Linked by Swami Gattas on Wed 16th Feb 2005 22:05 UTC
SGI and IRIX CGChannel.com reports the immediate release of Maya 6.5, an award winning professional grade 3D Suite and a major part of the IRIX culture. Of interest is that this release marks the final release of the once SGI-owned software for Irix. It is sad to see the OS lose support as SGI has shifted focus to Linux.
Order by: Score:
yup
by tim @ rack64.com on Wed 16th Feb 2005 23:33 UTC

it's a shame. SGI decided to sell everything it owned until it ran itself in the ground. SGI used to be a great company until they went downhill.

Poor Irix.

Yeah so sad. Everytime I remember SGI downfall, I feel sad. Another great company dies. Reminds me a great technology ahead of its time. Nvidia (first exist on SGI), and Amiga and also BeOS (all dead now).

If only Steve Jobs won't listen, Apple could be also facing the same problem in years to come. Not now, but it will, since "It's All About Mindshare, Accessibility, And Marketshare". No body would develop (costly) software on the platform if the market (profit) to small.

It's NOT All About Mindshare, Accessibility, And Marketshare
by JohnOne on Thu 17th Feb 2005 02:26 UTC

"If only Steve Jobs won't listen, Apple could be also facing the same problem in years to come. Not now, but it will, since "It's All About Mindshare, Accessibility, And Marketshare". No body would develop (costly) software on the platform if the market (profit) to small."

Ehm, Gartner said that Apple's marketshere will grow up in years to come...
And there was the Sony President at the side of Jobs to support Apple during the keynote at the last MacWorld.

Its not market share!!!!!
by Hakime on Thu 17th Feb 2005 02:26 UTC

Who told you that the profit to develop for Apple ismall, that's actually the opposite thing? Why a compagny like Alias has ported Maya on osx? It was not just for fun, and the mac is now the plateform where Maya is the most sold. Many costly softwares for scientific, and engeenering reseearch has been developed since osx came, and big database applications like Oracle, came to the mac because of osx, and because there is profit to do in the mac plateform. Don't again confuse the market share which measures sales for a given period of time compared to others computers makers amd installed/user base.

Osx, that's already more than 12000 applications in only 4 years since it appeared in the market, so don't tell me that it is not significant and don't tell me that there are not more and more developers interested in the osx plateform.

SGI killed itself by just dropping one of their best activity, which was workstation. They decided to go to Itanium, but the Itanium is not the success that they hoped for in the worstation market (although SGi is doing quite well with very big systems using Itanium and Linux). And they hoped for Linux on Itanium not Irix on Itanium, and they are supporting Linux more than their own system. Why developpers like Alias should continue to support a system that even its own designer does not support it any more or at least does not support it strongly. That's normal that they droped the Irix platform, even SGI does not believ on it any more, and look hos Irix is evolving, that's almost nothing.

An operating system that does not evolve continuously, is a dead duck!!!

Re: Its not market share!!!!!
by adinoto on Thu 17th Feb 2005 02:38 UTC

True. But if you read my line clearly what I was trying to say is "Not now, but it will" if only Apple is not carefully enough taking care their business now. Apple now is booming, but who knows if they are not concern about.

I write a line in my blog about this http://adinoto.blogspot.com

RE: It's all about Mindshare and getting your facts straight...
by Anonymous on Thu 17th Feb 2005 03:35 UTC

...Nvidia (first exist on SGI), and Amiga and also BeOS (all dead now).

The first nVidia chipset, the NV1 appeared in the Sega Saturn and on a Diamond branded PCI card for PCs. It featured quadratic surfaces instead of triangle rendering, was incompatible with DX3, and had Sega Saturn controller ports on the back. I seriously doubt that was ever slotted into an SGI machine, even on of their NT4 workstations.

It literally took nVidia years to come up with a chipset that was equal to the OpenGL rendering capabilities of an Indigo or an Onyx. How you can think anyone successfully marketed a 3rd party SGI video card with less capabilities than the internal ones is beyond me.

nVidia isn't dead. They're the #1 video chipset manufacturer in the world, have a real competitor to Renderman for offline rendering farms (e.g. CGFX for motion pictures), are producing the chipset for the PlayStation 3, and have a lucrative motherboard chipset business.

Sorry, I misquote. What I mean about Nvidia it should be appear on my first line. It's shows SGI lack of (keeping competitive advantage and keeping NVIDIA) rather than mentioning about NVIDIA. My mistake.

NVIDIA was a chip developer for SGI (their exclusive contract with SGI), then later there's a dispute between NVIDIA and SGI since NVIDIA wanna expanding market to PC. That was in 1996 or something before first.

Thanks for correction.

... That was in 1996 or something before first RIVA comes to PC platform.

Some links to follows:
http://www.nvidia.com/object/IO_20020109_6019.html
http://www.cooley.com/practices/cases.aspx?practiceid=37406020

Cooley Goodward LLP:
"We defended NVIDIA, a developer of cutting-edge graphics accelerator chips and technologies, in several patent litigation matters with Silicon Graphics (SGI). After a long period of negotiations that ran concurrently with a federal patent litigation trial in Delaware, SGI and NVIDIA formed a strategic alliance. As part of the agreement, SGI dismissed its patent infringement suit and NVIDIA licensed SGI’s 3D graphics patents. The settlement and collaboration deal were reached after the evidenced had closed, but before jury deliberation."

I always remember NVIDIA first appear on SGI, then PC. But please comment if I'd make a mistake.

Re: Its not market share!!!!!
by Deadfish Man on Thu 17th Feb 2005 03:51 UTC

I mostly agree with everything else on your comment except this:

Why a compagny like Alias has ported Maya on osx? It was not just for fun, and the mac is now the plateform where Maya is the most sold.

While it is true that Alias recently gave more attention to its OSX version of Maya, it is hardly the most sold version comparing to any platform (Yes, even Linux). Please remember that even Pixar (which is owned by Steve Jobs himself) isnīt using Macs for their artists. They were using HP workstations, running Linux and Photoshop (based on WINE) and, in some cases, FilmGIMP (At least, ILM surely uses FilmGIMP heavily on their movies).

The OSX version of Maya, at least in the version 4.5, had a subpar rendering engine that wasnīt updated to the same engine used in their Win and Linux versions. Donīt know if this is still true. And by the way, I am not saying this out of my butt... This fact indeed was stated in one of the Maya books that I have. Unfortunately, I have the brazilian version of this book, but I can check its details later if you need.

Iīm sure that Pixar might change at any time (if they already havenīt changed yet) given that they surely can get the best setup that Apple can offer. But this hardly make the OSX version of Maya the most sold version of all times, despite the wonderful workstation that G5/Panther can be (And Iīm sure that it is).

Regards,

DeadFish Man

Apple seminar reveals Pixar's switch to OS X, G5s
by Bytore on Thu 17th Feb 2005 04:21 UTC

Apple seminar reveals Pixar's switch to OS X, G5s
Wednesday, March 10, 2004 @ 11:35am

Pixar is switching to Mac OS X and will be using Power Mac G5s for its work, according to a MacNN reader who attended Apple's Uncompressed for Final Cut Pro seminar in New York on Wednesday morning. In his Keynote presentation, Apple's Don Peebeles said that Pixar has used Linux and Intel-based architecture in 2003, but that Pixar was switching to Mac OS X and G5 workstations for its production work: "Peebles went on to say that this switch was 'a move that no doubt made common CEO Steve Jobs very happy.' According to Peebles, Pixar challenged Apple to come up with a way to review HD quality video on the desktop at a reduced file size but keeping the quality. Of course the technology they developed (with Pixar) was based on Wavelet compression and named accordingly, 'Pixlet'. With this impressive technology, the new G5 systems and OS X's Unix underpinning, all the pieces were in place."

http://www.macnn.com/articles/04/03/10/pixar.switches.to.os.x.g5/

Pixar & Maya
by Jeff_B on Thu 17th Feb 2005 05:03 UTC

Pixar has switched to Macs lately, and I too remember reading that Maya sells close to half of its software for Mac.

Can't provide links, just from memory.

In reference to talking about the rendering power of an Indigo or an Onyx, it's worth pointing out that SGI Indigos weren't all that hot for 3D rendering power. Maybe you are thinking of the Indigo2, which is a totally different thing. Actually, two totally different things. I don't know much about the purples, but the teal indigo2s came with three different options for 3D accelerator, and the one that you'll come across most often can frequently be slower than the software renderer that was used on the systems with no 3D accelerator. This was because the 2D drawing on the base model 3D accelerator card was so slow that any performance benefits you got from fast 3D transformations were eaten up by the extra time it took to fill those polygons when drawing them to the raster display. For the higher end teal Indigo2 3D accelerators, they didn't use a faster or more powerful chipset, they literally brute forced the issue by doubling and quadrupling the number of vector and raster engines on the board. NVidia may well have created a more powerful chipset; SGI's main advantage was that they were just about the only company out there that was producing heavily parallelizable graphics hardware at the time.

That, and I'm all but 100% sure that back in the Indigo and (at least the earlier) Indigo2 days, SGI was still using IRIS GL exclusively; I don't think OpenGL had been released yet.

well
by Andre4s on Thu 17th Feb 2005 09:21 UTC

well to bad! .. but they still got blender ;)

.. and this is a joke so dont even start bitching about comparing blender with Maya.

*Shrugs*
by fritz on Thu 17th Feb 2005 10:38 UTC

I have an Octane and an Indy at home, and my take on this whole thing about SGI going downhill is I personally don't care.

I have used Maya on SGI's and I believe until the day I get as good as the guys in Independence Day, Star Wars Episode I & Co. my Octane is Good Enough.

+ just because a company goes downhill, doesn't mean its product are less good, even by today's standards

now what for SGI??
by CCC on Thu 17th Feb 2005 15:01 UTC

without Irix, and the fact that IA64 is not gaining
the industry wide support ( seems like people are
rooting for AMD64 and/or PowerPC ).

Plus whatever work that SGI did on Linux must be
distributed ( openly and freely ) to everybody.

what's left for SGI? supercomputer physical interconnects?

I think that SGI should or could have ported Irix to
IA64, AMD64 and PowerPC platforms..

RE: now what for SGI??
by Anonymous on Thu 17th Feb 2005 15:59 UTC

what's left for SGI? supercomputer physical interconnects?

Same as what they've always done,

supercomputers: http://www.sgi.com/products/servers/altix/
servers: http://www.sgi.com/products/servers/altix/350/
visualisation: http://www.sgi.com/products/visualization/prism/configs.html

freeing Irix?
by Tom24 on Thu 17th Feb 2005 16:26 UTC

Another good idea, is make Irix open. Sgi got the reputation SUN doesn't have.
It would be great if FreeSystems could use Irix technology after sgi dropped Irix.

But a port to PPC would be great, and a port to AMD64 would have it's disadvantages, but i think there could be money for sgi. AMD made the x86 ISA live longer than Intel wanted it too, i can't say i like that, but the only mainstream solution we have is ppc, however x86 got so much legacy that a role switch ppc<==>x86 isn't thinkable.

XFS, OpenGL, Inventor etc. already is free
by Anonymous on Thu 17th Feb 2005 19:19 UTC

IRIX, as an OS is pretty tied to the MIPS architecture, and to make it scale properly on AMD64/PPC would be so much work that it's easier just to use Linux, which is exactly what they have done with their Itanium-based designs.

And i'm curious as to why anybody thinks anybody runs IRIX out of choice - The only reason anybody runs IRIX is because its the only OS that supports their hardware fully.

IRIX and SGI's proprietary APIs and hardware used to reperesent the bleeding edge of multimedia development in the computer industry, and to some extent they still do - the SGI Octane2/Fuel/Tezros are the only workstations capable of moving uncompressed HDTV around in realtime, but largely, those days are gone.

IRIX's Motif-based desktop and apps are antiquated, and you can get better OpenGL performance on smallish datasets from a $500 x86 machine with an NVidia FX-5200 than a $50,000 RealityEngine-based system.

I keep an O2 around for nostalgia reasons, and because it actually still makes a pretty good analog video I/O system, but if Linux supported the hardware, I would dump IRIX in a second.


I mean, can anybody explain what advantage an IRIX port to PPC or AMD64 would have over Linux at this point? And since you'd have to actually pay money for IRIX.. Nope, I think its a dead horse.


RE: It's all about Mindshare and getting your facts straight...
by Perez-Gilaberte on Thu 17th Feb 2005 19:47 UTC

nvidia was formed by ex-SGI empolyees. When Rick Belluzzo became CEO he insisted on going Wintel, as he thought it was the future (it's the same doomed strategy that Carly has used to kill HP), so he threw millions of dollars on developing the Visual Workstation. An interesting concept, was a total flop.

They realized their mistake too late and, although some new MIPS-based workstations have been released, they can't compete anymore with x86 offerings.

On a tangential note, I feel that nvidia is reaching the end of innovation. They've justed started using SLI technology and the power requirementes of their latest offerings is a total joke. They killed my fave company, 3DFx, so I really hope ATi crushes them and their crap proprietary drivers ;)

@Perez-Gilaberte
by RW on Thu 17th Feb 2005 20:52 UTC

"They killed my fave company, 3DFx, so I really hope ATi crushes them and their crap proprietary drivers ;) "

With what? ATI's crappier proprietary drivers? You can rip on nvidia for a lot of things. Power requirmemts. The flops they've made with the FX line. One thing you cannot do is call their drivers shit when comparing them to ATI's.

This is why I don't like linux
by CCC on Fri 18th Feb 2005 17:00 UTC

Linux is killing UNIX... arghh!!!!!

Shouldn't it be killing Micro$oft Windows instead
of killing Irix, Solaris, AIX, etc.. ??

RE: This is why I don't like linux
by mieses on Sat 19th Feb 2005 11:53 UTC

how can linux not kill unix?