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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:26 pm 
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He.... that sounds really interesting. That relocates to the harddisk noise problem to a whole new place. Another room even ;-),

(how about use hosting the client tree on Amazon's AWS platform??? ;-D ??

Even though the article assumes (of course) that both client and server are running IRIX, would there be a reason you could not use a Linux tftp en NFS server?

As for speed, at first I thought that the transfer speed would be to slow but the some article on wikipedia says the scsi bus speed in an Indigo2 is only 10Mbit/s anyway, so doing everything over a 10Mbit ethernet connection could be fine.

(it might actually be faster because instead of an old rattling scsi disk you would be using a much faster IDE drive in the NFS server.

Or course for the client this still requires a distribution with NFS for IRIX support, right?

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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:35 pm 
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thijsatteiltje wrote:
some article on wikipedia says the scsi bus speed in an Indigo2 is only 10Mbit/s anyway, so doing everything over a 10Mbit ethernet connection could be fine.

No, the SCSI bus is 10MB/s (megabyte, not megabit). The latency of a network connection is also an issue. Low latency is very noticeable (it's what makes SSDs so fast compared to regular disks)

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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:55 pm 
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Mmm, yeah, I was wondering when I read that if the author had not mistaken a 'mb' for an 'MB' ;(

still, just to run it as an mp3 server would be enough. Here is a guy who did just that (using a BSD nfs server)
The comments on this article suggests that others were successful too.
http://www.geektechnique.org/projectlab ... layer.html

(if anything, be sure to check out his retro-filled home theatre setup with old macintoshes as spectrum analysers:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/geektechnique/2101948376/
http://www.geektechnique.org/images/1710.jpg

I am going to try this approach, seems like a nice hack to get it work.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 12:57 pm 
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Although booting over the network would definitely take a bit longer than booting from a directly attached SCSI hard disk, performance should be just fine once the machine has booted, as long as you are not doing very disk-heavy things, like working with large scratch files, video to/from disk, running short of physical RAM and needing to use swap space, etc. Also, for your network, be sure that you are using a switch, not an unswitched hub. The performance difference between a switched vs unswitched hub is very noticeable at 10 Mb/s.

If you take this approach, I suggest taking the extra step of setting up a single, shared home directory, i.e. set up a single NFS share that can be mounted at /usr/people for all systems, providing access to the same personal files and settings on all machines, with no need to duplicate environments. Once you've done that, you have pretty much duplicated a type of IRIX deployment that was widely found in corporate environments and in academic computer labs, circa 1996. :D


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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2012 1:05 pm 
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thijsatteiltje wrote:
still, just to run it as an mp3 server would be enough. Here is a guy who did just that

Thanks for mentioning that. A lot of us really appreciated that guy's site. He passed away at a very young age, and it was quite a loss to the community. Nice to see that the old site is still up and running.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:13 pm 
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josehill wrote:
I've wondered several times during this thread if the "IRIX Diskless Workstation" approach might be a better solution than Swap-o-Matic hard drives. I don't have first hand experience managing such a setup, but it doesn't look to be too complex. (I'm not sure if you need any special licensing for it. I suspect not, but I might be wrong.)


For IRIX 6 you don't. For IRIX 5.3 I believe you do need additional licenses for the "IRIXpro" stuff. At least you'd need the IRIXpro packages, which don't come on the standard 5.3 media.

You might be able to serve 5.3 diskless from 6.x.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:50 am 
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Thanks for all the great tips guys... here is what my current plan is:
- Wait for a Raspberry PI to become available in New Zealand (http://www.raspberrypi.org/faqs)
- Stick the raspberry together with a 32GB SD card and a nice quiet 500GB SATA disk in this Indy-blue enclosure that i have (http://i14.ebayimg.com/04/i/001/00/ae/c2e8_1_sbl.JPG)
- Store all my Irix and Nekoware cd images on the Sata disk
- Boot my Indy, Indigo2 and O2 via TFTP and NFS from the SD card for true silent computing. (sans fan woosh)
- AND actually use the rest of the capacity of the Raspberry NAS for backup and XBMC mediacenter play back (this thing can run 1080P HD video)

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:18 am 
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oo! and forgot to mention the other thing that would make this a true "SGI Booster Pack":

To use an SGI as your day-to-day machine the single biggest hurdle you run into is the absence of a modern web brower (when you need proper javascript and flash support and performance).

So... for the apps you simple cannot run on your Irix desktop, you would run them remotely on your Raspberry Fedora installation and have deliverd via X on your Irix desktop.

It's like a GameGenie for your Workstation!!

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Unread postPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 10:59 am 
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Too bad no one's going to try this - it was sounding sort of interesting.

I'm too booked with life, Hedera and Homer's Nose to try it out.

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Unread postPosted: Mon May 14, 2012 2:22 am 
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I honestly don't see what's the point of quieting down these old and iconic workstation/ desk sides.. The rackmount servers are understandable ...

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Unread postPosted: Wed May 16, 2012 4:38 pm 
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It's just the zen of the whole experience... :-P

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Unread postPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 9:18 am 
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Ryan Fox wrote:
I honestly don't see what's the point of quieting down these old and iconic workstation/ desk sides...
Sometimes I like to listen to music with quiet bits, with as little of the roaring ambient noise as possible. And wearing headphones all the time is a drag. Also, sometimes I need to be on the phone and would prefer not to have to quickly shutdown one or two machines.

Lastly, it's neat to be able to make some useful and clever mods to these machines. Like getting SATA in a Fuel/O3x0, or better/quieter cooling, or...

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