Y888099 wrote:What are you planning to do with your Onyx2 Deskside?
I get asked this question a lot.
Whenever someone sees it in my office they always ask what I use it for.
Several months ago I acquired a nice Crystal Eyes set with an emitter and 4 pairs of glasses that I've been meaning to hook up. I want to play with some 3D stereo imaging with my elementary-aged sons. I still need to dig my old Mistubishi Diamondtron out of the closet to handle the 120Hz refresh rate, though. I mostly just compile toy programs to try things out I read about in the documentation for IR and IRIX multiprocessing. I also use it as my IRIX build machine since it's significantly faster than my Indigo2.
I don't have a serious purpose for my Onyx2, but I do play with it once in a while and honestly it's the most fun machine I own. There's something cool about turning that key and hearing the deep low roar of the fans. It can't compete with my Mac Pro or even my MacBook Pro for raw performance (although it keeps up within a respectable distance) but I love how even when the Onyx2 is at 100% processor utilitization it's just as responsive as ever. Even my Mac Pro can be brought to its knees under heavy load (I do a lot of video processing on it).
To be totally honest, the thing I do the most is troubleshoot and fix it.
Especially if it's been sitting for more than a couple of months without being powered on, it often comes up with one or more processors disabled due to invalid PROM code. I've gotten pretty proficient at doing the flash
cycle. It's loaded with removable hardware and the opportunity to just tinker is enormous. In my day job I'm fortunate to straddle the line between hardware and software, and this machine gives me the opportunity to play on that line but without the stress of deadlines and customer downtime. (I'm an EE with power and software backgrounds but do FPGA development and system architecture work most of the time now.)
I like it enough that I've actually bought a window air conditioner for my shop office so I can run it in the summer. I don't run the Onyx2 so much that my wife complains about the power bill. It helps that I live in a part of the world with relatively cool summers.