sgi

Interesting world of UNIX computers

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I’m always surprised how little I know about old UNIX computers. I started with Linux in late-90s but it was just a low-cost/low-end alternative. Silicon Graphics Inc. was the only company that came to my mind when somebody said: “UNIX graphics workstation”. Thanks to a nice article about BZFlag history (which began in 1992) I’ve realized that there were hi-end graphics workstations even from HP and they had impressive 3D capabilities. In addition to that, HP had four times bigger market share than Silicon Graphics Inc. (workstation market, 1991).

The PC market is more about stand-alone components. These UNIX workstations were about perfect integration of hardware and OS and that’s why even today it is very pleasant to work/play with them. I would be very happy to have modern Linux looking and behaving like old IRIX on SGI computers. After playing a lot with SGI Indigo2 (1995) and O2 (1998) I consider the system very intuitive, stable and easy to configure in comparison with modern Linux distros.

SGI 1600SW

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A friend of mine gave me this interesting piece of hardware. SGI 1600SW Flat Panel was introduced in 1998 which was quite before LCDs became common. There were not so many LCD screens for desktop computers before this and those which were available usually had smaller resolution – 1600×1024 is not bad even by today’s standards.