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Unread postPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 6:51 am 
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Hello!

These past days I went to Spain from London by Ferry and I saw a curious thing. I made the trip inside of this guy:

http://www.brittany-ferries.co.uk/fleet ... -finistere

and I found that the computers running the navigation system were still Silicon Graphics :D. There were quite a lot of TV screens here and there displaying the GPS application and I saw that the operating system was, undoubtedly, IRIX. So, I decided to ask to a member of the crew and he told me that, indeed, the machines were not PCs, but "blue computers" that came with the ship. Sadly, I could not go to the control deck and see them :(. I guess that they are probably O2 or Octanes, hehe.

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Unread postPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 7:03 am 
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SGIs and ships... curious connection. The most legendary, of course, was teh one between Jim Clark's Hyperion Yacht and the numerous SGI workstations that controlled every aspect of its operation. When Jim left SGI and started Netscape, he contracted Royal Huisman to build him a fantabulous, $30M, 155 footer that he wanted to be 100% autonomous. He employed several ex-SGI engineers and used SGI workstations (I believe O2s) to make it all happen. This is well documented and told in delightful style in Michael Lewis' "The New New Thing"

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Unread postPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 9:24 pm 
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sgifanatic wrote:
The most legendary, of course, was the one between Jim Clark's Hyperion Yacht and the numerous SGI workstations that controlled every aspect of its operation. When Jim left SGI and started Netscape, he contracted Royal Huisman to build him a fantabulous, $30M, 155 footer that he wanted to be 100% autonomous. He employed several ex-SGI engineers and used SGI workstations (I believe O2s) to make it all happen. This is well documented and told in delightful style in Michael Lewis' "The New New Thing"


You might go a step farther and describe how the entire project was a total failure, the (insert expletive here) people who did the electronics knew less than nothing about industrial control, they reinvented the wheel numerous times and badly at that, the O2's were totally unsuited to the task and unreliable, the boat made it about halfway before everything failed and they had to call the Coast Guard for a rescue, and Mr Clark (no dummy he, he worked in the company that created the O2) was not on board because he had no faith in the wonders of Linux-style automation dependent upon the most notoriously unreliable computer SGI ever sold.

They later ditched the O2's, put in good ol' manual devices and I guess Hyperion is still sailing around happily today - without the O2's. Or the crap software / hardware his guys created to automate the ship/boat.

Good book, though :D


If you are interested in the boat, there are some photos here :

http://www.usterinc.com/hyperion/index.html

Some of the screenshots of the control system towards the end look vaguely Irixish but I'd bet next week's salary that the O2's are long gone.


Last edited by hamei on Wed May 02, 2012 4:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Unread postPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 4:36 am 
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Quote:
"blue computers" that came with the ship


Might have been indys or expressigos!

:)

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Unread postPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 6:15 am 
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hamei wrote:
sgifanatic wrote:


Some of the screenshots of the control system towards the end look vaguely Irixish but I'd bet next week's salary that the O2's are long gone.


Looking at the tabs at the lower UI border and the shade of gray employed, it definitely looks like IRIX to me, though the UIs are obviously full-screen and hide any desktop artifacts (much like most industrial automation and control apps).

O2s being long gone wouldn't surprise me. That said, my personal experience with my 2 O2s hasn't been all that bad. Nor was it particularly miserable when I was in College where one of the CS labs was entirely populated by O2s. Nevertheless, I empathize with your frustration. I'm sure they must have created trouble for some... like all other things in the Universe.

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Unread postPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 6:26 am 
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sgifanatic wrote:
... my personal experience with my 2 O2s hasn't been all that bad. Nor was it particularly miserable when I was in College where one of the CS labs was entirely populated by O2s.

Your lab was not controlling a 150' boat with a 200' tall mast and 13,000 square feet of sail. One would have to have a very low intelligence or be extreeeemly naive to pull the stunt Mr Clark did on that boat. When you get past displaying pictures on a monitor it's no longer a game. You cannot afford to have failures. When I read that part of the New New Thing everything inside me was cringing. It was a really really really stupid thing to do.

In fact, they were lucky they only had to be towed halfway across the Atlantic. They could have lost the boat and their lives. You don't cut corners with the ocean if you want to live long.


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Unread postPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 6:32 am 
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I hear you. And yet he survives with all his billions and a beautiful new trophy wife! So no harm done :-)

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Unread postPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 7:12 am 
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I really love the pics of the guy surrounded by girls. I would do the same if I won the lottery. In fact, I would try to be even more decadent :D.

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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
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Last edited by [[C|-|E]] on Wed May 02, 2012 7:15 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Unread postPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 7:13 am 
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[[C|-|E]] wrote:
I really love the pics of the guy surrounded by girls. I would do the same if I won the lottery. In fact, I would try to be even more decadent :D.


Well you and him have at least one thing in common. O2s ;-)

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Unread postPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 7:14 am 
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Yup!, but mine is working! :D

BTW, it seems that everybody with enough money can sail the Hyperion now...

http://www.charterworld.com/index.html? ... erion-1095

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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
_Lazarus_
2 x Intel Xeon MP Gallatin 3,00 Ghz with 4 MB cache / Zotac 512Mb GT430 / 12 Gb DDR266 ECC / 4 x Maxtor Atlas 146GB 10K V U320


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Unread postPosted: Fri May 04, 2012 6:40 am 
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[[C|-|E]] wrote:
Hello!

These past days I went to Spain from London by Ferry and I saw a curious thing.....I found that the computers running the navigation system were still Silicon Graphics :D.
Despite some recent proclamations here, it looks like IRIX isn't completely dead and forgotten yet (that ferry wasn't crossing the River Styx was it?). Thanks for sharing.

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Unread postPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 12:52 pm 
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hamei wrote:
because he had no faith in the wonders of Linux-style automation dependent upon the most notoriously unreliable computer SGI ever sold.


You are a troll among trolls. I tip my cap to you!

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Unread postPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 4:09 pm 
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Maybe not all the O2 are equally reliable? :? Mine is on many hours a day and the computer seems rock solid. However, it is not one of the first O2 that were sold, I think that it was originally bought on 2000 and it already came with an R12000.

_________________
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
_Lazarus_
2 x Intel Xeon MP Gallatin 3,00 Ghz with 4 MB cache / Zotac 512Mb GT430 / 12 Gb DDR266 ECC / 4 x Maxtor Atlas 146GB 10K V U320


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Unread postPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 8:43 pm 
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mattst88 wrote:
You are a troll among trolls. I tip my cap to you!

Yes, thanks.

This particular troll has seen people killed in industrial accidents. He's also owned and done maintenance on a variety of machine tools that date back to 1967, for about thirty-five years. The largest one I've been responsible for weighed over 40,000 pounds and had 75 hp at the spindle.

Industrial control for things that will kill you deader than shit at the drop of a hat is not the place for pimple-faced kids playing with Linux.

Sailboats are so pretty, hulls as smooth as milk. Sailboats are so pretty, sails like Chinese silk .... but they aren't toys either. Ask the corpses of the five people who just bought it out in the Farallons. You fuck up on a sailboat and you can die, too.

Personally, I don't really care. You can have the kind of world you like. But when I read The New New Thing I was cringing inside, waiting for the inevitable result of a brilliant job creator PhD billionaire with a trophy wife doing exactly what MBA's do everywhere : fuck things up. Know everything, understand nothing. Result ? Columbia, Challenger, Hyperion.


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Unread postPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 11:43 pm 
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Oooooookay.

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