Silicon Graphics: Resurrection - Tree of Souls - An Avatar Community Forum
Tree of Souls - An Avatar Community Forum
Go Back   Tree of Souls - An Avatar Community Forum » General Forums » Science and Technology

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-25-2012, 09:03 PM
Aaron's Avatar
Tsamsiyu
Aaron has no status.
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 509
Default Silicon Graphics: Resurrection

I've always had a fascination with old workstations, particularly those that were bleeding edge in their day and cost as much a car! (And depreciated even faster than a car!)

In 1991, when I was 15 years old, I paid a visit to the University of Washington's annual Computer Fair in Seattle (now no longer held) where I was introduced to the Indigo, Silicon Graphics' latest desktop machine. It had stunning (for the day) 3D graphics. Naturally I wanted one, but the price tag of $18,000 US virtually ensured it would never happen. Until now.

Now, these things are quite literally junk, kicked to the back of store rooms and often chucked into dumpsters. Quite a long fall for such neat machines.

About five years ago, I picked up two from the basement of a local 3D artist for... FREE. The catch was that neither worked. So, they sat in my basement. And sat, and sat. This year, I made a New Year's resolution: Get at least one of them back in working order. The problems are many, but relatively minor: No disks, missing RAM, dead clock batteries, etc. If there are bigger problems, I've got two machines, so I can mix/match parts. Fingers crossed!

Both machines have the highest-end 3D graphics systems available at the time, featuring quad GPUs with genlock and output for proprietary 3D glasses. Not bad! Here's a photo of the graphics mainboard (memory daughterboards removed) which I just finished cleaning. It looks badass even now!



More as the project comes together. With luck, I hope to have one up and running by the end of April.
__________________

My Avatar fanfic | My 3D Avatar album | A bit about my profile picture.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03-25-2012, 10:10 PM
Human No More's Avatar
Toruk Makto, Admin
Human No More has no status.
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: In a datacentre
Posts: 11,751
Default

Look at those chips... no need for a HSF either


Will fsn run on them? It's a UI that's like it's out of a movie or something
http://web.archive.org/web/200704100...s/fsn.map2.jpg
Yes, as seen in Jurassic Park.
__________________
...
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-25-2012, 11:08 PM
Dreamwalker
Sėkat was formerly known as sfc78
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 42
Default

Nice haul...good luck to you

A little over 10 years ago, I had an SGI Indy that I picked up secondhand that I greatly enjoyed using, but was forced to get rid of it when I moved.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-25-2012, 11:28 PM
Aaron's Avatar
Tsamsiyu
Aaron has no status.
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 509
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
Will fsn run on them? It's a UI that's like it's out of a movie or something
http://web.archive.org/web/200704100...s/fsn.map2.jpg
Yes, as seen in Jurassic Park.
Indeed it will, if I install IRIX 5.3. I was planning on installing 6.5, but maybe I'll do a dual-boot just for this.

And in fact the Indigo computer actually made a cameo appearance in Jurassic Park, so it would be very appropriate to put fsn on there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sfc78 View Post
A little over 10 years ago, I had an SGI Indy that I picked up secondhand that I greatly enjoyed using, but was forced to get rid of it when I moved.
Yeah, I know how that goes. I had all kinds of neat old computer gear in my last college apartment. When I graduated, a lot of it ended up being given away or tossed. Crap!
__________________

My Avatar fanfic | My 3D Avatar album | A bit about my profile picture.

Last edited by Aaron; 03-25-2012 at 11:31 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-26-2012, 02:58 AM
Moco Loco's Avatar
Dandy Lion
Moco Loco is a lion in a low place
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 2,915
Send a message via Skype™ to Moco Loco
Default

I don't know the first thing about things like this, but sounds cool and I hope you get it working I have one of these, broken of course.



It was working when I got it, but shortly after, my dad started experimenting with it and trying to connect it to the internet, and now it won't even turn on.

Anyway, good luck
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-26-2012, 03:42 AM
Aaron's Avatar
Tsamsiyu
Aaron has no status.
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 509
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moco Loco View Post
It was working when I got it, but shortly after, my dad started experimenting with it and trying to connect it to the internet, and now it won't even turn on.
Bummer. Fixing laptops is pretty much one of the most awful things, given the inaccessibility and proprietary-ness of most of the guts. Rescuing the contents of the hard drive (if you care) shouldn't be too bad, however.

I still have my Tandy 102 (TRS-80 laptop) from 1986. The space bar is tied on with a piece of string because it suddenly flew off one day (back in the late 80's) as I was madly typing BASIC code. I never bothered to revisit that quick fix!

Unfortunately, the primary storage on the Tandy 102 was a small bit of RAM with a watch battery keeping it alive. I'd set the machine aside and forgotten about it before moving out of my parents' house, and when I found it again a few years ago, the little battery had long since died, taking with it everything I'd ever created on the Tandy. I put a new battery into it, but haven't touched it again since.
__________________

My Avatar fanfic | My 3D Avatar album | A bit about my profile picture.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-26-2012, 03:20 PM
Moco Loco's Avatar
Dandy Lion
Moco Loco is a lion in a low place
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: New Orleans
Posts: 2,915
Send a message via Skype™ to Moco Loco
Default

Arg, damn watch batteries. I've been going through my gameboy color carts and replacing the little save batteries


Ducktape does seem to be the most popular method for attaching the new battery
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-26-2012, 05:12 PM
ahoragi's Avatar
Taronyu
ahoragi Hunter in training
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 460
Default

LOL there seems to be no limit to duct tape!
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 04-02-2012, 06:33 AM
Sight Unseen's Avatar
Karyu
Sight Unseen is a perfectly ordinary magical unicorn.
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 1,374
Default

Ooh, vintage hardware pron. Me gusta. Hope you get it up and running again, old hardware is always interesting to mess around with. Also, I wonder how hot those GPUs get. Being in ceramic they could get pretty high up there and sustain no damage.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-02-2012, 05:08 PM
Aaron's Avatar
Tsamsiyu
Aaron has no status.
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 509
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sight Unseen View Post
Ooh, vintage hardware pron. Me gusta. Hope you get it up and running again, old hardware is always interesting to mess around with. Also, I wonder how hot those GPUs get. Being in ceramic they could get pretty high up there and sustain no damage.
Yeah, I expect the silicon in these old chips would fry long before the packaging! On this board, however, the clock crystal is only 27Mhz (though I suppose it could be multiplied somewhere). That, together with the lack of heat sinks and the fact that the computer case has only a very wimpy little fan in it, tells me that heat is not a major concern.

The CPU (on another board) is 100MHz, though, and it does have a heat sink.

I've organized all the best bits of my two machines into one case, and now I have a machine that powers up and then complains of a dead clock battery (and if it got past that, it wouldn't find an OS), but I'm getting somewhere!
__________________

My Avatar fanfic | My 3D Avatar album | A bit about my profile picture.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 04-07-2012, 10:48 PM
fierox's Avatar
Pa'li Makto
fierox has no status.
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 321
Default

cool stuff, i've saved some old pc stuff aswell. Nothing that exotic tho.

I remember back in school we used a little blue silicon graphics 02 workstation or one of those little square apples (mac 128k i think) as door stops for the 3d classroom
Back when i was at school all those expensive 3D workstations had been replaced with pc's with quadro/geforce systems.
Really wanted one of those cases for a pc casemod but it wasnt allowed
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 04-09-2012, 03:51 AM
Human No More's Avatar
Toruk Makto, Admin
Human No More has no status.
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: In a datacentre
Posts: 11,751
Default



I wish I had more experience with vintage hardware... the first PC that was actually mine was a P4 >.>, first ever was a P1 IIRC.
__________________
...
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 04-14-2012, 07:45 PM
Palalukan Makto's Avatar
Avatar Driver
Palalukan Makto has no status.
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 23
Default

from that same era i still have a fully working intel pentium Pro 200mhz with 32mb ram ( soon to have 64mb) that still can at least boot "Damn Small linux" yes i still have my dos 6.22 disc's and finally got hold of my old diamon stealth 2000 pci card and a 3dfx voodoo1 pci card. my main retro machine though is an amd athlon XP 2700 with a 3dfx voodoo4 4500 64mb agp
i have other's like a p233mmx etc etc but my old pro is a beasty piece of business grade hardware that still brings fond memories of freebsd serving
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 04-15-2012, 03:01 AM
Human No More's Avatar
Toruk Makto, Admin
Human No More has no status.
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: In a datacentre
Posts: 11,751
Default

I got Windows 3.1 running in Virtualbox just for fun
__________________
...
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 04-15-2012, 07:45 PM
fierox's Avatar
Pa'li Makto
fierox has no status.
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 321
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
I got Windows 3.1 running in Virtualbox just for fun
the dospad app on my ipad2, awesome way to revisit those old pc games!
(core of the app is the awesome emu dosbox (also available for pc etc)).

Below is what the app actually looks like, full screen is also possible!

Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



Visit our partner sites:

      pandoraworld.ru



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 03:56 AM.

Based on the Planet Earth theme by Themes by Design


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.
All images and clips of Avatar are the exclusive property of 20th Century Fox.