Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 8th May 2006 13:18 UTC, submitted by BluenoseJake
SGI and IRIX Silicon Graphics Inc. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The press release sugarcoats: "Silicon Graphics today announced that it has reached an agreement with all of its Senior Secured bank lenders and with holders of a significant amount of its Senior Secured debt on the terms of a reorganization plan that will reduce its debt by approximately $250 million, greatly simplifying its capital structure." El Reg, The Inq, and the WSJ have more.
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Should I grief?
by xiaokj on Mon 8th May 2006 13:54 UTC
xiaokj
Member since:
2005-06-30

And mourn for this once great company? Anyone with any good commentary on this?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Should I grief?
by Dubhthach on Mon 8th May 2006 15:24 UTC in reply to "Should I grief?"
Dubhthach Member since:
2006-01-12

SGI have been screwed since about 1998 or thereabouts, it's amazing that they have lasted so long. It was a major mistake trying to go into the Windows NT workstation market, a major waste of money which should have been put into developing Irix and their MIPS systems. The demise of the R18000 chip back in 2003 was really the final nail in the coffin for their IRIX kit that's for sure. Great systems and all but who can justify spending 18k on a graphics workstation when the graphics system hasn't been updated since 2002 (Tezro with Vpro12).

Likewise they didn't continue development of their heavy metal visualisation systems after IR4 (Infinte Reality 4 -- released bout 2002) instead bringing out the Onyx 300/350/3000 series with ATI gpu's. As we all know ATI drivers aren't that great whatever platform you tend to be on.
If they had stuck with what they were good with instead of going intel they'd probably be in better state today.

It's a pity, because IRIX is my favourite Unix out there, awh well c'est la vie.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Should I grief?
by blastwave on Mon 8th May 2006 15:33 UTC in reply to "Should I grief?"
blastwave Member since:
2006-01-09

I hope that OpenGL lives on for a long long time to come. Brilliant technology and we should all go out and buy a copy of Mark Kilgards book on OpenGL. SGI had some great days but missed an opportunity to rethink and reinvent in the past 5 years.

Sadly .. the first thing that they do is steal from their own investors and only the "secured" banks get anything to pick from this sinking boat. So, dump your stock right away because its worthless today and has no provision for recovery in the near future.

"the Company believes that SGI's currently outstanding common stock and unsecured subordinated debentures have no value."

That really says it all .. almost.

This is the bitter pill to swallow :

"All of SGI's existing common stock and the unsecured subordinated debentures will be cancelled upon confirmation of the plan by the court and receive no recovery."

wow .. so the message is run .. run for the hills.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Should I grief?
by Mapou on Tue 9th May 2006 13:53 UTC in reply to "Should I grief?"
Mapou Member since:
2006-05-09

And mourn for this once great company?

Yes, of course. Every time an innovative computer company gets into trouble, we all lose. The reason is that it becomes harder and harder to change the accepted paradigm. Our habits and ways of thinking are thus monopolized by the prevailing powers. Fortunately for us all, SGI is not dead yet. There is still hope that they may hang in there and go back to their former innovative and creative selves. My advice to SGI is the same one I give to Sun Microsystems:

Don't try to beat either Intel, Linux or Microsoft at their games. You will lose. I suggest instead that you do something that will take the rest of the industry completely by surprise. Invest your remaining resources and passion into the next big thing, the one thing that will solve the nastiest problem in the computer industry today: unreliability. Put all your money in non-algorithmic, signal-based, synchronous software. It will revolutionize both the hardware and the software industry and usher in the most dramatic change in computing since the days of Charles Babbage and Lady Lovelace. Don't say you weren't warned. ahahaha...

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Should I grief?
by Simba on Tue 9th May 2006 14:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Should I grief?"
Simba Member since:
2005-10-08

> Put all your money in non-algorithmic, signal-based,
> synchronous software.

Or better yes, don't put your money in anything software based, since as soon as you make a breakthrough, you will find you can't capitalize on it anyway since the open source people will reverse engineer it, figure out how you did it, copy it in such a way that makes just enough changes to avoid getting sued for copyright infringement, and then give it away free, once again, reducing the monetary value of your capital and time investment to zero.

Again, this is why the whole idea that closed source software hurts innovation is a total FUD myth spread by the open source crowd. It is actually open source leaching of ideas that hurts innovation, since companies don't want to invest the millions of dollars and man-hours it takes to come up with innovative solutions when they know that the open source people will have a competing knock-off product in a year or two that will reduce the monetary value of their product to zero before they have even had time to reccover their expenses.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Should I grief?
by Mapou on Tue 9th May 2006 15:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Should I grief?"
Mapou Member since:
2006-05-09

Simba, you're right but consider this. The open source community is not really the source of the problem. The patent system is. We are not doing it right. The idea is to compensate and reward innovators for their hard work, not to infringe on freedom. All intellectual property should be free. We should keep the patent registration process but instead of putting restrictions on use, we should find an alternative way of compensating the creators. IMO, society as a whole should pay on the basis of the idea's importance (how many people use it and how beneficial it is to society) and the amount of work it took to bring it to fruition. Some compensation formula can be perfected and, if changes are needed as we gain experience with it, retroactively applied.

Having said that, and taking current reality into account, I agree that SGI should not be in the business of selling software. Their forte is their hardware know-how. However, any potentially revolutionary processor must be based on a revolutionary software model. I am convinced that the sign-based synchronous model is the way of the future.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Should I grief?
by Mapou on Tue 9th May 2006 15:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Should I grief?"
Mapou Member since:
2006-05-09

I am convinced that the sign-based synchronous model is the way of the future.

Correction. I meant to write "signal-based" and not "sign-based".

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Should I grief?
by Simba on Tue 9th May 2006 16:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Should I grief?"
Simba Member since:
2005-10-08

> All intellectual property should be free.

No, it shouldn't Especially when it comes to software, and especially not in today's world of open source leaching of ideas.

The vast majority of time and money spent on software development is spent on the intellectual property aspect of it, not on the actual coding implementation itself. And in today's world where companies can't protect the implementation itself against open source leaching and cloning, they have no choice except to resort to patents and protect it at the intellectual property level.

> IMO, society as a whole should pay on the basis of the
> idea's importance (how many people use it and how beneficial
> it is to society) and the amount of work it took to bring it to
> fruition. Some compensation formula can be perfected and,
> if changes are needed as we gain experience with it,
> retroactively applied.

Tha'ts never going to happen. And you are out of your mind if you actually want it to happen. Here's why: What authority determines how valuable an idea is to society, and determines how much the rest of the "peasents" should be forced to pay for that idea? This kind of system is not freedom at all. It is opression. What if this governming body determines that something is of high value to society, but because I don't follow the "main stream beliefs of the time", I find it morally or ethically repulsive. I should NOT be forced to pay for that just because some group of so called "experts on what society needs" determined it was in my best interest to have to pay for that.

Yes, the open source community is the source of the problem. It's not worth a company's time to spend millions of dollars to do R&D on innovative software given how fast the open source community will clone it and reduce the monetary eturn on investment to zero.

Edited 2006-05-09 16:09

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Should I grief?
by Mapou on Tue 9th May 2006 16:23 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Should I grief?"
Mapou Member since:
2006-05-09

You are mistaken. I am not promoting the idea that compensation should be decided by a government body. It should be a peer (i.e., democratic) system where the people decide. And you are forgetting that a government body is already imposing its dictatorial will on the rest of us and has already decided to infringe on the people's freedom so as to give an unfair monopolistic advantage to a minority while enslaving the majority. Your problem is greed, selfishness and enforced controls, not the leeching of ideas.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Should I grief?
by Simba on Tue 9th May 2006 20:25 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Should I grief?"
Simba Member since:
2005-10-08

> I am not promoting the idea that compensation should
> be decided by a government body. It should be a
> peer (i.e., democratic) system where the people decide.

So now the "moral majority" gets to decide what my money has to go to, and gets to decide what a good idea is tha t benefits society? Because they know what is best for me? Sorry. No thanks.

Sorry to burst your bubble. But socialism doesn't work. The Soviet Union proved that all to well.

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: Should I grief?
by Mapou on Tue 9th May 2006 21:12 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: Should I grief?"
Mapou Member since:
2006-05-09

No. Nobody is trying to tell you what is good for you. You're the one who is promoting socialism for the benefit of the few by imposing artificial and unfair controls on the market. I am promoting a free market system in the purest sense of the word. As a case in point, there are many excellent windowing systems out there. Why should only a few people reap monumental rewards just because they know how to exploit the IP system better than others by creating a monopoly? Heck, they did not even invent the desktop. Of course, you want to maintain the status quo. Why? Because of greed, dishonesty and selfishness, that's why. Sorry for being so blunt, but I always tell it like I see it.

Reply Score: 1

SGI
by Andre4s on Mon 8th May 2006 13:57 UTC
Andre4s
Member since:
2006-02-10

Sad to see all non x86 platforms disappear

Reply Score: 5

RE: SGI
by twenex on Mon 8th May 2006 14:12 UTC in reply to "SGI"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Actually POWER is still out there, and Genesi sell PowerPC systems. And of course there's still SPARC, and Itanium is selling like hotcakes! ;-P

Seriously, though: Wow, guess I should have seen this one coming.

Reply Score: 2

RE: SGI
by Ronald Vos on Mon 8th May 2006 14:50 UTC in reply to "SGI"
Ronald Vos Member since:
2005-07-06

Sad to see all non x86 platforms disappear

Indeed, but SGI dissapearing has nothing much to do with it, since they dumped alpha for Itanium a long time ago. And we could only wish Itanium would dissapear along with SGI.

BTW, ARM and PPC aren't that much far behind to X86 in volume of sales. ARM for example dominates 75% of the embedded market (PPC probably has a sizeable chunk of the rest). Might not be the workstation/desktop market, but still..
And PPC didn't do that bad in the servermarket.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: SGI
by lopisaur on Mon 8th May 2006 15:08 UTC in reply to "RE: SGI"
lopisaur Member since:
2006-02-27

SGI never sold Alphas, they used MIPS processors.
HP's the one that dumped the Alpha for Itanium.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: SGI
by Damien on Mon 8th May 2006 17:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: SGI"
Damien Member since:
2005-07-07

You mean HP dumped both the PA-RISC (old HP) and Alpha series (old Compaq through DEC purchase) for Itanium?

Damien

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: SGI
by twenex on Mon 8th May 2006 17:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: SGI"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Yep. To be fair, dropping PA-RISC for what became Itanium was on the cards long before HP picked up Compaq, in fact from around the time Commodore went belly-up, iirc.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: SGI
by rapont on Mon 8th May 2006 18:12 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: SGI"
rapont Member since:
2005-07-06

SGI never sold Alphas, they used MIPS processors.

Are you sure?

I know they used MIPS, but I remember seeing adverts in the UK edition of PC Pro a long time ago with "Silicon Graphics" selling Alpha based workstations at 667Mhz - I remember thinking how fantastic it was as everyone else was selling 400Mhz Pentium II's at the time!

I'm presuming that "Silicon Graphics" was later renamed SGI - is that correct?

Strangely enough i've never been able to track down any info about those systems as I recently wanted to try and purchase one before Alpha went completely terminal.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: SGI
by Cloudy on Mon 8th May 2006 23:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: SGI"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

SGI bought Cray Research, which, at that time, had a DEC alpha based "supercomputer". So yes, SGI did sell alpha based product for a while, but they're own workstations were always MIPS based before they switched to x86.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: SGI
by Ronald Vos on Mon 8th May 2006 23:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: SGI"
Ronald Vos Member since:
2005-07-06

SGI never sold Alphas, they used MIPS processors.
HP's the one that dumped the Alpha for Itanium.


Oops, my bad. Either way: Intell sold crack to both of them ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: SGI
by poundsmack on Mon 8th May 2006 21:29 UTC in reply to "RE: SGI"
poundsmack Member since:
2005-07-13

"HP's the one that dumped the Alpha for Itanium."

intel bought the alpha development team to help creat itanuim. and the future version of itanium that has 4 cores and is slated for release in early 08 is absolutly amazing http://www.realworldtech.com/page.cfm?NewsID=361&date=05-05-2006#36...

Reply Score: 2

Chapter 11
by CPUGuy on Mon 8th May 2006 15:19 UTC
CPUGuy
Member since:
2005-07-06

Chapter 11 bankruptcy does not mean that the company will cease to exist anymore. Hell, look at K-Mart, they filed chapter 11, what, 3 years ago?

You file for bankruptcy because you have more debt than you (or your company) can handle and you neggotiate with the bank to forgive some debts, make payment plans for others, and allows you to just reorganize things much more easily to a place where your company can handle the rest of the debt that you have.

SGI is not a dead company, at least not yet.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Chapter 11
by twenex on Mon 8th May 2006 17:32 UTC in reply to "Chapter 11"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Most people probably get the impression that Ch.11 -> nonexistence because Commodore filed for the equivalent in a Bahamanian court and then, er, non-existed.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Chapter 11
by mario on Mon 8th May 2006 19:09 UTC in reply to "Chapter 11"
mario Member since:
2005-07-06

You are absolutely right, Ch. 11 is not the end, but it is not possible to compare SGI with K-Mart. The former has been in a downward spiral for the longest time, and can do very little to change the trend. K-Mart has and is in a fluctuating market where actions that increase their margins, even a little bit, can turn around the company. It is a cutthroat market there K-Mart is in, but they had many different options to increase their margins, and they picked a good one.

Reply Score: 1

v Should have stuck to MIPS and Irix
by stephanem on Mon 8th May 2006 17:29 UTC
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

I wasn't aware that IRIX had been ported to AMD64; are you sure you don't mean MIPS?

Either way, I think IRIX and MIPS are dead in the water at this point.

Reply Score: 1

happycamper Member since:
2006-01-01

SGI can still come back if they just throw out Itanic+Linux and go back to AMD64+IRIX


just throw out Linux. SGI was doing great before they began offering linux. SGI should improve IRIX, so can compete with Solaris, BSDs and Windows. If SGI is wise they will see the decision they made to go with linux was a mistake it did not pay off.

Reply Score: 3

Dubhthach Member since:
2006-01-12

Porting IRIX to AMD64 is a no runner pure and simple, most of the IRIX devs have been made redudant, this isn't suprising seen there hasn't been a major release of IRIX since 1998 (6.5), all subsequent releases have been point releases which basically are security patches/new hardware drivers/some minor improvements etc.

They did start the IRIX port to Itanium but it was canned in 1999 (or thereabouts) when they decided Linux was next Best thing (tm).

*start pipe-dream*

IRIX is a "Unix95" OS, if they were to go back into the whole Unix market they be better off doing a deal with Sun, porting Opensolaris to Itanium (though Sun supposedly did this with solaris couple years ago) and adding their value Add ontop. Least that way they would have a "modern Unix2003" OS, I've always found xsgi to be one of best X servers that I have used, so there probably is enough in their IRIX codebase that they could add ontop of Opensolaris to differate it from Solaris.

However tbh, just because ye wish something doesn't mean it will happen, so I don't see them budging from supporting Linux/Itanium at this stage.

*end pipe-dream*

Reply Score: 2

Linux is what really did this...
by Simba on Mon 8th May 2006 17:43 UTC
Simba
Member since:
2005-10-08

Lets be realistic here. Linux is what really forced SGI into bankruptcy. Many of SGI's staple customers have been migrating to Linux running on cheap x86 clusters.

Reply Score: 2

stephanem Member since:
2006-01-11

totally agree. Why would you BUY linux when Ubuntu and Fedora are practically giving it away?. SGI donated XFS to get some browny points from the "Linux Community" and tell me if there's even a single distro shipping XFS as default.


This constant whoring to the linux community is killing once mighty companies like SGI, Novell - Sun is next but Apple isn't on the list because Apple doesn't do ANYTHING for linux - not even quicktime or bootcamp.

Edited 2006-05-08 18:00

Reply Score: 3

KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

Linux is what really forced SGI into bankruptcy.

You may be right. But I suspect there are companies that are maintaining marginal profitability using Linux today that would be bankrupt (due to marginal unprofitability) if they had had to buy SGI instead. It would be fun to see a comparison of the economy with and without Linux. I bet Linux adds a lot more to the economy than it takes.

Reply Score: 2

Simba Member since:
2005-10-08

> It would be fun to see a comparison of the economy with and
> without Linux. I bet Linux adds a lot more to the economy than it
> takes.

That might be true. But it would also be interesting to see how many computer science student FOSS programmers programmed themselves right out of a job when they graduate--because commercial companies they otherwise would have been able to work for have had to seriously downsize because of competition from FOSS.

Reply Score: 2

rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

You have to remember that most programmers don't work for the big companies selling shrink-wrapped software. They work for companies designing systems to solve particular problems. The former types of companies are hurt by Linux, because they sell a competing system. The latter types of companies are helped by Linux, because Linux provides them a good, free, building block for their solution.

I'd be seriously surprised if the economic loss due to FOSS wasn't offset by the economic gain. For every lost IIS license, there are probably a dozen cases where small businesses improve their bottom line by using Apache. For every lost *NIX license, I bet there are a dozen cases where an academic or research institution saves money by using a Linux cluster.

Reply Score: 5

markjensen Member since:
2005-07-26

I bet Linux adds a lot more to the economy than it takes.

Yes, it would be interesting to see a good analysis of "with Linux" and "without Linux" to see what impact(s) it has had in the computing world.

I suspect, and this is only my opinion after a brief think - no backing facts, that Linux has been a force that 'redistributes' earning abilities and power. The larger (and in this case Unix-based) behemoths are falling by the wayside, unable to keep up in the long run. However, smaller local businesses are able to offer local Linux support and services. Red Hat is probably the best known example of this, since they offer their own distro of Linux.

Whether you view this as:
good: "Robin Hood taking from the rich and giving to the poor",
or neutral: "if you are going to make an omelette, you have to break a few eggs",
or negative "Look at the carnage! Oh, the humanity!",
depends partly on your view of change.

Reply Score: 1

KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

Robin Hood ... break a few eggs ... carnage!

I don't think any of those capture the issue. Linux creates wealth! That's right, it is a tool that businesses have that gives them capability they would not have to do business otherwise.

Compare it to the cost of diesel fuel. If it's cheap, you can ship stuff cheap and make a profit doing lots of things that would be impossible with a higher cost. Rising fuel or computing costs result in cost-push inflation. Falling fuel or computing costs empower more businesses to make a profit and therefore employ more computer industry people.

Reply Score: 1

Simba Member since:
2005-10-08

> Linux creates wealth!

...Unless you are one of the developers working for a commercial Unix vendor who loses their job because your company had to seriously downsize because of competition from Linux... Then it certainly doesn't create wealth for you...

Edited 2006-05-08 19:10

Reply Score: 3

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

The fact is that Linux is only biting the UNIX vendors on the a** because they made the mistake of charging too much for it and making their UNIXes incompatible. The Linux market is what should have happened to UNIX, and if it had we wouldn't now be dealing with XP.

Reply Score: 4

Simba Member since:
2005-10-08

> The fact is that Linux is only biting the UNIX vendors on the
> a** because they made the mistake of charging too much for it...

That's not really true. Because anything looks like it costs to much when it is competing against free.

Unfortunately, however, free does not pay developer's salaries, so commercial software vendors have to downsize, layoff developers, etc.

Reply Score: 1

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

"Linux is only free if your time costs nothing."

For one thing, developers who develop for Linux are repaying the rest of the Linux developer community for their efforts by joining in, even if they don't give $$.

For another, Red Hat and other Linux companies are profitable, because people who don't have the time to cobble it all together pay them to do the job for them.

Thirdly, it's not that going up against Linux charging high prices is killing UNIX, it's that going up against Windows charging high prices already did kill UNIX. My edition (Third Edition?) of Running UNIX states that at the time of writing, a single-user version of AT&T System V UNIX for the PC cost $1500.

If you can afford $1500 per user for an OS, you're probably Bill Gates, and rumour has it he has an OS already. ;-)

If Linux weren't attracting novice users who like to point and click, there wouldn't be any incentive to develop KDE, GNOME, and YaST amongst others. It follows that if novice users had seen UNIX as an attractive proposition based on price, CDE would have become both the standard interface on desktops and a much better interface than it already was.

Reply Score: 3

GCrain Member since:
2005-07-11

"....and making their UNIXes incompatible"

Oh, as if the Linux distros are the model of compatibility.
It is still ashame to see this happen to companies that helped shape computing today. I do agree with another poster how SGI really brought this on themselves.

Reply Score: 1

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Yes, compared to UNIX, they are. The only things that are "incompatible" between Linux distros are the installer and the package management system, with some minor variations in file structure. And most of those are shared between more than one distro anyway. That in no way compares to the headaches of supporting multiple UNIX vendors. And when Linux is old, a new OS will come along where even those problems don't exist. But it will look a lot more like UNIX/Linux than anything else.

Reply Score: 1

KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

Unless ... Then it certainly doesn't create wealth for you.

Who are all the would-be SGI customers that are using Linux instead of buying SGI? It's certainly creating wealth for all their employees.

Reply Score: 1

rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

Consider ILM. They moved from a bunch of expensive IRIX/MIPS boxes to a bunch of Linux/x86 boxes. Their artists are more productive, because the machines are a lot faster, and their bottom line is improved, because the machines are a lot cheaper. You tell them Linux doesn't create wealth for people.

Reply Score: 2

Simba Member since:
2005-10-08

> Their artists are more productive, because the machines are a lot
> faster, and their bottom line is improved, because the machines are
> a lot cheaper. You tell them Linux doesn't create wealth for people.

I never said it doesn't create wealth for some people. Just that it doesn't create wealth for all the programmers at SGI who are going to lose their jobs now as a result of the restructuring because of the bankruptcy.

Outsourcing creates wealth too--It creates wealth for upper management. But it most certainly does not create wealth for the developers in the trenches who lose their jobs because of it, just as a point of comparision. Yeah, Linux creates wealth for some people. But for others, it costs them their jobs.

Reply Score: 1

siki_miki Member since:
2006-01-17

This is more correct regarding world economy and less regarding US economy. Largest computer system producers are US companies (including Microsoft). There are very few outside of US, so having linux as most adopted system benfits the world, but for USA it's questionable.

Rest of the world doesn't exist for 80% American citizens, though.

Reply Score: 4

Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

SGI was a one-trick pony, and long before Linux became an issue, they ran out of tricks. SGI was about Graphics. Nvidia had more to do with SGI going bankrupt than Linux.

Reply Score: 1

sad day
by cg0def on Mon 8th May 2006 17:49 UTC
cg0def
Member since:
2006-02-12

SGI has been having financial problems for a while now but I never though it was going to end with a Chapter 11. Also at this moment I really don't see how they are supposed to come out of the hole as there really isn't any perspective for them. While Kmart is valuable because of their stores and the sheer number of locations that they have this hardly applies to a thechnology company. In the tech world filing for Chapter 11 pretty much means closing doors. I don't see any company that would actually benefit from taking over SGI and this is really the only way that they can come out of this mess. The only one that might be interested is Sun and right now I don't think that Sun can handle a purchase like this one.

It's really sad ... first Transmeta stopped making hardware and now SGI files for Chapter 11 ... are we really drowning in conventionalism ...

Reply Score: 1

RE: sad day
by scuro_falcao on Mon 8th May 2006 18:00 UTC in reply to "sad day"
scuro_falcao Member since:
2006-03-18

Incorrect..

chapter 11 is the safe way to file for bankruptcy... It is far from closing doors. Just gives the company the opportunity to go into a period in where they can write off a bunch of debt, screw people over, and restructure themselves.. then issue new stock. Like MCI/Worldcom.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: sad day
by Simba on Mon 8th May 2006 18:36 UTC in reply to "RE: sad day"
Simba Member since:
2005-10-08

> chapter 11 is the safe way to file for bankruptcy... It is far from
> closing doors.

That's true. But at the same time, realistcally, most companies that do file for chapter 11 never successfully emerge from it and ultimately end up gone anyway. After all, their credit is shot now. They didn't make good on hundreds of millions of dollars in debt. None of their suppliers will want to do business with them anymore, no banks will want to lend them capital, etc.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: sad day
by Cloudy on Mon 8th May 2006 23:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: sad day"
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

But at the same time, realistcally, most companies that do file for chapter 11 never successfully emerge from it and ultimately end up gone anyway.

http://www.usdoj.gov/ust/eo/public_affairs/articles/docs/abi98febnu...

suggests other wise. It looks like 2/3 of companies that enter chapter 11 come out of it successfully.

Reply Score: 1

hmm
by scuro_falcao on Mon 8th May 2006 18:04 UTC
scuro_falcao
Member since:
2006-03-18

SGI has sold everything off that could have made them successful in my honest opinion.

It looks like they switched to IA-64 because they knew no one would want to buy MIPS/IRIX but a company like HP may want to acquire their big IA-64 machines.

This seems to me like this has been apart of their plan since they started offering IA-64. It would be logical, sadly for investors they filed for Chp 11. Bonds in SGI will probably become worthless if a judge approves conversion from bonds to stock like they did for MCI.

Now lets see if they can make themselves attractive enough to buy.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: SGI
by javiercero1 on Mon 8th May 2006 18:55 UTC
javiercero1
Member since:
2005-11-10

No, SGI never sold a single Alpha based workstation or desktop system. If your magazine claimed so, then they are a worthless waste of paper. SGI at some point sold Alpha based system in the form of a line of supercomputers, namely the T3, when they adquired CRAY in the late 90s.

And no, SGI was not doing great before opting for Linux. There is a reason why they decided to move to Linux, and that was because they were pretty much dead in the water with Irix/MIPS. So let's not rewrite history here. Linux is the least of SGI's blunders. There are even more important screwups that led to the dimisal of this company. 1) Buying CRAY, which had overlapping product lines, the T3 was a direct competitor to their Origin line, and their vector supercomputers represented a negligible revenue stream. That was the first nail in the coffin, years later SGI had to get rid of CRAY at a substantial loss. Then 2) Mr. Belluzzo's reign of stupidity, SGI spend even more valuable resources trying to come up with an X86 NT workstation, which was a) Incompatible with the rest of the PeeCees out there (from the propietary memory slots, to the 3.3V PCI slots which no vendor supported, to the special version of NT that they required) which meant that SGI had a system that was 2x as expensive as most NT systems out there that offered the same specs. So SGI totally misunderstood the PeeCee market, then Mr. Belluzzo thought it would be great to pretty much give the crown jewels for free to Microsoft (Anyone remembers Farhenheit?), that whole experiment alone left SGI in such a bad shape tha they had to go to 3) down a route in which they bet their future on a non-existan part from their competitor (Merced by Intel). It is a rule of common sense: never base your future on something that does not exist and that comes from one of your rivals.

All of those events happened well before SGI decided to bet on Linux. Had SGI and its management had had the slightest spec of common sense they would have stayed clear of CRAY, they would have entered the PeeCee market as a gfx board maker, they would have kept their crown jewels safe away from Microsoft, and they should have developed H1/H2 which were coming along and which had a higher probability of entering the market earlier than Merced at a substantial performance advantage. But I guess one has to leave their brains at the door when joining an MBA program....

Reply Score: 5

RE: RE[5]: SGI
by plague on Mon 8th May 2006 23:46 UTC in reply to " RE[4]: SGI"
plague Member since:
2006-05-08

I agree with the poster saying they should've entered the PC market as a gfx board maker.

Wishful thinking here, but this is how I would love things to go from here:
They start making gfx boards that centralize on exellent OpenGL performance.
Sure, they should support DirectX, but OpenGL should be the priority.
They keep their drivers open source, and make sure their cards work beautifully on OSS systems, making them an OSS enthusiasts wet dream.

IMO, this could really help both the OSS systems and SGI.
OSS systems would (best case scenario) get a push into the gaming market, OpenGL would stop beeing threatened by DirectX and SGI would rise from the ashes.

But it's just a dream, it'll never happen, not even close. So sad..

Edited 2006-05-08 23:46

Reply Score: 1

Jobs on SGI Octane promotion back then
by zeppelin on Mon 8th May 2006 19:00 UTC
zeppelin
Member since:
2005-07-08
This proves my point
by ChrisA on Mon 8th May 2006 19:11 UTC
ChrisA
Member since:
2006-05-06

Proprietary systems are dead. If you arent Open Source or perscribing to open source you future is very bleak.

Reply Score: 1

RE: This proves my point
by twenex on Mon 8th May 2006 19:18 UTC in reply to "This proves my point"
twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

What do you see as the difference between "being Open Source" and "[prescribing] to open source"?

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: SGI
by anevilyak on Mon 8th May 2006 19:50 UTC
anevilyak
Member since:
2005-09-14

They were always named SGI... Silicon Graphics, Inc. And last I checked no they never sold any Alpha-based systems, especially considering there is to my knowledge no variant of IRIX that will run on such boxes.

Reply Score: 1

Rot
by tony on Mon 8th May 2006 19:59 UTC
tony
Member since:
2005-07-06

There was an article not too long ago:

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/SiliconInsider/story?id=508399&page=...

Basically compared SGI to Microsoft. Ouch.

Reply Score: 2

SGI _ Ch 11 _ ...
by poohgee on Mon 8th May 2006 23:07 UTC
poohgee
Member since:
2005-08-13

Ovious this was gonna happen - everybody I think subconsciously expected this when the last SGI article here on osnews was around .

What is clear again & again is that SGI has a huge base of SGI lovers as there are now 50 comments & whenever SGI is mentioned there is lots of feedback - awsum hardware ;)

All the best to SGI & hopefully a recovery as well .

Good luck.

P.S.: Funny how emotional one can get about materalistic things when they are really good .

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Should I grief?
by kaiwai on Tue 9th May 2006 03:18 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

SGI have been screwed since about 1998 or thereabouts, it's amazing that they have lasted so long. It was a major mistake trying to go into the Windows NT workstation market, a major waste of money which should have been put into developing Irix and their MIPS systems. The demise of the R18000 chip back in 2003 was really the final nail in the coffin for their IRIX kit that's for sure. Great systems and all but who can justify spending 18k on a graphics workstation when the graphics system hasn't been updated since 2002 (Tezro with Vpro12).

I'd say the issue goes further than that; like the spinning off of MIPS as a seperate company.

If they really did need to seperate it and pull in more expertise in respects to running a processor design company, they should have split the company into the two, the parent company being SGI, with the two respect companies being SGI Semiconductor and SGI Systems - each focusing on their respective strengths.

The alternative today is looking pretty bad; one could be to work with AMD, work with the Opteron and see if it can fit into the FlexNUMA achitecture, possibly ditch Linux in favour of using OpenSolaris, and rebrand it as SGI Irix 8 - buy out Trolltech and OpenSound, couple these two with KDE, rebranding it as the "Irix Desktop Environment" and start pushing out workstations and servers.

They also need to move beyond their niche and start pushing the machines into areas such as database, webservers, number crunching etc. etc.

Ultimately, however, nothing will stop SGI's demise, because like all idiots who hold the strings - institution investors, they'll place a old university chum in charge of the business, they'll cut, cut, cut and cut until there is nothing left to cut, the business goes tits up, and the CEO and the likes walk away with a golden handshake with the former employees (if any remain) scatter around looking for the shatter pieces of a company which they dedicated themselves to.

Reply Score: 1

RE[9]: Linux is what really did this...
by kaiwai on Tue 9th May 2006 03:37 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

It depends on whether you see the size of the economy, at a national, local or international level.

If a job is created in Bangalore for programming, who then purchases a good produced in the US, which requires two people employed, is it really so bad that the one programmers job as be lost in favour of two production jobs?

The problem is, people here think about things at the national level - screw the national level; I think Number 2 off Austin Powers put it best, 'there is no world, there are corporations!" - those who keep parading their flag of nationalism need to head back to the 19th century, they're calling, and they want their isolationist, nationalistic jingoisms back.

Reply Score: 1

Simba Member since:
2005-10-08

> If a job is created in Bangalore for programming, who then
> purchases a good produced in the US, which requires two
> people employed, is it really so bad that the one programmers
> job as be lost in favour of two production jobs?

Except it doesn't work that way. "production" jobs, ie: blue collar labor, was one of the first forms of work in the US to become a victim of outsourcing. High tech jobs then followed.

Reply Score: 1

so um...
by axel on Tue 9th May 2006 04:54 UTC
axel
Member since:
2006-02-04

define inovative then

Reply Score: 1

RE: so um...
by Simba on Tue 9th May 2006 05:05 UTC in reply to "so um..."
Simba Member since:
2005-10-08

> define inovative then

Sure. Innovative is something that is technical breakthrough. Example, Sun's dtrace, or dynamically patchable kernels.

Innovative is NOT doing trivial things with existing technology. Example, a wiki is about the most trivial web application you can write. There is nothing remotely innovative about it. Trying to say a wiki is an innovative idea is almost as bad as Amazon's claim that one click ordering was an innovative idea.

Edited 2006-05-09 05:06

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: so um...
by rayiner on Tue 9th May 2006 16:41 UTC in reply to "RE: so um..."
rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

Jesus are you cherry picking. What is so innovative about dtrace? It just seems like a mix of trace and gdb --- just a twist on existing technology, as it were. As for dynamically patchable code, that's innovative, but Sun didn't do it. Dyanamically-patchable code has been a part of Lisp forever and a day.

You would've been better off mentioning Sun's Self project as an example of innovation. Little more innovative than that has come out of Sun in years.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: so um...
by Simba on Tue 9th May 2006 19:10 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: so um..."
Simba Member since:
2005-10-08

> What is so innovative about dtrace? It just seems
> like a mix of trace and gdb

You haven't used dtrace have you?

> As for dynamically patchable code, that's
> innovative, but Sun didn't do it.

There is a *HUGE* difference between dynamically patchable code running in an interpreter, and a dynamically patchable kernel that doesn't need a reboot. One os fairly trivial to implement. The other is not.

Reply Score: 2

yeah see...
by axel on Tue 9th May 2006 05:19 UTC
axel
Member since:
2006-02-04

maybe it's just me but it seems to me most people tend to define an innovation as a new unique idea or way of doing things, often changing (sometimes radically) the way we think about or do things.

Reply Score: 1

RE: yeah see...
by Simba on Tue 9th May 2006 05:26 UTC in reply to "yeah see..."
Simba Member since:
2005-10-08

> maybe it's just me but it seems to me most people tend to define
> an innovation as a new unique idea or way of doing things,
> often changing (sometimes radically) the way we think about or
> do things.

My idea of innovation involves two key ideas though: "non-trivial" and "non-obvious". Wikis fail both the non-trivial and non-obvious tests. PHP is basically a "me too" language that ripped off ASP, which was a bad idea in the first place, etc.

Reply Score: 1

RE: yeah see...
by monodeldiablo on Tue 9th May 2006 05:27 UTC in reply to "yeah see..."
monodeldiablo Member since:
2005-07-06

Any sane person would agree with you, axel.

I think if we could harness the power generated by Simba's backpedalling, we could cut our dependence on Middle East oil ;) I mean, the dude's now claiming that the Web isn't the biggest boon to his industry since the invention of the computer. I wouldn't take him too seriously.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: yeah see...
by Simba on Tue 9th May 2006 05:30 UTC in reply to "RE: yeah see..."
Simba Member since:
2005-10-08

> I mean, the dude's now claiming that the Web isn't the biggest boon
> to his industry since the invention of the computer.

I claimed no such thing. Now you are putting words in my mouth. Nor have I backpeddled at all off my original position.

Again, you are resorting to ad-hominen attacks, which basicaly proves you can't attack my real issues, so you attack me instead.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: yeah see...
by monodeldiablo on Tue 9th May 2006 05:58 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: yeah see..."
monodeldiablo Member since:
2005-07-06

Wait, I'm confused.

You have made two major assertions thus far:

A. Open source software is not innovative.
B. Open source software is economically detrimental and hurts devolpers.

I then demonstrated that not only is the idea of open source software responsible for the Internet and the Web (along with a huge number of applications pervasive in the software industry), but that these are largely responsible for the vast majority of development jobs today.

What, pray tell, is your position? Certainly you can't accept my arguments and yours. They're orthogonal and contradictory.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: yeah see...
by Simba on Tue 9th May 2006 06:10 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: yeah see..."
Simba Member since:
2005-10-08

> I then demonstrated that not only is the idea of open source
> software responsible for the Internet and the Web

And I stated that these projects are "pseudo-open source" and red herrings thrown up to support your position. The Internet, was in fact, a colaboration of Universities working under the directive of, and funded by the DOD. That's not exactly a traditional open source project. (In fact, the public didn't even have access to the Internet for many years. It was restricted to use only by the government and academic institutions. That's not exactly very "open".)

You did not demonstrate that the Internet was a a product of open source. You claimed it was, and have completely ignored my objections to the idea that the Internet was developed under the modern notiion of open source. It simply wasn't.

Edited 2006-05-09 06:20

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: yeah see...
by monodeldiablo on Tue 9th May 2006 06:39 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: yeah see..."
monodeldiablo Member since:
2005-07-06

What a wiggle artist!

Sure, the Internet was developed by sharing source code amongst a large number of disparate researchers, contractors and government departments, all collaborating collectively and with no joint financial motive. The source code was freely available to anybody on the network at the time. That they didn't mail the source code on punch cards to the general public doesn't make it closed source. However, for the sake of argument, I'll concede the point, if only to show you how it's done ;)

I couldn't help but notice how artfully you dodged the topic of the Web and its role so you could attack a tangent. The Web qualifies as both innovative and open source (both in architecture and initial implementation). How do your arguments jive with this?

Also, I appreciate how you've carefully shifted your position. Whereas you previously claimed (as I outlined in my last post), that open source stifles innovation and hurts developers economically, you're now saying your position is that in some cases open source makes sense. How convenient. Once again, the two don't work together. You can't claim a universal rule and in the next breath add a caveat without breaking your rule.

I'm not here to argue about fanatics or politics. There are just as many zealots on the proprietary side of the debate as there are on the FOSS side (this is the part where you pick up a mirror and recognize yourself in that statement). I will agree whole-heartedly that there is a time and place for open source, just as there is for closed source development. I will agree that there are those who will boycott any proprietary software maker just as there are those who believe all FOSS developers are script kiddies and German hackers.

I disagree, however, that the cooperative FOSS community is dead and has been replaced with individuals pushing a militant agenda.

More to the point, I will continue to disagree with you that open source software is not innovative and is detrimental to the economy or developers at large. This, your original position, is just as invalid now as it was when this debate began several hours ago. No amount of wriggling is going to undo that now.

=======================================================
Edit: Stealth edit alert! Way to remove a large chunk of your response, Simba. The section in question, for posterity's sake, is attached below:
=======================================================

> What, pray tell, is your position?

My position is that in *some* cases, open source makes sense. But that it has gotten way out of hand to the point of being loaded with fanatics. It's practically a religion today, with some of the biggest mouthpieces of open source promoting the idea that all software should be free and open source, and that people should boycott any company that dares to not play but that rule.

It's gotten way out of hand. It's no longer a "community of people trying to help each other". Instead, it has turned into "a community of people pushing a militant agenda and trying to force commercial software companies to either follow their religious ideals, or close up shop".

Edited 2006-05-09 06:41

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: yeah see...
by Cloudy on Tue 9th May 2006 08:11 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: yeah see..."
Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

Sure, the Internet was developed by sharing source code amongst a large number of disparate researchers, contractors and government departments, all collaborating collectively and with no joint financial motive. The source code was freely available to anybody on the network at the time. That they didn't mail the source code on punch cards to the general public doesn't make it closed source. However, for the sake of argument, I'll concede the point, if only to show you how it's done ;)


Um, no. The internet protocol suites, especially the BSD software that really made the "internet" as we know it now, were definitely not freely available. To get a copy of BSD, you had to have an AT&T Unix source license, which, at one point, was going for around $50,000 dollars. (although at other times, it went for $250 US if you were a university.)

The development was almost entirely funded by the Department of Defense. (We funded some of it at NASA, and various DOE related entities picked up a bit of the tab,) until the research part was done.

The protocol suites didn't become freely available until after Berkeley and AT&T signed their consent decree that made it possible for BSD code to be released without an AT&T source license. This was long after the development was done and paid for.

"The internet" is the longest running distributed collaborative software development project, but it's not even the first such creature, and it didn't really succeed at what it was designed for. (If you must fail at your intended goal, cover it up by doing something else even cooler, instead.)

The first, and probably most innovative ever, open source collaboration wasn't the internet, and wasn't a distributed collaboration, but it set the basis for the industry for its first 10-15 years, and that would be the development of the original Fortran compiler.

GCC is the nth in a very long line of freely available language implementations, including such famous predecasors as forth's original interpreter and the original portable Pascal compiler.

The idea of freely available source has been around since the 1950s (see, for instance, SHARE,) the only thing particularly new between 1980 and today is the GPL, and that was formulated nearly 20 years ago.

Reply Score: 3

RE[7]: yeah see...
by monodeldiablo on Tue 9th May 2006 08:38 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: yeah see..."
monodeldiablo Member since:
2005-07-06

Thanks Cloudy. I learned something today ;)

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: yeah see...
by Simba on Tue 9th May 2006 14:37 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: yeah see..."
Simba Member since:
2005-10-08

> contractors and government departments, all collaborating
> collectively and with no joint financial motive.

There was no financial motive? I guess the huge sums of research dollars they were getting from the DOD was not a financial motive? And their University paychecks were not a financial motive? Give it up. You have clearly lost this one. The Internet was NOT an open source project. It was not even available at all (source or otherwise) to people outside the government and outside of University research departments for the first several years of its life. That's not exactly open source.

> The Web qualifies as both innovative and open source
> (both in architecture and initial implementation). How do
> your arguments jive with this?

Actually, the Web was mostly developed internally at a University as well before being "open sourced".

> Also, I appreciate how you've carefully shifted your position.
> Whereas you previously claimed (as I outlined in my last post),
> that open source stifles innovation and hurts
> developers economically, you're now saying your position is
> that in some cases open source makes sense. How convenient.
> Once again, the two don't work together.

But they do work together, and there is no conflict here. Basically, open source makes sense for "workhorse" utilities that are largely in just a maintenance mode anyway with no real innovation being done on them--software that no company wants the financial burden of maintaining anyway. A perfect example would probable be the various mail transfer agents out there. These are programs that have been around forever, are basially not changing much except for undergoing bug fixes and security hole patches, etc. For those, it makes sense for the community to maintain them.

> More to the point, I will continue to disagree with you that
> open source software is not innovative and is detrimental to
> the economy or developers at large. This, your original position
> is just as invalid now as it was when this debate began several
> hours ago

Again, I didn't claim that open source was detrimental to the economy in general (I claimed that outsourcing was). What I did claim, was that open source was detrimental to the future of high quality jobs in software development. And I stand by that statement. We will just have to agree to disagree on this.

And the reason for the stealth edit was simple. After I posted it, I decided I didn't want to turn this into a "zealot flame war", so I removed the stuff about militants and all that.

Reply Score: 1

RE[11]: Linux is what really did this...
by kaiwai on Tue 9th May 2006 05:43 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

Except it doesn't work that way. "production" jobs, ie: blue collar labor, was one of the first forms of work in the US to become a victim of outsourcing. High tech jobs then followed.

How so? I look in Australia and at home, manufacturing jobs are increasing, only difference, they're moving higher up the value scale - rather than trying to create the $10 t-shirt to compete with China, these companies are making the $50 t-shirt which uses local creative talent to differentiate - Kia Kaha is an example of this in New Zealand with the success of Michael Campbell in golf.

The problem with the US; stupid employment laws requiring the employer to pay everything from healthcare to retirement to god knows what - that isn't the roll of the business! doesn't anyone in the US realise that! I mean, if you are IBM, and you have to assemble a server, are you going to assemble it in New Zealand or Malaysia (GDP per capita are around the same) where all they have to pay is the employees wage, or are they going to setup shop in the US where they're expected to not only pay the employee, but pay for their health, retirement plus the possibility of getting sued into the ground because no one has the guts on capital hill to pass the relevant legislation to get rid of suing in the workplace.

Edited 2006-05-09 05:44

Reply Score: 2

Simba Member since:
2005-10-08

> The problem with the US; stupid employment laws requiring
> the employer to pay everything from healthcare to retirement to
> god knows what - that isn't the roll of the business!

Um... Those those laws are in place to prevent companies from practicing worker exploitation--something that is way too common in some of the places where manufacturing jobs are being outsourced to. Sure we could get rid of those regulations And then clothing companies could make their clothes here for dirt cheap... After all, we could allow companies to exploit child labor, and ignore safety requirements, and make workers work 12 hour shifts 7 days a week, and not pay any benefits, and not have to pay up when the fact that they ignored safety requirements results in workers being injured, or worse, and unable to provide for their families, and that kind of thing.

Edited 2006-05-09 05:50

Reply Score: 1

Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

Healthcare and such should be the government's concern.

Reply Score: 1

twenex Member since:
2006-04-21

Even when it's the government's concern, as it is in the UK, the government still takes part (actually most) of the healthcare contribution from the employer, paid out of the gross amount you get paid.

Reply Score: 1

Simba Member since:
2005-10-08

> Healthcare and such should be the government's concern.

Ok. Multiple question quiz time.

Government health care for 300 million people will:

A: Bankrupt the federal budget

B: Raise taxes to 70% or 80% of a person's income.

C: Result in lower quality health care and long wait times to be seen

D: All of the above

Reply Score: 1

rayiner Member since:
2005-07-06

E) None of the above.

1) Americans spend $5300 per capita on healthcare, more than any other country on earth.

2) Our key healthcare indicators are mediocre at best, and in our inner cities, cease to be competitive with those of other developed nations entirely.

3) Countries like the UK run decent nationalized health care systems, without bankrupting the budget. The UK's 2005 budget deficit was ~3.2% of GDP. Our 2005 budget deficit was 20% of GDP. They also accomplish this without rising tax rates to "70% to 80%" of a person's income. The middle tax rate in the UK (on up to ~$60,000 of income) is 25%, 3% higher than our middle tax rate (on top to $70,000 of income). Their top tax rate is 40%, about 5% higher than our top tax rate. Lot's of countries manage to have national healthcare without France-like tax rates!

Right now, Americans are spending more and getting less for their healthcare dollars. Meanwhile, the Europeans have at least shown workable nationalized alternatives that don't bust the budget while offering better healthcare. Yet, Americans are for some reason deathly afraid of even talking about a nationalized healthcare service! We sure as hell couldn't do a lot worse than we're doing now!

Reply Score: 2

Simba Member since:
2005-10-08

> 1) Americans spend $5300 per capita on healthcare,
> more than any other country on earth.

And guess where the vast majority of new presscription drugs come from for fighting disease? Hint: It's not the UK. It's something called "American drug companies" And guess what? That research costs money.

Reply Score: 1

Cloudy Member since:
2006-02-15

The problem with the US; stupid employment laws requiring the employer to pay everything from healthcare to retirement to god knows what

This is a common misunderstanding. US employers are not required by law to pay for healthcare or retirement benefits. Rather, the whole idea of "benefits" came out of an attempt during WW-II by US employers to solve a chronic labor problem. They weren't allowed to raise wages, as those were controlled by the government as part of the war effort. But there was nothing in the rules to prevent them from providing 'benefits' instead.

Meanwhile, Hennry Kaiser, a California ship builder, discovered that his plants had less absenteeism if he spent some money helping keeping his employees fit, so he invented what became known as the Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) and provided it as a benefit.

At first, HMOs paid for themselves in terms of reduced absenteeism and pension benefits got around the wage freezes.

Then the war ended but the customs stayed in place.

This was further exacerbated by the US refusing to admit it was a socialist country and not putting decent safety nets in place, so many people came to rely on the pension and health benefit systems -- and the unions came to demand increases whenever they were in good negotiating positions.

Reply Score: 1

RE[13]: Linux is what really did this...
by kaiwai on Tue 9th May 2006 07:33 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

Um... Those those laws are in place to prevent companies from practicing worker exploitation--something that is way too common in some of the places where manufacturing jobs are being outsourced to. Sure we could get rid of those regulations And then clothing companies could make their clothes here for dirt cheap... After all, we could allow companies to exploit child labor, and ignore safety requirements, and make workers work 12 hour shifts 7 days a week, and not pay any benefits, and not have to pay up when the fact that they ignored safety requirements results in workers being injured, or worse, and unable to provide for their families, and that kind of thing.

Same protection here, but the difference, we have ACC, there is no suing, and we don't have the same level of costs which businesses would inccur setting up in the US.

I'll tell you what the average manufacturing worker gets here, $10 per hour, the average work week (when I worked in a production plant) of 50 hours, 6:00am to 4:30pm, with 1/2 lunch break. I certainly don't call that 'exploitation'.

Reply Score: 2

javiercero1
Member since:
2005-11-10

"I'll tell you what the average manufacturing worker gets here, $10 per hour, the average work week (when I worked in a production plant) of 50 hours, 6:00am to 4:30pm, with 1/2 lunch break. I certainly don't call that 'exploitation'."

Of course not, problem is... you have no idea what you are talking about. In the US workers have to pony up part of their health care costs, in the form of private or HMO plans, the companies pony up their part. In your beloved land down under, like other places in the world. Workers don't have to pay for a private health plan, since they pay a higher tax rate. And thus it is the government which offers health care, at the end of the day workers have to pretty much pay up the same amount of money, let it be in the form of a private health provider or the higher taxation in a country with universal health care. Now this is the kicker, and obviously another proof that you have no much experience with the real world besides whatever it is that you are exposed to inside your parent's basement. In the US the company has to contribute to the worker's health care fund and retirement fund, many times in the form of managed investment plans (which means the company gets to keep even more of the money they actually owe their workers). In other places companies have to pay/contribute to the social healthcare and retirement structure in the form of again taxation and social security funds. In the end, it is actually the US which has laxer laws regarding what companies get to do with their money. Iti is just unmitigated greed that fuels the outsourcing of jobs. And believe me, those jobs are not going anywhere in Australia nor New Zealand, which have had their share of manufacturing stagnation.

Reply Score: 1