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
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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.)
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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.
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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.)
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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.)
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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

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01-14-2019, 07:39 PM


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