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AuthorTopic: Any SGI fans?  (Read 3523 times)

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Offline Gulliver

Re: Any SGI fans?
« Reply #30 on: May 28, 2014, 06:37:34 AM »
Quote from: TeamBlackFox;765176

Of course I'd love to see IRIX get opened up but the community seems not willing to even try. I'd like to write a letter to the CEO though if I could get some people to support it.

From experience in pledging companies and individuals to open source their old developments, I can tell you that most of the accomplishments I made were in "solo" mode.

Opening up Irix should represent a great contribution to the remaining SGI community, and it would probably mean great PR and some headlines opportunity for their IP owners.

Go for it, dont wait for others :)

PS: I always found the Iris Indigo to be the sexiest computer design ever.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2014, 06:42:45 AM by Gulliver »
 

Offline TeamBlackFox

Re: Any SGI fans?
« Reply #31 on: May 28, 2014, 02:46:08 PM »
I'll be drafting a letter then and I'll post it here. I'll be sending it via certified mail and email as well.
After many years in the Amiga community I have decided to leave the Amiga community permanently. If you have a question about SGI or Sun computers please PM me and I will return your contact as soon as I can.
 

Offline haywirepc

Re: Any SGI fans?
« Reply #32 on: May 28, 2014, 03:37:29 PM »
I always wanted one of these machines. Mostly because they cost so much back then and now they are cheap... Would be interesting to see what creative apps would still be somewhat useful today...?

What do you guys using them do with them?

Steven
 

Offline TeamBlackFox

Re: Any SGI fans?
« Reply #33 on: May 28, 2014, 03:42:38 PM »
Steven,

I plan to use mine as a hobby desktop, some hacking, development, perhaps some animation/arts stuff if I get the itching, they and NeXT were the main players in bringing CGI to the big screen in the 1990s. They also feel fast because MIPS is very efficient, my Fuel seems to hold its own against my tablet (A Nexus 7) granted the Nexus 7 has a quad core ARM CPU and the Fuel has a single core MIPS, but I was able to run emulators on both with comparable speed/playability.
After many years in the Amiga community I have decided to leave the Amiga community permanently. If you have a question about SGI or Sun computers please PM me and I will return your contact as soon as I can.
 

Offline TeamBlackFox

Re: Any SGI fans?
« Reply #34 on: May 29, 2014, 01:37:11 PM »
So in response to the fact that SGI has no plans for IRIX as of 2013 December I went ahead and drafted a letter to their CEO. I have copied the letter below. And no, I'm not mentioning the GPL. I'd rather it stay proprietary than be GPL'd, so only permissive software licenses are mentioned here:

$DATE

$NAME
$ADDRESS

Attn: Mr. Jorge Titinger

I am writing to you today as a fan, user and supporter of the discontinued product line, IRIX, to propose the act of you and your company Silicon Graphics International would be to opening the source code of IRIX to the community under a permissive software license.

As your company is no longer vending or supporting IRIX as of December 2013 and have ceased development of it prior to this in 2006 of the product, the IRIX fans like me and those of fan sites such as NekoChan.net are facing some issues with use of the product as it ages and lags behind other UNIX variants. As it appears Silicon Graphics International has no further commercial plans for the product, me and several others of the community would love to see IRIX released under a permissive software license such as the MIT, BSD 2-clause or ISC license so we may continue development as a community. I do understand as the CEO and President of SGI you do not directly deal with this matter, but other members of the community have consistently asked your support and sales department with no success, due to a lack of power in those areas.

Releasing the code to IRIX would be a beneficial move for your company, especially under a permissive software license, as this means the community would update and add code, and your company would be free to incorporate that code into proprietary solutions where releasing the code otherwise would be impractical or bad for business. In addition the decision would make headlines across news sites where UNIX fans gather, and would generate attention for your company in a positive manner.

In conclusion I ask that you please consider this matter carefully, and hopefully, you will help make it happen for the community. Thank you for your time and attention while reviewing this letter.

Kind Regards,
$SIGNATURE
$NAME
After many years in the Amiga community I have decided to leave the Amiga community permanently. If you have a question about SGI or Sun computers please PM me and I will return your contact as soon as I can.
 

Offline Iggy

Re: Any SGI fans?
« Reply #35 on: June 08, 2014, 02:32:00 PM »
Not MIPS based, but still impressive.
SGI super computer with 72 Itanium processors and 312GBs of DDR2 ram listed on eBay for under $2000.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=301207367745
"Not making any hard and fast rules means that the moderators can use their good judgment in moderation, and we think the results speak for themselves." - Amiga.org, terms of service

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Offline SysAdmin

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Re: Any SGI fans?
« Reply #36 on: June 08, 2014, 04:09:49 PM »
@Iggy

The Itanium processor was an epic fail, that's why it's only $2,000.
Posts on this account before August 4th, 2012 don\'t belong to me.
 

Offline Iggy

Re: Any SGI fans?
« Reply #37 on: June 08, 2014, 05:34:53 PM »
Quote from: SysAdmin;765949
@Iggy

The Itanium processor was an epic fail, that's why it's only $2,000.

That would be a matter of opinion.
Personally, I thought the Pentium IV was a far bigger embarrassment to Intel.
The last Itanium models were introduced in 2012, and per MHz they still outperform X86 cpus.
This system is a bargain.
If I had a spare two grand, I'd snap it up and use it as a we server.
"Not making any hard and fast rules means that the moderators can use their good judgment in moderation, and we think the results speak for themselves." - Amiga.org, terms of service

"You, got to stem the evil tide, and keep it on the the inside" - Rogers Waters

"God was never on your side" - Lemmy

Amiga! "Our appeal has become more selective"
 

Offline MiAmigo

Re: Any SGI fans?
« Reply #38 on: June 08, 2014, 05:48:43 PM »
Quote from: TeamBlackFox;765026
Sorry for my absence, I've been busy working as a datacenter tech and unfortunately it's been taking up a lot of my time.

Anyways I picked up an SGI Fuel with 4GB RAM, an R14000 at 600mhz, three SCSI drives and a DVD drive. I also have an Octane and a Personal Iris. These all run IRIX which is probably the best variant of UNIX of its time. Not only was it used in a lot of computer animation in movies but the MIPS architecture seems to be the most efficient architecture in terms of mhz vs Flops. According to some bench marks the SGI Fuel with a 700mhz R16000 is equivalent to a 3Ghz Pentium 4. Yes I know that's old hardware but SGI stopped production of these machines in 2006 so it fits.


Yes, I am a huge fan, both figuratively, and literally speaking. While I was building my Beowulf Plateau (http://contest.techbriefs.com/2013/entries/electronics/4254), I also acquired and restored an SGI Altix 3700 to working order. As this is a truly monstrous beast, I had to have my entire workshop rewired to feed it power. (I installed 2 220v outlets.) Currently I'm replacing one of the R-Bricks and rigging it up to output video directly to a monitor instead of just accessing it by way of dumb terminal.)
 

Offline SysAdmin

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Re: Any SGI fans?
« Reply #39 on: June 08, 2014, 05:48:46 PM »
@Iggy

For Video Editing I'm sticking with Xenon.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xeon


@MiAmigo

Very cool.
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Offline Iggy

Re: Any SGI fans?
« Reply #40 on: June 08, 2014, 06:06:59 PM »
Quote from: SysAdmin;765958
@Iggy

For Video Editing I'm sticking with Xenon.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xeon


@MiAmigo

Very cool.

Did I mention video?
For that I'm using a lowly quad core AMD system (although I have considered an i5).
The SGI system would make a very capable server.
"Not making any hard and fast rules means that the moderators can use their good judgment in moderation, and we think the results speak for themselves." - Amiga.org, terms of service

"You, got to stem the evil tide, and keep it on the the inside" - Rogers Waters

"God was never on your side" - Lemmy

Amiga! "Our appeal has become more selective"
 

Offline SysAdmin

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Re: Any SGI fans?
« Reply #41 on: June 08, 2014, 06:30:48 PM »
@Iggy

Cool. what video editing app are you using?
Posts on this account before August 4th, 2012 don\'t belong to me.
 

Offline Iggy

Re: Any SGI fans?
« Reply #42 on: June 08, 2014, 08:55:07 PM »
Quote from: SysAdmin;765962
@Iggy

Cool. what video editing app are you using?

Nothing that good.
Right now, I have been focusing on decrypting, and resizing/re-encoding software.
Since I used to edit 16mm film, I would like to get some decent software for editing HD video (other than the cheap stuff I have on hand), but I am not sure when I would get a chance to use it.

Any recommendations?
You have a lot more experience with digital video editing than I do.
"Not making any hard and fast rules means that the moderators can use their good judgment in moderation, and we think the results speak for themselves." - Amiga.org, terms of service

"You, got to stem the evil tide, and keep it on the the inside" - Rogers Waters

"God was never on your side" - Lemmy

Amiga! "Our appeal has become more selective"
 

Offline Iggy

Re: Any SGI fans?
« Reply #43 on: June 09, 2014, 02:36:54 AM »
Quote from: MiAmigo;765957
Yes, I am a huge fan, both figuratively, and literally speaking. While I was building my Beowulf Plateau (http://contest.techbriefs.com/2013/entries/electronics/4254), I also acquired and restored an SGI Altix 3700 to working order. As this is a truly monstrous beast, I had to have my entire workshop rewired to feed it power. (I installed 2 220v outlets.) Currently I'm replacing one of the R-Bricks and rigging it up to output video directly to a monitor instead of just accessing it by way of dumb terminal.)

Unfortunately, the Altix system listed on eBay does not come with an OS.
While SUSE Enterprise Linux is still available for it, the license price is prohibitively high.
And support under BSD has serious limitations.
Are there any other Linux ports available for these systems?
"Not making any hard and fast rules means that the moderators can use their good judgment in moderation, and we think the results speak for themselves." - Amiga.org, terms of service

"You, got to stem the evil tide, and keep it on the the inside" - Rogers Waters

"God was never on your side" - Lemmy

Amiga! "Our appeal has become more selective"
 

Offline MiAmigo

Re: Any SGI fans?
« Reply #44 on: June 09, 2014, 05:56:49 AM »
Sorry for the late-ish response everybody, but the Forum Gods forgot to tell me there were new posts related to my post.

The system I purchased (on EBay, of course) came with a Debian Linux disk, and three big fat system manuals. (Two were different versions of the same book).

I also took pains to download every bit of info I could find on the system, which resulted in over 100 PDFs at last count.

I ALSO queried SGI for a service contract quote, just out of curiosity. The first quote they gave me was hysterical - over $44K! Once I explained to them that I was merely a poor schmuck who had rescued a derelict system from EBay, they gave me a 'much better' quote of only $4K.

If I wanted to have them send a guy out to give the system the once over, I would have to pay to fly him to Chicago, since they have no local office in the Midwest (!), then pay at least $500.00 for him to step into my door, and about that much per hour to inspect the system, minimum amount, 2 hrs. worth! (I'm presuming I wouldn't also have to get the guy laid, but who knows?)

The system itself was in decent shape, once I removed the crate, which weighed over 300 lbs all by itself. (It has a door with a built in steel ramp for unpacking and installation.) There were some dings and bruises, and some of the plastic port grills (that cover the power bays and such like) had been loosened and shattered.

The system had been in storage for about 3-4 years, and originated from Wichita State University, where it was called 'Jupiter'. I renamed it 'COLOSSUS', a fitting name, considering the size.

The first hurdle was getting it delivered. It required at least 8ft of overhead clearance, and the garage door to my workshop ('Utopia Planitia') has that and maybe a half an inch to spare. It also required a certain amount of floor space, front, back, and sides.

The first week it was supposed to be delivered, we had three blizzards, and I (eventually) had a death in the family, which resulted in over 3 weeks of re-schedulings and aborted delivery attempts by the freight company.

When the delivery guy finally showed up, he 'chickened out' and refused to delivery. (The crate was much too big and heavy at well over 2000 lbs, and HE was really old and frail. And his boss said he was a chronic complainer.)

Finally got the thing delivered when the weather cleared up, and after my family obligations were completed, and the freight company sent their best guy - a wiry old dude whom I dubbed the 'Rambo' of delivery guys. He slung that monster crate around as deftly as a really big carton of eggs, slid it into the shop, right into place, and drove off into the sunset! :laughing: (At one point we had a scary moment as he was using a pallet jack to roll it to the lift gate. He came so perilously close to the edge, I thought he'd dump it on myself and my son for sure! Doing the fatherly thing, I pushed my son out of the way, even though we were both supposed to 'walk our hands up the crate' as the driver lowered it, to make sure it didn't prematurely tip off the truck. Needless to say, I survived!)

I spent the next several weekends getting the crate open (sans the 'official uncrating instructions'), inspecting the system, contracting an electrician for the system's massive power requirements (and having him think I was either crazy or working with the NSA), and assessing what the system needed.

I also spent many nights reading documentations and working on my other project, the Beowulf Plateau.

Right now I'm shopping for that R-Brick replacement, and finagling the system into direct video output in addition to using a dumb terminal. I also have my eyes on a couple of other 'supercluster' machines, an SGI, and a (gasp!) Cray!
« Last Edit: June 09, 2014, 06:46:44 AM by MiAmigo »