mhz PIII CPUs w/ 512MB 133Mhz SDRAM, running in dual-monitor mode at 1600x1200x24bpp resolution on all monitors. The on-line storage is 28GB configured with RAID 5 through the DAC960PDU, providing a transfer rate of 80MB/s actual throughput, 120MB/s theoretical. Off-line storage is provided by a separate server running Windows NT 4.0 Server, configured with 128MB RAM, 120GB of RAID 5 storage and is connected via 100Mbit Ethernet.

I use the computer mainly for game development, occasionally delving in to 3DS Max and Photoshop which it excels at. The main system is housed in three separate, well ventilated mid-tower cases to accomodate all of the hard drives. The server is placed in a modified Silicon Graphics (SGI) Crimson that provides cooling and air filtration. The complete setup is running on six separate APC UPS’ to provide line filtering and backup power in the event of a mains power failure.

The specs do not list a few extra options that are attached to the machine, like the Palm Pilot, the Playstation and Nintendo development kits along with the two studio monitors that display the output. Things that don’t really contribute to the computer in any discernible way.

I won’t bother to list my software collection for this machine, as a games developer and wannabe “artist” I own all those necessary packages like a subscription to the Microsoft Developer Network, Adobe Photoshop 5.0, Corel Draw, and a wealth of other software tools that enable me to pay my bills and buy more computer hardware.

Things I’d like to add, but can’t yet justify the cost of are RAMBUS memory, faster CPU’s, Gigabit Ethernet, and LCD monitors when they become good enough.

I’m currently on the look out for a relatively “cheap” quad-CPU “Onyx Reality Engine 2” that is in working condition.

“Why yes. I am crazy.”

I might have left one or two items off this list. I haven’t checked it thoroughly. I also haven’t bothered listing what seems to be a thousand cables tieing all of it together.

Prices do not include tax or delivery.

The Workstation

Item DescriptionCostRunning Total
Creative Labs Nvidia TNT$175.00$175.00
Creative Labs GeForce 2 GTS 32MB AGP$335.00$510.00
933Mhz Pentium II CPU$742.00$1,252.00
933Mhz Pentium II CPU$742.00$1,994.00
Tyan Tiger S1834D M/B$135.00$2,129.00
Mylex DAC960PDU Array Controller$749.00$2,878.00
ATX Medium Tower Case$61.00$2,939.00
Creative DVD DXR2$250.00$3,189.00
128MB 133Mhz SDRAM DIMMs$209.00$3,398.00
128MB 133Mhz SDRAM DIMMs$209.00$3,607.00
128MB 133Mhz SDRAM DIMMs$209.00$3,816.00
128MB 133Mhz SDRAM DIMMs$209.00$4,025.00
Viewsonic P815 21″ Monitor$727.00$4,752.00
Viewsonic P815 21″ Monitor$1,200.00$5,952.00
7 Bay Drive Case$269.00$6,221.00
7 Bay Drive Case$269.00$6,490.00
JVC Stereo System$350.00$6,840.00
Cirque Glidepoint Wave Keyboard$79.99$6,919.99
Microsoft Intellimouse Pro 1.0$69.99$6,989.98
120MB Imation Super Floppy$140.00$7,129.98
2GB WD2170W Ultra SCSI Hard Drive$178.00$7,307.98
2GB WD2170W Ultra SCSI Hard Drive$178.00$7,485.98
2GB WD2170W Ultra SCSI Hard Drive$178.00$7,663.98
2GB WD2170W Ultra SCSI Hard Drive$166.00$7,829.98
2GB WD2170W Ultra SCSI Hard Drive$166.00$7,995.98
2GB WD2170W Ultra SCSI Hard Drive$166.00$8,161.98
2GB WD2170W Ultra SCSI Hard Drive$166.00$8,327.98
2GB WD2170W Ultra SCSI Hard Drive$166.00$8,493.98
2GB WD2170W Ultra SCSI Hard Drive$166.00$8,659.98
2GB WD2170W Ultra SCSI Hard Drive$95.00$8,754.98
2GB WD2170W Ultra SCSI Hard Drive$95.00$8,849.98
2GB WD2170W Ultra SCSI Hard Drive$95.00$8,944.98
2GB WD2170W Ultra SCSI Hard Drive$95.00$9,039.98
2GB WD2170W Ultra SCSI Hard Drive$95.00$9,134.98
2GB WD2170W Ultra SCSI Hard Drive$95.00$9,229.98
2GB WD2170W Ultra SCSI Hard Drive$95.00$9,324.98
2GB WD2170W Ultra SCSI Hard Drive$95.00$9,419.98
USB Hub$100.00$9,519.98
Wacom Artz II 12×12$479.00$9,998.98
Memorex 48x IDE CD-ROM$89.00$10,087.98
Keyboard Extension Cable$7.99$10,095.97
UPS 200w$130.00$10,225.97
UPS 200w$130.00$10,355.97
UPS 200w$130.00$10,485.97
UPS 500w$210.00$10,695.97
UPS 500w$210.00$10,905.97
UPS 500w$210.00$11,115.97
Miscellaneous Cables$300.00$11,415.97
RGB Monitor Cable$30.00$11,445.97
RGB Monitor Cable$30.00$11,475.97
SCSI Cable$79.99$11,555.96
SCSI Cables$19.95$11,575.91
SCSI Cables$19.95$11,595.86
SCSI Cables$19.99$11,615.85
SCSI Cables$29.95$11,645.80
SCSI Cables$29.95$11,675.75
SCSI Connectors$29.95$11,705.70
SCSI Connectors$29.95$11,735.65
SCSI Connectors$29.95$11,765.60
Matsushita 4×8 SCSI CD-Writer$299.00$12,064.60
56KBps US Robotics Modem$180.00$12,244.60
Sony Computer Color Video Camera$700.00$12,944.60

The Server

Item DescriptionCostRunning Total
Silicon Graphics Crimson$265.00$265.00
Pentium 200MMX$240$505.00
Creative Labs Nvidia TNT$175.00$680.00
32MB DRAM$120.00$800.00
32MB DRAM$120.00$920.00
32MB DRAM$48.00$968.00
32MB DRAM$48.00$1,016.00
60GB EIDE Maxtor Drive$281.00$1,297.00
60GB EIDE Maxtor Drive$281.00$1,578.00
5GB EIDE Maxtor Drive$129.00$1,707.00
Epson Stylus Color 740$280.00$1,987.00
LinkSys EtherFast 10/100 8 Port Hub$92.00$2,079.00
1200dpi Flatbed SCSI Scanner w/Transparency Adapter$489.00$2,568.00
Viewmate 17″ Monitor$140.00$2,708.00
Mylex SCSI Controller$130.00$2,838.00
Memorex 48x IDE CD-ROM$64.00$2,902.00
Microsoft Natural Keyboard Elite PS/2$59.99$2,961.99

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