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Indigo: 100MHz R4K, 96MB, 1GB, LG1

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 3:35 pm
by jpstewart
I've had an Indigo for about a year and half now. Apparently I never properly introduced him to the forum.

At the moment, all I can do is get the PROM-level hinv info. This machine was going to be my IRIX 4.0.5 playground, but I discovered that my 4.0.5 CD is damaged. So the machine is still waiting for an operating system. I'm thinking about NetBSD instead. Certainly not IRIX 6.5 since my other SGIs are already running that much faster than this little guy could!

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hinv -v
System: IP20
Processor: R4000 50 Mhz, with FPU
Primary I-cache size: 8 Kbytes
Primary D-cache size: 8 Kbytes
Secondary cache size: 1024 Kbytes
Memory size: 96 Mbytes
Graphics: LG1
SCSI Disk: scsi(0)disk(1)
SCSI Tape: scsi(0)tape(2)

The tape is an original SGI DDS/DAT drive, but other than that there's nothing special about this Indigo. I replaced the TOD clock battery a little over a year ago, so no troubles on that front.

I might consider selling/trading this system for an Indigo R3000 Elan instead. I don't have an R3K system of any sort and would like one so that I can compare it to the faster machines. Especially since my Indigo2 has a 250MHz R4400 and that's a much faster specimen from the R4K family. And I just have this weird fascination with older/slower hardware.

Re: Indigo: 100MHz R4K, 96MB, 1GB, LG1

Posted: Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:32 pm
by ClassicHasClass
NetBSD should do pretty well on that. I'm sure our OpenBSD contingent will be along shortly also.

Re: Indigo: 100MHz R4K, 96MB, 1GB, LG1

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 4:34 pm
by jpstewart
I recently won an ebay auction for a beige Indigo keyboard and mouse set which prompted me to try to play with this machine again. I tried to install NetBSD to no avail. It wouldn't read the CD I'd burned NetBSD onto. That led me to suspect that maybe it was the drive (an HP DVD-ROM in an external enclosure that I also use with my Octane) causing my earlier problems. So I tried a known-good 6.5.18 installation tools CD. Again, it wouldn't read the CD.

So I pulled the HP DVD-ROM from the external case and dropped in an old Plextor CD-RW that had recently been "retired" from another machine. Lo and behold, that drive read any CD I threw at it and the Indigo.

Since there was nothing wrong with my 4.0.5F CD, I went ahead and installed that:

uname -a:

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IRIX IRIS 4.0.5F 08280217 IP20


hinv -v:

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1 50 MHZ IP20 Processor
FPU: MIPS R4010 Floating Point Chip Revision: 0.0
CPU: MIPS R4000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.2
On-board serial ports: 2
Data cache size: 8 Kbytes
Instruction cache size: 8 Kbytes
Secondary unified instruction/data cache size: 1 Mbyte
Main memory size: 96 Mbytes
Integral Ethernet: ec0, version 1
CDROM: unit 3 on SCSI controller 0
Tape drive: unit 2 on SCSI controller 0: DAT
Disk drive: unit 1 on SCSI controller 0
Integral SCSI controller 0: Version WD33C93B, revision C
Iris Audio Processor: revision 10
Graphics board: LG1


/usr/gfx/gfxinfo -v

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Graphics board 0 is "LG1MC" graphics.
        Managed (":0.0") 1024x768
        LG2 revision 3, REX revision 1.5, VC1 revision B, MC rev B ffi
        14" monitor, video option not installed.


The good old DAT drive in the Indigo happily ran through a full backup using IRIX's backup manager. I didn't expect that to work so well on the first try, considering the age of the drive. I'll have to get networking set up soon, but I'm having plenty of fun with the system as it is!

Until today I'd only ever used IRIX 6.5.x, nothing older. I'm actually quite surprised at how nice IRIX 4.0.5 is from an end-user standpoint compared to SunOS 4.1.4 considering they're of similar vintage (AFAIK). I haven't tried any programming on it yet, but I suspect that will be an "adventure" if/when I do.

Here of some photos of what it looked like when I got it. All I've had to do cosmetically was clean the dust off of it!

indigo_front.jpg
The front of the machine.

indigo_bays.jpg
The drive bays, showing the original SGI DAT drive.

indigo_rear.jpg
The rather dusty back of the machine, but it's all in great cosmetic condition.

Re: Indigo: 100MHz R4K, 96MB, 1GB, LG1

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 6:51 pm
by hamei
jpstewart wrote:The good old DAT drive in the Indigo happily ran through a full backup

There's a good chance that drive has the firmware to do audio DAT. Grab yourself a Sony DATman and have fun :D

Re: Indigo: 100MHz R4K, 96MB, 1GB, LG1

Posted: Mon Feb 17, 2014 7:39 pm
by foetz
nice machine and a good call running irix there. doesn't make much sense running anything else.
4 is also interesting from a dev perspective because that was the coff era and the compiler doesn't know a lot yet :P

Re: Indigo: 100MHz R4K, 96MB, 1GB, LG1

Posted: Tue Feb 18, 2014 8:36 am
by ClassicHasClass
That /is/ a very nice classic Indigo.

Re: Indigo: 100MHz R4K, 96MB, 1GB, LG1

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:06 am
by jpstewart
foetz wrote:nice machine and a good call running irix there. doesn't make much sense running anything else.

I agree. I was only considering *BSD because I thought my 4.0.5 CD was bad and didn't want to go with 6.5.x with so little RAM. I was very happy to find that with a different CD drive I was able to install 4.0.5.

foetz wrote:4 is also interesting from a dev perspective because that was the coff era and the compiler doesn't know a lot yet

I had forgotten that the IDO was a seperately licensed product (unlike the Developer Foundation CDs that come with the base 6.5 install set) so even getting GCC (up to 3.x is supported AFAIK) runing will be a challenge. But that's another project for another day. I'm still very excited to have the little guy up and running.

ClassicHasClass wrote:That /is/ a very nice classic Indigo.

Thanks! That means a lot coming from someone with as nice a collection as yours is! Although when you call it a "classic Indigo" it makes me affraid you're going to try to claim it as your own! :lol:

Thanks for the comments guys!

Re: Indigo: 100MHz R4K, 96MB, 1GB, LG1

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:18 pm
by mwd
Wow looks great. Nice work, I'd love to see some screenshots of IRIX 4 if you get it all working!

Re: Indigo: 100MHz R4K, 96MB, 1GB, LG1

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:01 pm
by ClassicHasClass
Although when you call it a "classic Indigo" it makes me affraid you're going to try to claim it as your own!


In a totally unrelated line of conversation, does your house have a burglar alarm? Asking for a friend.

Re: Indigo: 100MHz R4K, 96MB, 1GB, LG1

Posted: Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:15 pm
by miod
ClassicHasClass wrote:
Although when you call it a "classic Indigo" it makes me affraid you're going to try to claim it as your own!


In a totally unrelated line of conversation, does your house have a burglar alarm? Asking for a friend.

In another totally unrelated line of conversation, are you aware of the new regulations requiring a spare key to be conveniently placed under your doormat? :mrgreen:

Re: Indigo: 100MHz R4K, 96MB, 1GB, LG1

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:26 am
by foetz
jpstewart wrote:so even getting GCC (up to 3.x is supported AFAIK) runing will be a challenge

no doubt but running gcc there would be kinda missing the point :P
chances are low to get something even slightly recent compiled there so irix 4 is gonna be a hardcore retro trip :D

with irix 5 on the other hand you can actually get stuff done and still have the option for coff if you should feel like it. there's an irix4 dev subsystem for 5.x for such cases.


anyhow whatever you end up with a few pics would be welcome for sure :D

Re: Indigo: 100MHz R4K, 96MB, 1GB, LG1

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:26 am
by hamei
foetz wrote: irix 4 is gonna be a hardcore retro trip :D

with irix 5 on the other hand you can actually get stuff done ...

s - l - o - w - l - y :shock:

Tom Davis wrote: Before I upgraded from 4.0.5 to the MR version of 5.1, I ran some
timings of some everyday activities to see what would happen. These
timings were all made with the wall clock, so they represent precisely
what our users will see. I run a 32 megabyte R4000 Elan.

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     Test                   4.0.5                 5.1         % change
     ----                   -----                 ---         --------

    C compile of a          25 sec              35 sec          40%
     small application

    C++ compile of a        68 sec              105 sec         54%
     small application

    Showcase startup,       13 sec              18 sec          38%
     May report file

    Start a shell           <2 sec              ~3 sec         ~50%

    Jot 2 MB file           <2 sec              ~3 sec         ~50%



:P 5.3 was supposed to be better tho, wasn't it ? I hope so ...

This is even more relevant now than it was then -- if T Davis looks at Gtk3 he'll have a heart attack :(

http://seriss.com/people/erco/sgi-irix- ... cument.txt

Re: Indigo: 100MHz R4K, 96MB, 1GB, LG1

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:22 pm
by foetz
hamei wrote:5.3 was supposed to be better tho, wasn't it ? I hope so ...

it was but it doesn't matter because for programs as we know them today irix pre-5 doesn't have the required stuff so even if 5 should be slower than 4 in some aspects it's the only way to run most of the stuff you likely wanna have on there. and obviously when running irix 5 or older speed is not the primary concern :P

Re: Indigo: 100MHz R4K, 96MB, 1GB, LG1

Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:38 pm
by hamei
foetz wrote:... obviously when running irix 5 or older speed is not the primary concern :P

I swear I got more done on a 33 mhz 486 than I do now :oops:

Re: Indigo: 100MHz R4K, 96MB, 1GB, LG1

Posted: Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:45 pm
by jpstewart
I'm shocked at how little disk space 4.0.5F takes up and yet is still so full-featured. After a full install (and I do mean full --- I simply did 'install *' --- I'll figure out what to remove later), I get:

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% df -k
Filesystem                 Type  kbytes     use   avail %use  Mounted on
/dev/root                   efs   15715    8571    7144  55%  /
/dev/usr                    efs 1017756  267929  749827  26%  /usr


Install ing the full IDO (including C, C++, Fortran77, and Pascal compilers), it gets up to:

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% df -k
Filesystem                 Type  kbytes     use   avail %use  Mounted on
/dev/root                   efs   15715    8574    7141  55%  /
/dev/usr                    efs 1017756  357842  659914  35%  /usr


I'm sure there's plenty of stuff that I'll never use that could be trimmed out of there, too! Considering that I'm typing this on a (four year old) Linux box with 12GB of RAM, seeing a full install with developer option using less than 0.4GB of disk is rather impressive. (People wonder why I like playing with old hardware and software. It's impressively effecient stuff!)

IRIX 4.0.5 looks mighty similar to 6.5.x, too. The toolchest is rather familiar, but not completely identical. There's no Icon Catalog and no icons on the desktop itself, but there is the WorkSpace window which combines several features of both with a bit of file management on top.
workspace1.jpg
The top of the WorkSpace window.


Scrolling down to the bottom of the WorkSpace window shows icons for some image tools. The imgsnap icon is highlighted in pale yellow as a result of me using it to take the screenshot.
workspace2.jpg
The bottom of the WorkSpace, with the imgsnap icon active.


And last but not least, winterm shell windows haven't changed much over the years.
winterm.jpg
A familiar looking shell window.


The filesystem layout sure is different. /var is missing, for example! Most of what I'd expected to see there is under /usr so that's no big deal now that I know where to look. The installer defaulted to making / only 8MB but that was too small, so I doubled it. Other than that, it's been pretty smooth sailing with 4.0.5.

This old boy has quickly become my favourite system in the collection! At least until I try compiling stuff.... The warnings in this thread from foetz are rather foreboding.