Linked by Eugenia Loli on Fri 20th May 2005 20:13 UTC
SGI and IRIX Can a proprietary Unix be a desktop OS that competes with Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux desktops? Although it may lack the visual effects of OS X, and installation is tricky in parts, Irix is a stable desktop OS -- possibly because it runs only on SGI's own hardware. Read the rest at NewsForge.
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I think it's kinda late for SGI
by Joe Blow on Fri 20th May 2005 20:28 UTC

Someone needs to buy them for their technology and put them out of their misery. Good technology, but 0 market outside of defense any more.

Was looking at their campus last weekend when I was playing golf. Still a beautiful campus, though I suspect Google (who is next door) will buy all the buildings that SGI continues to vacate... they've already bought one or two of them.

RE: I think it's kinda late for SGI
by Jon on Fri 20th May 2005 20:33 UTC

SGI has money, it doesn't need to be bought or rescued. You simply don't hear much from them anymore because they moved to a different market: US Army technologies. Trust me, the US Army pays them well to modify Linux for them and they have enough money to pay their bills. IRIX is the past for SGI, they don't care about it anymore, it's too old of an OS now anyway. Trying to modify IRIX and bring it up to speed will be a waste of time when there's already Solaris, FreeBSD or Linux freely available. It's over.

Cool
by Chris on Fri 20th May 2005 20:41 UTC

Good to see someone else trumpeting Irix; it's a nice desktop OS, stable and easy to use. I run mine on an Octane and it's never crashed or given me problem. There are tons of apps out there for it and some of the old one still run well on it (Photoshop, FrameMaker, WordPerfect).

Bad news is truly here for SGI
by Anonymous on Fri 20th May 2005 20:41 UTC

And this is not one of those "they are dying" comments that everyone loves to say but simply I want to state that SGI does not look to be doing well (no matter how much cash they have)

Article: NYSE Notifies SGI of Continued Listing Noncompliance

http://www.sgi.com/company_info/newsroom/press_releases/2005/may/ny...

Stability is more than a function of "your own hardware"
by Jonathan Thompson on Fri 20th May 2005 20:48 UTC

The stability of a system is at the mercy of drivers and the hardware they control, it's true. However, an OS can have perfect drivers on their own hardware that's perfectly stable (drivers AND hardware being perfectly stable) but if the OS itself has bugs that affect stability, the detail of running on limited hardware is a moot point. At that point, running on very limited hardware may make it easier to track down what bugs exist, but doesn't mean much for the stability of the system.

desktop os
by dave on Fri 20th May 2005 21:23 UTC

I've had my SGI for a while now and I use it as my main desktop these days. It is a little slow rendering 2D graphics but it is not too bad. But I listen to MP3s, work in OpenOffice, browse with firefox, etc just fine. All with absolute stability (mine still has the install of the OS that came with it, and not so much as an application crash), no fear of spyware/virii, and the added prestege of owning what was once one of the most powerful desktop machines on the market... all this for rock bottom prices with a huge, razor sharp monitor.

hmmmm
by poundsmack on Fri 20th May 2005 21:29 UTC

will they ever make IRIX run on Itanium?

RE: hmmmm
by Tech^salvager on Fri 20th May 2005 21:37 UTC

from the way they been running it, I highly doubt it.

Bah
by Kian on Fri 20th May 2005 21:38 UTC

I was using IRIX as my sole desktop in 1994. I still can't use Linux as my sole desktop in 2005.

Netscape on my 100Mhz Indy actually felt somewhat less laggy than it does now on Ubuntu on a 1.2Ghz machine

re: Bah
by dave on Fri 20th May 2005 21:41 UTC

An Indy as your sole desktop during SGIs golden era?? I'm so jealous!

o god
by broken windows on Fri 20th May 2005 21:54 UTC

i feal the nerd in me drooling at the prospect of running sumthing like this as my desktop. i also seriously considered aquiring a nice sun box for the same reason. im going to hav to spend the weekend wrenching on my fourwheeler to slear these thoughts... i will hav to live with my blackbox on debian on amd64 box.

A New Hope
by Stack on Fri 20th May 2005 21:55 UTC

Atleast it looks like OpenBSD is working on SGI machines now. So far it's only the O2 and not everything works yet, but it's a promising start.

I'm not trying to flame, but IRIX just doesn't seem to have a large development community around it. SGI seems to have go to high-end linux systems.

Also, the default install of IRIX is _horridly_ insecure. Every service is turned on. Shadow passwords have to be turned on. If you're firewalled, you should be okay, but it still left me paranoid to see everything on like that.

v The 1990's called...
by THK on Fri 20th May 2005 22:04 UTC
eh..ah...ha...rar
by tim hawkins - tjhawkins.com on Fri 20th May 2005 22:07 UTC

developed by SGI (formerly known as Silicon Graphics)

Perhaps he ment to say... 'Silicon Graphics Incorporated now simply calls itself SGI on many pages on it's website'

i dont think SGI cares about irix anymore. they sold all their valuable IP that would make the OS worth something. they'd kill it and use linux across the lines if they could make an extra dime.

they simply cannot market themselves well at all and no one wants to buy them out. Perhaps that's why they moved into IA-64 and linux. another company may want to buy out them out simply for their IA-64 line if their mips/irix lines were phased out. ah-ha!

irix
by Anonymous on Fri 20th May 2005 22:52 UTC

I don't see the point really in reviewing an OS from 1998. While they have had periodical updates, it's really remained the same. Using IRIX takes a very particular type of user. The article says SGI is getting edged out of the graphics market, but that really happened in 2000. SGI is almost entirely a supercomputer developer. Their Tezro station ( http://www.sgi.com/products/workstations/tezro/ - sexy) is the end of the desktop IRIX machine.

IRIX
by swpspce on Fri 20th May 2005 22:55 UTC

rocks...

Irix
by Chris on Fri 20th May 2005 23:39 UTC

Irix, like any other OS, is as useful as you make it. People still use Beos as their everyday OS and the Be, Inc, is now a memory. It all depends what you want to do. Want to surf? Irix has Konqueror, Mozilla and FireFox. Email? Kmail and Thunderbird. Gaim, OpenOffice, AbiWord. You can easily use Irix as your everyday os.

Amigaish Indy
by Knapster on Sat 21st May 2005 00:26 UTC

The actual look of the OS - the earlier screen shots anyway - looks a lot more like the Amiga OS than Apple OS X.

SGI???
by Anonymous on Sat 21st May 2005 02:22 UTC

Jeez, it looks like SGI craptel/linsux strategy is relly paying off, NOT! I'm still revolted to no end with SGI abandoning MIPS and Irix, just like thousands of former SGI devotees. SGI lost/abandoned pretty much all of its cool technologies with just a couple of worthwhile pieces left -- NumaFlex and CXFS -- the rest (IA64 and Linux included) are absolutely worthless and will bring them nothing but trouble. I started my Unix career from Irix and always had a warm spot in my heart for SGI, but there is absolutely no freaking way I'm going back to have anything to do it with SGI again -- it is hopeless and there is no feeling of trust anymore. Good bye SGI, hello Sun! Anyhow, with the way things are going with SGI, they are very likely to be delisted from NYSE by the end of this year, who know what is going to happen to them then...

SGI has money, it doesn't need to be bought or rescued. You simply don't hear much from them anymore because they moved to a different market: US Army technologies. Trust me, the US Army pays them well to modify Linux for them and they have enough money to pay their bills. IRIX is the past for SGI, they don't care about it anymore, it's too old of an OS now anyway. Trying to modify IRIX and bring it up to speed will be a waste of time when there's already Solaris, FreeBSD or Linux freely available. It's over.

Regarding Itanium and Solaris; with OpenSolaris (if it does actually occur), it would be an interesting turn of events if SGI embraced OpenSolaris, ported it to Itanium, and bought their IndigoMagic desktop over to Solaris. You'd have the benefits of having a large, specialised software development community, SUN has already ported their compilers and Solaris to Itanium already (Solaris got into beta testing via an Early Acccess programme back in the heady days of Itaniums development - it was promoted as the "SPARC/POWERPC Killer").

It would also be nice to see SGI bring the costs of their workstations down to something approaching reasonable - not ultra-cheap, but an Itanium or even an Opteron workstation, uses OpenBoot for the Firmware and costs around NZ$4K-NZ$5K.

RE: SGI???
by Anonymous on Sat 21st May 2005 02:53 UTC

SGI --> Sun? That's kinda like jumping from Titanic to Titanic. You must be sadistic!

sgi computers are classic
by mike on Sat 21st May 2005 02:59 UTC

I think everyone who has played with sgi hardware and IRIX develops a liking for it. IRIX was the only user-friendly *nix before modern linux and OSX. The hardware (if you can afford anything made less then 5 years ago) is top of the line. The design of the machines is more beautiful and functional then anything apple has put out. I tried out IRIX 6.2 last year on an indy* (a 10 year old machine!) and found lots of cool 3d toys in addition to simple and effective package management and expected unix stability. Unfortunatly I messed up IRIX (rm'ed some system files by mistake), and ended up putting debian on the indy and selling it. I have an Octane2* running IRIX 6.5.22, from ebay, comming in the mail soon. I can't wait!

btw...check out
http://nekochan.net
It's the best source for hobbiest sgi and IRIX users.

*r4400 200mhz 1mb cache, 256mb ram, 24-bit 1280x1024 video...not bad condiddering PCs were windows 3.1 486s in the era the indy was new!

*r12000 400mhz 2mb cache, 1 gig ram, v6 odysey video

RE: SGI???
by Anonymous on Sat 21st May 2005 03:00 UTC

> SGI --> Sun? That's kinda like jumping from Titanic to Titanic. You must be sadistic!

What makes you think that Sun is a Titanic? Sun is actually in quite an enviable position right now, they managed to turn themselves around and have a boatload of truly kick-ass technology. Finances are also looking pretty damn good for them. They just need to overcome the wave of FUD and pessimism that stuck to them from the old days. Sun has some pretty bright future, I'm telling you.

Erm.
by Adam on Sat 21st May 2005 03:01 UTC

I would never recommend anyone to buy a workstation that cannot run Windows.

This is not a troll, as I am a GNU/Linux user, but rather a tidbit of wisdom.

RE: kaiwai
by Anonymous on Sat 21st May 2005 03:25 UTC

> Regarding Itanium and Solaris; with OpenSolaris (if it does actually occur), it would be an interesting turn of events if SGI embraced OpenSolaris, ported it to Itanium, and bought their IndigoMagic desktop over to Solaris.

It would have been even more interesting if SGI dropped Itanium and adopted Opteron to NumaFlex -- they would instantly gain a huge portpholio of applications that could run decently on their platform (can't say that about Itanium). That combined with OpenSolaris could have been a perfect HPC platform -- Dtrace alone can make a tremendous difference in HPC environment.

sgi
by duder on Sat 21st May 2005 03:49 UTC

this is a company that actually had systems programmers taking phone calls for customer support. probably the only time that I actually had a _pleasant_ experience with customer support was with sgi.

RE: I think it's kinda late for SGI
by walterbyrd on Sat 21st May 2005 04:05 UTC

>>SGI has money, it doesn't need to be bought or rescued.<<

SGI has money?

Here is what I just got from yahoo. Frankly, I've rarely seen a less healthy company:

Annual EPS Est (Jun-05) : -0.38
Quarterly EPS Est (Jun-05) : -0.07
Profit Margin (ttm): -11.91%
Operating Margin (ttm): -11.44%
Return on Assets (ttm): -16.92%
Return on Equity (ttm): N/A
Revenue Growth (lfy): -12.50%
EBITDA (ttm): -24.76M
Net Income Avl to Common (ttm): -91.14M
Diluted EPS (ttm): -0.35
Earnings Growth (lfy): N/A
Book Value Per Share (mrq): -0.765
Cash From Operations (ttm): -83.62M
Free Cashflow (ttm): -90.67M
52-Week Change: -51.66%
52-Week Change (relative to S&P500): -55.79%


I suppose IRIX is okay. I've ran IRIX as a desktop. It was okay. But I can get a far faster machine for about 1/10th the price buying a standard x86 machine.

I can also avoid vendor lock-in, and get a far richer variety of apps, with a standard PC.

But, whatever floats your boat.

SGI? no thanks...
by Anonymous on Sat 21st May 2005 05:05 UTC

The MPIS servers are too costly and under power, and the Itanic servers are going to sink.

The only interesting technology is XFS/CXFS, but let's not forget that it was an SGI developer who copied code from the original Unix source to the Linux kernel, and SCO showed that piece of code in the US court.

''Real' reality check
by DLazlo on Sat 21st May 2005 05:12 UTC

I've heard they're old/not fast, too proprietary, too expensive, relics, and about a thousand other "gifts of wisdom from the one truth" of others. Baloney!!

You use the hardware and/or OS that you damn well please and ignore all these 'Oracles' that dream themselves knowing what "IT" is and how "IT" should be done. Not Infromation Technology per se, but the big "IT". The everything you do, say, or think.

I'd sooner use an Atari or even Heathkit and enjoy it or have it do just what I want how I want it than be miserable working on the newest, fastest "IT" machine money can buy. Fast is a relative term. Fast food is just that, not nessarily good. Fast cars often break more frequently and cost more to service. Fast delivery often is only that in the advertisement. Fast women are a world of problems unto themselves. (My apologies, Ladies!)

The 2 systems I most enjoy working in are BeOS and IRIX. I can do almost all I want in them and a few things I still can't do in some others without a lot of setup or tweaking hassle or third party add-ons. "It ain't dead if anybody's still using it!" and "If you don't like it, don't use it!"

So what if SGI isn't pushing out lots of updates. That wasn't the gist of the article or others like it. The point of this and others is "Here is what I use and why I like it! If you come to OSNews (or other sites) because you're curious about the look and feel or how it's done in other systems on other hardware by other people, then it's right here. Enjoy it and learn! How are you going to do that when you're too busy showing how you know "IT" all!

they'll get bought cheap
by tim hawkins - tjhawkins.com on Sat 21st May 2005 05:12 UTC

id image someone will buy sgi after SGI's creditors jump ship and reffuse to finance their loses.

I still think their push into the itanium market and phasing out of mips/irix was so that they could get acquired.

im sure some computer company would love to add IA-64 super computers to their existing ia64 lines, or perhaps sun will buy them just for the cheap and talented employees.

Bandwidth
by Anonymous on Sat 21st May 2005 05:13 UTC

Wha most people fail to realize is that when it comes to bandwidth the SGI workstations (and servers) totaly trash anything else on the market. The Tezro is the only workstation that I have ever heard of that can boast of being able to playback and edit Film 2k (approx. 2,000 x 2,000 resolution) footage at realtime. How many systems do you know of that can process 400+MB/sec dependably? According to Discreet, some of the SGI systems (Onyx I think) even allow them to edit 10 streams of 2k footage at one time. That's 4GB/sec. No, SGI systems stink at 3D rendering, but they make some kick'n video editing machines.

Just go to Discreet, only recently have they started porting their low end video apps to x86-64 linux.

IRIX
by mat on Sat 21st May 2005 06:40 UTC

When I was at college there were loads of HP and IBM machines running HPUX and AIX and two Indies plus an older Indigo... I don't know if it was the hardware or was IRIX just that much better - definitely my favorite machines at the time.

re: Irix
by Ian on Sat 21st May 2005 07:14 UTC

I used to run both a Sun (Sparc5/Ultra5, Sol 2.6) and an SGI (Ingido R3000 Irix 5?) as my primary desktop machines. I had a Mac SE30 as well (window$ via wabi under solaris). Irix was one of the best operating systems I ever used - stable, easy to use, configure (sometimes better than Solaris). In the end I ended up at home using a Sparc 1 as the file and application server and the Indigo as the main workstation mounting the Sun over NFS. Great times!

Now I have Linux, but still things don't feel as good as the old Solaris/CDE and Irix days....

"Regarding Itanium and Solaris; with OpenSolaris (if it does actually occur), it would be an interesting turn of events if SGI embraced OpenSolaris, ported it to Itanium, and bought their IndigoMagic desktop over to Solaris."

It would have been even more interesting if SGI dropped Itanium and adopted Opteron to NumaFlex -- they would instantly gain a huge portpholio of applications that could run decently on their platform (can't say that about Itanium). That combined with OpenSolaris could have been a perfect HPC platform -- Dtrace alone can make a tremendous difference in HPC environment.


Maybe SUN should buy out SGI and start producing friggin huge Solaris boxes using Opteron using NumaFlex - now *THAT* would be a great system - the only downside? it would cannabalise their existing SPARC systems, that run slower than a dog with no legs - and no, I'm not exaggerating - just look at the TPC and SPEC2000 benchmarks for their SPARC workstations - price/performance/features wise, SPARC is an absolute rip off, only being bought by existing customers before they make the innevital switch to Linux, because the CIO got some fan boy propanganda from IBM services in the mail.

If only...
by itanic on Sat 21st May 2005 08:40 UTC

It'd be nice if the company restructured due to poor financial performance and a new CEO brought MIPS and IRIX back to life. Of course, it's probably already much too late for that but at least one can dream.

The reality isn't quite as good as the hype with IRIX
by Anonymous on Sat 21st May 2005 10:14 UTC

I mean, SGI machines have a reputation, and rightly so, for being graphics-optimised workhorses.

The Octane2/Fuel/Tezro workstations have more memory bandwidth than any x86 PC yet produced, and even my ancient O2 still holds its own when it comes to capturing and playing back video.

However, I think you're dreaming if you think IRIX would cut it compared to KDE, OS X or Windows as a desktop environment.

It does have some good features - the Toolchest gives you a simple, central menu, and the scalable icons have always been pretty nifty. But thats where it ends - theres nothing else about IRIX/4dwm/Indigo Magic that makes it more suitable than the abovementioned DEs for desktop use in my view.

My 200Mhz O2 is, despite being very old, still more than usable for lower-end 3D work with Blender, for capturing and playing back near-broadcast quality video, and miscellaneous tasks - I wouldnnt' use it to run OpenOffice or even Firefox/Mozilla and expect it to turn in good performance.

I think a lot of people who 'dream of IRIX on SGI' are more enamoured with the reputation of the company than desiring any actual features of the desktop platform.

I would certainly recommend picking up an older SGI as a toy if you can get it for next to nothing, but paying real money for one will probably leave you disappointed.

Why would Solaris/Opteron/Numaflex boxes make sense when switching to Linux from IBM is "inevitable"?

re: The reality isn't quite as good as the hype
by DLazlo on Sat 21st May 2005 11:37 UTC

You can always run Gnome or KDE if you're so enamored with them. IRIX is the OS, not The Indigo Magic Desktop (which I like very well!). SGI developed it when KDE and Gnome were still fantasy pretty much. Lots of folks used it and liked it, many moved over to run Gnome. It's a matter of taste, not superiority as I see it. One of my Octane's is running Gnome and it works very well, just isn't my favorite. XFCE already is running on IRIX I think. Hell, I suppose you could even get BlackBox running on there if you want.

The point is, Just because it's different and you don't perhaps like running it, doesn't mean there's any need to run it down. Many others DO run it, and obviously like it. What's the big attraction with parading around here verbally and condemming anything. It's different than what you use, so what. Maybe you're just not talented enough to be able to handle it!

Re: SGI? no thanks...
by walterbyrd on Sat 21st May 2005 12:32 UTC

>>The only interesting technology is XFS/CXFS, but let's not forget that it was an SGI developer who copied code from the original Unix source to the Linux kernel, and SCO showed that piece of code in the US court. <<

Wrong. Nothing in original UNIX source code was copied into Linux. Scox was ordered *twice* by the court to reveal whatever code scox thought was infringing, and scox failed to reveal even one line of infringing code, both times. All of scox's many lawsuits are a complete joke to anybody who knows beans about it.

The SGI case was one of many PR stunts scox has pulled to "prove" their laughable assertions. Scox had a huge hissy-fit about a small amount of old obsolete code. SGI felt scox was wrong, but SGI figured it easier to simply remove the code that scox was all upset about, rather than fight scox over it. Of course, scox then used that as "proof" that their code was stolen. BTW: you will *never* see scox present this kind of "proof" to the courts, onto the public.


RE: Anonymous (IP: ---.dip.t-dialin.net)
by Anonymous on Sat 21st May 2005 13:11 UTC

> Why would Solaris/Opteron/Numaflex boxes make sense when switching to Linux from IBM is "inevitable"?

IBM is putting its bets on Linux because IBM was the sore loser from in Unix wars and AIX simply can't stand up to Solaris. I guess for IBM switching to Linux is "inevitable" because it can't compete with Solaris having just AIX -- AIX is years behind Solaris technologically and can't compete price-wise (Solaris is a screaming bargain compared with AIX). I guess Linux is just a very comfortable FUD that IBM can use to its own advantage.

> Maybe SUN should buy out SGI and start producing friggin huge Solaris boxes using Opteron using NumaFlex - now *THAT* would be a great system - the only downside? it would cannabalise their existing SPARC systems, that run slower than a dog with no legs - and no, I'm not exaggerating - just look at the TPC and SPEC2000 benchmarks for their SPARC workstations

No, Opteron on NumaFlex wouldn't cannibalize SPARC systems. NumaFlex is fine for High Performance Computing but it wouldn't fare as well the SPARC FirePlane interconnect based systems -- two thirds of all Oracle installations out there go on Sun SPARC for a good reason. NumFlex is just not suitable for latency and data skew sensitive applications, such as transactional databases. And your reference to SPARC performance as "dog with no legs" is too harsh in all fairness (to both the dog and the processor ;) ). SPARC delivers reasonable performance even though it is currently lagging behind Power5 -- processor performance is leapfrog game and SPARC is likely to leapfrog Power with the release of Sun-Fujitsu APL line pretty soon. If UltraSparc performance is not good enough for you, just buy Fujitsu SPARC64 IV system which have performance comparable to Power5. Like it or not SPARC has still got by far the absolute best 64bit story -- guaranteed backward compatibility and thousands of certified application, something no other 64bit platform can claim.

We have sold a lot of SGI servers and they are the most stable servers ever. They never crash and the desktop environment is brilliant. The Toolchest is neat and does not clutter the desktop area.

Aslo, if having X11 installed on an macosX or linux box you can open the toolchest in another computer and remotely use the server.

Stable, stable and stable, that is all i have to say. Also, these servers do what they are told, they only work.


It is an shame to see that Irix is not ported to another platform (x86_64 for example) because it would rock.Not everyone likes the cluttered KDE/GNOME desktop Environments.

SGI? Copycat...
by Anonymous on Sat 21st May 2005 14:27 UTC

> Wrong. Nothing in original UNIX source code was copied into
> Linux.

You are wrong. There was a few lines of code (a simple loop) copied from the original UNIX source to Linux by the SGI engineer.

Yes, the code was opensourced, and it was one of the versions released to the "public domain". Still, SGI should never code those lines into Linux.



Right...
by Adam on Sat 21st May 2005 15:13 UTC

It seems to me like all the old UNIX venders have Linux options: IBM, SGI, HP, and even Sun.

GNU/Linux is the future of *nix and Windows Longhorn is the future of operating systems. I guarentee you ten years from now there will only be Longhorn or GNU/Linux and Longhorn.

If by some miracle GNU/Linux or OpenSolaris start outselling Windows systems Microsoft will cut prices; they can probably cut it by half without much sweat.

No super processor from Fujitsu/SUN (sparc niagra) or IBM (cell), as long as they are not Longhorn compatible will change this.


RE: Right...
by Anonymous on Sat 21st May 2005 15:28 UTC

> No super processor from Fujitsu/SUN (sparc niagra) or IBM (cell), as long as they are not Longhorn compatible will change this.

Err, if you're talking about desktop than may be, but on the server side, especially on the high end, Windows is not much of a threat to Unix or Linux. Windows on severs will always belong on the extreme low end with Linux eating more and more into Windows. And BTW, you must be seriously delusional if you think that that Longhorn is the future of operating systems.

Re:anon.au
by Adam on Sat 21st May 2005 16:32 UTC


And BTW, you must be seriously delusional if you think that that Longhorn is the future of operating systems.


You are seriously short-sighted if you think it isn't.

RE: Adam
by Anonymous on Sat 21st May 2005 17:22 UTC

> You are seriously short-sighted if you think it isn't.

And you must be seriously brainwashed by the M$ Longhorn propaganda. Longhorn has abosolutely nothing to offer on the server side that Unix or Linux can't counter. Plus both Unix and Linux are now cheaper than Windows -- the tide has reversed and Redmond folk are going to try some of their own poison pretty soon -- they are not the cheaper alternative any more.

Re: DLazlo
by Anonymous on Sat 21st May 2005 21:01 UTC


I *do* use it, on my O2, so dont tell me i'm parading around here running down what I don't use.

I still maintain my opinion that most SGI workstations don't really cut it for general use these days.

No USB, no Firewire, no 802.11b, reliance on expensive SCSI disk, and CPUs and graphics hardware that don't compete with cheap x86 PCs.

You would be a fool to drop $40,000 on a Tezro when you could get way better desktop functionality, application and hardware support from a G5 or an x86 workstation, both of which offer you a choice of OSes and DEs (the same ones e.g. GNOME/KDE/Blackbox you mention that you could run on your SGI), along with a pricetag about 1/10th of the Tezro.


The one area they still enjoy a significant advantage is raw memory bandwidth, something which 90% of users can't really take advantage of.

You would also be a fool if you thought you could stream 4 uncompressed HDTV streams in realtime through a $4000 G5 or x86 box when what you really need is the $40,000 Tezro.

You'll note that I said if you can get the box cheap, then go for it, its certainly interesting seeing what SGI were up to 10 years ago, but thats where IRIX and the SGI DE is stuck, and where it will stay.

And if you think IRIX - the base OS, not the DE really does offer some benefit over Linux, *BSD or Solaris as a basis for a desktop workstation, perhaps you'd care to share that rather than mindlessly flaming?

Re: SGI? Copycat...
by walterbyrd on Sat 21st May 2005 21:53 UTC

>>You are wrong. There was a few lines of code (a simple loop) copied from the original UNIX source to Linux by the SGI engineer.<<

Nonesense.

Since you are making the assertion; and based on "innocent until proven guilty" all I have to say is "prove it."

You can't, can you?

FACT: scox execs have been caught dead-to-rights in dozens of outright lies. For example, scox either lied to the courts, or lied to the public, about millions of lines of infringing code that scox said they had already found. You would be a complete fool to believe anything that comes from scox, unless it was absolutely proven.

A few other scox lies:
- scox said they could stop IBM from selling AIX
- scox said they have the right to audit all AIX users
- scox said the GPL was unconstituational.
- scox said that scox owns C++
- scox said that scox *owns* the UNIX operating system
- scox said they would send invoices demanding payment to all known linux users.

And you believe scox? Get real.

Re: SGI? Copycat...
by Anonymous on Sun 22nd May 2005 00:20 UTC

>>You are wrong. There was a few lines of code (a simple loop) copied from the original UNIX source to Linux by the SGI engineer.<<

> Nonesense.

Read it yourself...

http://www.computerworld.com/softwaretopics/os/story/0,10801,85807,...

"SGI discovered at that time that three "brief fragments" of SGI-contributed code matched the Unix System V code that SGI had licensed from SCO."

My point is very clear, nobody should copy anything to the Linux kernel and not mentioning where the code is copied from...

Understand?





FS: SGI Indigo2 Impact
by Alex Mouton on Sun 22nd May 2005 00:50 UTC

A steal at $1999.00 ;)

Re: SGI? Copycat...
by walterbyrd on Sun 22nd May 2005 04:23 UTC


>>My point is very clear, nobody should copy anything to the Linux kernel and not mentioning where the code is copied from...<<

I'm afraid I have to correct you, yet again. You claimed that SGI admitted to having copied scox's proprietary UNIX code into Linux. I read the entire article, and I saw no such admission.

Here is what I found:

"It appears that most or all of the System V fragments we found had previously been placed in the public domain, meaning it is very doubtful that the SCO Group has any proprietary claim to these code fragments."

Looks to me a PR stunt very similar to what scox tried to pull during scoforum 2003. That is when scox tried to claim that they were showing the infringing code. Scox's claims were debunked within an hour, when the F/OSS community identified that code as being open source BSD.

I told you, don't ever believe scox.




Re: SGI? Copycat...
by Anonymous on Sun 22nd May 2005 04:30 UTC

You still don't understand...

SGI is not supposed to copy code from other places without letting Linus know, no matter the code is from BSD or from public domain.

"Why would Solaris/Opteron/Numaflex boxes make sense when switching to Linux from IBM is "inevitable"?"

IBM is putting its bets on Linux because IBM was the sore loser from in Unix wars and AIX simply can't stand up to Solaris. I guess for IBM switching to Linux is "inevitable" because it can't compete with Solaris having just AIX -- AIX is years behind Solaris technologically and can't compete price-wise (Solaris is a screaming bargain compared with AIX). I guess Linux is just a very comfortable FUD that IBM can use to its own advantage.


There was quite a good article a while back; I think the most glaring issue was the threads implementation of AIX, which apparently is crap-o-la and in terms of fine-grained scaling, its a gludge.

With that being said, however, personally, I think that the better step for IBM would have been to team up with Apple, and take on the heavy work of ultra-fine-graining the Darwin kernel, and start adding features that are found in high end operating systems like Solaris.

IBM would then be able to start selling POWER based servers to small, medium and large businesses, once intrenced into Windows because of the 'ease of manage-ability', but can now move easily to MacOS X because of its ease of use, and its UNIX core.

Either that, or simply port OpenSolaris accross to POWER, and make that part of the larger portfolio of operating systems to support. People would then be able to get the raw speed of POWER and the great reliability of Solaris.

"Maybe SUN should buy out SGI and start producing friggin huge Solaris boxes using Opteron using NumaFlex - now *THAT* would be a great system - the only downside? it would cannabalise their existing SPARC systems, that run slower than a dog with no legs - and no, I'm not exaggerating - just look at the TPC and SPEC2000 benchmarks for their SPARC workstations"

No, Opteron on NumaFlex wouldn't cannibalize SPARC systems. NumaFlex is fine for High Performance Computing but it wouldn't fare as well the SPARC FirePlane interconnect based systems -- two thirds of all Oracle installations out there go on Sun SPARC for a good reason. NumFlex is just not suitable for latency and data skew sensitive applications, such as transactional databases.


Sounds a bit like mainframes, and how they're more suited to large batch transactions rather than lots of piddly little ones.

And your reference to SPARC performance as "dog with no legs" is too harsh in all fairness (to both the dog and the processor ;) ). SPARC delivers reasonable performance even though it is currently lagging behind Power5 -- processor performance is leapfrog game and SPARC is likely to leapfrog Power with the release of Sun-Fujitsu APL line pretty soon. If UltraSparc performance is not good enough for you, just buy Fujitsu SPARC64 IV system which have performance comparable to Power5. Like it or not SPARC has still got by far the absolute best 64bit story -- guaranteed backward compatibility and thousands of certified application, something no other 64bit platform can claim.

Well, IMHO, its taking SUN *TOO* long to move over to SPARCIV - they should have done it at this latest conference; their *WHOLE* line should have been moved over, and by now there should have been a joint SPARC development facility where by the two companies work together on the processor, thus reducing the over all costs.

Regarding their workstation, today, they should having SPARCIV workstations, PCI-E throughout the machine, along with the latest ATI FireGL graphics card. Believe me, if they did that, bundled it with a SATA drive, DVD Writer plus a 1.9ghz SPARCIV processor, you'd see SUN workstation sales double overnight. The perceived advantgae of Lintel stations would vanish, and SUN would regain the title as the "king of the bean hill".

Why don't they do that? they'd much rather spend the $7billion they have in reserves on "new pricing models" (yes, I'm as confused as you are, as to how changing their pricing structure should cost them money; then again, its Schwartz, and alot of the stuff he does and says doesn't make a whole lot of sense at all).

To anonymous
by DLazlo on Sun 22nd May 2005 11:54 UTC

"I *do* use it, on my O2, so dont tell me i'm parading around here running down what I don't use."

So I guess it's still useful, huh.

"And if you think IRIX - the base OS, not the DE really does offer some benefit over Linux, *BSD or Solaris as a basis for a desktop workstation, perhaps you'd care to share that rather than mindlessly flaming?"

I agree with you, IRIX could benefit from lots of newer technology. I'll be one of the first to say that I'd love to have the benefits of USB on all my SGI's, Indigo thru Octane2. Unfortunately I don't, likely never will, and I live with it.

Now as to your "mindless flaming", I'm sorry if you took it so personel, as it wasn't intended as such.
Simply stated:
"I come here and to other sites to read and enjoy the benefits of other people's views and experiences on matters I either haven't yet or never will know firsthand, or to weigh their take on it against mine. Maybe I missed something they didn't or vise-versa. Quite often they present a whole new perspective on something to me. I'm still actively learning, and plan to continue so 'till I die or otherwise can't.

There lies the rub. Disscusion is great, but I get tired of wading thru drivel and mindless one-upsmanship that often does border on flaming! It ussually is done without presenting any related information of value, adds nothing that's going to help anyone, and makes a lot of people sit there longer waiting to get past it to find something worth reading.

Even presentation makes a difference. I run Solaris 9 (started with 8) and Debian on SPARC, but I've never run AIX, anything Power-related newer than a G3 (not really in the ballpark with newer/high end Power stuff), or even Solaris x86. There's a lot of info here, in between the "Oh yea's" and the "Sez who's". But some of it I could just go down to the playground and hear. I don't think I'm the only one here who feels that way a lot of the time.

As for Longhorn
by DLazlo on Sun 22nd May 2005 12:00 UTC

I'm also firmly of the opinion that M$ is going to shoot themselves in the foot within the next 2 years. I have several reasons to think so, one of which has too big an ego to retire.

Why have Linux/Windows users discuss Unix?
by Alvin on Sun 22nd May 2005 13:09 UTC

Both don't really have a concept.

Irix and the SGI machines are used to some serious math intensive work, stuff that your run of the mill X86 no matter how fast, cannot touch.

The older boxes make nice machines to play around with, you would be impressed with what SGI did back in the 90s. You could get an Indy for $100

If you are really into computers and not a specific religion (Linux/Windows), the $100 bux will get you a nice experience. Go back to the past and see how far we have come.

Why have Linux/Windows users discuss Unix?
by walterbyrd on Mon 23rd May 2005 01:32 UTC

>>Both don't really have a concept.<<

But do UNIX users understand the concept of price/performance?

Sure, SGI stuff may be wonderful; but for 99% of computer users, it isn't worth the price. Especially since SGI/IRIX is so non-standard.

>>Irix and the SGI machines are used to some serious math intensive work, stuff that your run of the mill X86 no matter how fast, cannot to<<

Really? Like what? Even if that is true, how many people really need it? Why pay 10X more for a computer that does stuff you don't need to do?

By the way: I've been an administrator for Linux, Windows, and several different UNIX's including IRIX.

Re: Alvin
by Anonymous on Mon 23rd May 2005 03:13 UTC

Yeah, like what 'serious math intensive stuff'?

What can a MIPS CPU do faster than an x86 or PowerPC CPU?

I can appreciate the extra memory bandwith available with SGI's workstations, but outside HDTV, what do SGIs do faster and better than the cheaper solutions?

Especially, I'm interested in the 'serious math intensive stuff' - what are you talking about?

serious math intensive stuff
by Anonymous on Mon 23rd May 2005 03:33 UTC

Funny, a few years ago, someone told me that the MIPS processors can do maths faster than the Alphas, PPC, x86...

I then looked at many of the benchmarks with him, and the MIPS was not even at the top 5 or 6 for many benchmarks.

I then asked him to show me a benchmark that the MIPS processors beat the ALphas/PPC, and he couldn't show any ;)

Too many people say: "Yeah, SGI workstations/servers/... are nice but nobody knows that". In fact, I am still wondering if the SGI employees started the FUD first!

@ Anonymous (IP: ---.cpe.net.cable.rogers.com)
by kaiwai on Mon 23rd May 2005 05:06 UTC

Ok, this is the theory, according to MIPS devotees. MIPS *SHOULD* in theory, cost less than other CPUs due to their relatively simple design, now, coupled with the massive bandwidth, the idea is; MIPS rated at a lower clockk rate, doing more work per clock cycle, coupled with the fact that they're cheaper to produce, you have more MIPS processors in a box, resulting in the work load being spread over more CPUs resulting in higher performance (before the idea of dual core etc).

So coupled with a extremely fine grained operating system, good compilers, and massive bandwidth between CPU's and main memory, it sounds like a sound theory, remember thats *IN THEORY* - in practice, its a completely difference kettle of fish.

re: anonymous
by DLazlo on Mon 23rd May 2005 07:20 UTC

Coward!

Medical Imaging
by Anonymous on Mon 23rd May 2005 20:18 UTC

SGI and IRIX is still very relevant and essential to medical imaging at the top medical schools and medical research facilities including several which I have worked for as a graduate and post doctorate medical school student (Stanford University, Stanford Research Institute, and Harvard Medical School). I understand that a web site such as this is filled with individuals attempting to one up each other with comments disparaging the others preferred operating systems but SGI is developing technology that is used every day that helps us understand the complexity of the human brain and to save lives.

re: Medical Imaging
by DLazlo on Tue 24th May 2005 18:35 UTC

Thank you, just the sort of thing needed. I know what SGI used to do and still is used for in this area, but haven't had the time to keep up on what they are currently doing here with the new systems.
Anyone up on this?