I think the one thing that stands out in my memory is when I went to a computer 'fair' in Durban, South Africa (grew up there) and SGI were there...They weren't just there, they commanded the attention of everybody.
They had this huge 18-wheeler that they converted into a moving demo studio. The whole thing was painted purple, green and silver...serious SGI stuff! While everybody else (intel, AMD, Creative etc) held their show inside the exhibition space, SGI parked their HGV outside the entrance. You could walk in one side, look at all the pretty's (The whole thing inside looked like a Borg spaceship). They allowed six in at a time and did some demo's. One was the spinning reflective Beethoven bust!!!)
I walked out of there, went home and told my mom I wanted to do 3D graphics! LOL! From then on I started following 3D stuff, got hugely excited everytime there was a 'Making Of' on TV with an SGI in it...Jurassic park was the icing on the cake for me. Now I'm an Architectural Designer...go figure...!
They (SGI) just exceeded the 'Cool'
factor in everything they did. I even phoned up SGI Sub-Sahara in Jo'burg, spoke to a very nice African-American bloke who pointed me in the direction of the only 3D content creation college in South Africa at that time that used SGI's. I think he found it amusing that a 17 year old had the guts to phone a director of SGI...! HEHE! Man, I was stoked. Problem was, they charge about $1500 for a week long course...That was just way out of my reach at the age of 17.
Now I own an SGI...Just playing along nicely...Yeah my Octane is a bit slow, but for me, it's not how quickly you get there, but getting there in style...
edit: The 18-wheeler is called the "SGI Mobile Innovation Centre". Can't find any good pics though.