Let me add my 2 cents with this thread.
From a professional point of view, i have to work with IRIX, because all my file and calculation servers run it. And let me say what a blessing that is. These machines run for a year straight without reboots. Stable OS, critical compilers (not gcc which swallows everything) and the only machines in the university who can pump full bandwith through fibercable or gigabit copper.
In general the SGI machines have excellent design and an OS which is custom made for these machines, thereby adding to the stablility.
Why you or anyone else should run SGI/IRIX? I don't know. Some people do it because they want to run Maya. Some people do it becuse they are fed up with redhat 8.x (i am fed up with that). Some people think it's cool to own and run such a machine (and cool it is
). But lots of people run it because it is just plain simple fun:
Hey! You can point and click! What a cool gui! Wow OpenGL in hardware! What a neat GUI debugger (CVD)! How stable!
Do i run it at home? Not yet. I am happy with my 2.4 GHz win98/Linux (slackware) machine and play DiabloII and run GIMP. but an SGI machine as a fileserver? sure
Plus, and that is maybe my biggest reason i (still) use these machines, they are excellent in learning and understanding Unix, with good docs, good utils (xdiff should be on all unix machines)
But this is just my view...