[rescue] The best 'rescue' workstation

Mike Meredith mike at redhairy1.demon.co.uk
Sat Apr 23 10:17:55 CDT 2005

On Sat, 23 Apr 2005 10:09:08 -0400, James Fogg wrote:
> > Anyhow, the real question is to ask what you guys run as
> > primary workstations, besides PCs and Macs. I know that a lot

Some of us don't run PCs or Macs ... well ok, my laptop is a PC.

> I don't have any SGI/IBM/TLA's, but I do own a bunch of Sun. I have a
> passionate love affair with a dual U60 with 21 inch Sun/Sony tube.

At work I have a Blade 2000 and at home an SGI Octane (R12K at 300, 1.5Gb
memory and an MXE display). I'll stick mostly to commenting on SGI :-

> 4) Built with plastic that doesn't get brittle (SGI)

I must admit to not noticing that myself.

> 5) Require the rear case fan to be running as it cools the CPU's (I
> often disable case fans because of noise)

Most workstations tend to be too noisy for me to enjoy sitting in the
same room as them. Probably because I don't like sitting in a seperate
office to work/tinker/play. Simple solution ... take the cables through
the wall and have the display, mouse, keyboard and speakers in the quiet
room, and the noisy stuff elsewhere.

SGI pros:

* Cool architecture: Just sneer when someone mentions PCI and say
  that XIO zooms along at 1.6GBps (admittedly modern PCI is faster)
* PCI is available as an optional extra.
* Uses standard PS/2 keyboards and mice (although newer Suns use USB
  for keyboards/mice).
* Cool-looking hardware. SGI won design awards for their case design;
  Sun didn't. The Octane is a bit clunkier though.
* Ground-breaking user interface for the time.
* Graphics software.
* Decent audio hardware.
* Systems such as the O2 or Octane are relatively easy to get hold of
  (although I'm UK-based).


* IRIX is difficult to get hold of if you don't have a source and you
  don't get the distribution CDs with a system.
* No other operating system choices ... at least not if you're
  sensible (the graphics won't be supported and probably never will be
  although the V-series might just be possible).
* Updates are available from sgi.com, but not the latest ones.
* Freeware can be difficult to compile. Forget GNOME (that could be
  an advantage).
* XIO hardware is limited in availability and expensive.
* Few drivers for PCI cards.
* No USB option unless you go for systems that are still v. expensive

The place for information on SGIs :-


More information about the rescue mailing list