[rescue] FS/FTGH: Sun kit

Richard legalize at xmission.com
Tue Jan 17 01:46:10 CST 2006

In article <20060117073352.00000478 at smallpox.redhairy1.demon.co.uk>,
    Mike Meredith <very at zonky.org>  writes:

> As to the very expensive part, I was using an SGI PowerSeries with a VGX
> in the late 90's and was curious about the initial cost. The workstation
> itself wasn't cheap back in 1989 at $30,000, but the VGX card set was
> over $100,000.

Yep.  Those were the days when you had to prostitue yourself to some
organization if you wanted to play with real-time 3D beyond a few
measly wireframe polygons.  The ESV/50 that I later rescued from my
employer was a fully-loaded configuration that easily went for
$250,000 in 1990.

> > Of course, I was in graphics labs.  HP workstations with 8-bit frame
> > buffers were available for use by any graduate student at the UofU at
> I suspect you were at an especially fortunate department. Certainly the
> two University CS departments I bumped heads with around that time
> didn't have that level of funding.

This is also true.  Bob Kessler <http://www.cs.utah.edu/~kessler/> got
a huge equipment grant from HP that put a workstation on the desk of
every faculty member, at lesat one workstation per grad student
office, and I think one for every staff member in the department.  I
don't think it all came in one big shot, but at any rate it was a
massive influx of equipment to the department.

Once everyone went to their own workstation, it was the last nail in
the coffin for the VAXen they had.  I believe they had a VAX 11/780
when I arrived in 1988, and ASCII terminals were still around the
department, but mostly relegated to checking email or reading usenet.
Within a year or two they were replaced by a couple of microvaxes and
Suns that were used only as file servers and it was no longer possible
to use a dumb terminal to get anything done.  You either used a
workstation or you used a PC in a public lab.
"The Direct3D Graphics Pipeline"-- code samples, sample chapter, FAQ:
             Pilgrimage: Utah's annual demoparty

More information about the rescue mailing list