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 Post subject: Before You Buy Your SGI
Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 12:53 pm 
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Remember this: it's the man that makes the gear, not the gear that makes the man. What you do with what you have is more important than what you have.

You hear this in photography as well. It's not the camera, it's the photographer. The camera is nothing without the photographer's vision. Yet people go "Leica vs Holga, Canon vs Nikon, Hasselblad vs Phase One". These are usually the sort of people who never produce anything worthwhile with their expensive cameras.

Musicians generally don't quibble over what instruments they use - the fact that they can make a crappy old piano sing well enough to enchant the crowd is in itself a part of their pride. This sort of equipment obsession only comes up in certain circles. I never hear authors go at each others' throats over which pen they use, or which typewriter. Then again, I don't have that many authors for friends.

Ironically enough, it's this site that taught me this lesson. x86 vs everybody else, RISC vs CISC - I've learned that it all doesn't matter. Sure, I've got an SGI Octane, which Square used to model stuff for Final Fantasy The Spirits Within with. Sure, it cost as much as a car new, and it still runs like a champ today. Big deal, I can't do anything with it. It's wasted on me. Its glory days are long gone, accentuated by the fact that it's now owned by a guy who only touts its past achievements, and doesn't use it to create anything equally groundbreaking today.

Seeing my beautiful Octane just sitting there collecting dust just breaks my heart. It's the full stop on the sentence that goes something like "and SGI as we knew it is dead".

So if you have an SGI, use it. Make something incredible with it, and at the end, put "made on an SGI" on it, just like the Mac zealots did. It worked for them.

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Please delete your post. It is an insult to all the hard work society has put into making you an intelligent being.

Like somebody at AMD said about a decade ago: Benchmarking is like sex. Everybody brags about it, everybody loves doing it and nobody can agree on performance.


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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 2:49 pm 
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Agreed, and to add to that, there's something to be said about creating something with less. Thus my desire for an O2 after having an Octane and Octane 2 previously.

I see way too many programmers taking the easy way out (both younger and older than my self) just because my employer has 24 core Opteron servers with 32gb of ram doesn't mean you should write bloated code.

My one dream though, I doubt it would ever happen, would be to have Mono on IRIX. I've gotten too good with C# to switch to Java or go back to C++.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:23 pm 
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I am actually using my O2 everyday. Nothing extremely heavy, but still. It is my Unix terminal, plays my MP3, does a nice job reading PDFs and some other things :). However, I find very difficult to find the appropriate software. I mean, I would love to use computer for a lot of things, because it is powerful enough, but in many cases it is nightmarish to find the correct application and, when you come across it, it is old or not optimized :/. I think that SGI has done a lot of damage to the scene by not releasing a free version of IRIX with all the documentation and a good compiler. Ironically, many new games, programs and demos are made every year for my beloved Amstrad CPC and other microcomputers, not to mention Amiga. I would really like to see the same activity in the SGI world. Luckly, I have Nekochan, otherwise it would be impossible to use my O2 at all.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:34 pm 
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[[C|-|E]] wrote:
I think that SGI has done a lot of damage to the scene by not releasing a free version of IRIX with all the documentation and a good compiler.
Before anyone feels the compulsion to yet again beat this dead horse, let me suggest you consult the search tool to see if your potential contribution hasn't already been covered (several times). The subject has been rehashed ad nauseum.

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Unread postPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2012 4:46 pm 
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recondas wrote:
[[C|-|E]] wrote:
I think that SGI has done a lot of damage to the scene by not releasing a free version of IRIX with all the documentation and a good compiler.
Before anyone feels the compulsion to yet again beat this dead horse, let me suggest you consult the search tool to see if your potential contribution hasn't already been covered (several times). The subject has been rehashed ad nauseum.


Oh... sorry, it was not my intention to resurrect a corpse at all :oops: .

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 9:11 am 
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ritchan wrote:
Musicians generally don't quibble over what instruments they use - the fact that they can make a crappy old piano sing well enough to enchant the crowd is in itself a part of their pride.


Not true. Among instruments of a certain quality, yes, but now there is the category described as "instrument shaped objects", and you can't make them sing. A performance on them is similar to Brain's performance of Mozart on the garden hose - interesting because it usually can't be done, but not aesthetically pleasing.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:58 am 
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SAQ wrote:
ritchan wrote:
Musicians generally don't quibble over what instruments they use - the fact that they can make a crappy old piano sing well enough to enchant the crowd is in itself a part of their pride.


Not true. Among instruments of a certain quality, yes, but now there is the category described as "instrument shaped objects", and you can't make them sing. A performance on them is similar to Brain's performance of Mozart on the garden hose - interesting because it usually can't be done, but not aesthetically pleasing.

Now you're just nitpicking.

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Originally Posted by Tommie
Please delete your post. It is an insult to all the hard work society has put into making you an intelligent being.

Like somebody at AMD said about a decade ago: Benchmarking is like sex. Everybody brags about it, everybody loves doing it and nobody can agree on performance.


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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 12:10 pm 
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Your initial post makes me feel bad, because you are so right.

I have not produced anything great with my sgi gear. And I probably never will due to lack of time and skill. And I agree that is a pity.

Why do I have them then? I find some satisfaction in finding a system that's maybe not even working then fixing it, cleaning it, maxing it out if affordable, installing a new operating system, etc.

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 3:36 pm 
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[[C|-|E]] wrote:
...by not releasing a free version of IRIX with all the documentation and a good compiler
It was never released but a good chunk, if not all, of IRIX 6.5.5 has been leaked into the wild, and MIPSPro is a good compiler, if not the best... :mrgreen:

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Unread postPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:09 pm 
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ritchan wrote:
SAQ wrote:
ritchan wrote:
Musicians generally don't quibble over what instruments they use - the fact that they can make a crappy old piano sing well enough to enchant the crowd is in itself a part of their pride.


Not true. Among instruments of a certain quality, yes, but now there is the category described as "instrument shaped objects", and you can't make them sing. A performance on them is similar to Brain's performance of Mozart on the garden hose - interesting because it usually can't be done, but not aesthetically pleasing.

Now you're just nitpicking.


Kind-of-sort-of. I dislike it when people get a cheap "ISO" and then beat themselves up and eventually abandon playing because "I can't play decently no matter how hard I practice". Same really applies to most tools - you get too cheap and you can't do things well. To bring it back to computers imagine trying to do decent graphics on a cheap CRT that's fuzzy and doesn't have good color...

Tools do count, at least below a certain point.

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:02 am 
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rusti wrote:
I have not produced anything great with my sgi gear. And I probably never will due to lack of time and skill. (...)
Why do I have them then? I find some satisfaction in finding a system that's maybe not even working then fixing it, cleaning it, maxing it out if affordable, installing a new operating system, etc.

I can't say it better... I have sgi's just for my pleasure because I once fell in love with the first Indigo I've seen and want some since then... and maybe because so few people have one or even know what they are ;-)

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:08 am 
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ritchan wrote:
[…] at the end, put "made on an SGI" on it, just like the Mac zealots did. It worked for them.
Did it?

.tsooJ

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:28 am 
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[[C|-|E]] wrote:
I am actually using my O2 everyday. Nothing extremely heavy, but still. It is my Unix terminal, plays my MP3, does a nice job reading PDFs and some other things :). However, I find very difficult to find the appropriate software. I mean, I would love to use computer for a lot of things, because it is powerful enough, but in many cases it is nightmarish to find the correct application and, when you come across it, it is old or not optimized :/. I think that SGI has done a lot of damage to the scene by not releasing a free version of IRIX with all the documentation and a good compiler.

I have to ask -- what do you want it to do ? With the exception of browsing, most SGI computers can do most anything you need. I'll admit, an O2 is pushing your luck :) but otherwise ... what do you want to do ? Write letters and papers ? Email ? Some artsy-craftsy stuff ? CAD ? listen to internet radio ? Make pdf's ? Do artwork ? Circuit board design ? Control machinery ? It's all out there. There is gcc if you aren't a stubborn old coot who insists on quality. That's what the rest of the fossy world uses, anyhow. There's nothing keeping you from doing whatever you want.

Seriously, what do you want to do that you can't ? Keep games and web surfing out of the answer - both exist but we'll admit that an SGI box is not optimum for that purpose. But otherwise ... ??


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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 5:01 am 
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BetXen wrote:
... I have sgi's just for my pleasure because I once fell in love with the first Indigo I've seen and want some since then...

The exact same for me. Back at university when I still had an Amiga and was a flight simulation fan they had a "Workstation Pool" which I think consisted of 16 Indigos. I fell in love even though already back then I did not do anything productive on them. But I wanted one ever since. Finally many years later I got my first sgi which was an Octane. I wish I had never seen my first Onyx 2 ... :D

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Unread postPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:28 pm 
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hamei wrote:
[[C|-|E]] wrote:
I am actually using my O2 everyday. Nothing extremely heavy, but still. It is my Unix terminal, plays my MP3, does a nice job reading PDFs and some other things :). However, I find very difficult to find the appropriate software. I mean, I would love to use computer for a lot of things, because it is powerful enough, but in many cases it is nightmarish to find the correct application and, when you come across it, it is old or not optimized :/. I think that SGI has done a lot of damage to the scene by not releasing a free version of IRIX with all the documentation and a good compiler.

I have to ask -- what do you want it to do ? With the exception of browsing, most SGI computers can do most anything you need. I'll admit, an O2 is pushing your luck :) but otherwise ... what do you want to do ? Write letters and papers ? Email ? Some artsy-craftsy stuff ? CAD ? listen to internet radio ? Make pdf's ? Do artwork ? Circuit board design ? Control machinery ? It's all out there. There is gcc if you aren't a stubborn old coot who insists on quality. That's what the rest of the fossy world uses, anyhow. There's nothing keeping you from doing whatever you want.

Seriously, what do you want to do that you can't ? Keep games and web surfing out of the answer - both exist but we'll admit that an SGI box is not optimum for that purpose. But otherwise ... ??


The main problem is that, being a biologist, I really need web browsing most of the time as well as a lot of specific applications. I use programs for protein comparison, dna cloning, oligo desing... and I work intensively with 3D models of proteins. Moreover, I need to run simulations on my computers (using CUDA most of the time). It is impossible to work with an O2 for simulations or complex 3D graphics, but I would love to have many of the small and not so small programs I work with. Most of them are open source but some require a modern version of Java and that is, again, a problem :/.

In particular, I would need something like this:

http://serialbasics.free.fr/Serial_Cloner.html --> A program for cloning

http://www.technelysium.com.au/chromas.html --> Something to open chromatograms

http://www.clustal.org/clustal2/ --> Sequence alingment

http://fiji.sc/wiki/index.php/Fiji --> Image processing

So, I agree that many programs are available but, sadly, not for biological sciences (something completely normal, atfer all). There are some, but terribly outdated. However, I am happy enough using my O2 for many small general tasks :). I also must confess that I do not have the skills to have a compiler working properly on my SGI. In Windows and Linux I work with simple IDEs, like Bloodshed Dev C++, but I could not find anything similar for my O2. However, I am thinking to write to many of the authors of the applications, it could be that some of them are still able to compile for IRIX :).

Games are not a problem, because I play almost all of them with my Xbox, hehe. I prefer to have a big screen and be sat in the sofa :D.

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Image _Betty Blue_
R12000A 400 Mhz; 1 Gb RAM; 72 Gb 15K HDD; IRIX 6.5.29
CrystalEyes; Dial Box; O2Cam "ZEYE"; external Toshiba SD-M1711 DVD-ROM; Octane speakers;
Lock bar; SGI microphone.
Mods: PSU Noctua fan; internal Toshiba SD-M1401 DVD-ROM; Adaptec AIC-7880P SCSI card.

_REKIEM_I7_
Seasonic X 1250W PSU / Intel I7 2600k 4 x 5,00 Ghz / 2 x Gainward 2Gb GTX 560Ti Phantom 2 / 32 Gb DDR3 / Intel x25-M 160 Gb SSD and 10 extra Tb
_REKIEM_T5400_
875W PSU / 2 x Intel Xeon Harpertown 4 x 2,83 Ghz with 12 MB cache / 1 x Zotac 1Gb GTX 440 / 32 Gb DDR2 667 ECC / Samsung 840 Series Pro 128GB SSD and 1 extra Tb


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