Hey, now this thread has been bumped and given that I never "properly" introduced myself I might as well add something here...
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... 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...
 That's a gripe I still have with Windows and - to some extent - with Apples (and even some newer Linux distros)
Sun U60/2x450, U10/440, U2/2x200, AXi/440; some PCs
[R4k4/250, SI]; DEC VX40;
Sun SS1/1+/2/4/5/10/20/ELC/IPC/IPX/Classic/LX/Classic X/Xterminal 1, U1/1E/5/30, JS1/NC;
DTK Station U-2/2x360; Apple iMac DV G3/400; Toshiba Libretto 110CT + even more PCs