I miss the old SGI. Silicon Graphics was widely regarded as the greatest computer company in Silicon Valley back in the 1990s. Sometimes forgotten--but not gone--SGI was one of our greatest success stories and one of our greatest tragedies.
Apple may have had more revenue by virtue of shipping millions of small systems, but SGI's hardware spanned the range from video-game consoles (the Nintendo 64) to workstations to supercomputers. SGI's Unix-based operating system, IRIX, was one of the most sophisticated in the industry.
I used to lust over SGI machines. I'd obsess over lists of used SGI gear, looking for a great deal that would let me have my own IRIX box at home. In 2004, I finally bought an Octane with MXI graphics... but that was years after these machines were effectively obsolete, and I paid less than 0.5% (1/200th!) of the original retail price of the machine.
In the mid-to-late 1990s, SGI was not well managed, losing huge amounts of money because its leaders would not… Read more