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Your first SGI encounter

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:36 am
by Irinikus
Where and when did you first encounter an SGI machine and what machine was it?

Re: Your first SGI encounter

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:40 am
by Irinikus
My first encounter with an SGI machine was back in 2000 during my pilot selection process.

It was an O2 machine that was used to carry out tests on candidates?

I never forgot it (such a cool, unusual machine) and as a result, the O2 was the machine that forged my interest in SGI and it was the first SGI machine that I owned.

Re: Your first SGI encounter

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:00 am
by Y888099
SGI Indy, 2008, Erasmus.

I spent a few months there, and I used their lab to acess internet. There was no wifi along the campus. Thus, I entered in a computer room and saw twelve pizza boxes. They were indy R4600, loaded with IRIX 6.4.something just to make people like me (Stranger) pretty uncomfortable with internet.

And someone said they wanted to destroy the whole lab because of their reasons. No matter why, the week next they actually replaced everything with common PC, thus I ended to carry an Indy with me.

I assume that an act of throwing something from the windows means a manifest will to shift it out into the garbage basket, so ... I am still not 100% sure it was stolen. May be. May be not, but I would say "just picked up" from the basket, before the dude threw it out of the window (literally).

Image

Some time later, I swapped it for some bucks, and bought my pocket calculators.
For sure more useful then any pizza box ever.

Re: Your first SGI encounter

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:17 pm
by HurricaneJames
1998, SGI O2 named Nemesis... actually, that may have been the lab admin's handle. Oh well, I remember the SGI clearly. I was one of the only people who really used it. Most people seemed to prefer the crappy Dell beige boxes with scroll wheels.

Re: Your first SGI encounter

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 12:30 pm
by SiliconClassics
In 1995, the summer before my senior year of high school, I was enrolled in an internship at Brookhaven National Labs on Long Island. I was supposed to be learning HTML code for this newfangled thing called the World Wide Web but I was more interested in driving powerlaps around the RHIC particle accelerator ring during lunch breaks.

One day Silicon Graphics rolled up with an 18-wheeler filled with systems ranging from Indys to Indigo2s to a rackmount Onyx running an F/A-18 flight simulator - it was part of a national promotional tour. I got a few minutes to play with each of the systems (mostly just tumbling 3D models in PowerFlip) and then sat down at the Onyx to try out the flight sim, which was hooked up to a beefy Flybox joystick / throttle controller and a big projection screen. There was a big crowd standing around the sim oogling its high-res textured graphics - the sense of excitement was palpable. I launched from the carrier, flew out over land, and attempted a loop - alas I was too low and smashed into the ground, ending my turn at the stick.

I grabbed some brochures and left the trailer feeling like I had just test-driven a Ferrari. I already had a keen interest in 3D animation, but that day was the beginning of my fascination with SGI equipment, which was finally consummated in 2004 when I got an Indigo2. I've got a dozen more SGI machines now, and I still have those old brochures from the trailer.

Re: Your first SGI encounter

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:30 pm
by robespierre
At SIGGRAPH '94. The conference had Indys running NCSA Mosaic and KaleidoTile. The CAVE exhibit used three rackmount Onyx RE2 machines connected over HIPPI with 2 Power Challenge XLs and an IBM SP2 to run simulations.
There was also a guy there who put a RC car frame under an Onyx deskside, taped a wireless camera to it, and drove it around the hall "interacting" with attendees. "Interactivity" was hot that year. His shock on the fourth day when it went missing was palpable:
"Where's my Onyx‽"

Re: Your first SGI encounter

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:49 pm
by JohnnyJohnny
'94 or '95, San Jose California at the jet fighter air combat simulator (I think it was called Air Combat USA at the time). The "game" was powered by a bunch of rack-mounted Onyx. A thing of beauty. Our software company had a booth at MacWorld in San Francisco, and we drove down to San Jose to play.

Re: Your first SGI encounter

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:01 pm
by jirka
In 2001 when I started to work at the university. There still was a classroom full of Indys here (they aslo had a few Indigo 2s and a 15+ O2 but I never seen these). If I remember correctly they were the R5k machines. I have used the ANSYS.

Re: Your first SGI encounter

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:44 pm
by Dodoid
I had heard of them for a while, and was kind of interested in them, so when a collection selloff including my original 7 ( :Octane: :Octane: :Octane: :O2: :Indigo2: :Indy: :Indy: ) appeared on Kijiji and the guy was willing to trade for some laptops that I had laying around, I started researching them and found Nekochan. I arranged to get them in Toronto, but I live in Ottawa. My dad, who was visiting Toronto for work, agreed to pick them up, however due to unrelated plans for a family trip, unlike his usual business trips to Toronto, he would go direct to my family's cottage where we would meet him. He brought the machines inside and put them on the floor there (one of the first things he said was "the cubes were heavy", presumably referring to Octanes.

As such, my first SGI encounter was with my first Indigo2 which I saw through the window walking up to the front door, then with two Octanes which were sitting on the floor, then with some boxes of parts, then with my 2 Indys stacked up, then the O2 behind them, then the Octane over in the corner.

TL;DR first SGI encounter was with the 7 SGIs I had just bought, around a year ago.

Re: Your first SGI encounter

Posted: Fri Aug 11, 2017 9:59 pm
by ClassicHasClass
Indys at the Salk Institute when I interned there as an undergraduate (summer of 1996). They were ostensibly for protein visualization but they got mostly used for xdoom. :)

Re: Your first SGI encounter

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:24 am
by Y888099
Dodoid wrote:"the cubes were heavy", presumably referring to Octanes


Exactly the first thing I said when I tried to lift up :D

You can of course put your Octane in a woody box, which makes things strong enough to survive the shipping; the problem when you have to take the airplane is ... these days, god knows what would happen when they see you carrying a strange woody cube box with a strange iron cube inside, strange plastics, it doesn't look like a common peeeeeceeeeee, the cube is too heavy, they don't know what that stuff is but they don't like it.

Thus they'd probably end putting you in prison, oooh!! a terrorist! :lol:

Re: Your first SGI encounter

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:42 am
by Trippynet
Teesside University in the UK. My dad had taken on a job as assistant technical manager of their virtual reality centre and when I was on school holidays around 1996/1997 or so, he took me in one day to see the place (I would have been around 13 years old). A year or so later I spent a week there on work experience as well.

My first look at an SGI was seeing the developers lab with about half a dozen purple Indigo2 IMPACT machines complete with 21" monitors (and boy that room was toasty by mid-afternoon!). For someone used to beige PCs with maybe a 17" monitor at best, they looked stunning. I also saw the student lab next door with about 30 Indys in it for teaching the students SoftIMAGE, and their Onyx 10000 (rackmount) that drove the VR auditorium.

The VR auditorium consisted of a huge curved screen driven by three Barco projectors. Being able to load up full 3D models and walk smoothly around them on that gigantic screen was seriously impressive for the time. They even had a full 3D model of Middlesbrough town centre to wander around.

It was from this place in around 2002 or so that I obtained 3 of the Indys when the student lab was decommissioned (my first SGI machines), and an O2 the following year from a different student lab, but the purple Indigo2 IMPACT remained my dream machine, and is still my favourite SGI system today. As well as being the first SGI I saw, I always looked upon the Indigo2s as being the real high-end machines used by the professional developers, whilst the Indys were the cheaper machines used by the students.

Re: Your first SGI encounter

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 4:53 am
by Y888099
Trippynet wrote:[..] Teesside University in the UK [..] around 2002 or so that I obtained 3 of the Indys when the student lab was decommission


So, the whole word is not big enough to carry on casuality: man, I am afraid we are talking about the same fact from two points of view. I was there in Teesside some years later my first erasmus experience in UK, and I physically saw the decommission as an act of throwing machines out of the window.

May be, the last set (what allocated to strangers like me, to allow us to use internet) of SGI machines to be decommissioned.

That's funny, anyway, ain't it? :D

Re: Your first SGI encounter

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 5:04 am
by Irinikus
Trippynet wrote:but the purple Indigo2 IMPACT remained my dream machine, and is still my favourite SGI system today.


It's interesting to see that SGI machine's tend to leave such an impression the first time you see them (So completely different to the norm in a really cool kind of way), that the first machine you see or use generally continues to be your favorite!

I can definitely relate to that! :D

Re: Your first SGI encounter

Posted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 8:49 am
by Dodoid
Y888099 wrote:peeeeeceeeeee


I think we, as a forum, make this word longer by a few e's every time someone types it :lol: .