Itaniums? sgi to use Dorado line to boost workstations?

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Antnee
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Unread postby Antnee » Thu Apr 28, 2005 4:51 am

I wonder if their recent losses have anything to do with not charging NASA any where near as much as Columbia is worth?

Anyone remember Thinking Machines? Awesome hardware, but they survived off government grants and jobs arranged by the government for them. You should read this story if you want to see what happened to them:

http://www.inc.com/magazine/19950915/2622.html

Read it, process it, and then see if any of it seems like Deja Vu? Bare in mind that this article was originally written in September 1995...
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hamei
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Unread postby hamei » Thu Apr 28, 2005 5:57 am

assyrix wrote:I own SGI stock and am still holding it as I bought it around $15 and now it's worth $0.79.


It occurs to me that for $80 (on the penny-stocks market, soon) one could buy 100 shares then attend an annual meeting to bring up a few management deficiencies :-)

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R-ten-K
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Unread postby R-ten-K » Thu Apr 28, 2005 1:24 pm

hamei wrote:
assyrix wrote:I own SGI stock and am still holding it as I bought it around $15 and now it's worth $0.79.


It occurs to me that for $80 (on the penny-stocks market, soon) one could buy 100 shares then attend an annual meeting to bring up a few management deficiencies :-)


You could actually buy enough to replace Bishop, rumor has it that the only reason he is at the helm is due to the fact that he was the largest shareholder left.

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Unread postby roosmcd » Thu Apr 28, 2005 2:34 pm

assyrix wrote:IIRC the company has made a loss every year since 1998 , and in every report from 1998 they have sprouted a different blurb on how to resurrect their sales - with no discernible effect.


Trial-and-error. They're bound to stumble on the ultimate business method by accident and when that happens, oh boy, PROFITS!

assyrix
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Unread postby assyrix » Fri Apr 29, 2005 9:51 am

We already found their perfect business model: case modding.

jollyroger
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Unread postby jollyroger » Fri Apr 29, 2005 5:08 pm

Well guys, have you ever noticed the actual money KKR paid to acquire Alias from SGI? $57 millions...
If you don't call that a steal... it is pretty clear SGI is literally giving away its assets in a backyard sale...

Jollyroger

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Dubhthach
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Unread postby Dubhthach » Fri Apr 29, 2005 5:26 pm

jollyroger wrote:Well guys, have you ever noticed the actual money KKR paid to acquire Alias from SGI? $57 millions...
If you don't call that a steal... it is pretty clear SGI is literally giving away its assets in a backyard sale...

Jollyroger


I wonder how much they would ask for the source code of IRIX now that would be interesting. Or even for something like XSGI or 4dwm
"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better"

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Unread postby recondas » Sat Apr 30, 2005 2:08 pm

Dubhthach wrote:I wonder how much they would ask for the source code of IRIX now that would be interesting. Or even for something like XSGI or 4dwm


I don't think sgi owns very much of the unix part of the source code - many of the pieces they do own they've already ported over to linux and/or opensource. As much as I truely appreciate siliconbunny's efforts to secure a "hobbyist' version of IRIX for 50 bucks, this is the main reason I don't think a hobbyist version will ever appear <i.e. what do they have to pay for each version they license, and/or will their license even allow it?>. They've clearly chosen linux as their future. In sgi's current financial position, maintaining both IRIX and linux is a drain on resources they have progressively less and less of to expend. At this point in the game, I'd suspect sgi believes doing anything to promote IRIX has the potential to worsen their situation <the other reason I think that hobbyist IRIX is a big time longshot>.

recondas <but hey, WTF do I know anyway?>

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hamei
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Unread postby hamei » Sat Apr 30, 2005 8:51 pm

recondas wrote: ... They've clearly chosen linux as their future. In sgi's current financial position, maintaining both IRIX and linux is a drain on resources they have progressively less and less of to expend.

Classic undercapitalized death spiral :-( Only thing new and exciting about this is that they seem to be starting from a position in the billions. Ten years without making a profit, how the hell can they do that ? IBM went one quarter (a big one tho !) and the stockholders were out for blood.

At this point in the game, I'd suspect sgi believes doing anything to promote IRIX has the potential to worsen their situation <the other reason I think that hobbyist IRIX is a big time longshot>.


This sure looks like their thinking. Or whatever passes for thinking in Mountain View these days ... but :

Which is harder to do - get new customers or keep old ones ? How difficult is it to ween people off crappy-assed Windows fer chrissakes, after they've spent years figuring it out and getting all their stuff running on the platform ? As far as I can see, it's a long hard row getting people to change to your system even if it's demonstrably better and cheaper to operate (e.g. Apple.)

So .... probably maintaining and improving Irix is an expense. But is it an expense they can afford to dispense with ? Oil in your car engine is an expense, too, but "saving" by cutting back on that usually turns out poorly.

Something SGI seems to have totally lost track of - they need customers more than the customers need them - especially now, when they really don't have that much to offer. Yeah, they have some kewl stuff - but IBM, HP, and Sun at the top end and Apple at the bottom are no slouches either. If SGI wants to continue to exist they're gonna have to learn who pays the light bills.

The very first thing they should do is make existing customers feel at least somewhat warm and fuzzy. Every good salesman on earth knows you don't win sales by being a cheapskate. If you're angling for a ten million dollar sale but you're too cheap to buy a $30 lunch, what does that say psychologically to the potential customer ? Right - no confidence. Shaky outfit, you probaly don't even want to be involved with this place. I don't care how many press releases you hand out, you become just another annoyance like those Santas ringing their bells at Christmas - get away ! Talking about "how clever and advanced" their engineers are isn't real convincing if they can't even write a goddamned firewire or usb driver for a system they should know inside-out. Script-kiddies in Linuxland can, why not these supposedly topnotch engineers ? Perceptions are important, despite what they think. Gates got to be the world's wealthiest man entirely on perceptions. SGI would do better to pay at least a smidgeon of attention to what their actions say to the world.

(And SB ? Saying "you aren't their target customer anymore" is exactly what I'm talking about here. Life doesn't occur in a vacuum. I may no longer be their target customer, but the new "target customer" just may have an Octane at home and the blood running down his ass doesn't make him feel so happy towards SGI. Even if he doesn't, other people do (did) - Hubble Ground Tracking for instance - and those bloodstains in the seat of one's pants are hard to conceal from other workers in the field. Most guys don't want to have those, ya know ?)

There's just nothing about this that makes sense unless they have that new teenaged girl disease - slitting your wrists. (I was kinda surpised at that too.) They need to first realize deep in their bones that customers pay the bills. No one needs SGI. SGI needs sales and happy (or at least contented) customers. There's no two ways of thinking about that, it's an absolute.

Then they need to think for a change about what their actions say to the world. "We're turning off free maintenance stream fixes for a nine-month delay period" = "our service contracts are so overpriced and worthless that we have to try to force people to continue with them by squeezing off any possible alternative." Shutting off Varsity, jesus, who thought that one up ? Scrooge McDuck ? Their attitude towards the Developer Plus program, same thing. Do they want software that runs on SGI computers or not ? Why should they care if it runs on Irix instead of Linux unless they want to denigrate their own past products - other people are gonna do the work and any press is good press, right ? If Diego et al made a spiffy updated O2 video Toaster, why should SGI care that it's only gonna sell maybe fifty units ? If it gets press even from the Register, that's more than they're getting now. Then this crap about squeezing off Irix support - now there's a real winner. Sure, maybe quarterly releases are not viable these days - but how about a press release telling people that you intend to cut back to a semi-annual program "since Irix is a mature, stable platform" rather than letting the world assume (and the world will assume this) that it's because you are such a loser that you can't afford to even pay for a usb driver ?

They really need to understand that nobody serious is going to gape in awe at a water-cooled door. People would consider their other offerings but not very seriously, given the way they are supporting their past products. Who wants to be left there holding the bag when SGI changes its so-called strategy yet again ? Their press releases can talk all they like about being "the source of innovation" - which, to be honest they really were at one time - but all their recent actions scream "Loser ! Loser ! We're a bunch of losers !" about five hundred times louder than any boilerplate press crap could ever overcome. Talk is kewl but actions speak louder than words - and their actions tell people loudly, "If you buy from SGI, next week when we change 'strategies' once again, you're gonna be bent over the barrel with your pants down around your ankles." Despite what SGI brass may think, that's not a popular position even at high-dollar high-end sites.

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GeneratriX
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SGI Global Developer Program PLUS

Unread postby GeneratriX » Sun May 01, 2005 1:19 pm

Hello Hamei;
how goes all by China? I hope well! ;)
I've found some interesting items in your post. Let's see:

hamei wrote:Their attitude towards the Developer Plus program, same thing. Do they want software that runs on SGI computers or not ?


Well; I can't say it exactly.

I've entered to the "SGI Global Developer Program PLUS" two years ago, almost when new IRIX developments started to get a slow fade out from SGI. I've never insisted to they, and I've noticed their aproval within 15 days of filled the company's form.

I don't know how goes the things now for those programmers actually eligible for a membership; but I must say that employees on SGI were amazingly cool with me.

hamei wrote:Why should they care if it runs on Irix instead of Linux unless they want to denigrate their own past products - other people are gonna do the work and any press is good press, right ?


They don't care.

If you develop for IRIX, you have the development pack, and you have a doable project, you'll get technical and bussiness support if you need and request it. Of course maybe they could take a few days, or a few weeks to reply your request. But if you recall them with a short eMail, they are proud to help.

In the other hand, if you develop for LINUX, as far as I know, there is not a development pack from SGI, and you must get the compilers from Intel. And for the rest, if you need technical or bussiness support, same goes for LINUX. You'll not get a faster reply for your project, as far as I know. Maybe the things could change if you mention interest to buy a LINUX box, I don't know.

hamei wrote:If Diego et al made a spiffy updated O2 video Toaster, why should SGI care that it's only gonna sell maybe fifty units ? If it gets press even from the Register, that's more than they're getting now.


I've received a few calls many months ago, boosting my software developments, and preventing me that my promised LINUX port could not be SO EASY when we talk about multi-processor machines, since I could need to get a lot of extra cares to get all running on Altix. By those days, Prism line was only an idea, and the only existant SGI LINUX box with a graphic head was a modded Altix with some ATI hardware, running on about U$D8000 for a single node dveloper box, including discounts.

I've received from they an invitation to U.S.A., to show something of my project on the SGIUG, but I've was not able to take their offer because my obligations by those days with work and clients, to not mention the surprisingly high expenses by those days for a 30 days travell to U.S.A., when my country was with a exchange currency of: [4 Arg$ = 1 US$]

But by some way or other, I've always get some kind of encourage from they to work in my project, including eMails, phone calls, support, and pretty much all the needed information resources to do my work.

Now, let me say it clear; to put in aware all the potential programmers desiring to get a membership on the SGI Global Developer Program PLUS:

SGI can provide you an excellent development pack, with suitable permanent licenses for an eternal work, all shipped with care in a nice box with the double of size of a shoes box.

You'll get access to every developers database. You'll get access to latest overlays of IRIX, and LINUX ProPack if you are signed for LINUX too. You'll get some extra support, a few phone calls to talk with company employees, and solutions for technical and/or bussiness problems. And that's all.

You'll not get your wheels greased with money from SGI to get done the job. You'll not get IRIX or LINUX equipment as gift for a completed work, or for any kind of work in progress; or at least, it is not an obbligation from SGI.

So; if you are thinking to develop for SGI IRIX, or SGI LINUX, take carefully account of those things, plainning the things before to get enough founds to continue your work in the time.

If you develop in C++, and you wants a really ready to go mature project for the end customer, you MUST take cares to get founds along these development, since you COULD NOT GET IT DONE BEFORE TWO YEARS!

That was my fail, and not from SGI. I was convinced that working seven days a weeks, 16 hours every day I could finish the whole project in less than 12 months. That was a huge fail!

I've consumed LOTS of resources from my own cash, lots of time, lots of energy, and my project is not finished by now.

Summarizing: was necessary a complete stop by two months to get re-organized my schedulles and strategies to keep programming while I can make some other payd works. Was necessary to turn all my IRIX developments again to the category of "hobby", against my previous "full-time" approach.

I'll repeat it for anyone distracted: the Developer Program programmers are not getting any kind of economical resources from SGI, either if you talk of freeware or commercialware. You are responsible for your own success or defeat.

In fact, they are pretty much a neutral force behind you, if you don't request from they any kind of technical or bussiness assistance (pretty much my own case; since I've simply not needed/requested too much support, excepting two things: 1) O2 ip32 sourcecode to get the Chicago-Joe >800MHz processors working, and... 2) DM10 drivers fully compliant with both IIDC and AV/C standards), so they will not stop you to develop for IRIX.

And if you want to develop for LINUX the most probably risponse there'll be: "Buy A Prism!"; in fact, maybe the Prism is the actual LINUX developer's gateway to the programming ballpark.

hamei wrote:Then this crap about squeezing off Irix support - now there's a real winner. Sure, maybe quarterly releases are not viable these days - but how about a press release telling people that you intend to cut back to a semi-annual program "since Irix is a mature, stable platform" rather than letting the world assume (and the world will assume this) that it's because you are such a loser that you can't afford to even pay for a usb driver ?


I don't know what happens with IEEE-1394 and USB drivers on SGI. This is an obscure mistery for me. They seems to be too rejected to get both things working; and I don't know why. I'm sure they can.

I think of IRIX workstations/servers in relation to LINUX current line as an entry point to the actual SGI line that is a big asset for the company, since this is what the people can get easily. I think of eBay Indy/Indigo2/O2/Octane boxes almost as "free-samples" of what you could get from current SGI(s). Comparing prices from latest 8 years, with those from today, an Octane is *almost* free now.

They seems to not realize this. IRIX boxes on eBay are not the enemy; in fact they are corporative image and brand promotion escentially by free.


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