Introducing myself - although I don't have any SGI machines yet

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Shiunbird
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Introducing myself - although I don't have any SGI machines yet

Unread postby Shiunbird » Sun May 08, 2016 2:01 am

Hello there!

tl;dr: I like computers, I like UNIX and UNIX-like stuff, I like retrocomputing and I'm looking forward to contributing to the community and learning from it too.

Long version:

I've found threads from your forums now and then as I go through my general UNIX learning journey over the last years and, this being such a fine community, I decided it is time to join.

I don't have a SGI yet, but I'm a huge fan of retrocomputing in general. I think it's a very ecological concept. Even though most new machines have a lot of processing power and use far less energy, people don't tend to account the energy costs of building new computers, from raw materials extraction (often not recyclable) to processing and shipping. People also throw away perfectly functional machines that still do the work fine.

Moreover, the newer software the more the bloat. I'm a bit sickened by the endless animations and by seeing an idle browser eating hundreds of MBs of RAM, and all the useless notifications popping up reminding you you received an e-mail or things like that. I like operating systems that don't stay on my way and just serve as a solid base to run the applications I need to get my work done and have fun.

I play around with computers since I was a kid, thanks to an uncle who is a brilliant electric and electronics engineer (the kind of guy who builds everything from his own automated locks to motion sensor based on laser pointers he ordered from China), and I just love them. They are a big puzzle that can also help you earn your living. =)

My daily drivers are, unfortunately, 2 employer-issued Lenovo ThinkPads T440s. One to do most things, full of corporate security software that make the computer slow and the battery last 2 hours. The other T440s runs Windows 10 and it's an ok machine (although Windows 10 is very annoying).

I work as a planner and developer of video conferencing solutions for a big company, using a mix of proprietary and open source solutions to get things done. But I have a degree in music. Life is funny.

At work, for my learning and fun, I use as a web-browsing machine a late 2011 Mac Mini (with AMD graphics please). The main workhouse is a Power Mac G5 Quad, and I got an IBM IntelliStation POWER 285 a while ago (I chose it because it still runs a very recent , and I'm still learning my ways there. There are two HP MicroServers hosting a bunch of things like a blog, a file sharing server, proxies, firewalls, etc, and a bunch of routers and mini PCs that I distributed among my relatives and friends for redundancy of the things I host.

OSs I use are Debian Wheezy, AIX, Windows Server 2012 (I need to know it for work), and Mac OS X 10.4, 10.5 and the Captain one (is it 10.11? Lazy to Google).

With a few friends, we rent a garage. We built a small studio there and we record things (of course, using an old computer, old microphones and old everything).

I also carry around an employer-issue iPad and iPhone. Otherwise I'd probably still be using my Nokia E65.

Since I learned almost everything I know from free from the Internet, I try to give it back by contributing to forums, posting online the solutions I find to problems and helping others find their ways. I like to know how stuff work, whether it's a computer or a car or an airplane. I don't feel safe trusting my life and livelihood to things I have no clue about.

I'll now browse around and see what's going on.
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Re: Introducing myself - although I don't have any SGI machines yet

Unread postby uunix » Sun May 08, 2016 2:09 am

Good show old chap, welcome to the club. Where in the world are you located?
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Re: Introducing myself - although I don't have any SGI machines yet

Unread postby Shiunbird » Sun May 08, 2016 2:40 am

uunix wrote:Good show old chap, welcome to the club. Where in the world are you located?


Thank you!
I'm Brazilian, but I've been living in the Czech Republic for 7 years now, after some time living in Russia.
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Re: Introducing myself - although I don't have any SGI machines yet

Unread postby Rhodamine » Sun May 08, 2016 2:42 am

Welcome, I like your ecological thoughts, most people overlook the true cradle to grave ( or cradle) costs/burden.

I'm also a relative newcomer and have found everyone to be very nice and very helpful.

Regards, Adam
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Re: Introducing myself - although I don't have any SGI machines yet

Unread postby foetz » Sun May 08, 2016 3:51 am

welcome Shiunbird :-)

reading your intro makes me think that you're gonna fit right in. although having sgi and therefore older machines as our main objective don't let that mislead you. the percentage of pros we have here compared to most other places on the net is very high. after all sgi have been and still are only in the high-end market and that's usually not handled by beginners or even amateurs so as far as your unix journey goes (linux, bsd and others are automatically included by that) i'm sure you'll find help and info here about pretty much everything you'll ever need and more :P

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Re: Introducing myself - although I don't have any SGI machines yet

Unread postby vishnu » Sun May 08, 2016 7:54 am

foetz wrote:welcome Shiunbird :-)...after all sgi have been and still are only in the high-end market and that's usually not handled by beginners or even amateurs so as far as your unix journey goes (linux, bsd and others are automatically included by that)


The anti-Linux camp hereabout is vocal, but very polite... ;)
Project:
Temporarily lost at sea...
Plan:
World domination! Or something...

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Re: Introducing myself - although I don't have any SGI machines yet

Unread postby uunix » Sun May 08, 2016 8:14 am

vishnu wrote:
foetz wrote:welcome Shiunbird :-)...after all sgi have been and still are only in the high-end market and that's usually not handled by beginners or even amateurs so as far as your unix journey goes (linux, bsd and others are automatically included by that)


The anti-Linux camp hereabout is vocal, but very polite... ;)

I've been called many things.. but polite? hmph!
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Re: Introducing myself - although I don't have any SGI machines yet

Unread postby vishnu » Sun May 08, 2016 8:22 am

uunix wrote:
vishnu wrote:
foetz wrote:welcome Shiunbird :-)...after all sgi have been and still are only in the high-end market and that's usually not handled by beginners or even amateurs so as far as your unix journey goes (linux, bsd and others are automatically included by that)


The anti-Linux camp hereabout is vocal, but very polite... ;)

I've been called many things.. but polite? hmph!

Roughly speaking there are four Linux camps here; like it, use it, don't use it, don't like it. The membership slides back and forth... :lol:
Project:
Temporarily lost at sea...
Plan:
World domination! Or something...

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Re: Introducing myself - although I don't have any SGI machines yet

Unread postby ClassicHasClass » Sun May 08, 2016 9:06 am

Welcome. Good to see another Quaddie.
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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Re: Introducing myself - although I don't have any SGI machines yet

Unread postby Shiunbird » Sun May 08, 2016 9:25 am

ClassicHasClass wrote:Welcome. Good to see another Quaddie.


Thank you for the browser. =)

And thank you all for the warm welcome!
I spent my whole day today going through the posts - I had to control myself a lot to not revive a lot of them! =)

I'm quite proficient in Linux (I customize my kernel, get things running, administer at work), but then I got to AIX and it was like:
- oh, the interfaces are all down
- oh, there's no DHCP client running
- oh, there's no curl
- oh, there's no wget. Am I really going to have to burn a CD?
- NFS works, uff...
- shutdown -r +0... not now. =))))
- OH THIS THING IS NAKED!
I don't feel hardcore anymore for being able to find my way around Linux. =))))))))))))))

But it's a good feeling to know nothing again, the journey matters as much as getting there!

Now my first questions, since I had a look on eBay for more toys:
- http://www.ebay.com/itm/SGI-Silicon-Gra ... Sw-YBXGFZG -> what's so special about this machine?

- http://www.ebay.com/itm/Discreet-Logic- ... SwyvBV960-
And this?????? WT...? I suppose 4x1GHz is the fastest SGI you can find? It must be incredibly loud.

-
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Re: Introducing myself - although I don't have any SGI machines yet

Unread postby uunix » Sun May 08, 2016 12:30 pm

Well the first one looks great except that stupid badge. Dmedia, Fibre Channel etc etc, looks like a SMOKE/FLAME system. Be forewarned though.. If you purchased this and made use of the options, you are looking at spending £2k + with VBOB, Disk arrays & video equipment.. how do I know this.. well this looks very similar to mine and this is what I have done.

The second one is just pure Sex with some drugs thrown in..

Some of the excitement people have is the upgrade process. If you purchase a fully loaded SGI, then you sort of end up on a predefined path.
We have had plenty of discussions here on what recommendations for a first SGI is and they vary amongst members. I have always thought (if you have the money) a FUEL is best, but other disagree.
Then of course, you could start with anything to be honest. But in the examples you have supplied above, they really are high end video type systems which is great... if that's what you want to do.
The fully loaded Octane you saw there will be noisy and hot (best to put your wet washing behind the machine then at least you're recycling some energy). As stated, I own a very similar beast to the Octane you have identified and I also Own a 800MHz Fuel, and the Fuel is the machine I use all day, I find it nippier and much more pleasing to my environment, but the Fuel, lacks a little in the Silicon Graphics 'feel'.
Both are great machines, but then so are my Other Octanes, Indy's, o2's and especially my Indigo (NOT INDIGO2)!
If I had the money, I would buy the Tezro also...
Last edited by foetz on Sun May 08, 2016 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: merged
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Re: Introducing myself - although I don't have any SGI machines yet

Unread postby Trippynet » Sun May 08, 2016 12:52 pm

I'd say a lot depends on what you want to do with it. If you're just getting into general IRIX, I'd say a mid-range O2 is a great starting system as they are quiet, small, and quite flexible. Of course, they're not the fastest, so not a great choice for someone wanting to use Maya or whatever, but they are more sprightly than an Indigo or Indy.

If you are wanting to do 3D work, I'd say a mid-range Octane is a good starting system. Solid, expandible, and not too expensive. Fuels are nice, but are definitely a bit more flimsy, and they do lack a bit of the SGI magic due to the rather generic case. And of course they're often a bit more expensive too.

Personally, I love my Indigo2, but options that can do hardware texturing are more expensive than a similarly specced Octane.

Ultimately, I'd always recommend cutting your teeth on a more sensibly priced system, then looking further up the tree once you've bitten the bug :)
Systems in use:
:Indigo2IMP: - Nitrogen: R10000 195MHz CPU, 384MB RAM, SolidIMPACT Graphics, 36GB 15k HDD & 300GB 10k HDD, 100Mb/s NIC, New/quiet fans, IRIX 6.5.22
:Fuel: - Lithium: R14000 600MHz CPU, 4GB RAM, V10 Graphics, 72GB 15k HDD & 300GB 10k HDD, 1Gb/s NIC, New/quiet fans, IRIX 6.5.30
Other system in storage: :O2: R5000 200MHz, 224MB RAM, 72GB 15k HDD, PSU fan mod, IRIX 6.5.30

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Re: Introducing myself - although I don't have any SGI machines yet

Unread postby Krokodil » Sun May 08, 2016 3:59 pm

Octane is my preferred. I am acclimatized to it's noise to the point where I hardly think anything of it.
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Re: Introducing myself - although I don't have any SGI machines yet

Unread postby Shiunbird » Mon May 09, 2016 3:22 am

Thanks everybody!

I was more curious on why that machine on eBay costs so much. Or the owner thinks it's that worthy...
Because with the same money you can get a modern rig, if you are meant to earn your living from that it would make more sense.

Perhaps it helps a bit if I explain my (masochistic) goal.
I'm trying to understand and create an environment where I can be productive using the legacy workstations and UNIX OS.
That's why initially I opted for AIX 7 and the IntelliStation. It's a powerful and fairly recent system and runs a current OS.

So if in the following months I go for a SGI, I'm looking for the one where I can be productive. Edit a video here and there, handle my e-mails, take care of my servers, play a game now and then, etc..

A snappy system is far more important than export times or absolute speed. My employer-issued machine is less than a year old, has all the SSDs and RAMs you can imagine but it's the slowest and least reliable computer I've had in a long long time.

So what would be the SGI for me?
I guess processor speed won't be the most important thing compared to RAM or a snappy hard drive.
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Re: Introducing myself - although I don't have any SGI machines yet

Unread postby foetz » Mon May 09, 2016 3:59 am

Shiunbird wrote:I spent my whole day today going through the posts - I had to control myself a lot to not revive a lot of them! =)

no need. if you see something that makes you wanna say something just do so. obviously up-to-dateness is not a major concern here so unlike in many other forums posting in a thread years after the last post is not a problem at all. on the contrary :-)

I'm quite proficient in Linux (I customize my kernel, get things running, administer at work), but then I got to AIX and it was like:
- oh, the interfaces are all down
- oh, there's no DHCP client running
- oh, there's no curl
- oh, there's no wget. Am I really going to have to burn a CD?
- NFS works, uff...
- shutdown -r +0... not now. =))))
- OH THIS THING IS NAKED!
I don't feel hardcore anymore for being able to find my way around Linux. =))))))))))))))

guess why linux became so popular :P


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