Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

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zagnut
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Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby zagnut » Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:50 am

Hello everyone.

As a teenage computer geek back in the 90s, I remember seeing my first SGI machines. I dont recall exactly what models they were, but the way they looked made me want one! Until I found out the price.

Fast forward many years to yesterday, 2015. Im 38 now and had long forgotten about SGI...until yesterday. While surfing Craigslist I came across a person with 6 old computers he wanted to get rid of. And there was the picture....an SGI Octane! Ten minutes later, it was in my car :D

I have no way to connect a monitor to run hinv, so I immediately took it apart. It appears to be a single 300mhz r12000, with 1.5gb RAM, and Es video. Sadly, no drives.

I dont know much about SGI/Irix. I'm thinking about installing a MIPS Linux distro for one of two uses...either for use as a dedicated photo editing box, or simply as a NAS RAID array for my photography needs.

I look forward to bothering you all for help in the near future. :)

Oh, the other computers this person had.... 4 were simple, old, dirty Dell desktops. No drives or RAM. So I pulled the cpus. However....the 5th was a dual Xeon Dell Poweredge server with RAM. Just need drives. The best part...this was all free. :D Good day for this nerd.

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uunix
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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby uunix » Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:03 am

Nice haul, and welcome brother zagnut.
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nyef
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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby nyef » Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:05 am

zagnut wrote:I have no way to connect a monitor to run hinv, so I immediately took it apart. It appears to be a single 300mhz r12000, with 1.5gb RAM, and Es video. Sadly, no drives.

I dont know much about SGI/Irix. I'm thinking about installing a MIPS Linux distro for one of two uses...either for use as a dedicated photo editing box, or simply as a NAS RAID array for my photography needs.

No monitor on an Octane? Don't attach a keyboard or mouse, connect to serial port 1 at 9600 8N1, power up. You should get access to the PROM that way. When buying an adaptor, keep in mind that SUN and SGI 13W3 connector pinouts are not the same. If you want EDID and the like, you'll need the SGI version. Look on eBay. Also, the PROM runs at a fixed resolution, and may require sync-on-green. YMMV.

As far as Linux goes, you'll need a patched kernel in order to run on Octane. It may (or may not?) be a bit of a project to get everything running.

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zagnut
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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby zagnut » Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:31 am

uunix wrote:Nice haul, and welcome brother zagnut.

Thank you! I really only wanted the Octane and the Dell server. But the arrangement was to take all. This Octane is a heavy little box!

nyef wrote:No monitor on an Octane? Don't attach a keyboard or mouse, connect to serial port 1 at 9600 8N1, power up. You should get access to the PROM that way. When buying an adaptor, keep in mind that SUN and SGI 13W3 connector pinouts are not the same. If you want EDID and the like, you'll need the SGI version. Look on eBay. Also, the PROM runs at a fixed resolution, and may require sync-on-green. YMMV.

As far as Linux goes, you'll need a patched kernel in order to run on Octane. It may (or may not?) be a bit of a project to get everything running.


Thank you. Much of that is over my head, thankfully I'm a fast learner. The sad bit....I dont think I have a serial cable either. I'll have to make a trip to the parts shop. I knew I would need a 13w3 adapter, but did not know there was a Sun variant.

I've decided I just want to use this as an NAS RAID. Will I be able to access the array from a Windows machine? I've yet to look up the partitioning types for Irix. I know theres 1, maybe 2, Linux distros that will run on the Octane. For simple NAS and RAID, that should work fine hopefully.

Out of curiosity....should this have the bandwidth capable to stream 1080 HD video at around 25mbps? I understand the type of array will effect that as well, but that aside, will the Octanes components handle that ok?

Its small and unobtrusive, unlike a standard computer. So the gf wont complain about another "ugly computer" that I have to hide away. :D

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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby ClassicHasClass » Thu Jul 02, 2015 10:05 am

Welcome. I like Zagnut bars ...

Out of curiosity....should this have the bandwidth capable to stream 1080 HD video at around 25mbps?


Well, like everything else, it depends on the data rate, the network ... but the controller at least should be able to manage 25Mbit/s without difficulty, I should think. You can get a rough idea by taking Ian's numbers here for the Fuel and dividing them by 3-ish. http://www.sgidepot.co.uk/fuel.html
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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby Krokodil » Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:43 am

Welcome from a fellow Octane owner.

I recommend IRIX if you want the full SGI experience . Ebay is selling a somewhat expensive 13w3 to VGA adapter, but I can confirm that it does work. The Octane is heavy but it's well constructed.

I recently sent most of my old PC's to the scrapyard to make room for the truly special machines.
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zagnut
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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby zagnut » Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:07 pm

ClassicHasClass wrote:Well, like everything else, it depends on the data rate, the network ... but the controller at least should be able to manage 25Mbit/s without difficulty, I should think. You can get a rough idea by taking Ian's numbers here for the Fuel and dividing them by 3-ish. http://www.sgidepot.co.uk/fuel.html


Looks like even with 15k discs, bandwidth could be an issue for streaming HD. For photographic redundancy however, it will suffice just fine. I would prefer to stream HD video as well. But if not, oh well.

Would it be worth investing in the pci cage for a SCSI card usage? Also, would it be worth considering upgrading to a dual cpu unit...should I be able to find one? I suppose that last question is just personal preference.

I wish they sold Zagnut bars here in Detroit. :(

Krokodil wrote:Welcome from a fellow Octane owner.

I recommend IRIX if you want the full SGI experience . Ebay is selling a somewhat expensive 13w3 to VGA adapter, but I can confirm that it does work. The Octane is heavy but it's well constructed.

I recently sent most of my old PC's to the scrapyard to make room for the truly special machines.


It will depend on cost of a hdd with Irix loaded. If it costs considerably more than a blank hdd, I will opt for attempts at running Linux. I dont want to spend too much at this time.

I have 4 old p4 Dells by my garbage cans....you can pick them up if youd like :D

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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby foetz » Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:37 pm

welcome here zagnut :-)

as it's been said already not running irix on an sgi makes it rather pointless. you got the octane for free so spending a few bucks on irix is the best investment you can make and that's also the only way to actually get what sgi was all about.
if you wanna run a linux file server use one of those dells :P

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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby uunix » Thu Jul 02, 2015 12:40 pm

nyef wrote: keep in mind that SUN and SGI 13W3 connector pinouts are not the same.


I was unaware of this? Is there a way to identify without a multi-metre ?
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zagnut
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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby zagnut » Thu Jul 02, 2015 3:50 pm

foetz wrote:welcome here zagnut :-)

as it's been said already not running irix on an sgi makes it rather pointless. you got the octane for free so spending a few bucks on irix is the best investment you can make and that's also the only way to actually get what sgi was all about.
if you wanna run a linux file server use one of those dells :P


The Dell is big and ugly though. Besides, it's a Dell :roll:
I'll probably get a drive with Irix, just so I can check out an OS I have no experience with.

uunix wrote:
nyef wrote: keep in mind that SUN and SGI 13W3 connector pinouts are not the same.


I was unaware of this? Is there a way to identify without a multi-metre ?


I don't feel like such a n00b now. :D

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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby uunix » Thu Jul 02, 2015 4:05 pm

zagnut wrote:I don't feel like such a n00b now. :D


My work is done then..
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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby foetz » Thu Jul 02, 2015 4:31 pm

zagnut wrote:I'll probably get a drive with Irix, just so I can check out an OS I have no experience with.

well irix is unix so if you can set up a linux file server working with real unix won't cripple you either :P
also what's the point of getting the dream machine of your teen years just for putting it in the corner as a linux file server? if you wanna have the sgi experince you have to, well, experience it :D

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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby sgifanatic » Thu Jul 02, 2015 4:36 pm

Welcome to the world of SGI and vintage computing... Very satisfying hobby!

Would definitely recommend Irix. Will simply be a better experience.

Second, using an octane as an nfs server is great, and yes, you can use free PC software to mount NFS volumes from windows clients. But, I would imagine you will enjoy the SGI desktop experience... There is a possibility you may not, but now that you have the box, might be worth a giving it a go.

Search eBay for 13w3 sgi vga and you should find an adaptor for ~$30-35.

Good luck and would love to see pics when you can take some.
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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby zagnut » Thu Jul 02, 2015 4:54 pm

uunix wrote:
nyef wrote: keep in mind that SUN and SGI 13W3 connector pinouts are not the same.


I was unaware of this? Is there a way to identify without a multi-metre ?


Per the Octane Hardware Aggregator thread
Note: A properly wired 13w3 to HD15 adapter or cable is required. Most generic 13w3 to HD15 adapters are wired to the Sun version of 13w3 which may cause display issues if used with an Octane. If the advertisements says an adapter "works with Sun, IBM and SGI", it probably doesn't without modification. SGI made a 13w3 to HD15 cable for the Octane, the part number is 018-0881-002.

sgifanatic wrote:Welcome to the world of SGI and vintage computing... Very satisfying hobby!

Would definitely recommend Irix. Will simply be a better experience.

Second, using an octane as an nfs server is great, and yes, you can use free PC software to mount NFS volumes from windows clients. But, I would imagine you will enjoy the SGI desktop experience... There is a possibility you may not, but now that you have the box, might be worth a giving it a go.

Search eBay for 13w3 sgi vga and you should find an adaptor for ~$30-35.

Good luck and would love to see pics when you can take some.


I'll try and get some pics this weekend. I did a tear down last night, to try and identify parts, and was surprised how clean it was.

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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby ClassicHasClass » Thu Jul 02, 2015 5:08 pm

Would it be worth investing in the pci cage for a SCSI card usage? Also, would it be worth considering upgrading to a dual cpu unit...should I be able to find one? I suppose that last question is just personal preference.


The PCI cage? I think so, if SCSI throughput's going to be what you'd use it for. The extra CPU would mostly benefit using it as, you know, a computer. :)

Once you go Irix you don't go, uh, bye-bye-rix.
smit happens.

:Fuel: bigred, 900MHz R16K, 4GB RAM, V12 DCD, 6.5.30
:Indy: indy, 150MHz R4400SC, 256MB RAM, XL24, 6.5.10
:Indigo2IMP: purplehaze, 175MHz R10000, Solid IMPACT
probably posted from Image bruce, Quad 2.5GHz PowerPC 970MP, 16GB RAM, Mac OS X 10.4.11
plus IBM POWER6 p520 * Apple Network Server 500 * RDI PrecisionBook * BeBox * Solbourne S3000 * Commodore 128 * many more...


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