Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

SGI Arises From the Ashes

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the back-in-the-saddle dept.

195

eldavojohn writes "Six months ago, Slashdot reported on SGI's filing of Chapter Eleven Bankruptcy. I wondered why Slashdot kept the Silicon Graphics category with them now defunct. But Chapter Eleven means a reorganization — not liquidation. And, surprisingly, SGI has dusted itself off and stood back up. What did they dust off? About $150 million worth of spending a year. Will this reorganization put them back as a player in the graphics game? Maybe but as the article notes, they have some stiff competition that offer comparable services for less money. Is this a phoenix story or the final death throes of the company?" To be honest, no one here suspected a thing. We just keep the old topics around so it's still possible to find old stories related to them. Sometimes (like now!) they even still come in handy.

cancel ×

195 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Arise! Arise! (5, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510189)

I don't think it's simply a matter of making the hardware, but having the brains left to design it. SGI once came out with the greatest stuff, but now loads of that all fits on one video card or multiple video cards with shared GPUs. Of course their old business model wasn't just to sell you the machine, but to license the software, operating system, sell support etc. Not many can do that these days, like they did in the days of yore.

We just keep the old topics around so it's still possible to find old stories related to them. Sometimes (like now!) they even still come in handy.

Call me a dreamer, but I keep hoping some day these guys [slashdot.org] will arise from the ashes of HP/Compaq and Intel.

Introducing the PDP-11/128 and the VAX 9990! (2-AAA cell batteries not included.)

Re:Arise! Arise! (5, Insightful)

PsychicX (866028) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510313)

It's interesting to note that NVIDIA and ATI were both created by people who realized how utterly braindead the SGI management was and walked out before the titantic sank. So in some sense, these people are the leftovers, the ones who screwed up and never realized it.

Can an old dog of a megacorp learn new tricks? We'll find out, I guess. A new competitor in the consumer GPU industry would certainly be appreciated.

Re:Arise! Arise! (4, Informative)

stox (131684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511155)

Bzzzzt! Wrong, please play again. SGI was only founded three years before ATI, 1982 and 1985 respectively. Nvidia was founded in 1993. None of the founders of these companies had anything to do with SGI. Two of the three Nvidia founders were from SUN, and the third AMD.

Re:Arise! Arise! (5, Interesting)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511455)

If your first name is Ken, I met you on a bus travelling from Baltimore to Washington D.C. about 12 years ago. You whipped out your laptop and booted up Linux. And you bitched about not being able to smoke on the bus. Small world. Folks, this dude was on the Internet way back in 1982 or earlier. I'm a relative young'in, only on the net since 1988.

Re:Arise! Arise! (5, Interesting)

stox (131684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511809)

Wow! I guess I wasn't low profile enough, even back then. ;-> That would have been the bus between BWI and the Convention Center, 11 years ago. Boy, that was one hell of a trip. My flight was late, and I needed to setup the booth for Fermilab at the Supercomputing 1995 conference. I still have my Cray IV poster, signed by Seymour. When I got there, the convention center staff still had not unloaded and delivered our crates. We quickly figured out which members of the staff to bribe and get our stuff before the convention actually started. Corrupt little bunch over there, but being from Chicago, I was used to it.

I managed to make strange, though obvious, contribution to the rise of the Internet at that convention. At the time, nobody was putting their web address on business cards. After the first day, my writing hand was exhausted from scribbling our web address on pieces of paper. The next day, I ran out to a print shop and had a few hundred cards printed up with our web address. The day after that, a few of the commercial exhibitors did the same. I'll probably burn in hell for that idea.

Drop a note, my email address is visible.

DEC Alpha engineers at AMD. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16510323)

Many of the Alpha engineers transitioned to AMD. That's why we've seen such great developments from AMD over the past few years. While Intel was fucking around with the failure that became the Itanium, AMD had some of the greatest processor designers ever working on the Opteron. And the end result is as would be expected: the Opteron is the premiere general purpose processor around.

Re:DEC Alpha engineers at AMD. (5, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510393)

Many of the Alpha engineers transitioned to AMD. That's why we've seen such great developments from AMD over the past few years. While Intel was fucking around with the failure that became the Itanium, AMD had some of the greatest processor designers ever working on the Opteron. And the end result is as would be expected: the Opteron is the premiere general purpose processor around.

For years I followed the battle between DEC and Intel, over Intel stealing a dozen or so technologies from DEC, which they implemented in the Pentium and Itanic (Merced at the time) DEC waited until Intel was commited to their theft before lowering the boom. Ultimately Intel settled with DEC, gaining access to the patents and having to fork over a very considerable amount of money for DEC's processor fab, which IIRC Intel shut down anyway. Oddly enough, after all this cash poured into DEC they still went bust. I think, too, a lot of the smarter fish left DEC when they saw that ship foundering near the rocks of poor market direction.

Re:DEC Alpha engineers at AMD- yer a bit confused (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16510929)

Uh, yer history is wrong. all wrong. DEC never got the cash.

Intel contacted their "buddy" Compaq to buyout DEC, and shutdown the lawsuit.

Poof goes DEC and everything else, and all of Intels troubles soon vanish.

Now that HP owns Compaq, all this old history will never be known by anyone, except for a few that were there.

Intel did what Microsoft always does, and gets away with it, Microsoft still gets away with it.

Thanks to Intel stealing DEC's secrets, they aren't lagging much behind AMD, though AMD still does 64bit a lot better.

Re:DEC Alpha engineers at AMD- yer a bit confused (3, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511727)

Uh, yer history is wrong. all wrong. DEC never got the cash. Intel contacted their "buddy" Compaq to buyout DEC, and shutdown the lawsuit. Poof goes DEC and everything else, and all of Intels troubles soon vanish.

If I was going to post a lot of rubbish like that, I'd do it under AC, also. I'm assuming this is actually a troll, but I'll bite anyway. The suit concluded, out of court long before Compaq entered the scene. There was no judgement to go poof and Compaq would be absolute fools to let, IIRC 425 million $ go away, not and keep their executives anyway, no board would buy a company and forgive a large settlement like that.

Intel went on to manufacturer later Alphas under their agreement with DEC before they closed down the fab.

Re:DEC Alpha engineers at AMD. (1)

DrDitto (962751) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510943)

For years I followed the battle between DEC and Intel, over Intel stealing a dozen or so technologies from DEC, which they implemented in the Pentium and Itanic (Merced at the time) DEC waited until Intel was commited to their theft before lowering the boom. Ultimately Intel settled with DEC, gaining access to the patents and having to fork over a very considerable amount of money for DEC's processor fab, which IIRC Intel shut down anyway. Oddly enough, after all this cash poured into DEC they still went bust. I think, too, a lot of the smarter fish left DEC when they saw that ship foundering near the rocks of poor market direction.

This is a load of crap. The ideas of superscalar out-of-order processors came from IBM, CDC, Cray, and the academic literature years before either DEC or Intel ever implemented one. Yet when Intel came out with the out-of-order Pentium Pro, all the DEC guys were screaming and hollering.

Re:DEC Alpha engineers at AMD. (3, Informative)

mihalis (28146) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511523)

This is a load of crap. The ideas of superscalar out-of-order processors came from IBM, CDC, Cray, and the academic literature years before either DEC or Intel ever implemented one. Yet when Intel came out with the out-of-order Pentium Pro, all the DEC guys were screaming and hollering.

Who mentioned out-of-order? Digital didn't release an out of order processor until quit a long time after Intel. Intel's Pentium Pro (out-of-order) was about on par with the Alpha 21164 (strictly in order, but clocking very high for its silicon technology). The Alpha 21264 was out-of-order but suffered severe delays and I don't thnk the program EVER recovered. I don't recall Digital staking a claim to originating out-of-order. They did claim to be doing it better with unbeatable low-level circuit designs.

Re:DEC Alpha engineers at AMD. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511855)

This is a load of crap.

Your post certainly is.

The ideas of superscalar out-of-order processors came from IBM, CDC, Cray, and the academic literature years before either DEC or Intel ever implemented one. Yet when Intel came out with the out-of-order Pentium Pro, all the DEC guys were screaming and hollering.

Just did a few minuts googling and came up with this [techlawjournal.com] I was off on the amount, remembering hearing $425 million, where it was actually $700 million Intel paid (though it could have been $425M was for the chip fab and the remainder was licensing, legal fees, etc.)

There used to be a list of the IP on Usenet and it could probably be found without much difficulty, but I don't recall out-of-order being one of them. I remember Branch-Prediction being one. Intel claimed to have a solid case until they were sunk by a load of internal documents from Intel showing up in DEC's hands, where Intel personnel, IIRC Andy Grove being one of them, laughing off their theft of IP. Intel chose to settle with DEC outside court because in court could have been an injuction on Pentium processors and the Merced, which would pretty much have killed Intel.

Some at P.A.Semi as well... (5, Interesting)

KonoWatakushi (910213) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511437)

Such as the lead chip designer for the Alpha, Dan Dobberpuhl. A few others are also listed at http://www.pasemi.com/about/team.html [pasemi.com]

The PWRficient family of PPC processors is actually very interesting from a HPC standpoint; it may even be of some use to SGI. These chips are fast, extremely low power, and have a ton of integrated I/O and memory bandwidth. They are the perfect chip for an extremely high density Blue Gene style system. (Among many other things.)

In any case, the demise of the Alpha was truly a shame. As for SGI, I believe that their fate was sealed when they changed their name and logo. To discard such a logo is unforgivable; if they were to restore it though, perhaps they may rise again...

Re:DEC Alpha engineers at AMD. (1)

IlliniECE (970260) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511849)

Fascinating. Your post was absolute trolling, yet it gets a +5 interesting. Had any equivalent post been pro-Intel, I get the impression we'd see a -1.

Re:DEC Alpha engineers at AMD. (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511987)

"While Intel was fucking around with the failure that became the Itanium,..."

Maybe Intel thought they would give rise to an Itanium rod with which to slap AMD around?

(heheh, Slash image word: "degrade")

Re:Arise! Arise! (0)

skrew (111096) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510355)

I for one welcome our chapter-11 filing, phoenix arising, outdated graphic system producing overlords.

Re:Arise! Arise! (1)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511121)

Yes.

I am responding to your post from my Indigo2.

Maybe next year I'll have a 'firesale' Fuel.

Re:Arise! Arise! (4, Insightful)

Frumious Wombat (845680) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510603)

Wierdly enough, if you drill hard enough you'll find their "Prism" system, which looks like the old Immersadesk, augmented by Reality Walls and Cave-type environments. OTOH, they won't tell you what it's running on, and the two Irix workstations still in the line-up are marked "EOL Dec 2006".

Therefore, they're going to compete in HPC with Itanium and Opteron systems, which seems to be a recipe for getting crushed by the Terra/Cray hybrid (under Cray's name), HP and their Itanium servers through SuperDrome systems, and IBM/Sun on the smaller Opteron boxes. Add to this that they've fired to many engineers, this has to be a delaying action before the real end: six guys running a consulting company out of a Mountain-View garage.

They really are a case of, "time to sell whatever assets are left, return the proceeds to the stockholders, and say, "it was fun"". However, since they just came out of bankruptcy, the stock is probably worth less than nothing, so time to sell whatever assets are left, order a pizza and six-pack of cheap beer with the proceeds, then turn out the lights.

Re:Arise! Arise! (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510609)

Ah, talk about serendipity (so I will), I spent much of today setting up a Digital that arrived on my doorstep as a consequence of setting up a new network. I love being allowed to help myself to the old shit.

No, not, I'm afraid, a PDP-11 or a VAX (I'd take either one), but a Pentium II Digital PC, their too late jump into the true IBM compatible market. I've got a few driver issues to solve (nothing I've got is happy with the onboard Crystal Audio and only Kubuntu sets up the DEC ethernet card out of the box), but I expect to get years of service out of it as sn Internet machine - with maybe some mp3 serving on the side.

Now if I could only get it to run on 2-AAA batteries.

KFG

Mozilla Hardware (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16510679)

If I were the CEO of SGI, I would take a different tact. SGI is dead, and there is no way to compete in the high-end market for computers and servers. I would follow the route of Netscape.

Namely, concentrate on the open-source market. Contract with NEC to build a cheap ARM processor on a really old technology using 0.8 micron. Then, build a nice computer around the ARM processor. Use electronic parts that are based on old technology. All the ICs should be 0.8 micron or larger. You can get 0.8-micron chips from China for dirt-cheap prices.

You can probably build a computer for $100 or less. Tune the computer for Linux. Rename the company to International Mozilla Hardware (IMH). Establish the company as a non-profit corporation, not non-profit charity.

There is a huge market for 2nd-tier computers. That market consists of the American underclasses and most of the 3rd world: Mexico, etc. The last laugh will be on people who paid big bucks for 1st-tier computers: the power of a 2nd-tier computer is more than adequate for the #1 Internet application: e-mail.

Re:Mozilla Hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16510751)

That will never happen. The ghost of what SGI once was won't allow it.

Sure it comes down to psychology, but that's humans for you.

Besides, there are still numerous untapped hihg-end gee-whiz niche processor markets. I could write a business plan for at least 5...but SGI would have to pay me for that ;-)

Re:Mozilla Hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16511255)

If I were the CEO of SGI, I would learn to spell "tack", which is a nautical term for a direction. But that's not very tactful of me.

Re:Arise! Arise! (1)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510697)

Call me a dreamer, but I keep hoping some day these guys will arise from the ashes of HP/Compaq and Intel.

Damn, don't remind me. I bought a DEC Alpha about 6 months before Compaq trashed them. I kept hoping they'd do something with it but as history shows us that's not going to happen. At least I've had my SGI's longer than 6 months though they're all Indigo2's and Octane's.

Amazing (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16510203)

..no one cares. Just another dead Unix on the shitpile of history, nothing more.

Is this entire site populated by illiterates? (3, Informative)

vox_soli (990736) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510211)

Sheesh. That should be 'death throes'.

Re:Is this entire site populated by illiterates? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16510287)

Sheesh. That should be 'death throes'.

I'm terribly confused by the punctuation. Can you correct that, too?

Re:Is this entire site populated by illiterates? (5, Insightful)

setirw (854029) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510291)

Heh... I think the entirety of the Internet is illiterate. Compared to YouTube, Slashdot is actually rather good. If usage patterns on the Internet are indicative of a larger trend, we, as a species, are screwed.

Re:Is this entire site populated by illiterates? (5, Funny)

vox_soli (990736) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510369)

It could be worse. In fifty years there probably won't even be text fora like this. Written language will be a lost secret of the mysterious past and it'll all just be morons grunting at each other over webcams.

Re:Is this entire site populated by illiterates? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16510531)

We will actually be staring at icons, and smart GUIs that tell the user what they want, based on the grunts and gribberish they are typing.

I imagine the leetspeak to 'standard' translator to be running any day now.

Re:Is this entire site populated by illiterates? (1)

cortana (588495) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510915)

Post-literate Eloys. :(

Sorry but.... (2, Funny)

Makito (518963) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511601)

I for one welcome our grunting overlords!

Re:Is this entire site populated by illiterates? (1, Insightful)

setirw (854029) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510827)

I see that the person who moderated me as "troll" must be insecure about his own linguistic skills. :)

Re:Is this entire site populated by illiterates? (1)

MattBowen (858436) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511813)

According to alexa.com, uTube.com is up 430%... not a good sign for spelling.

Re:Is this entire site populated by illiterates? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16510383)

One nazi's thoughts:

Scanning ... scanning ... There it is! An error! Now, to think up a sarcastic quip... uh.. ah... Hurry, mind! Think! Think! Got to get it in before someone else notices it! I missed the last one and the one before that... ah, that's it. They all can't spell! Now whats a good long word to use for that, um illter..something... Goddammit! Spell checker! Spell checker. "elillitterite?".. no nothing, "illeteralte", no, no, "illitirit?". Ah there is the suggestion, illiterate! Alright, got it, "Is this entire site populated by illiterates? Sheesh. That should be 'death throes'.".. ok now for the Subject. Damn, can't think of anything. Hurry! Quick, quick. Ok, let's just paste that as the subject. Bingo! Done! What a wonderful guy I am.

Re:Is this entire site populated by illiterates? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16510767)

The funny thing is, those of us who know how to spell and punctuate correctly don't need to go through the laborious thought process you've just described. When someone prints the phrase 'death throws' on our screens, it sticks out like a sore thumb. Or a 'soar thum', if you prefer. When you're writing something for publication, it never hurts to just spend a few moments with a dictionary.

Re:Is this entire site populated by illiterates? (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511285)

or at least use a browser that can be hooked up with or comes with a spell checker (i mean the 20 seconds it takes to run a Spell check is time not wasted)

Re:Is this entire site populated by illiterates? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16511417)

The problem we are seeing nowadays are the homonyms that occur because people know how to say something and understand the spoken word, but cannot translate that into its equivalent spelling. "Death Throws" passes the spellchecker, so does the correct contextual "Death Throes". Which one to use? You have to understand the context.

no, he actually meant "throws" (5, Funny)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510405)

"Is this a phoenix story or the final death throws of the company?" - Sheesh. That should be 'death throes'.

No, he was talking about actual "death throws". Like when Steve Ballmer gets ahold of a chair.

Re:no, he actually meant "throws" (3, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510483)

No, he was talking about actual "death throws". Like when Steve Ballmer gets ahold of a chair.

There's a new show for prime time ... celebrity cadaver throwing.

Re:no, he actually meant "throws" (4, Funny)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510513)

I was thinking more along the lines of that they have to roll a saving throw vs. death. (DC 25)

Re:no, he actually meant "throws" (1)

nuzak (959558) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510573)

The irrelevance bites! The irrelevance bites! The irrelevance bites! The irrelevance bites! You die...

Re:no, he actually meant "throws" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16510987)

Were you hallucinating when you wrote that? I usually only have that happen with grid bugs or newts.

Re:no, he actually meant "throws" (1)

User 956 (568564) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511035)

Were you hallucinating when you wrote that? I usually only have that happen with grid bugs or newts.

I was turned into a newt...

...

i got better.

Re:no, he actually meant "throws" (3, Funny)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511079)

I think he really meant "Death Row's." Dictation software is a biatch.

Re:no, he actually meant "throws" (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511095)

No dizoubt, but he actually meant "death rose." It's a sweet sort of poetry.

Re:no, he actually meant "throws" (1)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511125)

Ok, this is just getting ridiculous.

And stop replying to yourself! I hope you get modded into oblivion for being such a karma whore.

Re:Is this entire site populated by illiterates? (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510561)

I actually wanted to post the same thing.

If you are going to use a phrase or word that is not in common usage, you should make sure you know what the heck you are talking about.

A moron who mangles low-brow English isn't a problem. When someone pretends to know what they are doing, they should try a little harder.

I Think You'll Find (3, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510651)

That most of our parents were married before we were born...

IM A BASTARD (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16511069)

YOU INSENSITIVE CLOD

Death Throes, Final Throes, it's all good (1)

jpellino (202698) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510789)

If this "death throes" estimate was coming from Dick Cheney, I'd say SGI should have nooooooo problem.

I wish them the best. (2, Insightful)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510295)

But we all know that SGI is a lost cause, they company would have to basically fire all of its useless upper management and rehire all the smart people that left years ago to survive in this market.

SGI stock is not worth the paper it is printed on. (not that they normally print shares anymore)

Re:I wish them the best. (2, Interesting)

moj0e (812361) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510537)

Well, they do have new management now. As far as the smart people...
they still know their stuff.

Think of them as a new company, that sells new/different products.

Re:I wish them the best. (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510675)

Think of them as a new company, that sells new/different products.

Yes, but it didnt go well when some other company [sco.com] similarly reinvented itself, selling new "products".

Re:I wish them the best. (1)

moj0e (812361) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510979)

True... but the other company wasn't selling stuff... they were sueing stuff. I don't know if you realize it, but they also sued (however that is spelled) SGI. And since theif new products ship with Linux now (Suse Linux), I hadly think they are in the same category.

If SGI is coming back... (3, Interesting)

themonkman (877464) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510317)

...then I hope to god that they put Irix in line with the OS capabilities of this day. I have to support a small fleet of SGI Octanes running Irix 6.5, and damned if those aren't the slowest and most aggravating machines.

Re:If SGI is coming back... (1)

moj0e (812361) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510605)

Of course they are slow, they are nearly 10 years old (more less). You need to convince your management that they need some tezros :) That would sweet!

Re:If SGI is coming back... (4, Informative)

Tiger4 (840741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510723)

The Real Beauty of Irix is in its capbilities on the big multiprocessor Onyx systems. It may be slow on the individual and dual processors, but in a 32 or 64 proc array it is truly wonderful. Slow in some ways, but very efficient in resource usage. The fabled Bowulf cluster technologies are good too, but they aren't really a match for ccNUMA as already implemented on IRIX on SGI machines. If you need that kind of power, it is great stuff.

In smaller applications, they are in some trouble, no doubt about it. I don't know if the big stuff is enough business to keep them afloat. The evidence to date is not good.

Re:If SGI is coming back... (1)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510831)

I think that's why they were concentrating on the Linux aspect of the company. Someone stated that if they tried to concentrate on IRIX then if they went under there would be zero chance for hardware support but if they went the open source route they would open up the game for both IRIX and Linux since anything could be ported. Besides, didn't they declare the end of the road for IRIX in December?

Re:If SGI is coming back... (1)

icedevil (450212) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510973)

Considering that SGI has already announced the end of IRIX production:

http://www.sgi.com/support/mips_irix.html [sgi.com]

I doubt you'll see many new OS features, if they update at all it will most likely be security updates.

like enlightenment? (2, Funny)

Speare (84249) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510341)

Plus, old icons [slashdot.org] give kdawson something to play with when he's bored!

The days of one-off systems is pretty much dead (4, Interesting)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510347)

And so are the MIPS family of processors. So are many of SGI's core businesses, like selling to the TV networks (now it's Apple-to-Avid with new stuff that simply buries SGI), stringing clientele along to the tune of numerous significant digits for incomplete and ill-designed systems.

The fact that they couldn't hold onto employees because their situation was untennable, with so many chiefs and so few worker bees, may now be changed. It's unlikely that their re-emergence from CH11 will do much to save them. Their emporer still has no clothes and is still charging by the pay-per-view model.

Re:The days of one-off systems is pretty much dead (5, Interesting)

BrewerDude (716509) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510439)

MIPS processors may be pretty much dead for desktop machines and workstations, but they are very much alive and kicking in the embedded space. For example, take a look at the XLR [razamicroelectronics.com] processor from RMI. This is not your father's MIPS R4000.

Re:The days of one-off systems is pretty much dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16510501)

MIPS chips are in a hojillion cell phones and PSP's as well. Except wasn't MIPS spun off?

SGI appears to be out of the graphics business (4, Informative)

techmuse (160085) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510421)

If you look at their website, they say pretty clearly that they are now focused on high performance computing and storage devices. You won't see graphics mentioned on there anywhere, except for their soon to be discontinued MIPS workstation lines. They do mention visualization of data sets over networks, and in planetariums, but this is really more of a services offering. The days of buying a high performance graphics workstation from SGI appear to be over for now.

Re:SGI appears to be out of the graphics business (4, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510547)

If you look at their website, they say pretty clearly that they are now focused on high performance computing and storage devices. You won't see graphics mentioned on there anywhere, except for their soon to be discontinued MIPS workstation lines. They do mention visualization of data sets over networks, and in planetariums, but this is really more of a services offering. The days of buying a high performance graphics workstation from SGI appear to be over for now.

Wouldn't surprise me, but is it really worth all the money to keep this company going to make commodity hardware and storage systems? Any schmuck could do that without starting out with all that debt.

Re:SGI appears to be out of the graphics business (1)

Danathar (267989) | more than 7 years ago | (#16512055)

If it keeps them in buisness long enough to one day come back INTO the graphics market then maybe it WILL be worth it.

Re:SGI appears to be out of the graphics business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16510713)

who would buy from them they demonstrated that they are total crooks after they screwed the stockholders.

its a pattern screw once screw twice

This would be benificial (3, Interesting)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510449)

I think it would be great to have another player of graphics. As it is, we only have NVidia and ATI (who both make quality products). However, if there was another player that could do more general-purpose cards (as opposed to gaming), they could probably make some decent money, and indirectly pressure NV and ATI. Maybe open-source drivers? How about a more general-purpose parallel floating-point unit that could be more utilized? Something like the F@H GPU client, but for more apps? As a side effect, it could do graphics.

This, however, is probably wishful thinking. Oh well...

Re:This would be benificial (2, Interesting)

bishiraver (707931) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510923)

How about a physics coprocessor instead of an entire board?

Re:This would be benificial (2, Insightful)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510985)

How about a physics coprocessor instead of an entire board?


Yeah, there's some cycle describing that, about how specialized coprocessors will handle different tasks (much like GPUs), and then merge back into the general-purpose CPU. However, I'm talking about a gfx card, that also happens to be easily programmable (maybe with some driver-level, standard-among-manufacturers, scripting?) so we can do cool things with a massively parallel floating-point processor.

Re:This would be benificial (1)

mallan (37663) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511441)

That would be Intel.

Does this mean.... (1, Redundant)

Marko DeBeeste (761376) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510457)

...that Brigadier General Jack O'Neil will be back?

Re:Does this mean.... (0, Offtopic)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510819)

He's Major General Jack O'Neill(two Ls unless you're talking about the suicidal movie version) now.

Re:Does this mean.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16511041)

Yup, you're right. Do you notice how people tend to get "promoted off" the show. Like when Don Davis left he became an admiral? I like it better than having something happen to them like Dr. Frasier.

Re:Does this mean.... (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511207)

Like when Don Davis left he became an admiral?
I don't think there are any admirals in the Air Force. He became leader of Homeworld Security. Also, at that point his health was faltering. (RDA left because he wanted to go back to California.)

Re:Does this mean.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16511927)

you're right, - according to sci/fi he is a lieutenant general, though I have not seen him wearing three stars (he may have, but I don't know). I suppose he was given that rank so he would still outrank major general O'Neil, who has (and rightly so IMHO) been his subordinate.

Admiral is not a ranking in the airforce, I don't know where I picked that up from.

SG1? (1, Redundant)

scolen2 (956819) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510559)

Boo... I thought you meant SG1. (I'm a nerd)

Re:SG1? (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510657)

Well, MGM did just greenlight two direct-to-DVD movies. So we are getting something.

Throws? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16510621)

the word is throes [google.com]

Employee (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16510633)

So, speaking as a former SGI Employee (and stockholder). Are my worthless shares still worthless? I used all my shares as tax-write off years ago and prompt forgot about them.

They did a great job pissing away my 5000 share stake at $25 a share. I was writing that off for five full years and the stock is still worthless. I think from what my accountant said their old shares are offically not worth anything and are just empty bits on a brokerage account somewhere.

Thanks for the fuckover, sgi.

Re:Employee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16511031)

Welcome to the new economy, Friend. There's three classes - the Kings, their servants, and the serfs.

If you aren't a king or one of their servants, you're no one.

So, how long until the revolution? As long as most of the country is somewhat employed, we have entertainment, and we have the morality police saying the Kings are there because God wills it, and you're poor because you're lazy, we won't have a revolution.

Keep sleeping comfortably, friends - the revolution is coming, and the kings will be overthrown.

Re:Employee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16511331)

DUDE! Are you saying my $2.50 of SGI shares is now WORTHLESS!?!??!??? WTF!!!!!

Re:Employee (4, Informative)

stevesliva (648202) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511371)

In Chapter 11, the shareholders are the last creditors in line. Your shares are still and permanently worthless, and whatever banks SGI was indebted to now own the company.

Re:Employee (2, Interesting)

ameline (771895) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511947)

Ouch. That must hurt.

I only own 100 of the worthless shares. I do have a certificate on my office wall granting me 5000 options at a strike price of $29/share though :-) they were underwater the day I got them, and never really poked their nose up into the air.

I did do pretty well out of the Alias takeover back in 94/95 -- Paid (mostly) for my house at the time here in Toronto. Gotta love accellerated vesting.

That was the only time I made money from SGI stock.

SGI isn't that kind of business (4, Insightful)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510775)

Will this reorganization put them back as a player in the graphics game?
Many years ago, SGI stood for Silicon Graphics Inc. But then the company was officially renamed to SGI. Ie. SGI no longer stands for anything, it's just the company name. It signalled a change in business - the 'g' no longer stands for graphics. For example, there is no mention of "Silicon Graphics" here [sgi.com] . They do appear to use the name "Silicon Graphics" in the names of some of their graphics products. But there's little reason to think that they have any intention of being a major player in the graphics industry.

SGI is still dead (2, Insightful)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510859)

Sadly, this new announcement doesn't mean much for the 'old' SGI.

MIPS is gone.
IRIX is gone.
SGI is gone.

SGI has become another company that will create big commodity Linux boxes. Yeah, there's some cool technology behind it, courtesy of Cray (eventually you can track it back to them), but the things that made SGI special aren't there anymore.

Pity. Oh well, I wish 'em all the best.

Dammit (0, Redundant)

sam991 (995040) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510933)

You got me all excited about Stargate coming back in the time it took the article to load. Damn you for supplying me with false hope!

Re:Dammit (0, Offtopic)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#16510997)

The last ten episodes of SG-1 are coming this March. And then, even though our hopes of season 11 were dashed by Hammer and Stern, we get (at least) two direct-to-DVD movies [gateworld.net] .

SGI-lite (5, Interesting)

bockelboy (824282) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511151)

We met with the SGI salesmen the other week. They confirmed the following:

1) IRIX is dead (SuSE will be used instead)
2) MIPS is dead (high end chips are itanium)
3) SGI graphics products are dead (go buy ATI)

If you're an idiot or a government contracter, they will still specially-engineer such systems for an obscene amount of money (technically, none of these are dead if you are the government with a service contract).

The new SGI will be selling fancy Itanium systems on the high end and basic Woodcrests linux clusters on the low end.

SGI still has extensive experience and knowledge building high-processor count boxes that act as a single system image. They're one of the only players who will sell you an entire rack of nice Itanium systems - oodles of processors, RAM, and ultra-large bandwidth - packaged nicely. If a multi-threaded application requiring > 100 GB of RAM is your bread and butter, they're still here for you. They also will integrate FPGAs directly on the same interconnect as your processor - not even IBM is doing that for general customers yet.

If they are to survive, it's working with these fancy uber-fast, uber-bandwidth interconnects between processors that allow large NUMA computers and having first-mover advantage with Itaniums and FPGAs on a none PCIe/PCI-X bus.

The only software they will be doing is anything directly related to getting these goals accomplished. No more compilers, debuggers, graphics software, OS, or (probably not) file systems for them. XFS will be maintained (and added to by the community, of course), but don't expect SGI-funded XFS2 to appear any time soon.

Overall, they've done a damn good job of cutting the fat and coming up with a roadplan for the future. The only downside is the fact they've put so much money into the Itanium that the company would sink if Intel cut the cord.

Re:SGI-lite (1)

stox (131684) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511281)

The real question now is, "Can they make money?"

SGI had very few profitable quarters overs its history. I hope they can turn it around, they made some fine products over the years.

Re:SGI-lite (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16511967)

1) IRIX is dead (SuSE will be used instead)
2) MIPS is dead (high end chips are itanium)
3) SGI graphics products are dead (go buy ATI)
...
The new SGI will be selling fancy Itanium systems on the high end ...

Uh oh. Did they ever benchmark those fancy Itanium systems? If there's something that should be dead ...

Re:SGI-lite (2, Interesting)

ryanov (193048) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511983)

Weren't their compilers really good though?

I suppose if they were optimized for MIPS it doesn't really matter.

Does anyone know if they sell their computer cases (1)

Bentov (993323) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511311)

I know it's kinda lame, but I loved their cases. They could make a killing with those things now.

re:sell their computer cases? (1)

cgenman (325138) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511447)

You can still get Indy et all cases at computer swap meets for around 50 bucks. Unfortunately, they come with some useless chips and circuit boards inside that you'll have to remove.

It's about IPR (2, Interesting)

briancnorton (586947) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511427)

SGI still has some really slick tech like NUMA. I work in high-end visualization, and I can tell you that it's tough to get good computers for it. I'd love to see them start combining commodity and proprietary to make new-wave supercomputer hybrids for visualization. The problem is, that like all Unix makers, they think it's better to do everything themselves and lock-in their customers rather than competing. Get over this and they might have something.

Name changed to "Silicon God Images" (1)

agent (7471) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511511)

Kneel down before your new Silicon God!

They still have their open source projects up (4, Interesting)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511547)

Go and have a look here [sgi.com] if you haven't already. There's some great stuff.

XFS is an awesome filesystem, and has been ranked the overall best in at least two fs benchmarks:- here [debian-adm...ration.org] , and here [linuxgazette.net] . Given what I've read here, I'm possibly considering making it my own default fs...at least for some things.

There's also some OpenGL related projects, as well as some kernel work. What this could also mean for them is that even if they do have to sell SUSE clusters, they can still have some individuality in the offering. Sure, anyone can burn xfsprogs to a CD...but SGI can still market themselves as the people who invented the fs, and thus the people who are most intimate with the code, and thus who can possibly most quickly/easily extend it, or fix it if something breaks.

Maybe now is a good time... (2, Insightful)

light_rock (995815) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511647)

Maybe if SGI can survive a while longer... maybe they will have the only operating system around that will properly take advantage of new AMD and Intel ( lots-of-core ) chips, and arrays thereof. Seriously, what are you gonna do with an 80 core chip ? Run windows ? :)

Hmmm. (0, Offtopic)

ryanov (193048) | more than 7 years ago | (#16511811)

Apparently this story wasn't interesting enough the day it happened (day I reported it), but 2 days later, it's news.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>