Silicon Graphics: Gone But Not Forgotten

NicktheWVAHick

Posts: 266   +352
We had a 3000 series in our lab for modeling 3D protein structure in real-time. There were rumors of a flight simulator out there for SGI systems but I never saw it.
 

Irata

Posts: 1,434   +2,315
Octane, Iris....seems like someone at Intel thinks fondly of SGI

Joke aside, thanks for the „gone but not forgotten“ series. Always an interesting read.

Small suggestion: Intellivision or Coleco featured in your series would be great. Still remember the Adam being a dream computer back in the day based on the pre-release rumors. Have and Aquarius but would love to have an Adam just because....
 

richcz3

Posts: 53   +46
I remember the late 90's were brutal for the high end systems. I was really into 3D modeling and animation applications at the time. By 1998 we had options like the Amiga and the Windows PC was becoming more capable. These were much less expensive alternatives for enthusiasts and professionals animators alike.

The article briefly mentions DEC who made the 64Bit DEC Alpha CPU. They eventually ventured into the NT Windows market with an emulator "FX 32". I remember seeing them at a SIGGRAPH presentation in Los Angeles. They were running Quake on these NT PC's on VooDoo graphics cards. A powerful 64Bit CPU running a 32Bit OS demonstrating a PC Game.
I didn't realize it at the time, but it was a sign that high end systems were in serious decline.

By 2002 we were running multiple inexpensive heavily overclocked PC's in our 3D renderfarms for commercial productions. Hell, I had a 6 Celeron PC renderfarm running Lightwave in my apartment in 1999.

 
An SGI Origin server and two Onyx servers were also used in the world's first numerical air quality forecast system, in a joint project of North Carolina Supercomputing Center and Penn State Department of Meteorology, back in the late 1990's (I wrote the modeling code that was used for that project.) The forecasts were continued at NCSC through 2002, then (on SGI Altix) by Baron Advanced Meteorological Systems, who bought the forecast group from NCSC...
 

antgr

Posts: 8   +4
IN 1995-96 was learning Discreet Logic's Flint on an indy. Later (1999) was working on an Octane workstation. These machine were never turned off but for maintence. A certified engineer was mandatory to fix a minor or major issue. IRIX was a fantastic os. what a time...
 
The company I worked at sold a lot of SGI - Crimson, Onyx, Indigo. Siemens bought 30 of them for solids modelling, CNC machine emulation, and wind tunnel emulation. We configured them before shipping then had a large LAN party with everyone before packing them up and sending to the customer. It had a great tank battle, flight simulator and dog fight game that came free.
 

jnnfr0314

Posts: 8   +1
Octane, Iris....seems like someone at Intel thinks fondly of SGI

Joke aside, thanks for the „gone but not forgotten“ series. Always an interesting read.

Small suggestion: Intellivision or Coleco featured in your series would be great. Still remember the Adam being a dream computer back in the day based on the pre-release rumors. Have and Aquarius but would love to have an Adam just because....
I cannot say that I did not want one myself, however, the reality of it all $$$. I always had to have the next big thing on the market... was real fond of SGI though
 

jnnfr0314

Posts: 8   +1
I remember the late 90's were brutal for the high end systems. I was really into 3D modeling and animation applications at the time. By 1998 we had options like the Amiga and the Windows PC was becoming more capable. These were much less expensive alternatives for enthusiasts and professionals animators alike.

The article briefly mentions DEC who made the 64Bit DEC Alpha CPU. They eventually ventured into the NT Windows market with an emulator "FX 32". I remember seeing them at a SIGGRAPH presentation in Los Angeles. They were running Quake on these NT PC's on VooDoo graphics cards. A powerful 64Bit CPU running a 32Bit OS demonstrating a PC Game.
I didn't realize it at the time, but it was a sign that high end systems were in serious decline.

By 2002 we were running multiple inexpensive heavily overclocked PC's in our 3D renderfarms for commercial productions. Hell, I had a 6 Celeron PC renderfarm running Lightwave in my apartment in 1999.
Really though ... as if anyone wanted to be next Bill and Paul showing their innovation and IT TOO FAIL ... imminent failure
 

jnnfr0314

Posts: 8   +1
An SGI Origin server and two Onyx servers were also used in the world's first numerical air quality forecast system, in a joint project of North Carolina Supercomputing Center and Penn State Department of Meteorology, back in the late 1990's (I wrote the modeling code that was used for that project.) The forecasts were continued at NCSC through 2002, then (on SGI Altix) by Baron Advanced Meteorological Systems, who bought the forecast group from NCSC...
was that to try to get the science down on windsheer and Am Eagle (US Air)?
 

jnnfr0314

Posts: 8   +1
I remember the late 90's were brutal for the high end systems. I was really into 3D modeling and animation applications at the time. By 1998 we had options like the Amiga and the Windows PC was becoming more capable. These were much less expensive alternatives for enthusiasts and professionals animators alike.

The article briefly mentions DEC who made the 64Bit DEC Alpha CPU. They eventually ventured into the NT Windows market with an emulator "FX 32". I remember seeing them at a SIGGRAPH presentation in Los Angeles. They were running Quake on these NT PC's on VooDoo graphics cards. A powerful 64Bit CPU running a 32Bit OS demonstrating a PC Game.
I didn't realize it at the time, but it was a sign that high end systems were in serious decline.

By 2002 we were running multiple inexpensive heavily overclocked PC's in our 3D renderfarms for commercial productions. Hell, I had a 6 Celeron PC renderfarm running Lightwave in my apartment in 1999.
Whoa.. taking me back.. Quake .. trip.. crashed the network at the job .. was it a Banshee?? sounds alot like on winbin
 

jnnfr0314

Posts: 8   +1
The company I worked at sold a lot of SGI - Crimson, Onyx, Indigo. Siemens bought 30 of them for solids modelling, CNC machine emulation, and wind tunnel emulation. We configured them before shipping then had a large LAN party with everyone before packing them up and sending to the customer. It had a great tank battle, flight simulator and dog fight game that came free.
I do remember the Onyx. wish I could forget those times though. Erase them from images burned onto brain. sad being those were the roaring 20s
 

jnnfr0314

Posts: 8   +1
IN 1995-96 was learning Discreet Logic's Flint on an indy. Later (1999) was working on an Octane workstation. These machine were never turned off but for maintence. A certified engineer was mandatory to fix a minor or major issue. IRIX was a fantastic os. what a time...
Right I suppose... much like the tick tick tick from the faucet in the bathroom. always seems to be the best jobs to have only require about a 1/4 turn
 

BoowieBear

Posts: 20   +23
I hate to see good companies poor management drive them into the ground. James Clark was wise enough to know their strategy would fail and left. I wasn't a programmer but lusted after these purple beasts. Kind of like driving a Camry but lusting after a Ferrari I will never get!
 

corrosive23

Posts: 25   +43
On August 11, 2016, it was announced that Hewlett Packard Enterprise would acquire SGI for $7.75 per share in cash, a transaction valued at approximately $275 million, net of cash and debt. The deal was completed on November 1, 2016.


So SGI is gone, even in name now.
 
"The OpenGL standard remains the only cross-platform 3D-graphics API and has even been ported to cell phones and other portable devices. "

/* Vulkan has entered the chat */

Cross platform is the only real distinction that matters here. DirectX was ported to cell phones. Metal was ported to cell phones. I think even libgcm made it to the Vita which is a portable device. Every closed operating system tends to offer a 3D-graphics API. And there is no reason to have two mature open graphics APIs... which now is Vulkan.
 

bviktor

Posts: 400   +704
"The OpenGL standard remains the only cross-platform 3D-graphics API and has even been ported to cell phones and other portable devices. "

/* Vulkan has entered the chat */

Cross platform is the only real distinction that matters here. DirectX was ported to cell phones. Metal was ported to cell phones. I think even libgcm made it to the Vita which is a portable device. Every closed operating system tends to offer a 3D-graphics API. And there is no reason to have two mature open graphics APIs... which now is Vulkan.

Vulkan is OpenGL. It's a step into low-level territory, like D3D 11 -> D3D 12, but it still is the same elements. Vulkan is governed by the same Khronos. Before the release they even called it "OpenGL next".

Also, it's irrelevant if Vulkan is "multi-platform" because that in essence means it runs on Linux. Too bad the relevant platforms are anything but Linux. Windows is doing fine with D3D, same goes for the Xbox. The PlayStation has Gnm(x) which is in fact more similar to D3D than OpenGL/Vulkan. And macOS has Metal. So yeah, there's no reason to have 2 mature APIs, so Vulkan serves no purpose whatsoever.
 
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jnnfr0314

Posts: 8   +1
Vulkan is OpenGL. It's a step into low-level territory, like D3D 11 -> D3D 12, but it still is the same elements. Vulkan is governed by the same Khronos. Before the release they even called it "OpenGL next".

Also, it's irrelevant if Vulkan is "multi-platform" because that in essence means it runs on Linux. Too bad the relevant platforms are anything but Linux. Windows is doing fine with D3D, same goes for the Xbox. The PlayStation has Gnm(x) which is in fact more similar to D3D than OpenGL/Vulkan. And macOS has Metal. So yeah, there's no reason to have 2 mature APIs, so Vulkan serves no purpose whatsoever.
sorry to be the bearer of bad news but Vulkan is NOT OpenGL...
 

ragreeen2646

Posts: 20   +5
Oh the good old days.
I worked for DEC. One customer " Blue Sky Studios" had a combination of MAC, and SGI workstations.
The rendering end was 500 pizza box size Alphas. All the rendering was sent to a TRU64 Alpha cluster. I spent a lot of time there during production of "Ice Age".
I believe they are using Linux based systems now.
SGI machines were good in there time. The TRU64 clusters were also very good in there time.
I was fortunate enough to work for DEC (Then Compaq--> HP) at a time when all kinds of neat and new stuff was coming along at a pretty good pace.
 

Puiu

Posts: 4,575   +3,398
TechSpot Elite
sorry to be the bearer of bad news but Vulkan is NOT OpenGL...
Vulkan is a combination of the next gen OpenGL (what ppl were expecting to be OpenGL 5) that Kronos was working on and Mantle (AMD + DICE). While not OpenGL, it's still considered to be very close to it.
 
The SGI flight simulator came with OS upgrades in the early 90's. It was amazing at the time. You could dog fight against others on the network or land (attempt) a 747. My boss was not happy with me for, literally, shooting him down repeatedly. Lol