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Some more SGI history with a Canadian slant

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 10:41 am
by JohnnyJohnny
Since I'm now getting (back) involved with SGI systems, and following on the tail of Dodoid's great SGI history series, I thought I'd add some more content to the history files from my own past.

Between 1993 and 1997 I worked for EveryWare Development Corp., a small software developer in Mississauga Ontario (just west of Toronto). I was the 15th employee, and I was the "operations manager" - basically managing IT and telecommunications, production (software media and packaging, writing manuals and coordinating the production with printers, marketing materials, etc.), physical site management, trade show logistics, and supplier management. Quite a job for someone just out of university, but it was a cool company to work for, at least initially.

EveryWare was an Apple developer, with a SQL database (Butler SQL), time and document management applications, an accounting application, and some custom DAL/ODBC middleware. We then created Tango, which was a visual tool to link backend SQL databases to web servers and create web "shopping carts." Both Microsoft and Silicon Graphics (WebFORCE) started to make pushes in Web Commerce, we ordered a pile of Intel machines, Indys and O2's, and all of a sudden in 1996 we'd become a cross-platform developer.

Silicon Graphics ended up bundling Tango with their WebFORCE Electronic Commerce Toolkit. Here's a few press releases:

SGI locks in security partners - CNET.pdf
(104.75 KiB) Downloaded 15 times

Silicon Graphics and Electronic Commerce.pdf
(78.99 KiB) Downloaded 16 times

And a nice WebFORCE vanity advert:


Here's an article from John McCrea discussing WebFORCE. Be sure to check out the 5 minute marketing video at the end!

I remember going to the SGI Canadian office in Mississauga to pick up equipment - they must have just opened the office as the place was a complete mess.

One other fun experience was going to the fighter jet combat simulator in San Jose, California, which was powered by big SGI hardware. We were at the annual MacWorld show in San Fancisco at the time. It was the year that "The Net" was filmed at the Moscone Center during the show. The corner of our booth can actually be seen in one of the scenes, though 4D (one of our biggest competitors) ended up getting some major shots.

I forget what the place was called, but it had 6-8 fully-hydraulic flight simulators with closing canopies and 3 big screens each. As you walked through to the simulators, there was a glass-walled room with all the computer racks. Now THAT was a video game!

Re: Some more SGI history with a Canadian slant

Posted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:00 pm
by Dodoid
May eventually release an SGI History Part 3.5 about the stuff discussed in the John McCrea articles. Was partially written ages ago, but I have yet to finish it.

Re: Some more SGI history with a Canadian slant

Posted: Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:19 pm
by Intuition
I remember the Webforce ads.

I seem to remember even visiting a Webforce website if I remember correctly. Though, by the time I had money to attempt to buy an SGI I was looking for an Octane/O2 1996/1997.

Thanks for the information. :)

Re: Some more SGI history with a Canadian slant

Posted: Tue Jul 25, 2017 1:57 pm
by foetz
thanks! always great to have that kind of insider info :-)