The collected works of bitcpy - Page 1

Looking for a MaxImpact Graphics board set for my Indigo2 workstation.

Would prefer 4MB texture memory version but open to the 1MB version also.
I tried to PM but it looks like message is stuck in "outbox".. Is the Fuel still available?

I am interested in it.
Very cool feature!!! Thank you very much for the tip.
I am looking for a 100Mbit or better network card that I can plug into my Indigo2 workstation. The 10Mbit card is way too slow..
Hi Guys,

I picked up my first SGI machine which is a very nice Indigo2 SolidImpact, R10K @ 195MHz. I am currently running 6.5.22 and using an LCD monitor. The Indigo detects and configures 1280x1024 resolution but no matter what I do, I cannot get the desktop to switch to 24bit mode. I found a post showing what changes to make to the "Xservers" file and I have done that but I am still stuck in what looks like 8bit mode.

Any input would be appreciated.
Ok.. that is strange.. I just ran your command and it is showing "24 planes" as the bit depth.. but my desktop and icon quality didnt change. I still see the icons the same as they were before I switched to the 24bit configuration. There is no visible difference to my desktop before & after the configuration change.
That's what I did.. The icons and desktop had no visible change in appearance.

vishnu wrote:
Um, well, maybe when you thought it was 8 bit it was really 24? Maybe try setting it to a lower bit depth and see if you notice any difference...
Apologies for my ignorance.. This is my first SGI machine and while I am familiar with other "Unix/Linux" O/S I was expecting the desktop to change when switching from 8bit to 24bit. I "expected" that the icon pack would switch to a higher quality and when nothing changed I assumed it wasnt switching. My other issue is that my LCD has a native resolution of 1600x1200 and the SolidImpact graphics only support 1280x1024 so that is partially to blame for the "unsharp" fonts I am seeing.

I confirmed that X is actually running in 24bit mode. Sorry for the confusion.
I just acquired my first SGI machine (Indigo2) so I am not sure what I need other than knowing the 10Mbit is too slow.. lol..

Any suggestions/advice would be appreciated.
I've just added my first SGI machine to my computer collection. It is an Indigo2 IMPACT R10K @ 195Mhz. I was looking to add a second unit and am trying to decide between the Fuel and the Octane2.

I was wondering if some of you with more experience could give me some pro/con advice on which machine would make a good addition. From what I am reading the Fuel is a newer machine but was only intended to have Single CPU while the Octane2 can have Dual CPU which would mean a more powerful box. Is one better/worse for graphics, memory, etc?

If you were out to build the most powerful unit of each in terms of graphics and CPU performance, which would win?

Appreciate your insight...
I appreciate this tip. As soon as I settle on the final hardware list for my Indigo2 I will go through this procedure as well to get the best possible experience.

vishnu wrote:
Using a Video Format Object file that's custom crafted for your LCD can make a significant impact in the quality of the display, see for example:

Thanks! I definitely have more reading to do.. lol..

smj wrote:
Hey, no problem! We're all enthusiasts and happy to help. Don't be a stranger, and don't forget to check out the NekoWiki for lots of useful info - especially the Indigo2 page, I just added a bunch of stuff there the other day.
This is all great information guys! Thanks!

I chose the Indigo2 as my first SGI machine because it was the most powerful of the "pizza box" style that SGI produced. In comparing it to the entire line of SGI machines, it is in the mid-to-low-end scale and I was hoping to add a higher end workstation as my second machine which would be used on a regular basis. From everything that I am reading it seems the Fuel will be better suited for what I am looking for. If I can find a good example of each, I will buy both and just try them for myself to make a final decision on which to keep permanently.
The FDDI route is not going to work for me so I guess its down to GIO vs EISA...

So are you guys saying that the 3c597 EISA card is a pain to get running and doesnt work well?

I will keep my eye out for a GIO card then.. Thanks!
As a newbie, I say this is a great idea. If there was a point of reference it would of been very helpful.

recondas wrote:
smj wrote:
don't forget to check out the NekoWiki for lots of useful info
bitcpy isn't the first new-to-IRIX member to have asked the when-is-24-bit-really-24-bit? question. SAQ's suggestion to use a 24-bit gradient to confirm the change took effect is a good one. Perhaps we should consider adding a sample gradient file to the True Color wiki . It could be made extra new-user friendly by including screen shots of what the gradient would look like in both 8 and 24-bit mode.
Thanks for the tip! I came across them on eBay while hunting for upgrades. I sent them an email asking about some parts and was waiting to hear back.

jpstewart wrote:
You might try contacting B&B Solutions in Laval, Quebec. I bought a G160 from them at a very reasonable price. Mind you, that was a couple of years ago so they might not have any more.

If they don't, I might be persuaded to part with mine. (It's not in use at the moment.)
I have a couple of Dell R710 servers clustered together as my main server infrastructure.

Distributed computing has always fascinated me and I've been wanting to experiment with this on the Linux/Unix side.

Are you saying you can run MULTIPLE IRIX boxes chained together in a sort of "cluster" ????

BTW, already msg'd one of our members about his Octane2, and found another source for a Fuel.. We'll see how it goes. :)

smj wrote:
DO NOT tell him about the innate coolness of single system image IRIX running spread over several different physical boxes. Next thing you know he'll be looking for CrayLink/NUMAlink cables and asking questions about IR/g-bricks...

BetXen wrote:
There is one Phobos G160 card on ebay right now (not mine):

If needed, I probably have a copy of the driver disk somewhere.
I found a matching set of 8: 32x36bit, FPM, 128MB 72pin SIMMs @ 60ns.

I was planning on giving my Indigo2 a nice 1GB RAM upgrade from its lowly 256MB.

Upon swapping all the RAM and powering on, I just get the orange power light; no beeps, no video display, nothing.

Is there a flashrom/firmware upgrade necessary to support 1GB?

Anyone have experience running 1GB RAM in an R10K Indigo2?

Any help is much appreciated.
This was my motivation to try it:

My machine currently had 8 x 32mb SIMMs, and they were installed in the slots closest to the front of the computer and then working back so the last 4 slots near the rear of the machine were left unpopulated.

I simply removed those 8 and repopulated with my new 128MB SIMMs in the same locations. No go.

I even tried removing 4 and just leaving the first 4 slots populated but that doesnt work either.

Is there a way to upgrade the PROM to support more memory? I wonder if a specific revision of chip has to be present?
My PROM says: Version 6.2 Rev A, IP28 Aug 26, 1996 - 64 Bit

I also checked and my DIMMs say "5V". They are labelled FPM, so I would assume these chips would work but it doesnt seem to like any combination of these SIMMs in any slots whatsoever.

I even tried mixing 4 of the 128MB with 8 of the 32MB and 4 of the 32MB in different combinations and no go. Maybe I just happend to find incompatible ones...
According to the Indigo2 User Manual (see attachment) Bank C is closest to the FRONT of the computer.

I suspect I just got a set of memory that isnt supported. These were Tin contacts and didn't show any signs of oxidation. Just my luck, I pick a set that are not compatible...

I've contacted the seller to arrange to send them back.

I will try to locate the same parts as described in the Wiki and see if that works better.

Thanks to everyone for chiming in!
I decided to pick up a Fuel first and give it a go. Based on all the feedback received, it sounds like this will be a better fit for me. It is purchased and on its way to Canada! Should be here by mid next week.

Specs are:

600MHz R14000 Processor w/4MB Secondary Cache 1GB Memory
V10 Graphics
DVDROM drive
Keyboard & Mouse
mAudio sound card

Seems to be a pretty standard config.. I was hoping to find a faster proc but anything above 600 was a big premium and scarce so I will start with the 600 for now..

Thanks to everyone for the input!
I actually managed to get a G160 for $25USD ! It is being shipped along with my new Fuel workstation.. lol..
Great! Thanks!

My G160 is on its way.

jpstewart wrote:
BetXen wrote:
If needed, I probably have a copy of the driver disk somewhere.

G160 drivers are also available for download from Ian Mapleson's SGI Depot at
No.. I will provide my own drive. Want to find the quietest, fastest SCSI drive I can put in there and load the IRIX media myself.

Any input on a quiet, fast drive for the Fuel?

mia wrote:
no drive?
I managed to save a nice HP B2600 Workstation from the dumpster. Monitor, keyboard and mouse are not a problem, but the Video card is..

It currently has an HP Visualize EG PCI card ( # A4977A). It has a specialized connector on the back for which I do not have the cable.

Any chance someone has a cable that will connect to this card?

Or, does anyone have the FXe version of the HP graphics card which I believe has a standard HD15 connector?
Does anyone know if there is any way to get regular PCI video cards to work in this B2600?

I saved one of these from the dumpster but don't have the cable to connect to the Visualize EG video card and trying to find a replacement so I can bring it back to life.

Any input would be appreciated.
Thanks so much for your reply. I learned something new today. I had no idea EVC existed. lol..

I sent you an email. Thanks again for your insight.
I managed to grab an 800MHz CPU and 4GB of RAM to upgrade my Fuel but wasnt able to locate suitable SCSI drives.

I was looking around locally to try and find the drives instead of ordering on eBay. Its alot harder than I was expecting.. Found a bunch of SCA 80pin drives which I picked up for future but no one had 50pin or 68pin.

Yesterday, I found 2 of the Cheetah 15k drives and 2 Atlas II drives which are on order and should be arriving in a few days. Once those arrive I can finally start to setup the computer and install IRIX on it.

Thanks to all of you for your suggestions.

I think my Indigo2 IMPACT might be up for grabs soon.
I did find those but held of on resorting to them unless I couldnt locate the native 68pin drives. I'd rather not have the extra electronics in there if I dont need them.

recondas wrote:
Adapters that attach to the 80-pin SCA interface and provide a 68-pin SCSI interface are usually not to hard to come by. Here's one (for $3) from the top of a google search - I'm sure you can find others.... ... 36-4228154
I very much appreciate your offer and your input. That was very kind of you.

I did find an FX10 on eBay but was priced too high.. I submitted an offer and will see if I won it.

ItsMeOnly wrote:
Unfortunately you're basically forced to use Visualize FX series for PCI. It's not that bad, as I've seen FXE going for less than 20, and FX10 for 50/60 bucks on eBay. Too bad you're in Canada, because I'd send you FX5pro, or even FX10, which I don't need.

If you're adventurous, you can also try and buy FireGL UX , but I was never able to see the PCI one in the wiild.
I managed to get a New in Box SparcStation 20 with keyboard and mouse. These were N.O.S. but I did not order a monitor as I thought an LCD would be simple enough.

I've tried both a 13W3 to HD15 adapter as well as a 13W3 cable from one of my SGI machines but I cannot get the Sparc 20 to output anything to the LCD.

Can anyone shed some light on what needs to be done to make an LCD work on a Sparc 20.. Surely it cannot be this difficult.

Or am I forced to break down and purchase a SUN CRT to go along with it?

Any input is appreciated.
I am hoping some of you knowledgeable HP guys can shed some light on something...

I see HP B2600 Workstations selling for $2,500++ on eBay.

The newer model C3700 sells for $400.

What gives? Why is the B2600 worth so much more when all the specs I've compared shows the C3700 is more powerful and they both share the same expansion cards??
I have a TGX+ card installed. It also has 512MB of RAM so I took the VSIMM out.

I hooked up a NULL modem cable to my PC and have been interacting with the SS20 using the serial console.

I went into OpenBoot PROM and did a printenv and verified that output was SCREEN. I even tried to change to : screen:r1024x768x60

It will not activate the LCD at all using the internal or external Frame buffer.

I've tried 24" dell LCD, Viewsonic VP2130b and NEC LCD1700M.

Maybe the XServer config is pointing to the internal FB instead of Aux one? Any thoughts on how to change the XConfig to make it use the external FB?

I am using the same type of adapter in your picture. I have it on my SGI machine and it works fine.

I was even trying to get the console output to go to the LCD but it wont. I was hoping to see even the boot process on the LCD screen but it will not print there.

In order for the serial console to work, I have to remove the keyboard plug otherwise I see no serial activity.

Your input would be greatly appreciated.

jpstewart wrote:
We need more info to help diagnose the problem with your setup:

  1. Which graphics option is your SS20 using? Built-in SX? Turbo-GX SBus card? Something else?
  2. What 13W3 to HD15 adapter are you using?
  3. What brand/model of LCD are you trying?
  4. Is your SS20 configured to output only to the serial console?
  5. With no display, can you tell if the SS20 is doing anything at all? Maybe it's a more serious problem than just the display.

FWIW, my SS20 (with Turbo-GX graphics) has no problem displaying on my trusty old Samsung SyncMaster 760V LCD with one of these adapters .
Someone just offered me $1,200 to purchase my B2600 . I went onto eBay to check prices and saw they were going for twice that. One of the eBay sellers has 10 machines available and 3 sold @ $2,559. There must be a market for that particular machine for some reason.

I am thinking of taking the $1,200 offer and getting a loaded C8000 as suggested.

The cheapest C8000 I saw on eBay was still $500++ but you get Dual 1GHz CPU and 4GB of RAM.
I've done a "boot -r " to reconfigure at each step. Each time I power up the SS20 the LCD remains black and says no signal. I cannot see any output at all. The machine came preloaded with SunOS 5.9 (which I assume is Solaris 9).

I could understand if CDE screen didnt appear on the LCD but I cant even get the text console output to appear.

I also tried to remove the TGX+, put the VSIMM back in, reconfigure and see if it worked with the built-in card but that doesnt work either.
Thanks for all the input. I will search out a C8000 and see if I can sell/trade this B2600.
Oh lord... Is this why I have been growing grey hair this past week?? I bought the adapter on eBay and the description said compatible with "SGI & SUN".

I just ordered one from the link that jpstewart provided. It will arrive in a few days and hopefully that was the issue.

Appreciate this input!

recondas wrote:
bitcpy wrote:
I am using the same type of (13w3) adapter in your picture. I have it on my SGI machine and it works fine .
That's liable to be another fly in the ointment; Sun and SGI versions of 13W3 don't use the same pin out.
The DB13W3 Wiki wrote:
Even though 13W3 is a standard connector the sync signals are maintained on different pins based on the display and system. Sun Microsystems, Intergraph, IBM RISC and SGI have a different set of pins used for the monitor sense IDs and the sync signals . Sun and SGI even have two different pin configurations
I may be looking to sell my Indigo2 IMPACT Workstation (R10K @ 195MHz, 256MB RAM, DVD, SCSI HD, Impact Graphics, marble keyboard and mouse).. what are you looking to spend?
Ahh.. so there isn't much electronics that could fail... I try to keep things as simple as possible to reduce points of failure. I have a few 68pin and 80pin drives for now but at least I know I can resort to these instead of procuring more 68pin HDs.