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Unread postPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 10:17 am 
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I became interested in SGI when i first saw toy story. this prompted me to seek out sites like "Buying an SGI System" http://cgi.amazing.com/internet/old-sgi-faq.html which prompted my first thirst for the 4D/20 or 4D/25; i subsequently obtained 3. :) after that things really got out of hand. the most i've had was around 30 including 4 predators, 3 crimsons, a single and a twin tower as the largest of my family. since then, i've cut down on most of the big beasts, only a couple of origins, and an onyx2 in addition to the SkyWriter, plus a bunch of desktops of various flavors.

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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 1:05 am 
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Saw this older thread and thought to add to the list...

Became interested in SGI's when a company went broke in the mid to late 90's sold all the Internet servers. Grabbed two SGI Indy's at the time. They came with two SGI monitors, full Irix CD sets, keyboards, and external SGI CD ROM. From memory paid only a few hundred for them at the time, which was pretty good when they were only a few years old.


Could not get over how well integrated the graphical interface was with the Unix command line way of doing things. Once you get hooked by an SGI, they are hard to get away from...


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 6:42 am 
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cris_adder wrote:
Could not get over how well integrated the graphical interface was with the Unix command line way of doing things.
Which pretty much tainted my appreciation of Solaris/Linux/etcetera. :)

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:09 pm 
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Jurassic Park lead me down the IRIX path. I also was really wanting to learn a UNIX system and a bit of graphic editing. I also longed for the command driven days, like back in the 90s. The fact they developed the graphics for the N64 and make such cool machines has kept me hooked. I think that is why I have 6 more machines in the mail...

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:52 pm 
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hey now this thread has been bumped again and again and I've posted thrice but is it just me or is the modern wintel stuff getting worse and worse? I have a bit of a saga here and need to rant...

I spent... a long time... trying to figure out how to get windows 7 just to display filename extensions yesterday (why they would hide them in the first place is beyond me). Gave up, couldn't figure it out. used CMD to copy files the old fashioned way. Maybe this proves how computer illiterate I am.

I had recorded some .aiff files with the octane and copied them over to my PC to burn a CD. You see, the PC has a burner and the octane does not. Well, windows 7 (the media player) refused to burn because there was no 'file usage rights' or something like that (what's that? it's my recording, it's my hardware, and it's my blank CD... why can't I put it all together??! maybe the microsoft company trying to fool the silly viruses again!)

Actually the first time I tried to burn on windows 7 I selected the .aiff files, hit 'burn' in explorer and it opened the tray and told me to put in a blank disc. I did so, and a little dialog box popped up that said how much time was left... easy! too easy... there was one big track on the CD and no sound came out when I tried to play it!

Compare this to the octane... soon after this ordeal (which happened quite recently mind you) I picked up a scuzzy cdburner for the octane... "cdrecord -audio -pad track1 track2 track3 etc..." and out popped a nice shiny disc with beautiful sound that plays in all sorts of machines.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:19 pm 
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^^ "DRM" -- which is one big reason any windows crap in here is never going past win2k.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 25, 2010 9:35 pm 
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I just thought it was funny how I hit the burn button and had selected a bunch of audio files (uncompressed .aiffs that I had created exactly to CD audio specifications) and windows explorer proceeded to make a data-formatted CD. :roll:

First time I've ever been slapped in the face by DRM as well, even though I have all sorts of pirated stuffz around and also DRM 'technology' all around as well. I was assuming it was a file permission problem or something like that.

point being, irix makes things easy, windows makes things hard.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 2:01 pm 
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No hardware I own has a trace of Microsoft code since 1999, I figure if I can't do with Linux it can't have been that worth doing in the first place... 8-)

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 8:43 pm 
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sybrfreq wrote:
point being, irix makes things easy, windows makes things hard.


IRIX (and Solaris, and OpenVMS, and ...) expect that you know a little about your machine or know how to find it out. They work great if you can be bothered to learn about your machine.

Windows works OK if you aren't interested in learning anything about your machine. Once you start to learn how things work Windows becomes extremely irritating.

My guess is that 80% of the PC hardware/software is made for people who allow themselves to believe that "it's supposed to work (or not work) that way" when faced with something that doesn't work properly.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2010 6:50 am 
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Hey, now this thread has been bumped and given that I never "properly" introduced myself I might as well add something here... :D

So, what got me into SGIs... Long story. My computing experience started off with VIC-20/C64 in the eighties and I loved those machines - you could take them apart, they (especially the C64) could already be useful, yet they were so simple to tinker with. I finally got my first PC in 1992, as the C64 just didn't cut it anymore. I'd have loved to have gotten a Mac, but they were just unaffordable, so I settled for a 486. Coming from he C64 experience, the whole DOS/Win3.x experience never was quite satisfying - far too many "Why the heck is this thing doing this?" moments. Then I had my first contact with Suns at university (Linux shortly afterwards). Wow, what a difference - fascinating machines - finally machines again where I at least had the feeling that I control the computer, not the other way round[0]... That affection grew stronger during my first jobs, where - luckily - I always had a Sun on my desk and not a PC. While I went from Win3.x straight to Linux at home (since 1997), it took a few more years before I finally could afford my first Sun. And the second. And the third... ...you get the picture. That collection basically grew until the time I became a father and a home owner - both well known time and money drains... :) (...though I wouldn't have it any other way...)

All this time I was vaguely aware of other Unices and the corresponding hardware. I got some very limited experience with HP-UX at two workplaces - and of course I knew of SGI. I remember seeing an Indigo2 Impact and an Octane at some place once and I found them aweinspiring and I had heard many stories about their graphical capabilities and they looked nice to boot... I also almost bought an Indy at some point, but was put off by the vague legality with regard to the OS - and I decided to leave it at Suns.

That all lay pretty much dormant over the past years - until that fatal day last November, when a house nearby was sold and the previous owner apparently cleaned out everything. The resulting dumpster was just too tempting, so I went for some scavenging. I had already bagged an old P1 laptop and a DEC VX40 when I discovered the two largish purple computer cases at the bottom. From all I knew that could only be SGIs... I left them at first, in doubt whether I should dare to start yet another project I don't really have time for - but did start some reading (thanks Ian - already told you that your site was crucial... :) ). That really got me interested - so I went back the next day (thank God the night was dry) and fetched both of them... They turned out to be the two Indigo 2 Impacts I have in my signature - scratched, of course, but fully functional. I managed to get Irix 6.5 onto the R10k and got it running - and was hooked. Just the functionality of the set-up was amazing. I wish Sun's CDE had looked and worked like 4DWM back then - I might have skipped all my experiments with alternative window managers at the time... Anyway, this got me interested enough so I spared a little Christmas cash for a present to myself: The Octane. And to round it off, I got the Indy for free with the Octane which I was very happy with. Funny enough, so far I've spent more time at the Indy than at the Octane - the Indy is such a cute little thing, IMO...

So, these days I'm trying to sell off some old Sun and PC stuff and save a little money so I can upgrade the SGIs a bit more (maybe a V6 for the Octane at some point in the next 2-3 months). In any case, they've successfully conquered a place in my network/collection... :D

Cheerio,

Thomas

[0] That's a gripe I still have with Windows and - to some extent - with Apples (and even some newer Linux distros)

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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:32 pm 
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It seems like a lot of people here, I was always interested by weird and wonderful computers as I grew up, and had heard of the Indy and seen pics of it. About a year ago, my college was dumping out a load of old machines, amongst which was a perfectly functional Indy which I rehoused. I like that 'designed from the ground up' feel of it in terms of both hardware and software, as opposed to the sort of hacked together way PCs are.

The Indy I have is a quite slow, being an R4000 with 64MB of RAM. I was considering upgrading it, but the amount of money that would require means that it would be more cost effective for me to get one of the faster SGI machines from eBay or the SGI Depot.

As for other workstations, there's plenty of Sun machines in my college (mainly Sun Blade 100s, but there's a few unused Sparcstation 5s and Sparc Classics around the place). To be honest however, I find them kind of boring... I wish I could get my hands on something more exotic like an AlphaStation or RS/6000 for my collection.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:28 pm 
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ch_123 wrote:
As for other workstations, there's plenty of Sun machines in my college (mainly Sun Blade 100s, but there's a few unused Sparcstation 5s and Sparc Classics around the place). To be honest however, I find them kind of boring... I wish I could get my hands on something more exotic like an AlphaStation or RS/6000 for my collection.


Suns are pretty well designed, and the easy availability of Solaris and the Sun compilers makes them an excellent intro to non-PC UNIXes.

The Alpha has the OpenVMS Hobbyist program, which provides OS, layered products and compilers, but there isn't an equivalent Tru64 program any more. AIX never has had a hobbyist program, so good luck getting a full setup (especially with xlC/xlC++).

You can run xBSD or Linux on them, but then you have a Linux or BSD box (albeit a very stable and reliable one). Linux support on Alpha is starting to get spottier now that it isn't new and cool, so that's something to keep watch on. Support is still pretty good, but the xBSD guys seem to be more committed to maintaining platform support than the Linux coders.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2010 7:17 pm 
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hamei wrote:
^^ "DRM" -- which is one big reason any windows crap in here is never going past win2k.


i never used any DRM protected media, but i hung it up at XP anyway.

the bar is just set way to low on windows and pc's. i need to get things done.

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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 3:43 pm 
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Jurassic Park! :) It also got me started on UNIX. I mean, ffs, if that stupid girl could run UNIX then so could I (the logic of an 11-year-old, enjoy)! Who says misogyny never created anything worthwhile?

I ran Linux for a while in the 90s, loved the stability vs. Windows but found it poorly-integrated. I got my first SGI in '98, an Indigo2 Solid Impact (R4400SC 250MHz) with 128MB RAM and a 2GB HDD, and I adored it and its demos and Blender and the frickin' awesome Indigo Magic environment until I somehow managed to rm -rf something I shouldn't have-- and I didn't have OS media so that put it out of commission until I was able to purchase a copy of IRIX, over a year later. It was my primary system for my first two years of college, but when I left the US to study abroad it was too heavy to bring and so it now sleeps in my parents' attic. Five years after running away to Europe, I realised I'm not going back and I finally bought an O2 - now chipped to 600MHz - and then a Fuel, and who knows what other iron the future may hold?

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Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:44 pm 
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In 1993 my employer started lugging in vast quantities of Indigo2's for the mechanical engineers to use with Pro/ENGINEER. At the time, my group was hacking in C and fortran on two MicroVAX 3100's, but we rapidly transitioned to using the SGI's, of which there were hundreds, maybe a thousand or more. The VAX's were 1988 models, and couldn't really compare to the sgi's. I remember being more or less in awe. The ME's had been using Anvil 1000 for CAD, which likewise was no comparison to Pro/ENGINEER. We used to telnet into each others workstations and play annoying sounds, Road Runner MEEP MEEP's and various other less mature things. The pee cee users, who had no sound capability, didn't know what was going on... :lol:

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