History of SiliconGraphics Part 7 is here! Final episode.

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Dodoid
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History of SiliconGraphics Part 7 is here! Final episode.

Unread postby Dodoid » Fri Jun 30, 2017 5:49 pm



This is the finale, covering everything from 2001 to 2009, and the longest episode ever by far. Any thoughts on this episode or the series as a whole would be appreciated. I plan to release a compilation soon featuring all episodes, with all the intros and outros removed so that it's one continuous video. All the episodes together are 43 minutes and 41 seconds, so without intros and outros it would fall in the high 30-some minute range. For now, enjoy Part 7!
:Onyx: :O2000: :Fuel: :Octane: :Octane: :Octane: :O2: :O2: :Indigo2: :Indigo2: :Indy: :Indy:
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Intuition
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Re: History of SiliconGraphics Part 7 is here! Final episode.

Unread postby Intuition » Mon Jul 03, 2017 9:55 am

Love these vids.

Thanks for the effort you've put into the history vids as well as the individual mips desktops.

Its a sad tragic end for what should be in industry leader in the visual effects world.

Sadly they really didn't understand that most people got into sgi because they were the only way capable of getting softimage and Maya.

the primary way to have hardware display solutions.

I've heard rumor that the reason Nvidia was so successful is because ex sgi engineers helped develop technology for them.

In an essence, if that's true, Nvidia is really the current sgi. Which makes sense as their cards are the reason vfx could migrate to pcs and macs.

Also in today's vfx world cuda is making it so that gpus are doing the rendering now vs a couple of multi core xeons for rendering/simulation.

But the details of this Nvidia being composed of ex sgi engineers stuff has been the talk in vfx forums long gone.

That would be history of post sgi vids ;)

Keep the vids coming. Especially if you ever do a indigo (the one you made a mini version of) or something like a quad CPU onyx2.

Love that old mips irix world. Still love playing in it here and there.

I still like to imagine what it would be like if the irix os and mips systems survived and there were modern sgi workstations that were modular like the octane and o2 and were surpassing simulation and rendering results of say a dual 32 core computer pc.
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Re: History of SiliconGraphics Part 7 is here! Final episode.

Unread postby Dodoid » Mon Jul 03, 2017 11:57 am

Intuition wrote:I've heard rumor that the reason Nvidia was so successful is because ex sgi engineers helped develop technology for them.


About NVIDIA: read Ian Mapleson (mapesdhs)'s comments on my videos. He has a lot of information and stories I don't know or don't have time to script and record, including many about NVIDIA, especially on SGI History Part 7 (the one you just watched).

I would like to have an Onyx2, unfortunately they're almost always expensive. I could have had an Onyx3000 from Government Surplus a while back, but someone else bought it and I didn't spy the ad until after the fact.

As for your imagined modern SGIs, while I can't make promises about modular modern workstations (XebabfZnlOrTrggvatPyhfgrePncnovyvgvrfGbEhaXebabfNccfNpebffZhygvcyrAbqrfJuvpuJbhyqYvxrylErfhygVaZrOhvyqvatNaVaqlFvmrqJbexfgngvbaJvgu64PberfNpebff8BsGurBQEBVQFOPfHfrqVaGurZvavVaqvtbBeFbzrguvatOhgVUniragJbexrqZhpuBaVgLrg), the IRENKA UI included with Kronos 2.0 (my web-language based OS project) attempts to replicate what IRIX might look like if it were still developed today.

You can check it out here:
:Onyx: :O2000: :Fuel: :Octane: :Octane: :Octane: :O2: :O2: :Indigo2: :Indigo2: :Indy: :Indy:
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Re: History of SiliconGraphics Part 7 is here! Final episode.

Unread postby Trippynet » Tue Jul 04, 2017 1:42 am

Intuition wrote:I've heard rumor that the reason Nvidia was so successful is because ex sgi engineers helped develop technology for them.


It's a lot more than a rumour I'd say... If you look back at the historical articles on The Reg, they detail some of the goings-on quite well for this time. One of Rick Belluzo's biggest screw-ups is that SGI were suing Nvidia, and had a strong case. He dropped the lawsuit, gave Nvidia free access to all SGIs graphics patents, and according to an ex-SGI staffer that mailed El Reg, SGI basically gave most of their graphics staff to Nvidia. In other words, he removed the "G" from SGI in one fell swoop and handed pretty much everything graphics-related to Nvidia on a plate.

The article is here if you've not already read it...
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Re: History of SiliconGraphics Part 7 is here! Final episode.

Unread postby spiroyster » Tue Jul 04, 2017 2:09 am

There have been components for an Altix XE cluster on ebay.co.uk for an age (XE 320 nodes, XE 270 head). Might as well paint over the hypercube with a big red Supermicro dot. The only thing sgi about the Altix XE is the facade (and I'm not even talking about the LED/blikenlights on the front), and the bankroller of the sales-person. o.0

Nice work on the videos. We need more 'blipvert-y' videos on youtube :). The place is full of clickbait top5 <whatever> videos which take too many minutes of my life to regurgitate about 6 sentences.

SiliconGraphics was diagnosed terminal about '98 imo (although I am a fan of the 320/540 Colbalt boxen, Clark was long gone by this point living in a lighthouse or something like that), the next few years were inevitability, running mainly on 'legacy' fumes :(. 2006 absolute nail in coffin, what emerged was nothing SGI really (as existence of Altix prooves). Rackable did alright out of it though.

In regards to nVidia, it was three guys (mainly ex-SUN) that started it, however later they did buy 3 other guys (all ex-Silicon Graphics) who had little outfit going called 3dfx who just so happened to of revolutionised 3D graphics for the PC consumer market. I doubt they brought much to the nVidia table though, as GeForce was already doing hardware TnL when 3dfx got pwned (literally), TnL is based on the same principles of geometric transformation/clipping pioneered by E&S and somewhat refined by Jim Clark into the Geometry Engine. Ironically not actually accelerated by 3dfx boards, which is probably why they failed in the long run, unlike nVidia who seemed to follow the GE memorandum somewhat closer. All originally done by SiliconGraphics already the previous decade. So while all this nVidia/SGI arguing was going on later, the PC graphics world had already taken most USP from them and capitalized on SGI's inability to see the market outside gov pay check.

It could be argued pretty much every hardware accelerated 3D rastered image on a PC is only there because of Jim Clark's GE and SGI heritage. And then there's OpenGL heritage o.0... dead now, and it would seem that later advancements to the OpenGL standard did things that even SGI themselves couldn't keep up with. These days we have little left with Vulkan and DX12. Still rely on rasterizing for the transformation/projection/clipping etc, but per pixel operations broke us out of the fixed functionality pipeline, this all combined into a unified shader execution architecture (and now with OpenCL merging into Vulkan, a unified API) leaves me thinking you would really need to dig deep in the bottom of the barrel to find anything SiliconGraphics-ey.

The other SiliconGraphics thing I used to come across quite often was their STL implementation. Which was actually quite good!

RIP SiliconGraphics Inc.

[EDIT:]
@Trippynet
So much of that article is begining to make sense. I heard rumors that the entire design team on the Colbalt chipset got fired day after launch of 320? The rest of the 'Visual workstation' line used nVidias newly clandestine aquired TnL technology, the same tech which allowed nVidia to dominate PC market over ATi and 3dfx. One of the reasons I like the Colbalt is (stereotypically) because of its unique UMA architecture, it was like a gfx system with expanable memory and upgradable GPUCPU. Part of me feels it could have been the future had it not been let down by limited FSB/Socket options and it came at a time that the PC environment changed every second you blinked (in about 4/5 years we went from PII/233 to PIII/1400 o.0). Cobalt could have been the last true homegrown SGI architecture, not finished, rushed and then superceeded by nVidia's implementation of SGI's own technology with an SGI label.

@dodoid
If you can do some research on the Colbalt graphics (all aspects of) that would be very much appreciated by (at least) me.

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Re: History of SiliconGraphics Part 7 is here! Final episode.

Unread postby vishnu » Tue Jul 04, 2017 8:57 pm

spiroyster wrote:...but per pixel operations broke us out of the fixed functionality pipeline...

Agreed, I first heard about this years ago in a blue sky talk John Carmack gave, but now companies like Euclideon Unlimited are apparently poised on the brink of making it a reality.

spiroyster wrote:The other SiliconGraphics thing I used to come across quite often was their STL implementation. Which was actually quite good!


Also agreed, SGI doesn't get anywhere near their due credit for the compilers they wrote and just how good their code in general was. Before the gnu project wrote their own implementation of the STL they plunked the entirety of SGIs down inside g++, and it worked very well...
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Re: History of SiliconGraphics Part 7 is here! Final episode.

Unread postby Vanne » Tue Jul 04, 2017 10:22 pm

Lol man, love your vids mate "Please subscribe, even though i know you won't!" lol that made me crack up in your Hackingtosh vid.

Lots of info in your last SGI vid, wow, that was a trip down history lane. Very well done.

Cheers and looking forwards to more.

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Re: History of SiliconGraphics Part 7 is here! Final episode.

Unread postby spiroyster » Mon Jul 10, 2017 11:27 pm

vishnu wrote:Agreed, I first heard about this years ago in a blue sky talk John Carmack gave, but now companies like Euclideon Unlimited are apparently poised on the brink of making it a reality.

iirc ATi were the ones pushing ARB for the inclusion in the standard. This, coupled with the bitter taste left in the mouth from nVidia could be why they went with ATi for Onyx4 and subsequent Prisim incanations :shock:

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Re: History of SiliconGraphics Part 7 is here! Final episode.

Unread postby Shiunbird » Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:19 am

I'm waiting for Dodoid lifting an Altix cluster.
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