[SunRescue] 5 major manufacturers?

dave at cca.orgdave dave at cca.orgdave
Thu Sep 28 18:50:45 CDT 2000

mcguire at neurotica.com writes:

>On September 27, dave at cca.org wrote:
>> SGI had a very specific niche, which is gone. So they're trying

>  The high-end graphics niche is gone?  Umm, no.  No matter how much
>unused video RAM the taiwanese clone manufacturers put on their VGA
>cards, there's simply no reasonable way to build a full-immersion
>flight simulator with twelve 26" monitors using a PC clone.  And

That's a niche of a niche. :-)

I mean what *was* called high-end graphics 5 years ago no longer
requires an expensive workstation. What's called high-end graphics now
is, as you point out, still way beyond the toys, but it's a tiny tiny
niche. Certainly not big enough to support SGI.

>Hollywood certainly hasn't lost their woodie for special effects.

They don't need much realtime. Toy Story was generated off batch queues
on generic headless suns. (Ok, there is need for some realtime response
when creating those, but that's a tiny fraction of the computrons
consumed by a movie production.)

>  I'm beginning to suspect that Microsoft has planted people on the
>world's mailing lists to drop little tidbits of "doomspeak" about
>everything that's not a PC running NT.

I don't allow PC hardware in my home. (Ok, one exception, there's
a rack-mount 486 sitting near me that has 6 i860s in it. That's
kinda cool. And my telebit netblazer terminal servers are kinda
PC-based, but they're super-mutant, and running on the bare metal.)

>  Sure, that's one thing they're doing, but SGI has been doing generic
>high-end servers for a lot longer than Sun has.  They were putting
>16-processor 4D machines into computer rooms when Sun was still
>selling 4/380s...quite a few years before the first multiprocessor Sun
>hit the streets.

True, and there was that period (still is?) when SGI completely owned
the sub-Cray field of computational chemistry. Never-the-less, their
business was primarily 3d-solids-at-30FPS-on-one-screen, and that's
been taken over by (crappy) commodity hardware. Meanwhile Sun gained
the *reputation* for high-end generic unix servers.

The other problem is that a big chunk of that market is now for
internet servers, and Irix has a bad reputation for security.

>  Not that I have anything against Sun or their machines (especially

I technically own an early SGI (3130 I think?) but I haven't actually
taken it home yet. 

-------- David Fischer -------- dave at cca.org -------- www.cca.org --------
"Beauty is only skin-deep. It's what's underneath that really matters."
                                             - traditional cannibal saying

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