Silicon Graphics Thread - SGI

Smaug's Smokey Hole

no corona
kiwifarms.net
It's one of my dreams as a digital artyfarty boy to own a working SGI machine someday, mad bonus points if it's not wiped and has some devkit and 3d modeling software still in it.
You can probably find an Indy with Irix and PowerAnimator(that's really what you're looking for) on it pretty cheap, it's the monitor output that will fuck you over. If you look at the picture in the op you have an Indy and a monitor, the monitor can display VGA signals while the Indy and a lot of SGI stuff does not have a VGA port for output or use that signalling, it uses DB13W3(yeah I had to google what that was called), so you need to buy that extra-heavy monitor and have it shipped or buy port converters hoping that this one will be the one that works.

Monitor port:
 

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3119967d0c

a... brain - @StarkRavingMad
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
You can probably find an Indy with Irix and PowerAnimator(that's really what you're looking for) on it pretty cheap, it's the monitor output that will fuck you over. If you look at the picture in the op you have an Indy and a monitor, the monitor can display VGA signals while the Indy and a lot of SGI stuff does not have a VGA port for output or use that signalling, it uses DB13W3(yeah I had to google what that was called), so you need to buy that extra-heavy monitor and have it shipped or buy port converters hoping that this one will be the one that works.

Monitor port:
Interesting. Wiki suggests there are converters around (or were ten years ago) but definitely something that you would want to do your research on before buying. If you have an old Triniton 21" and a converter around you're probably fine, new LCDs not so much.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DB13W3
 

Sammy

Exhibits no Islamic behavior once given McNuggets
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
You can probably find an Indy with Irix and PowerAnimator(that's really what you're looking for) on it pretty cheap, it's the monitor output that will fuck you over. If you look at the picture in the op you have an Indy and a monitor, the monitor can display VGA signals while the Indy and a lot of SGI stuff does not have a VGA port for output or use that signalling, it uses DB13W3(yeah I had to google what that was called), so you need to buy that extra-heavy monitor and have it shipped or buy port converters hoping that this one will be the one that works.

Monitor port:
Yeah, I read up on those connectors once. Its been a few years and I don't really feel like brushing up on a dead video signal port like, 40 minutes before bed, maybe, tomorrow, but they're pretty weird. they had 3 big plugs that were RGB and a handful of other pins that handled the sync and some fancy back and forth communication stuff. Apparently better than VGA (bigger pins meant more copper which meant a cleaner signal) for producing video, but in a digital display era it really doesn't matter how clean those analog signals are. Its like saying "Betamax tapes are better than VHS" when DVD and Blu-Ray exists, like you're right but there's options 30 times better for way cheaper so who the fuck cares.

I know a lot of dev kits for the N64 (the kind of SGI machine I'd really want, my dream one) had additional expansion cards that produced VGA or composite or S-Video since these machines ultimately were to play on standard CRT TVs, so they had to have testable output you could plug into your standard off the shelf Walmart TV to see what the consumer would see, so while finding one of those would be rare(er than a standard SGI machine find), getting a specialized old analog CRT isn't the -only- means of getting one set up.

I don't really have a lot of disposable income to burn on something like this anyways, so owning my own SGI system is currently relegated to the "pipe dream" status, but some day I might have more means than I know what to do with and work on making having one to dick with a thing that happens.
 
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CIA Nigger

"IT'S NOT A FETISH MOM"
Supervisor
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kiwifarms.net
It's actually possible to run IRIX in MAME (the arcade machine/computer emulator) very slowly. It's been marked working since 0.211 and someone wrote a tutorial on how to emulate it in MAME here.

Regarding monitors, just buy a 2000s or early 2010s LCD screen from a thrift store if you want to hook up SGI computers. Those will accept sync on green video (which is what SGIs along with lots of other oddball computers require).
 

Smaug's Smokey Hole

no corona
kiwifarms.net
I know a lot of dev kits for the N64 (the kind of SGI machine I'd really want, my dream one) had additional expansion cards that produced VGA or composite or S-Video since these machines ultimately were to play on standard CRT TVs, so they had to have testable output you could plug into your standard off the shelf Walmart TV to see what the consumer would see, so while finding one of those would be rare(er than a standard SGI machine find), getting a specialized old analog CRT isn't the -only- means of getting one set up.
Resolution would be a problem being capped at 480p at best which would make the OS a pain to use, they designed their OS to run at the resolution of the screens they sold with the machines and from the second half of the 90's that would have been 1024x768 at the low end, but @CIA nigga had a very informative post about displays, I did not know that, thank you.
--
I just remembered this, Lorne Lanning talking about him starting on SGI hardware and Alias in the 80's, when artists weren't thought to be suitable for computer graphics because it was a comp-sci field.

Timestamped at this point but all of it is really worth listening to.
 
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Smaug's Smokey Hole

no corona
kiwifarms.net
I just remembered a detail from Irix that is common today but wasn't back then: focus was on the window the mouse pointer was above and inputs where directed to that window. They took that pretty far. In modern windows you can scroll a window in the background without clicking on it if the mouse pointer is over it, but you can't type into it. In Irix you could.

Irix was also a rock-solid OS compared to Windows and MacOS at the time, Windows only got good with 2000 and that was one of the many daggers that eventually killed SGI in my opinion.

I'm sorry for spamming the thread, I no longer know anyone that remembers, cares or even know what any of this shit is so I can't help spergin'.
 

xr95

pEoPlE aRe DyInG!
kiwifarms.net
Resolution would be a problem being capped at 480p at best which would make the OS a pain to use, they designed their OS to run at the resolution of the screens they sold with the machines and from the second half of the 90's that would have been 1024x768 at the low end, but @CIA nigga had a very informative post about displays, I did not know that, thank you.
--
I just remembered this, Lorne Lanning talking about him starting on SGI hardware and Alias in the 80's, when artists weren't thought to be suitable for computer graphics because it was a comp-sci field.

Timestamped at this point but all of it is really worth listening to.
So basically the way God intended?
 

Cedric_Eff

No secret, it's the meat. Don't skimp on the meat.
kiwifarms.net
SGI really didn’t fare so well after the 90’s. PCs just caught up and it killed their business.
 

Sammy

Exhibits no Islamic behavior once given McNuggets
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
I just remembered a detail from Irix that is common today but wasn't back then: focus was on the window the mouse pointer was above and inputs where directed to that window. They took that pretty far. In modern windows you can scroll a window in the background without clicking on it if the mouse pointer is over it, but you can't type into it. In Irix you could.

Irix was also a rock-solid OS compared to Windows and MacOS at the time, Windows only got good with 2000 and that was one of the many daggers that eventually killed SGI in my opinion.

I'm sorry for spamming the thread, I no longer know anyone that remembers, cares or even know what any of this shit is so I can't help spergin'.
Sheeeit, I care.

Also in response to the emulation, that's all probably pretty rad, but like, something about this particular thing makes me want REAL hardware. If I'm just running photoshop 3 and Alias Maya in an emulated space, I'd rather just run Blender and Photoshop CC natively, like the fat bitch I am.
 
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thx1138

Are you now, or have you ever been?
kiwifarms.net
SGI really didn’t fare so well after the 90’s. PCs just caught up and it killed their business.
Well they bled their mindshare out into 3dfx, nVidia, and ATI. You've got a little SGI DNA in your computer right now, I guarantee it.

In...1990? or so SGI did make a graphics card for PCs, but they never went anywhere with it. They should have; imagine a bog standard PC but with an "SGI on a card" inside. If they'd jumped on that they'd have dominated the graphics card industry and the war between who has the best GPU would have been over before it started.

The one thing that modern PCs have never been able to replicate is SGI's "Crossbar" technology for system buses. They might be approaching Crossbar's throughput just via brute force, but as far as design elegance, the average x86 PC isn't even close.
 

Cedric_Eff

No secret, it's the meat. Don't skimp on the meat.
kiwifarms.net
Well they bled their mindshare out into 3dfx, nVidia, and ATI. You've got a little SGI DNA in your computer right now, I guarantee it.

In...1990? or so SGI did make a graphics card for PCs, but they never went anywhere with it. They should have; imagine a bog standard PC but with an "SGI on a card" inside. If they'd jumped on that they'd have dominated the graphics card industry and the war between who has the best GPU would have been over before it started.

The one thing that modern PCs have never been able to replicate is SGI's "Crossbar" technology for system buses. They might be approaching Crossbar's throughput just via brute force, but as far as design elegance, the average x86 PC isn't even close.
SGI’s contribution seems to be overshadowed and some have forgotten what impact they made.
 

3119967d0c

a... brain - @StarkRavingMad
True & Honest Fan
kiwifarms.net
I just remembered a detail from Irix that is common today but wasn't back then: focus was on the window the mouse pointer was above and inputs where directed to that window. They took that pretty far. In modern windows you can scroll a window in the background without clicking on it if the mouse pointer is over it, but you can't type into it. In Irix you could.
This used to be available with TweakUI back in the Win98 days, it's still there in modern Windows but you have to manually alter some registry settings or use a utility to do so.
 
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