Annatar wrote:The only way for a company to get themselves out of financial bind these days is to go mass-production. By that I mean mass-produced IRIX/MIPS workstations with PC-bucket components. NO PROPRIETARY BS, all connectors PC, powersupply ATX, motherboards ATX factor, memory standard PC-bucket RAM, SATA drives, SCSI for little more money. Effectively, everything standard except for the motherboard circuitry and the CPU.
Sorry, but that just sent me off my chair with laughter. For instance, a lot of strength of Octanes came from entirely proprietary interconnect (XIO crossbar-based architecture) bridged in an extremely clever, although not quite standard-compliant way to PCI (go read the patents if you suppose that SGI could get the performance by following standards). If SGI thought like you do back then, they would make another MIPS system with just PCI, and maybe EIDE drives too - they were PC-bucket back then (UDMA only if you feel lucky). Except a really nice CPU they would be essentially PC clones, additionally crippled by lack of drivers.
Annatar wrote:The key is in volume, always has been.
Sure. And rock-hard ability to compete against Dell in the low-margin market.
Annatar wrote:All I know is that an R14000 Fuel system reboots from 4dwm login screen to 4dwm login screen in 45 seconds, full cycle, POST included. That's a behavior I've seen in a 1+ GHz x86 CPU. Ja sorry, it's the end result that matters.
Sure, right. But we have now 3.2 GHz x86-64 CPUs with more issues per cycle. Do you really think SGI could pay for this kind of speedup of the R10000 series? This said, I'm actually really p*ssed off there aren't any good MIPS CPUs on the market now, they are really nice to work with. And quite reliable, too.
I would not be surprised if there was an Altrix in a dark corner of an SGI lab with PowerPC CPU bricks or Opterons or <insert whatever architecture>. And it all runs Linux already, so they could bring something new to the market *really* fast if the Itanic sinks.
Linux is vastly inferior to any commercial UNIX out there, and this is especially true when Linux is compared to IRIX. If you want to be technical about it, compare IRIX and Linux internals.
Unfortunately (for you) I can be very technical with both. Let's just say that working with IRIX internals (especially gfx stuff) is about the same kind of pleasure as rearranging cow's internal plumbing via its mouth, thanks to internal inconsistencies, split responsibilities for handling a single piece of hardware, magic numbers strewn everywhere... (I hear the network and SMP code was better but from what I've seen it's not.) The hwgraph is a very neat solution in search of a problem (even big Origins will not get really that complex to warrant arbitrary graphs): can you spell "overcomplex"... Is this what could be called "superior internals"?
Linux is in a perpetual state of "just getting there" so not that stellar either, but at least it is, technically
, much more pleasant, clean and overall nicer to work with. About speed of Linux/MIPS - well, GNU GCC still
has no R10000 optimization switches and sucks really badly compared to MIPSPro (for this and other reasons).
A propos Altix with Opterons: no problem, I think. SGI did something similar when switching Origin series from MIPS to IA-64, they made a bridge chip with bus adaptation logic from IA-64 to SysAD (and with some L4 cache from what I hear, too).
Annatar wrote:That's exactly what makes IRIX so attractive and what makes it so good, that it's a full SVR4!
Right. And FreeBSD is so good because it's a full BSD. (sarcasm mode off) Not much of a point, really...
Annatar wrote:Linux is a wankfest, not an OS. Those geeks should try and find themselves a woman, not jerk off on code on Friday nights.
Hmm, sometimes I get that feeling too... For instance, when my ISDN just stops working without a cause. Then I just remember there are no ISDN adapters for the Octanes and this kind of sobers me up. (What, use an Indy as a router? I do that anyway now.) After that I accidentally run Xsgi (instead of /usr/gfx/startgfx) from console line on IRIX64 6.5.22m and it gives me a PANIC, now this is something to see.
BTW, why do we bash ATI? Do we prefer nVIDIA? If you think we actually prefer SGI ISD/DSD then I'll have to advise you almost all of them work either at ATI or nVIDIA now. If you think they do it just to have ca$h for the next day then you've got another think coming. Designing graphics hardware is something you do because you love it, they could just as well go to AMD and design processors or to Broadcom and design network switches, it's not any harder really.