"it comes to market 16 years after SGI's popular MIPS/Irix Indigo workstations rolled out; the original two-socket Octanes and their funky tower cases came out in 1996"
Suddenly I feel old! :|
Tombstone: I'll be dead soon.
Silicon Graphics, like Sun Microsystems, got its start as a supplier of technical workstations for nerds, and the new SGI - a combination of the old, bankrupt SGI and the niche server maker Rackable Systems - wants to do what Sun hasn't: get back into the workstation game in a serious way. Today, such a machine is not called a …
that Apple should've bought SGI, especially when Mac OS X was being developed. Instead of having a completely new platform based on BSD, Apple could've inherited an old, but extremely well polished and highly optimised UNIX in the form IRIX, and also moved into the server / mainframe territory with an extremely enviable reputation from SGI's history.
In addition, with Apple's 'Pro' products, what will the difference really be between SGI's new workstations and Apple's Mac Pro? Not much. Furthermore, on the software side, with Apple's Final Cut Pro, Logic and so on, using SGI's workstation prowess, these products would have allowed Apple to have an even more awesome product capability in digital content creation - what's more with the really hardcore 3D and complex imaging background of SGI, Apple would've probably taken the entire 3D market by storm, and things like AutoCAD might still exists and flourish on the Mac-SGI.
Furthermore this joke of a server in the form of XServe versus the monsters SGI produces would mean that Apple would have not just a serious, but a very serious big iron business.
Given it's so cash rich anyway, if I were Apple, and not Steve Jobs with his nepotism toward ex-companies he's worked for (ie NeXT), then this would be a serious proposition, and an end to what really is one of the greatest tragedies of one of the world's most innovative companies in SGI.
This isn't an Octane or anything similar to it - it's a Linux cluster with pretensions. It probably should have been called Origin instead.
The Octane was a high end graphics and audio workstation. Whilst it was also quite good at some computation it was other SGI boxes that had more expandability and nodes (the Octane 1 and 2 are limited to two processors. The Fuel to one. The Tezro to four and the Origin 3000 to an awful lot).
Also, the Octane could be hideously noisy so 'whisper quiet' isn't really in keeping for the other Octanes. This one probably runs hot and power hungry though, so that's quite accurate.
To say that the Octane 'ran Linux' isn't really true. It ran Irix well (unsurprisingly) and whilst it will run Linux this still seems to require manually retrieving, compiling files and installing over NFS. Yes, it's fairly functional (including X) but still has no 3D acceleration and is not in any way mainstream or usable by the average user.
The SGI O2 and older machines like the Indigo/Indy will run Linux and NetBSD with a lot less hassle, although they're a tad underpowered, the 3D and video hardware isn't supported and plenty of software will freak out at the unusual architecture when you try to compile anything. I know - I've tried.
The two O2 boxes on this desk are fantastically maintainable though - hot swap of most things.
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