Linked by Eugenia Loli on Wed 2nd Oct 2002 17:49 UTC
SGI and IRIX In the '90s, before MacOSX was released, if people were to reffer to a user-friendly Unix that looked cool at the time, that would have been SGI's 64-bit operating system for the MIPS processors, the IRIX. IRIX was first released in 1987, and by 1995 was already a highly respected UNIX, the first with immense multimedia capabilities! Check out our introduction and some screenshots of IRIX.
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SGI Experience
by Robbat2 on Thu 3rd Oct 2002 15:12 UTC

I spend all day working with a CAVE system, powered by IRIX 6.5.17 running on an Onyx 3200. 8 way NUMA, 4 display channels (each running at 1280x1024). Since I admin the system as well as do the majority of the development on it, I'm kept quite busy.

However I did upgrade to IRIX 6.5.17 just earlier this week, due to a bug that one of our users found in IRIX 6.5.16. SGI Tech Support (who are the best tech support I've ever dealt with. Call them, you will be talking to the engineers in under a minute 24/7/365). It turned out upgrading was the easiest solution for the bug, so we did it and the assoscated reboot.

The machine gets rebooted maybe every 50 days or so. The instablity that many people have seen is actually the graphics pipes, not the CPU system. I can reproducabily crash the graphics pipes running a few OpenGL applications myself. The graphics pipes will crash, logging you out, and then come back about 20 seconds later, and you can login again, and most of your programs, except the ones that cause the crash will still be running.

It is definetly one of the better operating systems around. I have Enlightenment as my user shell, with 4Dwm as the root shell for safety.

I have exactly two qualms with the system. Firstly it seems that the big NUMA systems are very limited when it comes to USB hardware. Sure the keyboard and mouse are attached, but even talking to SGI, we cannot get some other devices connected to USB. It will take devices that speak USB HID only. The second qualm I have is with the keyboard configuration. It's kinda like Sun Solaris that way, in that at the actual workstation, something is royally messed up in the keyboard settings (which are in no regular place that I've ever found), so you don't have the use of insert/home/pgup/pgdown/end/delete/arrowkeys/numerickeypad most of the time.

If anybody is interested something I am currently developing: http://mvs.sourceforge.net/