SGI: Discussion

What made you a SGI fan? - Page 1

Along the lines of the What do you use your SGI for post, I offer you the Why are you a fan post.

It's a safe bet that if you're reading this you're a SGI fan of some sort. A few might still be administering them at work because they run that old program that's easier to keep running than replace. Even fewer might have them at work generating revenue. Though mostly it has to be for the love of the machines, they're a hobby for most of us I'm going to guess.

So what made you interested in the equipment/company/whatever. Perhaps the pretty colors, or maybe it's the shiny cube logo.

For me it was seeing them at the University of Washington Computer Fair a couple years and the Crimson in Jurassic Park. At the UW Computer Fair I remember seeing the Indigos on a table and the Crimson on the floor...I've been into electrical devices for even longer and the power cord going into the Crimson just played off that interest.

I remember seeing the Indigo2s and Indys at a show SGI did when they were trying to push into publishing and now I have to pair down my collection every few years or else they start taking over the house.
:O3000: :Fuel: :Tezro: :Octane2: :Octane: :Indigo: :Indigo: :Indigo: :O2: :1600SW: :Indigo2: :Indigo2: :Indigo2: :Indigo2IMP: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: :Indy: <--challenge S
For me it was the buzz around the Computer Center, a Cray EL-92 and a SGI Challenge and some other stuff had been installed in the area where the DEC System 10 had been. And a SGI sales guy was doing OpenInventor stereographics demos on a workstation maybe an Indy or or O2 or something, with the Crystal Eyes Shutter glasses. That and the fact that I lost interest in the VAXen and stuff I was collecting and started using and enjoying SGI equipment. It was a radical departure from the PDPs, 286s, 486s and boring stuff I had experienced before that. It was different. Vastly different. Different is good when you are bored.

:Onyx2R: :Onyx2R: :0300: :0300: :0300: :O200: :Octane: :Octane: :O2: :O2: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: :Indy: :Indy: :Indy: :Indy: :Indy: :Indy: :Indy:
:hpserv: J5600, 2 x SUN, 2 x Mac, 3 x Alpha, 2 x RS/6000
I had this program that I wanted to test compile on an Irix box. A friend let me use an SSH account. Then I got one from a web auction site, then I got a bigger fast box. Next I had an SGI online developer account.

I can stop anytime, really. I've just got a cold at the moment.
Land of the Long White Cloud and no Software Patents.
Ahhh the University of Washington Computer Fair... That's where I met in person and fell in love with the NeXT Cube with Dimension graphics. Good Times...
:Cube: :Octane: :O2: :Indigo2IMP: :Indigo: :Indy:
To answer the question. I love eye candy and SGI was the first to really deliver it (besides the Amiga.) On top of that, you add the processing capability, throughput, and finally: style and you have a machine built by brilliant people, for brilliant people.

For example, at some levels, an iPod is a thing of beauty, style, intelligence, and sophistication that people want/need to possess. SGI (old logo) helped defined that category.
:Cube: :Octane: :O2: :Indigo2IMP: :Indigo: :Indy:
Forced labor, or sweatshopping, as a grad student. I was given the keys to a new Indigo2, some really big datasets, and some vague ideas about a thesis project.

In the end I emerged with some OK scientific contributions. But more significantly, I had acquired some absolutely wicked text and graphics-processing skills, a hardened addiction to Unix, and a transformed view of computing systems.

It's a damn shame that SGI has become what it is today. Because for a while there, it was really lightning.

I'm still a big fan -- but of a dying legacy. And well, that kinda sucks.
There are three things that came out of Berkeley: BSD, LSD, and STDs. I don't believe this to be a coincidence. --me (circa 90s)
Definitely the colours...

Got my first Indy early last year, then an O2 but it isn't working.

I really like the Indy, though, cos it's different..
I'm Unix and RISC addict. Not necessary SGI. I own some 40 SGI/Sun/HP stations (mostly obsolete). Actually I'm a fan of my first unix system, an IPX running SunOS4.

2paka wrote: It's a damn shame that SGI has become what it is today. Because for a while there, it was really lightning.
I'm still a big fan -- but of a dying legacy. And well, that kinda sucks.

Agree, Sun and SGI are fallen kings. HP has become just an urban legend.
All on x86 crap producing storage and forgeting the Sparc/Mips/PaRISC dreams.
I'm afraid that next generation SGI computers will run Vista.
The "I want to shot Bill Gates" list still exist ?
Real time 3D graphics and the looks of the systems. Got hooked by that in '91 and still am to this day although not so much by the graphics. The full story is in that other thread.....

If I can't fix it I can fix it so it can't be fixed.
:O2000: :O2000: +MXE/IO6G :Onyx: [RE2] :Fuel: :O200: :Octane: x3 :Octane2: :O2: x2 :1600SW: x3 :Indigo2IMP: x2 :Indigo2: x2 :Indigo: :Indy: x5 :320: x2, 2xSparcStation 20 and a horde of PC's
I think the one thing that stands out in my memory is when I went to a computer 'fair' in Durban, South Africa (grew up there) and SGI were there...They weren't just there, they commanded the attention of everybody.

They had this huge 18-wheeler that they converted into a moving demo studio. The whole thing was painted purple, green and silver...serious SGI stuff! While everybody else (intel, AMD, Creative etc) held their show inside the exhibition space, SGI parked their HGV outside the entrance. You could walk in one side, look at all the pretty's (The whole thing inside looked like a Borg spaceship). They allowed six in at a time and did some demo's. One was the spinning reflective Beethoven bust!!!)

I walked out of there, went home and told my mom I wanted to do 3D graphics! LOL! From then on I started following 3D stuff, got hugely excited everytime there was a 'Making Of' on TV with an SGI in it...Jurassic park was the icing on the cake for me. Now I'm an Architectural Designer...go figure...!

They (SGI) just exceeded the 'Cool' 8-) factor in everything they did. I even phoned up SGI Sub-Sahara in Jo'burg, spoke to a very nice African-American bloke who pointed me in the direction of the only 3D content creation college in South Africa at that time that used SGI's. I think he found it amusing that a 17 year old had the guts to phone a director of SGI...! HEHE! Man, I was stoked. Problem was, they charge about $1500 for a week long course...That was just way out of my reach at the age of 17.

Now I own an SGI...Just playing along nicely...Yeah my Octane is a bit slow, but for me, it's not how quickly you get there, but getting there in style... :D


edit: The 18-wheeler is called the "SGI Mobile Innovation Centre". Can't find any good pics though. :(
No SGI box currently...Snif!
why i am a sgi fan ?

because when i was younger, i does 3D with my amiga , using real 3D, sculpt ,image and lightwe, and i was dreaming about SGI hardware to compute and model my scenes.

i stay with my amiga to 1999, i had an A4000 / 060 oc at 66Mhz, 128Mb and equiped with a picasso II.
in 2000 i move to PC and windows....until i bought my first sgi in 2005, an indigo2 R10k maximpact, and then i was fell in love for these.

since i collect all the old stuff i can find :)

SGI or die !!!
:O2: :Octane2: :Octane: :Indigo2IMP: :Indigo2IMP: :Indigo: :Indigo: :Indy: :PI: :Crimson: :PWRSeries: :Onyx: :O2000R:
HP proliant DL 585 Quad Opteron dual core 2.5Ghz 16Gb
For me it was always SGI's prominence in the visual effects industry that was most exciting. I grew up watching shows like "Movie Magic" on the Discovery channel, which chronicled the transition from practical effects to CG in the early 90's. They showed SGI boxes in use on Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park, and I was hooked.

Back then I was learning graphics on a 486 running AutoCAD, and I longed for an Indigo with Softimage. In college, I tinkered with 3D Studio 4 for DOS in between classes. By the time I finally got into the Hollywood VFX industry (2004), all the studios had abandoned SGI machines in favor of PC workstations running Linux. When I worked at Rhythm & Hues, the only SGI machines I saw were sitting on a rack near the loading dock, waiting to be shipped off to a recycler :(

Fortunately, now that these machines are dirt cheap, I can fulfill all of my teenage wishes for less than the cost of a new PC.
ajerimez wrote: For me it was always SGI's prominence in the visual effects industry that was most exciting. I grew up watching shows like "Movie Magic" on the Discovery channel, which chronicled the transition from practical effects to CG in the early 90's. They showed SGI boxes in use on Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park, and I was hooked.

Exactly the same circumstances myself; I would love to have a collection of "Movie Magic" DVDs. I picked up a Indigo R3000 from Greg Douglas (Reputable Computers) in '95 I think it was - cost me around $1800 for a complete system with a 17" granite monitor and CD-ROM.

Heading to a VFX house in the Presidio this afternoon to pick up a couple more SGI machines :)
Twitter: @neko_no_ko
IRIX Release 4.0.5 IP12 Version 06151813 System V
Copyright 1987-1992 Silicon Graphics, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.
I think for me it was the sheer size of the things.
The first SGI I ever saw was the Personal Iris I own. It was set up in my fathers office and whenever I went to his office I would try to sneak away from my dad and turn the thing on (which still scared the heck out of me as I was the same height of this system and the fan was loud). From memory, my favorite programs were buttonfly and there was this other program (probably a demo) that displayed a 3D spider on a flat surface and you could move the camera around. I can still vividly remember calling it "the spider program" while I really sould not read at the time I still knew where it was.
Pity the system no longer wants to boot. It now sits next to me under the desk along with the monitor, keyboard and mouse that the system came with. After a bout a year of owning it I decided to look for a better system and here I am now with not only the PI but a Crimson, Onyx, Indy, Indigo and two Indigo2's.

To this day my father still wishes he had never shown me the PI in the first place. I make it up to him by paying part of the electrical bill. :lol:
:Crimson: :Onyx: :O2000: :O200: :O200: :PI: :PI: :Indigo: :Indigo: :Indigo: :Octane: :O2: :1600SW: :Indigo2: :Indigo2: :Indigo2IMP: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: :Indy: :Indy: :Cube:

Image <-------- A very happy forum member.
pentium wrote: I can still vividly remember calling it "the spider program" while I really sould not read at the time I still knew where it was.

It's called "ant, the movie" and it part of the demos (at least in IRIX 5.3). I've got a rather crappy shot of it HERE .
Now this is a deep dark secret, so everybody keep it quiet :)
It turns out that when reset, the WD33C93 defaults to a SCSI ID of 0, and it was simpler to leave it that way... -- Dave Olson, in comp.sys.sgi

Currently in commercial service: Image :Onyx2: (2x) :O3x02L:
In the museum : almost every MIPS/IRIX system.
Wanted : GM1 board for Professional Series GT graphics (030-0076-003, 030-0076-004)
Indyboy wrote: ... but unfortunately the diamond of my collection is still missing :(

If it wasn't for the lack of working PSUs, I'd put a number of Indigos on eBid, low start, no reserve. I must have
nearly 30 Indigos, but nowhere near enough working PSUs, R3K or otherwise, so in my garage they must stay for
the moment. :\ ( pic 1 , pic 2 ; taken after new shelves purchased back in January. More Indigos are stored elsewhere)

I do have a number of CPU/gfx boards which I'll list soonish, but no systems to list until I can find some more PSUs.
That's a real problem with Indigo now: the TOD battery can be replaced, but finding more PSUs is a pain. However,
I heard from someone who's rigged up a normal ATX PSU inside the original PSU case, but it's a lot of work.

National Computer Graphics Convention in L.A. in the early 1980's. Sgi had a video display card that fit in IBM PC's for speeding up AutoCAD displays. Always wanted a sgi workstation, but back then they were priced in the stratosphere.
Also big back then was Apollo computer, which I eventally got two DN10,000's which had 8" floppy disks wow. they were deskside servers. The other workstation on my want list was the symbolics, A.I. and graphics for animation, and before that a Chromatics workstation.

When in doubt, go higher. Real time realistic interactive graphics.

WANTED Cray CX-1 cheap
I meant to say - ten years ago I started to put together a custom demo video of SGI and AliasWavefront material,
was to be a combination of many other demo videos collated onto a single 4 hour tape, with my own 5 minute
intro piece at the start. Alas, lack of time, work issues, etc. meant I never finished it (not yet anyway; will one day),
but I did create the first version of the 5 minute intro sequence, which in many ways nicely sums up some of the
things which over the years have made me an SGI fan. The movie file is on my UK site here as an early experimental
48.5MB DivX conversion (so apologies for any frame skipping; probably best played with a PC/Mac; current version of
IRIX mplayer with VPro doesn't like it so much). It's not the final version, and was at that point done with just VHS-
quality material while I worked out relevant techniques, etc. All done on an R5K/200 O2 using only the supplied video
tools (MovieMaker, dmrecord, etc.). Hmm, I should redo the DivX conversion I guess, was probably only DivX V3
back then.

NB: my mirror site in Holland has the movie file here , and the US mirror has it here . Enjoy! 8)

When I was young I remember reading about the amazing things people could do with NeXT and SGI machines, also of course it helped that they were very cool looking machines. At Aston university (in Birmingham, UK) we CS students mainly used Sun workstations, in our first year we had old SparcStations with SunOS, but later we were plagued by Sparc classics and incredibly awful installations of an early Solaris. I remember looking in on a grad student who had a really cool purple machine, running an X desktop that didn't have horrible performance. It was an Indigo, but mere undergrads weren't allowed to touch it. The same university had a single lonely NeXT Cube which was sat in a lab with a disused Transputer machine, no one used it except me, it had Framemaker which I used to make documentation for my projects.

Fastforward a few years, I moved to the US after the company I worked for closed their London office. They had done a lot of PDM stuff and had a big selection of interesting computers, including Indigos, Indigo 2s, Indys, even a couple of Octanes. Our project was focused on Windows servers so we never used them. After they sold the PDM department (to Metaphase I think) they had all of these unused machines. I occasionally used one or two to play with, but all our business was on PCs, and we had no use for them. Eventually they cleared the whole lot out to a recycler, I'm still kicking myself, should have picked up a couple of machines! In my defence I had a one bedroom apt at the time. :oops:

Anyway after I'd got back into NeXTs again I followed a link here, and was inspired to actually buy an O2. I now have two O2's (a R10k and a R5k), a 540, and an Octane "on the way". I mostly use the R10k O2 to mess about with.
:540: :Octane: :Octane2: :O2: NeXTStation x 2, A4, A7000, RISC PC
Hey Ian, that was a great reel you put together, pretty much sums it up. I can't wait to see the full one :D Do you have any more interesting video clips?

My gear:
:O200: R10k 180mhz, 128mb, 36gb
:Indy: R5k 150SC, 128mb, 9g
:Indigo2: Teal, 256mb, 18GB, Extreme