The collected works of Byrd

Hi all,

I'm a regular on 68KMLA - 68K Macs are usually my primary hobby - and I couldn't pass up an SGI haul from a fellow collector who also gave me some vintage Macs. I've longed to play around with an SGI after seeing an Indy in action when I was in high school at CSIRO (Australian science research organisation) and an Indigo running in the Monash university IT department. I believe the SGI units received were in storage for up to ten years, some are quite rough and have surface rust. I'd ideally like to upgrade and fully restore a couple of good units to keep and enjoy playing around with.

The hardware seems quite a mixed bag - what would be the "pick" of the bunch here?

O2 # 1 - R5000PC 180Mhz, 256MB RAM, 4GB HD, boots to IRIX, SGI logo case
O2 # 2 - R5000PC 180Mhz, 192MB RAM, no HD, logo case
OS # 3 - R5000SC 180Mhz, 192MB RAM, no HD, logo case
O2 # 4 - R5200SC 300Mhz, 256MB RAM, no HD, logo case
O2 # 5 - R10000 195Mhz, 192MB RAM, no HD, logo case, CPU quite loose missing motherboard mounting screws

SGI 1600SW LCD monitor - no O2s have the flat panel card though

Indigo2 - teal, R8000SC 75Mhz (this is what it says on a scrap piece of paper, as pulling the lid off the CPU card doesn't have any part numbers that result in a hit online), 128MB RAM, no HD, Extreme graphics, 3Com 10/100 network card

Some questions:

- Are there different revisions of the O2 motherboard? For example the R10000-based O2 has taller riser connectors for the CPU. Is there a preferred revision of the board to use?
- R10000 195Mhz vs R5200SC 300Mhz = I gather the R10K is the pick of the pair?
- Are the O2 PSUs all Sony branded units (of the couple I pulled out)?
- As the one hard disk I have has IRIX 6.5, can I safely yank this HD and test it on all the O2s?
- The teal Indigo2 sounds like an oddity - from what I can gather the R8K CPU only came out in later models?
- Are the O2 drive trays easy to find here? I can't find many online for sale.

Thanks in advance for the answers! No doubt more to come.

jan-jaap - Thanks for the info, I'm delighted to own such a special beast - this Indigo2 is the best condition of the haul (missing front flip-down door and no HD sadly). From further research, it does indeed have the R8000 - so is it dual 75Mhz?

mwd - Overall would the R5200SC give slightly better performance in integer calculations/for general use but the R10000 more beef for floating point? See you're in NSW - do you want any O2 parts, eg. skins PSU motherboards.

I'm looking for the 1600SW flat panel adapter now. Part is 030-1170-001, pricey little things, but I did find this one, would it work (or is it for some sort of SGI projection device) ... 4adfb63011

Thanks for the advice.

I've torn down the O2s are am busy in the process of building up two machines - the R10K 195Mhz and R5200 300Mhz-based systems (one with the original skin the other the updated logo), both with roughly 400MB RAM each. I have to say the O2 plastics are crazy brittle - years of storage has not helped - some of the plastic tabs just snap off with no effort. Still I'm enjoying the restoration process and look forward to having two decent clean machines (one for me, the other for a friend) that haven't made it to landfill.

If anyone in Australia wants some parts, let me know - I have a few O2 motherboards, CPUs, AV cards, happy to post for cost of postage and in kind would love an SCA hard disk or caddy, maybe the 1600SW flat panel card ... :p

japes wrote: I have a 2-cd set for demos that came part of my 6.5.19 distribution. The discs are 6.5.12 Demo (1 of 2), 6.5.12 Demo (2 of 2). The first disk is O2 Demo CD version 1.3, the second is OCTANE Demo version 1.3 and OCTANE2 Demo version 1.0.

Thanks japes, the demo CDs seem fairly difficult to find ( as been a good friend for getting my Octane running so far), looks like later versions of IRIX had the same demo CDs but never updated since 6.5.12 - I'll keep looking though.

ClassicHasClass wrote: Good to see you here, too.

Thanks ClassicHasClass! It's a great site and I haven't read the word "recapping" once on this site! :) SGI machines are very difficult to find in Australia, even though I remember SGI had a moderately large flashy office in Camberwell, Melbourne for many years (directly opposite the Camberwell library). Right next to these offices was a great second-hand computer store that got me started in building and repairing PCs as a hobby - I used to look longingly at the SGI office wondering what sort of exotic hardware they had running inside each time I went into the PC store to upgrade my 286/386/486. The only SGIs I ever saw in use in Melbourne were in tertiary institutions and seemingly nowhere else.

As mentioned I received a haul of O2s a while back but they were poorly stored in an open storage locker for 10 years, particularly fragile and unreliable so were given to another collector. Of the two Octanes I received this time, one was nicely upgraded and saved just prior to going to e-waste, but non functional (rusty, dusty and tired). The second Octane was a base model but only just decommissioned for x86 hardware to run a microscope. It looks good.

Today I spent some time trying to get some life out the dual R12K 300Mhz CPU daughtercard, as I'm currently running a stock 270Mhz CPU. Spent lots of time leaning and checking contacts, taking off the heatsink and noting some of the tension screws had snapped due to corrosion. I'm guessing there is a microfracture somewhere in the CPU daughter card, as it gives absolutely no signs of life nor warmth when plugged in. So 270Mhz it is for the time being.