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Your first SGI encounter?
#21
Re: Your first SGI encounter?
in my high school "media lab" we had some pretty cool hardware, but of course the bit I was most interested in was our SGI Indigo. This was sometime around 1994. We also had a DEC Alpha machine running NT 3.51, Amigas with Video Toaster boards, Macs with the Radius VideoVision cards and a bunch of other miscellaneous interesting things.
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07-19-2018, 04:03 PM
#22
Re: Your first SGI encounter?
Mid-90's at the combat flight simulator experience in San Jose, CA. Had I think 4 full-size Onyx racks running with "mood lighting" on them - amazing.
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07-19-2018, 09:50 PM
#23
Re: Your first SGI encounter?
When I was in middle school, I went to (what was then) the Museum of Science and Industry near downtown Los Angeles. They had a VR exhibit with a Crimson running the Perfomer Town demo. They had an enclosed projection display and a joystick that allowed you to move around the town. It blew my damned mind, and it amazed me that this red machine could create such an experience. Since then I was hooked on SGI.

I bought my first used SGI while in college - a 100 MHz R4600 Indy. It was slooooow, but still brought a smile to my face every time I listened to the startup chime.
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07-20-2018, 11:38 PM
#24
Re: Your first SGI encounter?
A little-known fact was that Irix was a fairly popular platform among academic computer musicians in the 90s. We’re not talking commercial music production studios (that has always been dominated by Mac) or dj/dance music- I’m talking about the kind of people who teach composition in university music departments and create highly experimental music on usually custom software. I was in that world and knew some people who were using SGI machines, and they were generally doing the most interesting stuff. I’ll never forget when some people from Ircam (ircam.fr) showed up at the Darmstadt summer music program in 2002 and used two O2s and a Yamaha digital mixer to process a whole chamber orchestra!
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07-21-2018, 01:17 AM
#25
Re: Your first SGI encounter?
My first enconunter? It was short after I graduated high school and started studying medicine, so 1992 or '93. Me and my friends from high school visited computer fair Infosystem in our city (Poznan, Poland) where I saw teal Indigo2 with some kind of cad software, guy in front of this played (rather then worked) with full screen, fully shaded model of ship propeller, I remember it was moving and rotating so smooth.
Second time it was during medical studies, on gynecological ward, they showed us brachyterapy system (for short range radiotherapy in women's cancers), crucial part of it was IRIS Indigo (Entry I suppose) which was simulating spread of applicated dose of isotope and calculating needed dose and target for depostion.
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08-07-2018, 12:11 PM
#26
Re: Your first SGI encounter?
What got me was the Indy Ads from the 1993 and 1994 CAD magazines. I read their specs over and over because the i/o ports on the back alone were impressive compared to my 486 Dx2 66mhz machine at the time. Also watching all the movies and making of movies in the mid 90s got my attention because all you saw were SGIs. My full time job starting in the mid 90s was an AutoCAD operator but did 3D Arch renderings on the side using 3D Studio. Everything I saw that looked photo real was done on an SGI - it was disappointing at the time because the hardware costs and software costs made it impossible for me to ever attain. These machines were the dream car equivalent to computers.
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08-14-2018, 09:57 PM
#27
Re: Your first SGI encounter?
matyas post_id=1624 time=1532135872 user_id=244 Wrote:A little-known fact was that Irix was a fairly popular platform among academic computer musicians in the 90s.

E-MU Systems were able to connect to SGI. I have an Emulator IV Keyboard from 1996 and the manual explains how to connect the keyboard to SCSI devices (it uses SCSI for CD-Roms and Hard Drives). One of the options in the setup menu is called "SGI on SCSI Bus". This was checked if your music keyboard was connected to a SCSI chain with an SGI computer attached so that it allows 2 SCSI masters on the same chain.
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08-14-2018, 10:01 PM
#28
Re: Your first SGI encounter?
bjames post_id=2418 time=1534284111 user_id=319 Wrote:
matyas post_id=1624 time=1532135872 user_id=244 Wrote:A little-known fact was that Irix was a fairly popular platform among academic computer musicians in the 90s.

E-MU Systems were able to connect to SGI. I have an Emulator IV Keyboard from 1996 and the manual explains how to connect the keyboard to SCSI devices (it uses SCSI for CD-Roms and Hard Drives). One of the options in the setup menu is called "SGI on SCSI Bus". This was checked if your music keyboard was connected to a SCSI chain with an SGI computer attached so that it allows 2 SCSI masters on the same chain.

Interesting! I didn't know about the E-MU connection, but I'm not that surprised. SGIs could also read and play back audio DATs from a SCSI-attached DAT drive, something no other platform that I know of could do. SGI would have been a good platform for loading samples from CD or DAT, editing them, and then transferring to the Emulator sampler.

Somewhat better known is the fact that Steinberg's Nuendo was originally implemented on Irix before being ported to Windows and the Mac.
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08-15-2018, 02:09 PM
#29
Re: Your first SGI encounter?
I was hoping to find Sound Designer for IRIX, but no success. Sound Designer was for Mac SEs and directly connected the E-Mu line of sampling keyboards via RS422. It allowed you to edit create your own samples/waveforms.
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08-15-2018, 04:21 PM
#30
Re: Your first SGI encounter?
It was right after I got to college, so 1992. I remember seeing a copy of UnixWorld Magazine with a full SGI Indigo review, and I fell in love. I was absolutely lost with envy. I put the magazine cover on my dorm room wall.

Later on, I worked part time at a lab in school that had an Indigo 2, and got to play with it. It was love again, obviously, but forbidden love. That thing cost more than my tuition.

At the tail end of my college life, the SGI Indy was announced. I had to talk myself out of buying one with money I didn't have. $5K was almost credit card money. But with college debt... no way!

After college, I struck gold and got my dream job: Working for SGI! Well, technically. I was only a contractor, but I contracted at SGI for two years, 1996 to 1997. While I was there, the O2 and Octane were announced, as well as the N64. I got to play with all kinds of stuff. My daily driver was an R44K Indy. And I got my first "to keep" SGI from that job: they let me take home an old Indigo R4k that nobody was using any more. SGI used to devalue their internal assets to $0 for tax reasons, so a lot of employees got to take home free hardware when it wasn't used any more.

To this very day, that was the best job I've ever had. Wonderful memories :)
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08-23-2018, 01:18 AM


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