SGI and IRIX Archive

Linux 5.5 to add support for SGI Octane I, Octane II workstations

The Linux 5.5 kernel due out as stable in early 2020 will finally have mainline support for the MIPS-powered SGI Octane and Octane II workstations that originally ran with SGI’s IRIX operating system about two decades ago. There have been out-of-tree patches for running Linux on the SGI Octane MIPS-based systems while Linux 5.5 is set to finally have this support mainlined for these two decade old workstations should you still be running the hardware and looking for something else besides IRIX or support in other platforms like OpenBSD. Mind you, these workstations were already succeeded by the SGI Octane III a decade ago with Intel x86. Better late than never.

Meet the community keeping obsolete supercomputers alive

Nearly 30 years after Silicon Graphics ruled the high-performance computing roost, its supercomputers have found themselves a new home with a small community full of enthusiasts - some of whom weren’t even alive during the company's heyday.

SGI machines are definitely on my list of platforms to sink my teeth into in the future. I don't think I'll be focusing on these more eccentric supercomputer-type workstations, but they are fascinating nonetheless. I'm very glad there's an active community of people keeping these machines working.

MaXX Desktop Indy 1.1 released

A new version of the MaXX Desktop hasbeen released. We linked to the project almost two months ago, but the short of it is that it is a continuation of 5dwm.org and intends to bring the IRIX desktop to Linux. New features in this release include new xterm-330 with support for UTF-8 characters, SGI color schemes for GTK applications, a new console, new configuration files, SGI demos, as well as other small fixes.

And I'll keep putting these in the otherwise entirely useless and defunct SGI database category.

MaXX Interactive Desktop brings IRIX desktop to Linux

The MaXX Interactive Desktop a.k.a. The MaXX Desktop is the continuation of the 5dwm.org implementation released many years back. So don't be mistaken, there is only one implementation of the SGI Desktop on Linux.

Our goal is to bring to the masses this great user experience which focus on performance, stability and productivity. The MaXX Desktop is available in two versions, the free Community Edition (CE) which provides basic SGI Desktop experience and the commercially available Professional Edition (PE) that comes with support, CPU and GPU specific optimizations and a full SGI Desktop experience. The MaXX Desktop PE is excellent for SGI customers using both IRIX and Linux platforms or for power users using pro applications.

The first release was released a few days ago. And yes, I used the SGI database category for this news item. Try and stop me.

SGI screen fonts converted for OS X

In 2003 I used PfaEdit, now FontForge, to convert screen to a TrueType font so it'd work on OS X, and I have used it as my standard bitmapped font since. I would have made the conversions public earlier, but I was concerned about whether this would be a licensing violation. It turns out the SGI fonts were released under a MIT license a few months after I initially converted them back in 2003, but I didn’t notice until today. So, here are the fonts for you to download.

The SGI font is classic. So memorable.

Rackable Free to Pick Up SGI

Niche server maker Rackable Systems said this morning that the U.S. bankruptcy court in New York handling the Chapter 11 proceedings for supercomputer maker Silicon Graphics has approved Rackable's acquisition of most of the assets of SGI. Under the deal that was announced on April 1, the same day that SGI filed for bankruptcy protection, Rackable said it would be shelling out $25m to acquire most of the assets of SGI as well as assuming "certain liabilities" that were not specified. In the announcement today, that figure has risen to $42.5m in cash. The liabilities that Rackable is assuming have not been detailed.

Rackable Systems Buys Bankrupt SGI

Silicon Graphics Inc., the perma-struggling workstation-turned-server-maker, filed for bankruptcy protection today, and was immediately bought by Rackable Systems. Rackable has signed to take on all of SGI's liabilities. The deal is expected to complete in 60 days. The combined company will target the hyper-competitive market for x86 boxes for cluster and high performance computing, internet and cloud services. "This combination gives us the potential for significant operational synergies, a strong balance sheet, and positions the combined company for long-term growth and profitability," said Rackable CEO Mark Barrenechea.

SGI To Emerge From Bankruptcy Cocoon

SGI is ready to become emergent all over again. A judge has okayed the company's reorganization plan, paving the way for it to come out of bankruptcy protection in October. The 'new' SGI will be a trimmed down version of its former self with just 1600 staff. In addition, it will have a new board of directors to complement new CEO Dennis McKenna. With so much newness on its side, SGI expects to reach profitability in fiscal 2007.

SGI To Drop MIPS, Irix, Moves to Itanium, Linux

German technology website Heise.de reports that SGI will completely abandon its MIPS processor architecture, including its operating system Irix, in favour of Linux-powered Itanium workstations. SGI used MIPS and Irix in its products for almost 20 years, and with this switch to Intel, yet another major (historically speaking, that is) company abandons its architecture for the more common Intel one.

SGI To Emerge From Bankruptcy Cocoon in September

SGI hopes to emerge as a leaner, meaner organisation by the end of the third quarter. The hardware maker this week filed an amended reorganisation plan that calls for it to finish off bankruptcy proceedings by September. If all goes as expected, SGI will trim its total debt down to USD 70m from USD 345m. Some of the debt will be removed in exchange for the privilege of investing more money in SGI 2.0.

Microsoft Man’s Shadow Over Bankrupt SGI

Got $18m to spare? That's the market capitalization of one of Silicon Valley's most glamorous companies this morning, after Silicon Graphics Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The size of SGI's debt - at $664m it's twice the value of its assets - is enough to deter all but the most determined bargain hunter. Apart from a ragbag of trademarks - such as OpenGL - what growth has SGI left to offer?

Silicon Graphics Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

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.

SGI Moving to Mysterious Altism Line

SGI is not very willing to communicate about any strategic changes it is plannign to make in their product line up. "Thankfully, we happen to know a couple of SGI's largest customers - the kind of folks who actually receive information from the graphics beast. In order to help out the rest of you poor, informationless sods, we're going to don SGI's marketing cap for the moment and get out the good word to customers large and small. Here's where SGI is heading according to the insiders."

SGI Kicks off New Era by Firing 12% of Its Staff

SGI's new CEO has wasted no time performing a major shakeup at the server company. Moves announced today include substantial layoffs, executive departures and SGI's plans to tweak its server business. SGI will fire close to 12 per cent of its workforce - 250 staffers - in the hopes of saving some extra cash. Word of the layoffs arrives just about a month after SGI moved former CEO Bob Bishop aside and tapped Dennis McKenna as its new chief. SGI heralded the layoffs as proof of McKenna's quick, decisive action, issuing a statement titled 'CEO Delivers Aggressive Changes in First 30 Days as Part of Turnaround.' The Inq speculates about nVidia buying SGI's graphics dpt. Update: Couldn't resist.

SGI Gets a New CEO

"Silicon Graphics announced today that Dennis McKenna has been named chairman of the board, chief executive officer and president, effective immediately. McKenna succeeds Robert Bishop, who will remain on the board of directors and serve as vice chairman. "Dennis McKenna is a proven leader, with an established track record of driving positive results in difficult business environments. He is well balanced in strategy, business development and operational execution - a combination that we believe will bring improved results to SGI and its stakeholders," said James McDivitt, SGI's lead director." Update: El Reg has more on this.