Your first SGI encounter?
#61
RE: Your first SGI encounter?
Space to Your Face is either on the Onyx2 demo discs, or in the HighEnd demos from the developer toolbox.
jan-jaap
SGI Collector

Posts: 265
Threads: 10
Joined: Jun 2018
Website Find Reply
01-10-2019, 01:23 PM
#62
RE: Your first SGI encounter?
(01-10-2019, 01:23 PM)jan-jaap Wrote:  Space to Your Face is either on the Onyx2 demo discs, or in the HighEnd demos from the developer toolbox.
That might be interesting to look at, do you know of any videos of it... got rid of all my Irix stuff unfortunately. Have family now, no time to play! booo...
[EDIT:] Of course there is o.0... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GM_wWz39zKs

The VW was showcased with some impressive aerial imagery, I wonder if this was from the sgi millions spent on fly-bys.

Also to join in on the conversation, my first encounter was in 98 ish Indigo2 running Maya. I was self taught Ligthwave on the Amiga and then Truespace on the PC. Maya was the logical progression and seeing a friend (who worked at the Mill) using Maya, I was like... daum I want one... couldn't afford that though, but then the same year I saw COMDEX '98 (on VHS) and knowing that Maya was being ported to Windows and the release of SGI hardware running Windows... I got myself one of those from a liquidation sale a year or two later. That started my whole love afair with SGI. Somehow I wound up programming CAD instead of CGI which I originally wanted to do ... o.0. I went to an interview at a local-ish CAD company developing bespoke software for the Shoe Industry (not soo much interested in fashion tbh) but when I walked through the door was greeted by SiliconGraphics VAR (Authorised, Value Added Reseller) perspex plaque on the wall, and all of the sudden I got interested in fashion. My first role was fixing a few boogs in the software, shortly after there was move to x86 and so my brief professional experience of working on them consisted mainly of tying up the loose ends from the port to the 'new' platform (had an O2 on my desk to do this, everyone else in the office thought I was weird as I loved this task). When they cleared the cupboards I grabbed all the hardware I could (Indy's and O2, I left the mountain of Apollo stuff gathering dust... think it ended up in recyclers). I still have the plaque on my wall Smile, and my original 320. Thanks to uunix a few years ago got a 540 which was the apex of my nostalgia.
(This post was last modified: 01-10-2019, 03:12 PM by spiroyster.)
spiroyster
O2

Posts: 6
Threads: 0
Joined: Jan 2019
Find Reply
01-10-2019, 01:32 PM
#63
RE: Your first SGI encounter?
[/quote]
How did Keyhole fit in to this? I used to be on bbs.keyhole back before Google got hold of it and turned it into Google Earth. I always thought keyhole developed the tech for it?

Sound likes you do have some really interesting stories to tell Smile
[/quote]

Keyhole is the company that got all of the SGI tech. Several of the software engineers left SGI for Keyhole when things started going bad so they could continue the work on what would become Google Earth. As far as I know there was never an "official" sale of that material, it just left with the engineers. SGI left so much on the table that they could have made money off of.

One of the side projects that I never saw anything more about was a virtual screen in the cockpit of an airplane. The idea was to have an Onyx 2 (or something close) on the plane that would render graphics in real time on the cockpit glass to show a pilot what they _should_ be seeing in case there was fog or other blackout conditions. The images SGI had taken of the Bay Area were in support of this project and they also ended up at Keyhole.

I do have some great stories. I've promised people to leave out names...

Fun fact: at one time, all of the on air graphics for The Weather Channel were produced by O2's. They had banks and banks of skinless O2's racked in their data center.
airbozo
O2

Posts: 12
Threads: 0
Joined: Jan 2019
Find Reply
01-10-2019, 04:15 PM
#64
RE: Your first SGI encounter?
(01-10-2019, 04:15 PM)airbozo Wrote:  One of the side projects that I never saw anything more about was a virtual screen in the cockpit of an airplane.  The idea was to have an Onyx 2 (or something close) on the plane that would render graphics in real time on the cockpit glass to show a pilot what they _should_ be seeing in case there was fog or other blackout conditions. The images SGI had taken of the Bay Area were in support of this project and they also ended up at Keyhole.
I could imagine the Onyx2 might have been quite weighty and annoyed passengers as their weight allowance might have to be reduced to cater for excess in the cockpit. They could have ripped out all the texturing/gouraud hardware and still have fly-by-wireframe Smile

Yeah it is amazing what SGI spawned. As an OpenGL developer. Till this day, I still kinda owe my career to SGI.
(This post was last modified: 01-10-2019, 05:37 PM by spiroyster.)
spiroyster
O2

Posts: 6
Threads: 0
Joined: Jan 2019
Find Reply
01-10-2019, 05:37 PM
#65
RE: Your first SGI encounter?
(01-10-2019, 09:05 AM)jan-jaap Wrote:  Nice story!

(01-09-2019, 07:31 PM)airbozo Wrote:  I have some documentation that might be interesting to some folks and when I get a chance I will contact the authors and see if I can publish them. One is all about troubleshooting the graphics subsystems of the original Onyx up to the Origin3000.

Internal Support Tools, by any chance? I've got one of those with some other material coming from the Cortaillod (Switzerland) facility that I still need to process. They seem to be awfully IRIX specific so more  == better. For the older IRIX versions they were called 'Diagnostics X.Y', same deal.

The troubleshooting doc about the Onyx (the original one at least) has been on Ian Mapleson's site since well before SGI first went bankrupt so I assume nobody will object to publishing such material. Really anything helps when dealing with these old monsters and is hugely appreciated.

The Troubleshooting documents I have (Have to make sure I still do have them), were never published outside of the company as far as I know.  They never ended up in tech pubs.  It is a collection of notes and data related to different visual and performance benchmarks. By cross referencing what you see (or don't see) on screen and the output of different commands it breaks down what is wrong and what should be checked in a specific order. Some of the tips even drill down to a specific component on the faulty boards. It's not a lengthy document, but quite helpful.  Most of it was written by the designers and engineers with input from the manufacturing team that repaired the systems.  It is mostly graphics related, but there are some storage and compute only items. If I remember correctly it covers everything from the Personal Iris up to the Origin3000 series.

Now I'm getting worried I left it at my old company when I departed and they are now out of business. I'll have to put the time aside to search for it. A good friend still works in the product development and testing labs (now HPE). He might have a copy as well.
(This post was last modified: 01-10-2019, 06:15 PM by airbozo.)
airbozo
O2

Posts: 12
Threads: 0
Joined: Jan 2019
Find Reply
01-10-2019, 06:14 PM
#66
RE: Your first SGI encounter?
(09-30-2018, 06:55 AM)BackPlaner Wrote:  OK, I'll play.

...

I wound up staying at R+H for almost 17 years as an animator, and later an animation supervisor, but I never lost my affection for those squat purple rectangles, even though we had ditched them for Linux boxes by the year 2001. I still fondly remember my first day there in July of 1995 and going on a tour of the machine room, where they had two or three SGI Predators, each with an astounding two (2) gigabytes of RAM!! (our desktop workstations were Indigo 2's with 256mb of RAM) 

...
Big thanks again to Raion and everyone else on here for keeping the dream alive!  Cool

Since you were at R+H you probably know Scott Kilburn. He was mostly Look Dev and he's a great photographer and has a taste for art deco. I was able to work with him at Mirada in Hollywood in 2017 on some Camry spots. Great guy. Also we had a guy at Digital Domain named Korre Heggam that took a job at R+H almost a year before they shut it down. 

Wonderful story by the way. 
Great read. Smile

Octane 2x400O2 300O2 400Origin 200 2x250
Intuition
Octane

Posts: 131
Threads: 20
Joined: Dec 2017
Find Reply
01-14-2019, 07:39 PM
#67
RE: Your first SGI encounter?
My first SGI encounter was in 2009, at a retrocomputing event. One of the exhibitors was showing his Indigo2, and although all the demos were less impressive than the PC games I was used to, I was still impressed by the presence of vectorial icons (whereas Windows is still using bitmap images with discrete sizes in 2019), and that the machine came with a port for 3D glasses straight out of the factory (whereas stereoscopy for PCs was a tiny niche back in 2009, even though I've been a stereoscopy enthusiast since 2004).

I saw more SGI machines at other retrocomputing events (an Impact-based Indigo2 and an Octane which ran Blender), and during the past two years I saw even more machines at a computer museum owned by a guy I know (an Indy, an Indigo2 and an Onyx, deskside model).

I'm still looking for the right occasion to get an SGI system of my own.
DevilMaster
O2

Posts: 7
Threads: 2
Joined: Jul 2018
Find Reply
01-29-2019, 12:52 AM
#68
RE: Your first SGI encounter?
The first time I saw an SGI machine was in 1987 at the SRI lab in Palo Alto, CA. it was running the jello-cube demo. I was blown away, I had access to an AED frame buffer that rendered images at about one scan-line per second, and this thing was running real-time physics simulations!

I had already decided I had to study computer graphics, but this was the turning point, I went to foothill college, where there was an IRIS-2000 Turbo, and learned IRIX. Later that lab got a 4D-20, and then a 4D-35. I then decided that I must work at SGI so I quit school and got a job as the first tech hire at the SGI help-desk, and then worked on the Desktop Computing group putting together IRIX configurations to mirror the disk image for new employee machines. I stayed at SGI for many years, I was a pre-sales presenter at the demo center for a while and got to use the cave installation a few times.

I moved to different positions at SGI but stayed there until 1998 when my group (by then I was a “World Builder’ at Cosmo) was sold to another company.

As part of my lay-off from Platinum a year later I got to keep my by-then depreciated assets. So somewhere in my garage is a Power Indigo2, and an R4000 (I think).

(01-09-2019, 10:25 PM)airbozo Wrote:  No Problem.

I have a ton of stories from SGI. Even more t-shirts.

Another T-shirt story comes from a trade show we were at where Intel was proudly touting their "Intel Inside" Campaign.  It was just about the time SGI was starting to collaborate with Intel and we went out and hod some t-shirts printed that mimicked the Intel theme except with the SGI logo and the tag line: "Attitude Inside".

Most of those shirts got destroyed as well.  I never got one, but if I did, it would still be on my shelf.

I still have (and wear) my ‘attitude inside’ shirt. I was part of the team that was distributing them, and didn’t return mine when management got scared and decided not to let anyone wear them (they replaced them with ones with just the Onyx logo) I wore it proudly to Siggraph that year (although not while I was working the SGI booth). It’s pretty old now, but I still wear it to place I’m likely to bump into old-time 3D guys to see if anyone will recognize it.

RH
(This post was last modified: 02-28-2019, 11:34 PM by RobinHayes.)
RobinHayes
O2

Posts: 6
Threads: 1
Joined: Feb 2019
Find Reply
02-28-2019, 11:28 PM


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)