Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

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

Unread postby hamei » Thu Jul 02, 2015 6:29 pm

zagnut wrote:I've decided I just want to use this as an NAS RAID.

I know it's rude to tell people their ideas are ... errr ... not good, but :

Octane makes a terrible file server. They are big (which you don't care about cuz it's attractive - okay), loud (not good) hot (not good), noisy (really not good), have a crap selection of disks (sca scsi only, slow transfer rates, only three internal disks, even the sata adapters that work on O3x do not work on Octane) ... basically, that's a bad job for an Octane. There's a good reason you can buy those external scsi raid enclosures for nothing. That's what they are worth.

I will avoid the Loonix - vs - Unix subject entirely :)

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.

To be realistic, for a server these days in a mixed network, you really want Solaris 11. If you want to go second-best there's the BSD's. Samba sucks the big ten-inch. And Swervices for Yewnix is awful. I've used it in Real Life (tm). Four years of bread and water, ten lashes daily. If you were sticking with all Unix and pseudo-Unix computers, NFS would be great and Irix and even Loonix does that good. But when you add Windows .....

If you just want a nas, no other services, then one of the BSD-based point-and-click appliances looked pretty nice. I tested about five, one of them seemed okay. ZFS. A couple of people here are using the HP microserver happily. Sata disks. Smallish. Quiet. Very quiet. Low electricity usage. Two each gigabit interfaces and a spare pci-express slot for whatever. A thousand times faster and more capable than an Octane for that job.

Anyway, the point is you won't be happy using an Octane for this. Octane makes a great desktop but a piss-poor file server.
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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby zagnut » Thu Jul 02, 2015 7:39 pm

hamei wrote:
zagnut wrote:I've decided I just want to use this as an NAS RAID.

I know it's rude to tell people their ideas are ... errr ... not good, but :

Octane makes a terrible file server. They are big (which you don't care about cuz it's attractive - okay), loud (not good) hot (not good), noisy (really not good), have a crap selection of disks (sca scsi only, slow transfer rates, only three internal disks, even the sata adapters that work on O3x do not work on Octane) ... basically, that's a bad job for an Octane. There's a good reason you can buy those external scsi raid enclosures for nothing. That's what they are worth.

I will avoid the Loonix - vs - Unix subject entirely :)

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.

To be realistic, for a server these days in a mixed network, you really want Solaris 11. If you want to go second-best there's the BSD's. Samba sucks the big ten-inch. And Swervices for Yewnix is awful. I've used it in Real Life (tm). Four years of bread and water, ten lashes daily. If you were sticking with all Unix and pseudo-Unix computers, NFS would be great and Irix and even Loonix does that good. But when you add Windows .....

If you just want a nas, no other services, then one of the BSD-based point-and-click appliances looked pretty nice. I tested about five, one of them seemed okay. ZFS. A couple of people here are using the HP microserver happily. Sata disks. Smallish. Quiet. Very quiet. Low electricity usage. Two each gigabit interfaces and a spare pci-express slot for whatever. A thousand times faster and more capable than an Octane for that job.

Anyway, the point is you won't be happy using an Octane for this. Octane makes a great desktop but a piss-poor file server.


I appreciate and respect your opinion very much. After seeing bandwidth rates, and knowing those rates will be slower once a redundant array is introduced, I've given up the idea of streaming for home entertainment. It would probably choke on 30mbps HD video. I cant justify the expensive cost of the shoebox for a SCSI card. For my photography needs, as a redundant storage device, it should serve well. I can add a fan to that empty space above the PSU where the shoebox for PCIs would normally go. That should keep the heat down. I haven't fired it up to see about noise yet. Is it mechanical noise, or vibrational? I can probably find a way to deal with vibrational/case noise in a certain way...might effect internal temps though.

And yes, Samba blows goats...to put it nicely. I had a WD MyBook World....I hated that POS. I eventually ripped it apart for its hdd and tossed the rest.

I have a dedicated media server actually. Its an AMD 5000+ Black Edition. But Id like some redundancy...and there just isnt any room in its custom case for another hdd. So I may just use the Octane for the above redundant photography server as I mentioned. It should serve 30mb RAW files just fine.....given the noise and heat arent too bad.

Id set up the PowerEdge for complete redundant media streaming....but its just so damn big and ugly.

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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby foetz » Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:49 pm

there's a very simple formula to determine what the sgi (and pretty much any other proprietary unix system) is good for and what not:

everything hobby/home user related => bad
professional tasks => good


that should solve the video streaming question and can serve you well as some sort of template for any other idea you might have along the way

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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby zagnut » Thu Jul 02, 2015 9:41 pm

foetz wrote:there's a very simple formula to determine what the sgi (and pretty much any other proprietary unix system) is good for and what not:

everything hobby/home user related => bad
professional tasks => good


that should solve the video streaming question and can serve you well as some sort of template for any other idea you might have along the way


Well, photo editing would fall into the pro category...not sure about RAID serving for that purpose though.

Im curious, has anyone ever ported an old mac os (system 7 or 8 ) to a MIPS SGI? Im not educated in fruit OS. Many years back I had a PowerBook 1400c....a beautiful laptop for its generation. I regret disposing of it :( But I digress....

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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby vishnu » Thu Jul 02, 2015 11:58 pm

zagnut wrote:Well, photo editing would fall into the pro category...not sure about RAID serving for that purpose though.

There's an Irix version of Photoshop 3, ancient but still usable. And any of the Irix versions of Shake are still world class at all aspects of photo editing, not to mention compositing.
magnet wrote:Im curious, has anyone ever ported an old mac os (system 7 or 8 ) to a MIPS SGI? Im not educated in fruit OS. Many years back I had a PowerBook 1400c....a beautiful laptop for its generation. I regret disposing of it :( But I digress....

Uh, wouldn't you need the source code to mac os 7 or 8 to do that? Did Apple release that source code? I must have missed that press release... :shock:

There's a fella on Ebay who sells Irix on 10 (and occasionally 15) K SCSI disks for a very reasonable cost. Not sure if he's got any on there ATM (too lazy to check) but a search for Irix && SCSI will eventually turn him up. With regard to the use of Linux vs. Irix, I hasten to point out that the prevailing sentiment among most members here (heretics notwithstanding) is "why would you ever want to run Linux on such a unique piece of hardware as that?! :mrgreen:
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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby Raion-Fox » Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:08 am

zagnut wrote:Im curious, has anyone ever ported an old mac os (system 7 or 8 ) to a MIPS SGI? Im not educated in fruit OS. Many years back I had a PowerBook 1400c....a beautiful laptop for its generation. I regret disposing of it :( But I digress....


Impossible. No source code. Plus, why would you want to run Mac OS Classic. Even compared to the primitiveness of UNIX, the bespoke MacOS Classic is decidedly dinosaur era in terms of functionality and usability.
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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby commodorejohn » Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:11 am

vishnu wrote:
magnet wrote:Im curious, has anyone ever ported an old mac os (system 7 or 8 ) to a MIPS SGI? Im not educated in fruit OS. Many years back I had a PowerBook 1400c....a beautiful laptop for its generation. I regret disposing of it :( But I digress....

Uh, wouldn't you need the source code to mac os 7 or 8 to do that? Did Apple release that source code? I must have missed that press release... :shock:

I believe the source for one version of System 7 actually did make the rounds back in the day (I think you can still find it online somewheres,) but it certainly wasn't actually released to the general public.

Besides, it seems like it would be much simpler to just port Basilisk to IRIX.
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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby hamei » Fri Jul 03, 2015 2:18 am

commodorejohn wrote:Besides, it seems like it would be much simpler to just port Basilisk to IRIX.

I think it's in nekoware.:D If not, in someone's "other contributed binaries" folder ... pretty sure I've seen it.

This is as good a time as any to mention that there's a LOT of stuff in nekoware. It's not all emacs or vim text editors or wackadoodle perl scripts to order ice cream, triggered by ambient temperature readings. It's mostly useful applications.

zagnut wrote:For my photography needs, as a redundant storage device, it should serve well.

There's not as many programs for grafix manipulation as Windows, but there are some. Photoshop is several versions back but works okay. There's Eclipse, which I never got the hang of but seems real capable (and it's free.) Both Image Magick and Graphics Magick are in nekoware. I like graphics magick and use it a fair amount. Illustrator is old but works. There's some more esoteric stuff like Studio Paint, Matador and Amazon Paint floating around, plus Shake. We collaborate here between Windows and Irix doing advertisements, quotations, brochures, greeting cards, phony documents, and other stuff. For some things Windows is faster, for others Irix. Everything gets checked on Windows before it leaves tho, since 90% of the world uses Windows. Windows and Irix display photos differently.

I have not been successful at getting any of the Linux programs to work well. Scribus, Inkscape, Abiword, all a big disappointment. Gimp is maybe okay but I haven't used it in years. They all seem like they got to a certain stage then quit ... right when the program was starting to show promise. I got tired of wishin' and hopin' ...

Umm, about installing Irix ... it's a bitch. About the third time you do it, it's not so bad. But by then you are pickier and keeping it from installing crap you don't want is a struggle so it's still a bitch. Not sure what to recommend about that but 6.5.22 is where I'd say you'd be happiest. It's got the nicest stuff and feels the most responsive. You could selectively upgrade certain systems later if you need to.

Installing Linux is not going to be a joy either. And all the applications are not going to come off a repository ready to go. You'll have to build everything. Oh goody.

Buying a disk with Irix installed is probably your best bet and even cheapest. You can just pop it in, set up networking and start using it. Anything else is going to be a struggle.
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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby duck » Fri Jul 03, 2015 6:46 am

Welcome outside the asylum :-)

vishnu wrote:
zagnut wrote:Well, photo editing would fall into the pro category...not sure about RAID serving for that purpose though.

There's an Irix version of Photoshop 3, ancient but still usable. And any of the Irix versions of Shake are still world class at all aspects of photo editing, not to mention compositing.


I fired up photoshop on my octane the other day and I was pleasantly surprised how clean and usable it was (snappy in fact, nicer than the free copy of ps cc I got when I bought my EOS 6D), though the dpsnx.agent tended to hang occasionally. There's also a lot of convenience missing, you end up having to mouse around a bunch i menus and things (ah, that old-time mac feel). Also I couldn't find a way to get more than one undo level which was mildly amusing.

zagnut wrote: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?


hamei already outlined why the octane is a terrible choice for a fileserver, but as for data speeds this is not the issue. The random disk I have in my Octane just clocked in some 85MB/s in sequential reads off the disk, and there are gigabit ethernet cards available if you have a PCI shoehorn or -box.

The internal architecture of the octane is fascinating in that regard. There's no traditional mainbus in the octane, but instead it inherited the crossbar architecture from its big brother the Origins. It will happily push up to (IIRC) four bidirectional data streams between any part of the machine to any other part connected to the Xbow at any time. I have some data that the individual stream's guaranteed bandwidth is 1.6GB/s[0][1].

You couldn't realistically do transcoding on it though, which the hip kids tell me they do on their NASes.

Disclaimer: I have a terrible memory, broadly I think I remember correctly, but if I didn't, please correct me.

[0] Yes, byte. Shared between the read and write though, so 800MB/s either way.
[1] The page at http://www.sgidepot.co.uk/octnarch.html claims that the bandwidth is based on the cpu clock rate, so 200MHz * 8 = 1600 MB/s, but I am dubious, wouldn't it rather be the speed of the xbow chip? Perhaps it takes its timing from the cpu.
Last edited by duck on Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby zagnut » Fri Jul 03, 2015 9:11 am

Thanks all.

As to OS7, Id never install it, even if it had been ported. It was my first real experience with a Mac OS and it made me want to pull my hair out. But yet somehow, Linux doesn't make me want to kick puppies....go figure. I was just curious if anyone had/if it was even possible.

I've always wanted to play around with Shake. I actually needed Shake a couple years back for some HD video editing, but, well, Shake isn't exactly for Win systems.

I use Lightroom for my photo stuff. I don't use PS, as I come from the Corel camp. I tried to transition once, but was already too familiar with Corel to bother trying to fully learn PS.

The reason I'm so adamant about using it as a redundant photography server, is because I really don't want to part it out in order to stuff an Intel board in it. Then again, I dont even know if it powers up yet, so it may already be destined for that purpose. Then again, maybe it's better to part it out so that it can keep another running for what it was truly intended. My inner nerd at least needs to play with Irix first though. :D
I really need to see if it at least powers up today.

I love the modular design of the Octane. I wish all computers were made this way. It would make upgrading/repairing them so much easier. This is one proprietary design I admire. Unlike COUGH *dell* COUGH.

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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby ClassicHasClass » Fri Jul 03, 2015 11:23 am

As to OS7, Id never install it, even if it had been ported. It was my first real experience with a Mac OS and it made me want to pull my hair out.


I'll be the token classic Mac OS defender: under the hood, it's crap. But when it works, the user experience is excellent, which is why we're still saying FTFF in OS X 13 years after Steve-o eulogized OS 9 at WWDC.

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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby zagnut » Fri Jul 03, 2015 12:30 pm

ClassicHasClass wrote:
As to OS7, Id never install it, even if it had been ported. It was my first real experience with a Mac OS and it made me want to pull my hair out.


I'll be the token classic Mac OS defender: under the hood, it's crap. But when it works, the user experience is excellent, which is why we're still saying FTFF in OS X 13 years after Steve-o eulogized OS 9 at WWDC.

The ability to run Classic apps is why my daily driver Power Macs run 10.4.


I wont bash OS. OSx is great for video and photoediting. Part of the reason Im tempted to build a Hackintosh. But OS7, and even 8 when I upgraded, was just not a good experience for me on the Powerbook. That active tft display was beautiful for its time though.

Id be tempted to buy a current Mac for, photo and video, if it weren't for every damn "hipster" having one.

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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby jan-jaap » Fri Jul 03, 2015 1:22 pm

duck wrote:The random disk I have in my Octane just clocked in some 85MB/s in sequential reads off the disk

The internal SCSI bus of an Octane is UltraWide SCSI, 40MB/s. Faster controllers like the QL12160 work in the Octane, but you need a PCI cage/shoehorn. The PCI-XIO bridge used there is your next bottleneck because its limited to something like 150 ... 170MB/s throughput IIRC. In the case of the shoebox this bandwidth is shared by the three 64bit, 33MHz PCI slots. So to get sustained gigabit file serving performance you would need two XIO-PCI bridges (a shoehorn plus a second shoebox /shoehorn for the gigabit ethernet card). You also need an external enclosure for the disk(s).

It's not impossible, but an Origin350 is a much more convenient platform for this. Plus you can install a SATA controller in it, so you can get a half decent amount of storage without the need for one or more shelves full of crappy old SCSI/FC disks.
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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby zagnut » Fri Jul 03, 2015 2:21 pm

I've always wanted a rack server. A 350 would be cool. Does this look like a good deal? http://www.ebay.com/itm/121679911986

Someone about 20 mins from me is selling a nice looking Origin 2000 rack. http://www.ebay.com/itm/271907648495 Too bad I don't have the $$$ and a pick up truck. :( Looks a little pricey for a 2000 though.

I came across an Altix 4700 for under $1500 USD too! I posted it in the bazaar, go look if you're near California.
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=16729764&p=7380846#p7380846
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Re: Hello Nekochan...new SGI owner here

Unread postby vishnu » Fri Jul 03, 2015 2:29 pm

zagnut wrote: Does this look like a good deal? http://www.ebay.com/itm/121679911986

That would be an outstanding deal if they were working, still a good deal even if they're not. From the pictures they look mint, not a spec of dust, possibly they've never even been turned on... :shock:
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