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 Post subject: New here, and what OS?
Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:04 pm 
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Hello everyone, this is my first post. I love collecting older, but interesting, computers. Well, just a couple days ago, I picked up an SGI Indigo for $30! This is my first SGI system, and also my first MIPS system. I believe it is a 100MHz machine, and by looking at the memory, Id guess 160MB (I may have more to add). The graphics board is the Elan!

Unfortunately no hard drive. It only has one drive sled, occupied by a floppy drive. I have 50pin SCSI drives (from old Macs), including a 2GB and 6GB, and planned to swap one in place of the floppy. I also have a few 50pin SCSI internal CDROM drives, as well as various external 5.25" SCSI drives such as SyQuests and the likes. So, I was thinking to swap a CDROM into one of those cases, and hopefully have myself a compatible external CDROM. Also, I have a Sun MicroSystems keyboard and mouse, which seem to fit nicely into the ports labeled 1 and 2, and I was hoping this would work as well.

Well, what I really want to know is what my options are for an operating system. The thing is, Id really like to make use of the 3D capabilities of the Elan board. With this in mind, is my only option Irix? Is there a best version of Irix to run on this machine? Id really prefer to use something open source, or at least free. But if nothing free will be able to use the Elan boards 3D capabilities, I will pursue running Irix. How much does a copy of Irix go for anyway?

Thanks for any help and I am really looking forward to getting this machine operational!

-Chris P


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:15 pm 
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Cobalt60 wrote:
Hello everyone, this is my first post. I love collecting older, but interesting, computers. Well, just a couple days ago, I picked up an SGI Indigo for $30! This is my first SGI system, and also my first MIPS system. I believe it is a 100MHz machine, and by looking at the memory, Id guess 160MB (I may have more to add). The graphics board is the Elan!

Unfortunately no hard drive. It only has one drive sled, occupied by a floppy drive. I have 50pin SCSI drives (from old Macs), including a 2GB and 6GB, and planned to swap one in place of the floppy. I also have a few 50pin SCSI internal CDROM drives, as well as various external 5.25" SCSI drives such as SyQuests and the likes. So, I was thinking to swap a CDROM into one of those cases, and hopefully have myself a compatible external CDROM. Also, I have a Sun MicroSystems keyboard and mouse, which seem to fit nicely into the ports labeled 1 and 2, and I was hoping this would work as well.

Well, what I really want to know is what my options are for an operating system. The thing is, Id really like to make use of the 3D capabilities of the Elan board. With this in mind, is my only option Irix? Is there a best version of Irix to run on this machine? Id really prefer to use something open source, or at least free. But if nothing free will be able to use the Elan boards 3D capabilities, I will pursue running Irix. How much does a copy of Irix go for anyway?

Thanks for any help and I am really looking forward to getting this machine operational!

-Chris P



http://www.openbsd.org/sgi.html
http://www.netbsd.org/ports/sgimips/
http://www.linux-mips.org/wiki/Main_Page

General starter notes here:
http://www.nekochan.net/wiki/index.php/I_just_bought_an_SGI_and_it_does_not_work_(usually_1st_post)

Unfortunately this page has not been written:
http://www.nekochan.net/wiki/ ... RIS_Indigo

It has been a long time since I switched my Indigo on and I can't recall if it has IRIX 4.0.5 or 5.3.


R.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:30 pm 
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I don't think a SUN keyboard will work. I know a PS/2 keyboard won't work without an adapter. If you're handy with electronics and PIC microcontrollers you can build an adapter with a couple PICs, directions are somewhere on the web. They're also sold by a forum member on ebay. If a Sun keyboard would work it would need an adapter.

The keyboard port is between the "2" port and AUI Ethernet on the Indigo. A PS/2 cable will fit, but the signal level is 8-12volt (RS232 serial levels) and not the 5volt expected by a PS/2 keyboard. The mouse connects to the keyboard like a Sun, NeXT or Apple ADB type keyboard.

The "1" and "2' ports are serial ports.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:36 pm 
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Location: P.O. Box 121, Pymble, Sydney, NSW 2073, Australia.
This is the instruction manual for the Indigo:
http://techpubs.sgi.com/library/tpl/cgi ... G/lof.html

The member here that makes the adapters is Chris "TheKeeper"
A picture of my adapter from him is here:
http://www.nekochan.net/wiki/ ... n_machines


R.

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死の神はりんごだけ食べる

開いた括弧は必ず閉じる -- あるプログラマー

:Tezro: :Tezro: :Onyx2R: :Onyx2RE: :Onyx2: :O3x04R: :O3x0: :O200: :Octane: :Octane2: :O2: :O2: :Indigo2IMP: :PI: :PI: :1600SW: :1600SW: :Indy: :Indy: :Indy: :Indy: :Indy:
:hpserv: J5600, 2 x Mac, 3 x SUN, Alpha DS20E, Alpha 800 5/550, 3 x RS/6000, Amiga 4000 VideoToaster, Amiga4000 -030, 733MHz Sam440 AmigaOS 4.1 update 1.

Sold: :Indy: :Indy: :Indy: :Indigo: Tandem Himalaya S-Series Nonstop S72000 ServerNet.

@PymbleSoftware
Current Apps -> https://itunes.apple.com/au/artist/pymb ... d553990081
Cortex ---> http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cortex-th ... 11?sk=info
Minnie ---> http://www.facebook.com/pages/Minnie-th ... 02?sk=info
Github ---> https://github.com/pymblesoftware
Visit http://www.pymblesoftware.com
Search for "Pymble", "InstaElf", "CryWhy" or "Cricket Score Sheet" in the iPad App store or search for "Pymble" or "CryWhy" in the iPhone App store.


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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 7:57 pm 
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Hello, it sounds like you've picked up a real beauty there. Of course, you will want to run Irix and probably try out a few different vintages to see which you like best, and PM the keeper to hook you up with one of his slick ps/2 adapters. I have one, and it works great with my :Onyx: (same kb as indigo...)

r.e. the CDROM, so long as you get the signaling right (SE v HVD :shock: v LVD) it should work - this goes for most everything scsi, but for the best magic-for-your-SGI-bang most here will suggest a Toshiba.

and more or less ditto for the disk (except the brand part). 2gb will be very tight for irix 6.5 though.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:26 pm 
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Plextors also work very nicely, and seem to be more durable than many faster Toshibas. The tray-load Toshiba (as used by Sun in the SPARCstation 5 and 20) is the most reliable of the Toshibas, but it is slower.

Get a 9GB or bigger SCA drive and use an adapter. All of the 50-pin drives are getting very old.

IRIX will be the best. I'm not sure how well GR2 graphics is supported in NetBSD - I heard that they had console support, but I'm not sure if X11 is there yet. I know Newport has it, but SGI released the docs on NG1 but not GR2. Get IRIX 6.2 or 6.5, as earlier versions are harder to build software for (not POSIX compliant among other things).

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jan 24, 2011 9:35 pm 
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Not to state the obvious but since SGI's graphics hardware is proprietary to the nth degree no open source driver has ever come close to the performance of the SGi drivers, so you absolutely do want to run Irix.... :mrgreen:

By way of disclaimer I should state that I am hopelessly enamored of Irix and would never consider running any other operating system on such unique hardware. In fact it's even worse, I have no interest in any SGI hardware that doesn't run Irix. Altix-schmaltix Prism-dreck, SGI jumped the shark when they gave up on Irix...

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 10:38 am 
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vishnu wrote:
Altix-schmaltix Prism-dreck, SGI jumped the shark when they gave up on Irix...
Come on vishnu, stop sugar-coating it -- tell us how you really feel! :lol:

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:35 pm 
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First of all, I want to say I am very impressed with the community here. With such obscure hardware, I am pleased to have received so many replies in such a short period of time. The info on keyboards is also appreciated, as that surely has saved me from some potential disappointment.

Quote:
the CDROM, so long as you get the signaling right ... should work - this goes for most everything scsi, but for the best magic-for-your-SGI-bang most here will suggest a Toshiba.


OK well I have a few SCSI CDROMs to try, hopefully I will get one working. Having used Macs from the LCII through the G4s, I am quite familiar with SCSI

Quote:
Get a 9GB or bigger SCA drive and use an adapter. All of the 50-pin drives are getting very old.


OK in addition to the standard SCSI drives I have, I also have SCA drives; several are 9GB. Please excuse my ignorance but what adapter should I use?

Quote:
Not to state the obvious but since SGI's graphics hardware is proprietary to the nth degree no open source driver has ever come close to the performance of the SGi drivers, so you absolutely do want to run Irix....


Well, being the SGI noob I am, it was not obvious to me. I knew Irix itself is proprietary, but I was hoping the driver for the Elan was ported to Linux or BSD. Now I know I need Irix to fully utilize the Elan board.

Thanks again for all the help

-Chris P


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 7:56 pm 
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Cobalt60 wrote:
Quote:
Get a 9GB or bigger SCA drive and use an adapter. All of the 50-pin drives are getting very old.


OK in addition to the standard SCSI drives I have, I also have SCA drives; several are 9GB. Please excuse my ignorance but what adapter should I use?


The Indigo will run any narrow-capable SCSI drive (some U320 drives do not support narrow operations, so make sure you check). As you've probably found out from your Mac experience, SCSI doesn't have the size limitations that lesser protocols have, so there is no reason you can't put a terabyte filesystem in your 1993 Indigo. XFS would definitely be the way to go there, as EFS has partition limits of 8GB.

You'll need an Indigo drive sled if you don't have one, and then use any SCA-> 50-pin adapter. One side of the ID select pins will be common across all three, this is the side that gets the single wire on the ID select pigtail on the sled.

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There are those who say I'm a bit of a curmudgeon. To them I reply: "GET OFF MY LAWN!"

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2011 8:10 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 6:41 pm
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Quote:
You'll need an Indigo drive sled if you don't have one, and then use any SCA-> 50-pin adapter. One side of the ID select pins will be common across all three, this is the side that gets the single wire on the ID select pigtail on the sled.


The only drive sled it came with was one which has a floppy drive installed. It still appears to have a 50 pin SCSI connection, so my plan was to just replace the floppy drive with a SCI hard-drive, and install an OS on it. Sure Id like to get a hold of 2 more drive sleds, but I think I have what I need to get started.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 9:41 am 
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Cobalt60 wrote:

Well, being the SGI noob I am, it was not obvious to me. I knew Irix itself is proprietary, but I was hoping the driver for the Elan was ported to Linux or BSD. Now I know I need Irix to fully utilize the Elan board.

Thanks again for all the help

-Chris P


As far as I know, you don't even have a graphics user interface (GUI) with linux or BSD on SGIs. Only
a commandline-shell. Maybe that's descent if you want to turn an old Octane into a server.
But if you're into 3D-graphics, you have to keep IRIX.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2011 7:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 7:37 am
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Location: Renton, WA
Cobalt60 wrote:
Quote:
You'll need an Indigo drive sled if you don't have one, and then use any SCA-> 50-pin adapter. One side of the ID select pins will be common across all three, this is the side that gets the single wire on the ID select pigtail on the sled.


The only drive sled it came with was one which has a floppy drive installed. It still appears to have a 50 pin SCSI connection, so my plan was to just replace the floppy drive with a SCI hard-drive, and install an OS on it. Sure Id like to get a hold of 2 more drive sleds, but I think I have what I need to get started.


Indigo sleds are all the same.

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Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

There are those who say I'm a bit of a curmudgeon. To them I reply: "GET OFF MY LAWN!"

:Indigo: :Octane: :Indigo2: :Indigo2IMP: :Indy: :PI: :O3x0: :ChallengeL: :O2000R: (single-CM)


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