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Re: Mini-PC fit in an SGI hard drive bay?

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:43 am
by necron2600
Note the top right corner.. seamlessrdp runs a tiny app. You can open more apps without needing to re-run rdesktop and login, etc..
Also, you should be able to run more rdesktop commands but re-using the existing seamlessrdp (-A argument) session, so single-signon style ability)


Re: Mini-PC fit in an SGI hard drive bay?

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:14 am
by necron2600
So windows7 did not seem to work the same way.
As a workaround, I disabled the desktop.. then I was able to get a windows7 start/taskbar on the bottom of my IRIX 4Dwm desktop (the horror!) You can launch apps all day. Note, its a bit sluggish on an R5k O2.. a windowed-XRDP server on Linux seems to give the best performance.

Create a reg key:
A DWORD entry NoDesktop set to 1

Auto Start seamlessrdp on login:
Create a shortcut to C:\seamlessrdp\seamlessrdp.exe to your startup folder:

C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
Edit it’s properties by adding ‘ taskmgr‘ to the end of the Target entry – it should read
‘C:\seamlessrdp\seamlessrdpshell.exe taskmgr‘

Now when you rdesktop into it, seamlessrdp runs.. showing you the windows taskbar since the desktop is turned off (or else the desktop would be in a window blocking 4Dwm desktop.


Re: Mini-PC fit in an SGI hard drive bay?

Posted: Wed Nov 25, 2015 1:09 pm
by Jack Luminous
Any solution without disabling the desktop for win 7 ?

Re: Mini-PC fit in an SGI hard drive bay?

Posted: Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:35 pm
by necron2600

I have been using the Intel Compute stick as a 'coprocessor' (aka companion) to my SGI Octane for a month now. Since its not super fast, and it requires remote access to it.. this ensures the IRIX desktop and applications are used first and only rely on a Windows (or Linux in a VM) counterpart for windows-based application assistance or conversion (MS Word .docx files, etc..). This should be the same thought process behind SUN's SunPCI 'coprocessor' cards used with SPARC workstations running Solaris. In fact, the Intel Compute Stick really is much smaller than any SunPCI and you can stick it anywhere (pun intended). Unlike a PC sitting in a corner, or a rackmounted server in a basement.. the intel compute stick uses very little electricity, produces little heat, and can be attached to an SGI (or stuck inside one).

I did try to cobble together a molex power plug to the Intel Compute Stick's micro-USB power port (all 5volt).. and it worked for several seconds. The BIOS booted, Intel logo shows (when connected to a TV) but then it shuts off abruptly. Either my donor power supply/ATX case that I tested this with has a problem, my wire cutting and soldering work are shoddy (very possible here!), or its trying to draw more than the expected 5volt. In the end, I just plugged it into a power outlet somewhere nearby.

The Compute Stick come with a reduced version of Windows 8.1 Bing.. which does not allow remote desktop access to it. I used an app called RDPwrap that makes remote desktop access work. You could install win2003 server inside a virtual machine on top of this windows version and get seamless RDP applications...

Aside from my installing plenty of windows-related apps on it, I also installed VirtualBox... and ran a mini-datacenter on a tiny 103mm long stick, with 2GB ram and quad core CPU. I was able to run XP, and a few Ubuntu virtual machines at the same time.. although with reduced memory usage.

Screenshot below shows an IRIX desktop with a rdesktop window into the stick.. and VirtualBox running Linux and XP VMs. Then, two windows above the rdesktop window show remote SSH X11 applications (Skype and Chrome) running from an Ubuntu VM on VirtualBox on the stick.


I am not sure if all this good news, or just some geeky efforts wasted .. but not being tied to a PC in the corner or rackmounted server somewhere but instead relying on an SGI Octane and stuff near/inside it means something to me.

Re: Mini-PC fit in an SGI hard drive bay?

Posted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:23 pm
by toasty
I just recently learned about single board computers that are on a PCI card. Forgive me if you all have known this...I’m a youngin’! My understanding is that you use them on a passive backplane to cram a bunch of computers in a small case.

Some models have an ATX power connector and since I’ve got an ATX PSU in my Fuel, it got me thinking: can I put one in it? I’ve been going through manuals and data sheets and they don’t really go into detail about power. So I don’t know if they usually draw power from the PCI connection or just ATX. But I see voltage requirements for 12V, 5V, and 5VSB.

Anyone have experience with these things? Would you advise trying to use one in an SGI? It would make a nice solution to what necron2600 is looking for.

Advantech PCI-7032

PCI-7032_220150213143102.jpg (167.98 KiB) Viewed 852 times

Re: Mini-PC fit in an SGI hard drive bay?

Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:25 pm
by necron2600
So an Intel ComputeStuck.. stuck somewhere into a classic system like an SGI Octane, O2, etc.. has allowed me to use an SGI as a daily driver for quite some time now. Since the ComputeStick uses very little juice, has no keyboard/mouse attached,etc. it really feels like its part of the SGI workstation itself (just as SUN's SunPCI boards used to do for SUN workstations to run Windows platforms)

I know SeamlessRDP is old news.. but surprisingly I do not see many using it for use with a classic UNIX workstation to be able to use it daily.

With seamlessRDP installed on a windows server VM on the stick.. I can get MS Office 2010+ apps, and modern web browsers, displayed looking as if a native IRIX app on the desktop. Cut/paste between IRIX apps and MS Word/Excel,etc.. And the RDP protocol (through nekoware's rdesktop ) lets you redirect sound and access folders on your IRIX box (like your home dir) very easily. The workflow has been very good. The stick itself is not a great daily-driver by any means.. but using it as a support-tool for the SGI just to be able to access critical PC apps works quite well. The Intel ComputeStick feels more like a co-processor running 'apps' this way. (and these days they are <50$USD)

More to this on game streaming to an IRIX box.. if you were to try to play a game. Diablo, StarCraft, Age Of Empires,etc.. over a typical RDP session from IRIX, it will not play due to DirectX issues. However, if you run those games in a VirtualBox VM (on the stick).. and then setup VirtualBox's remote display feature (goes over RDP.. so that means sound will be redirected too) .. you can play them on your IRIX desktop. I know its not 'natively' playing on IRIX.. but its running on a 5watt stick stuck inside the SGI box. It plays extremely well for me.. sound, keyboard/mouse controls, video... but I have only tested the games mentioned.

Linux users use WINE to do this.. great. IRIX users. and other non-x86 systems, can use a low cost "co-processor" stick stuck inside it. Still running IRIX, IRIX apps, IRIX 4Dwm desktop.. just some apps are run off the 'stick'.

Everyone should ditch their PC's.. turn on their UNIX workstation with a 'stick' stuck inside it and use it as their daily driver. Whats everyone waiting for? :)

Re: Mini-PC fit in an SGI hard drive bay?

Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 1:33 pm
by necron2600

Re: Mini-PC fit in an SGI hard drive bay?

Posted: Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:55 pm
by Y888099
necron2600 wrote:Some of my old SUN systems have SUNpc/SUNpci cards.. that provide a real x86 system running in a PCI slot (usually Windows95, etc..) that you can acess from the Solaris/SPARC desktop

I don't get which kind of signal passes through the pci connector.
Only the power supply? Any signal routed through the pci?
In the wiki's picture I don't see any PS/2 connector.

Re: Mini-PC fit in an SGI hard drive bay?

Posted: Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:26 pm
by necron2600
Small update..

I have an Asus UN62 mini PC, a lot more powerful than the Intel ComputeStick but much more expensive.. it has an Intel i3 chip (they do come with an i5 too), 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD.. it can slide into the back of an octane's PCI cage slot and could act as a sort of hardware hypervisor for IRIX to utilize. Keeps IRIX, and SGI usage, fresh in today's modern age giving you a form of lightweight HPC/cluster.. like SGI's 2009 Octane III sort of did. Focus is still on IRIX apps and desktop.. with linux, macosx, or window apps sprinkled in as necessary. And powering down your Octane over the weekend to conserve power will still keep any services you have running on the 40w mini PC.

The dimensions of the Asus UN62 are 5.15x1.65x5.15 inches. Measuring the Octane's PCI slot opening.. its 5.25~ wide.. and more than enough deep and high.

I have not tried inserting it yet.. as my Asus runs as a 24x7 server (Barebones Ubuntu Linux with Virtualbox and phpVirtualBox for remote web control). I will try this weekend and maybe take some pictures.

With VirtualBox exporting console displays of VMs via RDP, you get a lot more direct access to each VM than you would with regular rdesktop access (or VNC, X11 to Linux VMs). Games, 24bit color rdesktop access, etc.. can run this way... even ones needing hardware accel and such.

Re: Mini-PC fit in an SGI hard drive bay?

Posted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:41 pm
by dexter1
Do you need to unskin the Asus to make it fit? It has an inner steel or aluminium case so it could be done. It might also improve on the cooling.

Re: Mini-PC fit in an SGI hard drive bay?

Posted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:45 am
by uunix
I just cannot get 24bit colour out of rdesktop.
Have ensured no restrictions on the target machine via gp, but still wishy washy 16bit.

Re: Mini-PC fit in an SGI hard drive bay?

Posted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:57 am
by necron2600
I too cannot get more than 16bit with nekoware's version of rdesktop to any windows system. However, I do get 24bit color (across the pond uses colour ;) with nekoware's version of rdesktop connecting to VirtualBox's Remote Display feature (opens up a port with RDP for the specific Virtual Machine accessing its console.. can even see BIOS and bootup of the VM).

Some googling shows Linux users have had the same problem with rdesktop and 24bit (where 32bit (-a 32) is accepted by rdesktop.. even with nekoware's version).. some have recompiled rdesktop (and/or used a newer version,etc..) and solved the problem. Maybe we can get an updated rdesktop in nekoware.

Re: Mini-PC fit in an SGI hard drive bay?

Posted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 8:58 am
by necron2600
Asus miniPC (N62 model) fits in perfectly. See below image.. I pushed the Asus miniPC farther back inside the Octane to show how well it fits.. dont mind the dust in the photo, this Octane is a spare I have. Regarding cooling.. the Asus miniPC does not seem to get hot.. if anything its barely warm after running multiple VMs for weeks.. and, correct me if I'm wrong, the Octane was designed to cool (or transfer heat out of) this bay anyway.

asus mini PC inside octane pci bay

Only 2 cables would be needed (unless you have Asus' wifi option).. ethernet and a thin power cable (external brick). It may be possible to stuff that external brick inside the case with the miniPC too. You can still close the PCI bay and screw it only a little bit back in.. so those 2 cables can stick out the sides of the cover. Maybe throw in a USB hub or a small fan if one wanted to.

You could always 3D print a new PCI bay cover with holes and USB hub attached (maybe a small fan if that were a concern). This would give me a reason to buy a 3D printer now.. spend hundreds to make a 1$ part.. but its the process that is priceless.

Re: Mini-PC fit in an SGI hard drive bay?

Posted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:40 am
by Dodoid
I am considering making a PCI card made out of a network card and an ODROID-XU4S, with a 3D printed cooling shroud. That would allow for similar functionality in an even easier package. With some nice software integration, it could be a "drop in and go" solution for modern software on your SGI.

Re: Mini-PC fit in an SGI hard drive bay?

Posted: Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:30 pm
by jpstewart
necron2600 wrote:and, correct me if I'm wrong, the Octane was designed to cool (or transfer heat out of) this bay anyway.

I'm not so sure about that. To me, it looks like the PCI card cage handles its own cooling. There's a small fan at the inner end, and the other end of the cage protrudes from the back of the Octane with airflow vents on either side of it. So it's hard to say how much cooling the Octane provides there, and how much the card cage is responsible for its own cooling. (It probably doesn't matter much for your purposes, though. I can't imagine that little thing producing too much heat.)