New to SGI, not really sure what I've got my hands on.

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uunix
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Re: New to SGI, not really sure what I've got my hands on.

Unread postby uunix » Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:12 pm

Intuition wrote:I didn't realize i hadn't put my locations. I am in the Marina Del Rey, Los Angeles beach side, California.

uunix wrote:
roberttx wrote:Glad you liked it. :) I am a skilled p0rnographer


Sorry? :D


I said he had an impressive amount of SGI rack p0rn earlier... so he played off the word. I think ;) :shock: :mrgreen:

Yeah I got it.. ffs I know I'm old.. at least wait an hour till I catch up.. :oops:
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Re: New to SGI, not really sure what I've got my hands on.

Unread postby Intuition » Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:21 pm

My bad, that's my spry forty year old self, slowly getting out of the arm chair to action.
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Re: New to SGI, not really sure what I've got my hands on.

Unread postby jpstewart » Wed Mar 14, 2018 4:36 pm

roberttx wrote:Here's the inside. There's no graphics subsystem, so it seems to be an Origin 350. My guess is that it's labelled Onyx 350 because it came from SGI as one node of a 2 node Onyx 350 Infinite Performance rig. Does that sound plausible?

It's plausible, but it's more likely they were part of an even larger system or two. The fact that you have two NUMAlink router modules suggests that the bricks came from two systems. You only need them for systems with more than two bricks. That, along with the fact that you have two bricks with IO9s plus two L2 controllers (you only need one of each per system) strongly indicates you've got two computers, each made from half your bricks. (Whatever that may be...I can't keep track of all your bricks!)

BTW, have you read the Onxy 350 User's Guide? It used to be available from Techpubs at SGI, but now your best bet for that (and all the other SGI documentation) is jan-jaap's mirror: https://techpubs.jurassic.nl/manuals/hdwr/enduser/ is a good starting point for O350 guides.
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Re: New to SGI, not really sure what I've got my hands on.

Unread postby roberttx » Wed Mar 14, 2018 7:02 pm

jpstewart wrote:It's plausible, but it's more likely they were part of an even larger system or two. The fact that you have two NUMAlink router modules suggests that the bricks came from two systems. You only need them for systems with more than two bricks. That, along with the fact that you have two bricks with IO9s plus two L2 controllers (you only need one of each per system) strongly indicates you've got two computers, each made from half your bricks. (Whatever that may be...I can't keep track of all your bricks!)


There were definitely two computers. I got two half height racks, each containing three bricks (an Onyx 350 IP, an Origin 350 badged as an Onyx 350 and an MPX) along with an L2 controller and a router. The rest of both racks was filled with blanking plates, so I don't think that anything was missing.

It seems to me that, if the MPX counts as a brick, that might explain the L2 controller in each rack. But it doesn't explain why one MPX was not connected to its router. Remember, I have only 5 Numalink cables and I would have expected 6. Plus, the Numalink connector on one MPX had a blanking plug in it, which suggests that it was never connected to a router.

They are very clever people, where this all came from. I once saw them (strictly speaking, I reconstructed the chain of events later) buy a brand new Tandy 6000HD just to strip out the Moto 68000 board, for use in something that they had built in house. One thing I've learned is, when something looks weird, it might actually be weirder.

jpstewart wrote:BTW, have you read the Onxy 350 User's Guide? It used to be available from Techpubs at SGI, but now your best bet for that (and all the other SGI documentation) is jan-jaap's mirror: https://techpubs.jurassic.nl/manuals/hdwr/enduser/ is a good starting point for O350 guides.


I haven't, but thanks for the link and I will.

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Re: New to SGI, not really sure what I've got my hands on.

Unread postby roberttx » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:28 am

Intuition wrote:I wonder what the M-Audio card is for?


I still don't have an answer, but I've found another one. In the post linked to below, there's a pic showing the exact same audio card and confirming that the 4 port card is USB. So it may have been factory, for some variant of the O350.

http://forums.nekochan.net/viewtopic.php?t=16719768&start=60#p7301005

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Re: New to SGI, not really sure what I've got my hands on.

Unread postby jan-jaap » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:53 am

That set of PCI cards is more or less standard for an Onyx 350. The M-Audio card is one of the few PCI audio cards supported out of the box by IRIX, I have one in my Fuel.
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Re: New to SGI, not really sure what I've got my hands on.

Unread postby devv » Fri Mar 16, 2018 5:17 pm

jpstewart wrote:It used to be available from Techpubs at SGI, but now your best bet for that (and all the other SGI documentation) is jan-jaap's mirror: https://techpubs.jurassic.nl/manuals/hdwr/enduser/


Yes, actually all the locations that mirror something from TechPubs are listed on:

http://www.nekochan.net/wiki/TechPubs
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Re: New to SGI, not really sure what I've got my hands on.

Unread postby roberttx » Sat Mar 17, 2018 10:55 am

Having read through the user manual (thanks, chaps) I now have a bit more clarity about the original configuration of all these bricks.

Here's a system in figure 3.9 that's very similar to the way that these were configured when I got them (except that it has an extra PCI expansion module and matching power bay): https://techpubs.jurassic.nl/manuals/hdwr/enduser/Onyx350_UG/sgi_html/ch03.html#id5195577

So, yes, I got two Onyx 350 Infinite Performance systems, each comprised of:

A Graphics and compute module.
An expansion compute module.
An MPX expansion module.
A NUMAlink router.
An L2 controller.

I guess the next thing to do is to bring them to my workshop and feed them some power, one brick at a time and see what, if anything, comes up on the L1 controller display.

Without hard drives or an OS, I'm not really sure that there's much more I can do.

One thing that I'm not clear on is whether Numalink operates at an OS level or a lower level. If it's the latter, is there any kind of monitor or console in firmware? I'm wondering whether, without an OS, it might be possible to hook the first three bricks in my list, above, up via the router and determine whether the graphics and compute module can see the other bricks.

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Re: New to SGI, not really sure what I've got my hands on.

Unread postby vishnu » Sat Mar 17, 2018 11:11 pm

At the risk of sending you into information overloadland, you can find the answers to most of what you're wondering about here:

http://www.futuretech.blinkenlights.nl/origin/007-3439-002.pdf

PM me if you'd like help in finding an OS to load to your wonderful collection... :mrgreen:
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Re: New to SGI, not really sure what I've got my hands on.

Unread postby roberttx » Sun Mar 18, 2018 10:23 am

Thanks vishnu. I read through it (and am a bit overloaded) and it seems that, if Numalink works like Craylink then the boxes may be able to see each other without an OS.

I couldn't find any reference in it to a monitor program or anything like the BIOS screen on a PC. Some googling told mat there's a bootloader called ARCS, but I'm not clear on whether or not you can do stuff in it.

So, I'm a little wiser, but not very much.

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Re: New to SGI, not really sure what I've got my hands on.

Unread postby josehill » Sun Mar 18, 2018 2:13 pm

roberttx wrote:Thanks vishnu. I read through it (and am a bit overloaded) and it seems that, if Numalink works like Craylink then the boxes may be able to see each other without an OS.

I couldn't find any reference in it to a monitor program or anything like the BIOS screen on a PC. Some googling told mat there's a bootloader called ARCS, but I'm not clear on whether or not you can do stuff in it.


Craylink is just a marketing term to make NUMAlink sound sexier after SGI bought Cray. It specifically refers to the generation of NUMAlink that was in the Origin 200 / Origin 2x00 / Onyx2 systems. IIRC, SGI dropped the Craylink name when the Origin 3x0/3x00 and Onyx3 lines were introduced, though I may be misremembering.

Yes, NUMAlink/Craylink is used before the OS (including boot loaders) loads. When a NUMAlink system is powered on, there is a bootstrap discovery process that performs a hardware inventory of cpus, RAM, system topology (including identification/assignment of a "master" node), and so on across the NUMAlink interconnects. When the process completes, the system will either stay in the PROM monitor or it will load the OS, depending on the boot settings. In other words, before IRIX is loaded, NUMAlink has been polled so that the machine "knows" how many CPUs and other resources can be presented to the OS.

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Re: New to SGI, not really sure what I've got my hands on.

Unread postby roberttx » Sun Mar 18, 2018 3:24 pm

josehill wrote:Craylink is just a marketing term to make NUMAlink sound sexier after SGI bought Cray. It specifically refers to the generation of NUMAlink that was in the Origin 200 / Origin 2x00 / Onyx2 systems. IIRC, SGI dropped the Craylink name when the Origin 3x0/3x00 and Onyx3 lines were introduced, though I may be misremembering.

Yes, NUMAlink/Craylink is used before the OS (including boot loaders) loads. When a NUMAlink system is powered on, there is a bootstrap discovery process that performs a hardware inventory of cpus, RAM, system topology (including identification/assignment of a "master" node), and so on across the NUMAlink interconnects. When the process completes, the system will either stay in the PROM monitor or it will load the OS, depending on the boot settings. In other words, before IRIX is loaded, NUMAlink has been polled so that the machine "knows" how many CPUs and other resources can be presented to the OS.


Excellent! Thanks, josehill, that was what I had hoped to hear. And, with the term "PROM monitor" now in my vocabulary, I was able to google my way to a page that explains how to use it, here: http://csweb.cs.wfu.edu/~torgerse/Kokua/SGI/007-2859-021/sgi_html/ch09.html

[I know that y'all already know this, but perhaps the next newbie in my position will discover this thread and find it helpful.]

So, it now seems that my next step should be to bring a set of three bricks plus a router to my bench (choosing the IP with the USB card), hook them all up, power them on and, if I can get into the PROM monitor, do a hinv or arcshinv to see what it thinks is there.

Then repeat the process with the other stack, including the IP without a USB card. I see three possible ways of doing this:
1. Borrow the 4 port USB card from the other IP
2. Buy a 4 port USB card for it
3. Use a ps/2 keyboard and mouse.

I'd prefer (3) but the reading that I've done so far suggests that the default ports for keyboard and mouse are USB and the only way that I've found of changing it to ps/2 is in IRIX - which I don't have.

I'll do some more googling, to see whether I can find a way of doing it in the PROM monitor. If anybody wants to throw me a bone and give me the answer, though, I'd be grateful. :)

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Re: New to SGI, not really sure what I've got my hands on.

Unread postby jan-jaap » Mon Mar 19, 2018 2:52 am

When you piece this back together, try to avoid mixing bricks originating from the two systems in a newly built system. Each system as a whole has a serial number (SSN), which normally derives from the L2 system controller. CPU and I/O bricks should follow an SSN change but router bricks may object.

Also, you may have XIO and NUMALINK ports on the back of some bricks, they use the same connectors but don't mix them up.
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Re: New to SGI, not really sure what I've got my hands on.

Unread postby roberttx » Mon Mar 19, 2018 6:10 am

jan-jaap wrote:When you piece this back together, try to avoid mixing bricks originating from the two systems in a newly built system. Each system as a whole has a serial number (SSN), which normally derives from the L2 system controller. CPU and I/O bricks should follow an SSN change but router bricks may object.

Also, you may have XIO and NUMALINK ports on the back of some bricks, they use the same connectors but don't mix them up.


We have just identified my first error. I failed to mark the bricks, so have no idea which came from which rack. The SSN is stored electronically, AIUI - I shall have to hope that there's also some external markings.

Alternatively, would it do any harm to try a stack with one router and, in the event of failure, swap it out for the other one?

I have figured out that XIO and NUMALink are different and shall not be hooking anything up to the XIO ports.

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Re: New to SGI, not really sure what I've got my hands on.

Unread postby jwhat » Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:47 pm

Hi Robertx,

Here is quick summary on what you have.

1. Some bootable O350 (Origin/Onyx - not really important as it is modular system and all parts are inter-changeable).

These are ones with the IO9 card in bottom slot, with combination of Ethernet / SCSI port.

The ones with Graphics in them will report as Chimera Blade the ones without as Chimera Server.

2. Some expansion chassis, some of which look to have CPU modules in then.

These are ones without the IO9 board.
Some may not have CPU modules .. again you will find that depending what’s in side the module will determine what you can do with it, but all modules have same basic parts.

3. Some AC Numalink Router Modules

lucky you these are hard to source, but can be hard to get running if serial numbers are not aligned
But seeing you have 2 your system units will likely need to be assembled into 2 independent systems.
The very fat cables are the Numalink cables. These are used to connect to router.
Use the bottom 4 ports on Router first as these have USB embedded, while top 4 do not.
Also the Numalink ports on your bootable chassis are on rightside, looking at back of machine.

4. Finally you have L2 controller

The small metal box with Ethernet, USB and RS-232 ports.

——-

Here is plan of attack:

1. You need to see what serial numbers the various chassis have. This can be done without booting machines. Each machine has serial console port which provides interface to embedded L1 controller

2. Simply plug in each in turn with serial cable plugged in (38400/8/N) and do “serial”. Note serial and also do “config” to get rack/slot identifiers.

3. To be safe you should get your serials before plugging things together with Numalink or usb to L2, as otherwise serials might get flipped on you.

4. Now get your L2 running. Again you can plug into serial port to see boot diagnostics. Through the serial port you should be able to get serial of L2 and see/set IP address. Try to get network connectivity to L2 and telnet to it. This is useful as L2 provides way to access all modules without having to go to serial port all the time.

5. Your setup could be configured as either all the same serial managed via single l2 or different serials, which would require different L2s, your serial discovery will answer that question.

6. Now plug each of the Numalink routers (do one at a time) into the L2 via USB cable and see if these have aligned serials. If they do, then you can start to link all the classics to appropriate router via Numalink cables.

7. Once all linked up do “serial all” on L2 (using telnet now) and be prepared to see lots of info.... as per prior comment if you use lower Numalink ports then you will only need USB cabling from router to L2.

8. You are now ready to report on hinv forum ;-) and can even try to boot by doing “power up” on L2. Then control-d to see boot diagnostics across all the machines.

Good luck.

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