Monday, May 08, 2006

SGI files for chapter 11

I remember when they demonstrated their C++ IDE back in the day (about 1994 or so) -- you could run your program in Debug, fix something, and without recompiling it would use the new code. Something which was revolutionary then and I haven't encountered until now on the Linux world. (I know MS Visusal Studio can do it -- but the generated code has trouble with Linux).

Another Gem was Cosmo Creator the very first HTML wysiwyg editor (something like a relief if you were using emacs' HTML mode). Anyway I played around but it never clicked for me. Another thing which really clicked was that every user could have his picture (taken with the Indy cam) and use that at login (click on the picture, type in password, ...).

Needless to say that OpenGL, OpenInventor and to some extend Performer were little gems all on their own. I am currently struggling with VTK and, believe me, I could work better with Inventor in 1995 then what VTK does today (needless to say that VRML is also a better standard for output than whatever VTK uses;-) I almost got a job doing Performer stuff...

Now I have a R5000 Indy (are is for RISC and, yes, MIPS used to be the processor for embedded stuff) in my house, but the Irix 6.4 I am trying to install never really boots up -- maybe one long night and I will figure it out. Irix by the way was and probably still is the best GUI operating system. All the icons where real photos -- cool, very cool.

How did the company decline? There were essentially three major decisions done wrong:
  1. They hired some Italian CEO whou couldn't speak Italian. Listen, if you are Italian and you can't speak your own language what does this say about yourself --
  2. That CEO pulled the plug on MIPS and spun it out (MIPS Technologies). The business model was to subsidise the development of high end MIPS processors to be used in SGI's hardware with the sale of older ones in volume to the embedded market. By selling the MIPS unit this model was obsolete and they had to embrace Itanic.
  3. And the other bad decision was to sell a Windows NT SGI. Terrific hardware, the best backplane ever, but who needs Windows NT?? I pointed that out to the SGI reps and they made fun of me -- sometimes I hate it when I am right. With their resources focused on the Windows thing they aboslutely missed the boat on Linux. A Linux workstation together with 4DWM (SGI's windows mananger) and all the other stuff would have been big in 1996 and probably still is...
With the risk of making myseld ridiculous: During my college years when other people had maybe posters of H&M models I had posters of most of the SGI models... With SGI, or Silicon Graphics, in chapter 11 also a part of myself died. Rest in peace!!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

more links for that topic?
And Bye.

9:44 PM


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