Restoring an Indy, have some questions

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Glaurung
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Restoring an Indy, have some questions

Unread postby Glaurung » Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:46 am

So I bought an SGI Indy on Ebay in order to get the bundled keyboard (granite colour with damped cream alps switches -yummy).

Now I'm thinking it might be fun to restore the computer before reselling it, and I have a few questions.

It was sold without any hard drive or floptical drive, and as untested beyond turning it on and hearing it beep.

I have a few green on sync LCD monitors, and I've ordered an SGI-compatible video plug adapter which should arrive soon. Once it does, I'll know more about what state the poor thing is in. If it reports hardware errors, then I'll pack the thing up and sell it on to someone with more gumption than I. If not, then I want to get it a hard drive, an external CD drive, and get IRIX installed and working on it.

What I'm wondering now is,

1) I am assuming that the battery backup will have died long ago and I will get an error about the ethernet adapter having an FFFFFFFF address. I'm not going to try to solder a new battery onto the chip - with my skills that could well end poorly. Will that error prevent me from installing IRIX?

2) in order to install an OS on this thing, I will need a SCSI external CD-ROM. Looking at what's listed on Ebay, the best option seems to be to get a portable CD-ROM drive with PCMCIA adapter like the Panasonic KXL 810-a. Will those work? and if I get one, will I need a cable and/or an adapter beyond what comes in the box in order to plug it into the Indy?

3) are there any sources for legitimate copies of the OS that aren't stupidly expensive?

4) I'm located in Canada, so the selection of affordable SCSI drives that won't cost a fortune in shipping is limited. Any idea if an IBM "DDRS-39130 SCSI 9GB 00K4151" will have the correct number of pins? I asked the seller but they haven't replied.

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Re: Restoring an Indy, have some questions

Unread postby mgtremaine » Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:00 am

You do not need a SCSI CD you can install over the network. Check the WIKI

http://www.nekochan.net/wiki/Using_DINA ... on_of_IRIX

-Mike
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Re: Restoring an Indy, have some questions

Unread postby uunix » Fri Apr 06, 2018 10:24 am

Also, I'm afraid question 3 may be out of order..

But yes, take the time and do a network install, mgtremaine is correct.

Once you have it setup, it's sooooooooo easy.
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Glaurung
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Re: Restoring an Indy, have some questions

Unread postby Glaurung » Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:27 pm

mgtremaine wrote:You do not need a SCSI CD you can install over the network. Check the WIKI

http://www.nekochan.net/wiki/Using_DINA ... on_of_IRIX

-Mike


To do that i'd need the ethernet address to not be ffffff, though, right? Which I am assuming it will be, and while you can fix that until the next time the machine is turned off, doing so requires IRIX to be up and running, so... chicken and egg?

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Re: Restoring an Indy, have some questions

Unread postby Glaurung » Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:29 pm

uunix wrote:Also, I'm afraid question 3 may be out of order..



I did ask for legitimate sources. So I take it I will not find any legit sources apart from insanely priced original media on ebay?

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Re: Restoring an Indy, have some questions

Unread postby Irinikus » Fri Apr 06, 2018 12:39 pm

If you take a look at the forum rules at the top of the page, you will notice that you're not allowed to openly discuss the buying, selling and trading of commercial software on this forum for legal reasons. Which includes the IRIX operating system.

That being said, I'm sure that you will find the help that you need here indirectly.

I've sent you a PM.
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Re: Restoring an Indy, have some questions

Unread postby mgtremaine » Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:54 pm

You should be able to set the MAC address and it will stay as long you are plugged into power.

From the SGI_INDY Wiki page....

One can set a new MAC address from the Command Monitor with the command "setenv -f eaddr xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx". The -f switch here will force the new MAC address. The MAC address is (usually) on a sticker to the rear of the unit, and hence can be reprogrammed without losing software licences, which often rely on it to verify ownership. Otherwise, any MAC address in SGI's block is usable.

And/Or

http://www.nekochan.net/wiki/IRIX_for_I ... _addresses

I should add that my Indy has been in storage for a year and when I finally dig it out I assume it will be in the similar state. But I've already bought the coin-cell battery holder and battery and will just hack the chip. Future proofing these NVRAM is pretty much the best option.

-Mike
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Re: Restoring an Indy, have some questions

Unread postby josehill » Fri Apr 06, 2018 5:59 pm

To clarify, we've always allowed discussing commercial software sales if it is in reference to authorized sellers or authorized resellers. Unfortunately for most hobbyists looking for IRIX, that has limited the options to SGI itself and a very small number of authorized resellers. For reasons discussed at length elsewhere in the forum, we do not allow discussion of informal sales or gray/black market sales. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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Re: Restoring an Indy, have some questions

Unread postby josehill » Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:04 pm

Glaurung wrote:To do that i'd need the ethernet address to not be ffffff, though, right? Which I am assuming it will be, and while you can fix that until the next time the machine is turned off, doing so requires IRIX to be up and running, so... chicken and egg?


As mgtremaine described in a later post on this thread, you can set the address in the Command Monitor (sometimes called the PROM monitor, similar to a PC's BIOS mode or EFI mode) before IRIX is loaded, so there is no chicken and egg problem.

Glaurung
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Re: Restoring an Indy, have some questions

Unread postby Glaurung » Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:43 pm

mgtremaine wrote:You should be able to set the MAC address and it will stay as long you are plugged into power.

[...]
One can set a new MAC address from the Command Monitor with the command "setenv -f eaddr xx:xx:xx:xx:xx:xx". The -f switch here will force the new MAC address. The MAC address is (usually) on a sticker to the rear of the unit, and hence can be reprogrammed without losing software licences, which often rely on it to verify ownership. Otherwise, any MAC address in SGI's block is usable.

[...]
I should add that my Indy has been in storage for a year and when I finally dig it out I assume it will be in the similar state. But I've already bought the coin-cell battery holder and battery and will just hack the chip. Future proofing these NVRAM is pretty much the best option.


Thanks, that clarifies that.

As for the NVRAM - am I correct that I can just pop the chip off the mainboard? And IIRC, you can still buy newer versions of those NVRAM chips (with working batteries) - so I could just replace the NVRAM chip and it'd be good for another decade? I'm OK with replacing parts but do not trust myself to be able to dremel/solder/hack at something without self-injury or ruining the thing I'm trying to modify. Some people are less handy than others :(

PS, Thanks everyone for the clarification regarding software and forum rules.

Glaurung
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Re: Restoring an Indy, have some questions

Unread postby Glaurung » Fri Apr 06, 2018 6:56 pm

mgtremaine wrote:You do not need a SCSI CD you can install over the network. Check the WIKI

http://www.nekochan.net/wiki/Using_DINA ... on_of_IRIX

-Mike


Good to know. But the thought of setting up a VM, setting up an ethernet network (everything is Wifi here), getting everything talking to each other, etc...
Part of me is wondering if it won't be less painless to just buy an external SCSI cd drive. In which case, anyone know if that Panasonic I mentioned will work?

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Re: Restoring an Indy, have some questions

Unread postby JacquesT » Sat Apr 07, 2018 6:20 am

Is the Indy chip the same as the Octane? I have a spare Octane dallas chip I believe holds time ok.
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Re: Restoring an Indy, have some questions

Unread postby uunix » Sat Apr 07, 2018 7:43 am

Glaurung wrote:Good to know. But the thought of setting up a VM, setting up an ethernet network (everything is Wifi here), getting everything talking to each other, etc...

So I was thinking when you first posted that you had bought the Indy to get the keyboard & Mouse for another SGI?

If that's the case, life should be easier than any VM set up.. You use the other sgi as the install host.

Do you have another SGI?
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Re: Restoring an Indy, have some questions

Unread postby jan-jaap » Sat Apr 07, 2018 2:39 pm

Glaurung wrote:As for the NVRAM - am I correct that I can just pop the chip off the mainboard?

Correct, it's socketed.
JacquesT wrote:Is the Indy chip the same as the Octane? I have a spare Octane dallas chip I believe holds time ok.

No, it's a different one.
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Re: Restoring an Indy, have some questions

Unread postby mgtremaine » Sat Apr 07, 2018 5:52 pm

I pulled my Indy out storage... Damn that Dallas chip just keeps on ticking. I got this indy from Pete in 2006, 12 years later (1 year in storage) it's still working. (sadly I found my grey sgi mouse was damaged)

As far as HardDrives go you can get a 50pin to SCA (80pin) adapter for $10-ish and that opens up a whole range of good fast, quiet drives. 50pin SCSI drivers are all pretty ancient at this point so picking up one of those adapters is going to save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

-Mike
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