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Thread: Indy: A better starting point for SGI?

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivelegacy View Post
    Octanes need to stay inside rack-mounted in a computer room, down in the bunker, at least 10 meters under the ground, and possibly 300Km far from where you are.

    The above perfectly describes my case (and the Octane in question is not my property, it's my partner's property)

    Oh, from the remote ssh-console, it's so quiet
    Now come on, they aren't THAT bad.
    = Excellent space heater

  2. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by NeXT View Post
    Now come on, they aren't THAT bad.
    humor, never heard ?

    Anyway, considering that my team and I are running this project (not yet complete) because we want (this is just a part of our goals) a silent multi-screen X11 box without any cooling fan, you can understand HOW bad we consider an Octane with 4 XIO-boards installed.

    As you know, with 4-XIO boards, the Octane's fan runs at full speed, and it's really annoying. There is an XIO slot that triggers the fan to the full speed. I don't remember at the moment if it's slot{A,B,C,D}.

    Another issue about Octane is dust. And the compress-connector that is really fragile and you don't have to touch it. This is the reason why we store the machine inside a professional rack with air-filters so we don't have to unmount for cleaning. We have a 24h/24-running machine, with an uptime of 4 years.

  3. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eudimorphodon View Post
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIPPI

    HIPPI wasn't *necessarily* used for storage, some special applications used it as a network link or to drive some other kind of peripheral.
    At the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), we used HiPPI for the high speed Mainframe and Server Network (MASnet) network between the supercomputers, front end server and the Mass Storage Server (MSS) tape archive. It moved primarily data to/from the MSS, but also worked for job submission and outputs back to the users or to the Text and Graphics Server (TAGS) for microfiche, 35mm color film or video tape. SGI systems were part of that configuration, with those annoying 100 pin cables used in pairs. It was all connected with a few HiPPI switches in to a crossbar network. After high speed Ethernet started appearing, the HiPPI stuff was retired in stages. It was much simpler to use Ethernet and TCP/IP. I rehosted MASnet to run on top of Ethernet, with a gateway system for connectivity to the stragglers.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear View Post
    I'm pretty sure the Indigo2 predates the Indy by maybe a year or so.
    That's entirely possible. I just remember our team received both types of machines around the same time, circa 1993.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by cruff View Post
    After high speed Ethernet started appearing, the HiPPI stuff was retired in stages.
    I will preface this with a warning that this is a half-remembered second-hand story from 20 years ago:

    I knew a guy who did phone support for SGI, mostly focusing on network questions, and one day someone called in on a government account (from an agency that preferred to remain nameless, or something) to harangue about problems they were having with an application they were trying to run over fiber GigE. Apparently he was being so vague about what the actual application was that it was difficult to even know where to start, but eventually they let it slip that they were trying to firehose "simulation data" into "a thing" at very specific intervals and the unpredictable latency they were getting through the networks stack/Ethernet physical layer was breaking it. Apparently one of the suggestions arrived at was to try a HIPPI connection because even though it's *technically* not a synchronous protocol using it would remove a lot of the overhead of using Ethernet... or something. Again, not my circus, not my monkeys.

  6. #36
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    The nice thing about the particular Octane that I could take home if I wished to is that it includes a differential SCSI adapter with multiple SCSI interfaces (it was used for connecting lots and lots of Exabyte drives back in the day). This setup works perfectly with my 9-track CCT drive (with differential SCSI), and some (IRIX) software I wrote years ago for copying data off old VAX and ND CCTs. So, in the end, I'll probably grab that Octane, and rig it up in the garage with the CCT drive if I need to read tapes again. Which I probably will, as two more interesting CCTs surfaced a while ago.
    The SGI computers, or rather IRIX, always had very good support for tape drives - it was possible to adjust to just about anything w.r.t. tape formats. Unlike e.g. AIX boxes which are more tricky in that respect. Many low-level options are not available there.

  7. #37
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    Also, a side note for anyone here - not to outright reiterate my post over in wanteds too much, but I'm still looking for candidates on my Octane to a degree - if you've got one you wanna part with and'll be attending VCF Midwest, hit me up!

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by ivelegacy View Post
    [..]with 4-XIO boards, the Octane's fan runs at full speed, and it's really annoying. There is an XIO slot that triggers the fan to the full speed. I don't remember at the moment if it's slot{A,B,C,D}.
    The (noisy, hot) Octane I mentioned has XIO boards installed (diff. SCSI), so yes, it's in the loud category..

    The MAME Indy emulation (I just did another git pull and rebuiild, had to add another ROM .zip) looks very promising, it's got the exact good old SGI look when it boots. But for some reason keyboard input, at least in the monitor (haven't tried installing IRIX yet) almost doesn't work, and the mouse is _very_ slow too. It also runs 100% CPU on my host Linux box. I may try it on another computer later. I'm really looking forward to running the emulator in the future.

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