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SGI Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

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  • Story (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 08, 2006 @08:55AM (#15284532)
    Silicon Graphics Files
    For Chapter 11 Protection
    A WALL STREET JOURNAL ONLINE NEWS ROUNDUP
    May 8, 2006 6:56 a.m.

    Silicon Graphics Inc., a long-struggling maker of high-performance computers, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

    A group of bondholders agreed to trade their debt for a stake in the company, which filed for Chapter 11 protection Monday morning in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan.

    SGI is known for desktop workstations and larger server systems that are favored by engineers and others who demand sophisticated graphics, including Hollywood studios. But the company has suffered a long slide, partly due to competition from machines based on standard components used in personal computers.

    The company's stock was recently delisted from the New York Stock Exchange for trading below a minimum threshold of $1 a share, and now trades on the small-cap OTC Bulletin Board.

    Earlier this year, SGI replaced its top executive amid widening losses and lower revenue. Last month, the company said it expected revenue of about $108 million for the third fiscal quarter, well below guidance of $140 million to $160 million.
    • by halfelven (207781)
      This is just to get rid of debt and stuff like that. The people who actually own the company believe there's great potential and they seem determined to do all it takes to turn the company around.
      The current management is very different from the old one. It can be argued, and it has been argued before, that it was a succession of management mistakes which brought the company to its current situation. But the old mistakes seem to be a thing of the past now.

      So, good engineering + bad management = financial di
  • Press Release (Score:5, Informative)

    by datafr0g (831498) * <datafrogNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Monday May 08, 2006 @08:55AM (#15284533) Homepage
    SGI's press release here: http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/060508/sfm098.html?.v= 45 [yahoo.com]
    • Re:The death of SGI (Score:5, Interesting)

      by ekimminau (775300) <eak@kimminau.org> on Monday May 08, 2006 @09:26AM (#15284705) Homepage Journal
      SGI began its rapid decline the moment the announced the merger with Cray. As the stodgy crew of maanagers went on the land grab trying to justify their existence in their "new " company, it drove out many of the long hair, fast and loose crowd of exceptional engineers who believed SGI was a magical place.

      SGI truly was a magical place to be. Not only the "Its Not just a job, Its a wardrobe" pens, frisbees, t-shirts for every new product, boxer shorts, key chains, and all the other swag SGI marketing was famous for. The "O" series of products, led by the Indigo2 Max-Impact were revolutionary products. Massively fast backplanes that still exceed the performance of all but a limite few systems, incredibly fast graphics sub systems with fill rates that still can't be achieved on lowly PC gear (they just can't push the bits fast enough).

      In addition, SGI truly owned the internet space, well before Sun and then gave it away once Sun started the "dot in dot.com" marketing campaign. They had the NetScape server, free, included with the IRIX OS, on every server with a full HTML configuration interface in an age where most other companies still didn't have an officially supported HTTPD for their platform. They also included Indigo Magic, the FIRST full GUI HTML editor, again, free with the OS, as well as a full GUI VRML editor, and so on.

      I truly weep for the company SGI used to be. It was the best job I ever had and the one I wish had never ended.
      • Re:The death of SGI (Score:3, Interesting)

        by daviddennis (10926)
        I never worked for SGI, but I loved the spirit of the company and their products.

        I think (and thought at the time) they should have focused on a cheaper version of their products and tried to be an Apple alternative. They had the best OS out there until MacOS X came up, and it took a long time for MacOS X to work as well as Irix did. Most people aware of the company had very warm feelings about SGI products and the OS and I think they could have used that.

        I reluctantly wound up switching from SGI hardware
        • I think (and thought at the time) they should have focused on a cheaper version of their products and tried to be an Apple alternative.

          Actually they did this, showing off an Indy running Photoshop at MacWorld one year. I don't know how serious they were about it.
      • Re:The death of SGI (Score:3, Informative)

        by deanj (519759)
        SGI did not own the Internet space. Just because they had those on their platform doesn't mean they "owned" anything.

        Mosaic - and shortly afterward, Netscape - was on every platform you can name. Httpd was supported on all those platforms too. By the time the "Internet revolution" and all the hype (and corruption) that drove up the stock market in the 90s, SGI was in the beginning of it's decline.

        Sure, they had a great campus, they had great people working for them, but it didn't take long for it to
      • SGI began its rapid decline the moment the announced the merger with Cray.

        I'd say their biggest mistake was bringing in Microsoft henchman Rick Beluzzo, whose philosophies didn't do much good for the creative and adaptive market that SGI was selling to.

        In addition, SGI truly owned the internet space, well before Sun and then gave it away once Sun started the "dot in dot.com" marketing campaign.

        I remember an SGI employee countered this with "We are the : in http:"

        I will miss you, SGI. Thanks for your su

      • Nah, their real decline came with the rush to put out x86 Windows NT workstations. Any PHB would look at the cost, and say "Why can't we just get a Dell and save thousands?" Bang, instant deathknell.

        Hmm, an old-school *NIX vendor convinced to switch to x86 Windows NT workstations, dropping their RISC processors and OS; now where have I heard that before?
        • Quite frankly, you are blaming the symptom and not the disease. The market for UNIX Workstations had pretty much dried up to nothing, and SGI was already going in the crappper. Going with Wintel was a last-ditch attempt to stay in the market.

          Look at all the success that Nvidia (former SGI people) has had with Wintel graphics. SGI's problem was just poor execution.
      • Sorry, the first web browser was also the first "full GUI HTML editor." WorldWideWeb.app by Tim Berners Lee.
      • SGI made some rock solid products. I still run NFS servers off of indigo2's with 1 year+ uptimes. Octane's and Octane2's are still used as workstation where I work too. They were probably the first to use heatpipes in their coolers for their graphics XIO boards. If you need to replace anything, it's all modular, and you can take the whole things apart and replace each single component. I love the box designs too (though they way a ton). I hope they will still continue to be dominant in HPC. If you haven't r
      • Of course most people, when writing about the demise of cray, point to the ponytailed hippies from SGI who spent money like it grew on trees, and hadn't a clue how to sell into a competitive market, make compromises, or actually build things that the customers actually wanted.

        SGI also really shot itself in the foot in the internet server market. They released really great hardware for the task, particulary the challenge-S, which was fast and affordable. However, they had real reliability problems and supply
      • by ddmau (635549)
        Sad Sad day. I worked for them for almost seventeen years (under 1000 Employee #).....laid off about three years ago. Best company I ever worked for, and a great place to be. Some of the sharpest engineering folks I've ever seen, and the most idiotic management on the planet. The only reason SGI survived as long as it did was due to their exceptional technology (on many levels), but because of the fools at the helm, it didn't have a chance to succeed. As far as I'm concerned, even though hit continued to ri
      • backplane speed? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by YesIAmAScript (886271) on Monday May 08, 2006 @11:53AM (#15285664)
        What's the backplane speed you refer to?

        This say the GIO64 backplane speed in Indigo2 was 266MB/sec.

        This was probably great then, given the limitations of FPM RAM (EDO wasn't even around yet!), but it is peanuts now. Intel's FSBs and AMDs HTs hover at about 30 times this speed now, and there are plenty of slots which exceed this speed too.

        Am I missing something? I only looked this up because the amount of time SGI has been out of the loop pretty much means that their systems cannot be anything special compared to current hardware. That doesn't mean they weren't ahead of their time, just that a lot of time has passed and even things that were ahead of their time then are nothing special now.

        I had a couple friends who work at SGI and I was heavy into the computer graphics market then. SGI were doomed before they bought Cray. They basically started by taking the work of Evans & Sutherland and bring it to a whole new marketplace. They realized the potential of computer graphics in a broader market, not just defense and similar companies. The problem was, the market was even broader than SGI expected.

        Oddly, it was the horrible Matrox Mystique video card that signalled the end for SGI. It wasn't the first 3D PC card, but for many people, it was the first one they owned and used. It ran Tomb Raider with 3d acceleration. These kinds of cards created a whole new market for 3D hardware. This board marketbase pumped money into these companies (Matrox, ATI, S3, and soon after, NVidia) very quickly. And this allowed them to advance their hardware rapidly to the point where a well-equipped PC could match the 3D performance of an SGI box.

        SGI was addicted to selling $80K workstations in small numbers, and PCs running 3D Studio Max that could be configured for a bit over $10K just overran them. SGI refused to adapt. Because of their overhead, perhaps it was impossible for SGI to adapt. So SGI was in a marketplace where a 3D workstation could only fetch $10K (and falling), with a business model and overhead (like owning your own CPU designer, writing your own OS) that made it impossible for them to compete.

        End of SGI.

        I don't understand your assertion that SGI was an internet player. The cost of their systems meant you couldn't afford to buy an SGI for anything that didn't involve heavy graphics, or else you'd be wasting your money. SUN really did rule the roost there, for a while. Until a broad switch to PCs whomped them too.
      • They also included Indigo Magic, the FIRST full GUI HTML editor, again, free with the OS

        That's a pretty stupid statement considering the OS was anything but free nor was the IM code open-source.

        SGI machines were great, but they were pricey and eventually lost out to cheaper/open-source alternatives.
      • SGI began its rapid decline the moment the announced the merger with Cray. As the stodgy crew of maanagers went on the land grab trying to justify their existence in their "new " company, it drove out many of the long hair, fast and loose crowd of exceptional engineers who believed SGI was a magical place.

        Oh nonsense. It was precisely that "magical place" mentality that got SGI in trouble. It takes more than smart engineers to make a high-tech company. It takes a solid business plan.

        Yes, the acquisition

      • More importantly, some of those brilliant engineers who left the company ended up starting one of the companies that really put the nail in the coffin of SGI: nVidia.

        SGI was a great company, but the management really went off into crazytown around the mid 90s or so. When your management is bad, the good people start to leave, and pretty soon you're left with just a shell of a company. Then it was one bad decision after another, buying Crey, hiring a CEO (for way too much money) with a proven track reco
    • Re:Press Release (Score:3, Informative)

      by ajs (35943)
      Summary:

      * New CEO/CFO
      * Major holders (read investors) get to keep their shares, everyone else gets nothing
      * They have already reduced their size by $100M, and another $50M is coming (layoffs mostly, I imagine)
      * They remain optimistic.

      IMHO: They are doomed, but if the new CEO isn't just a "make it worth enough to pay off the debt" sort of guy, they could harvest the value of the Cray and SGI brands and parley them into a major product line once again. It would take the vision of a Steve Jobs type, but it cou
    • Well, there's a link on the SGI homepage [sgi.com] now. I like the way they avoid the wording "Chapter 11" like the plague...
      • Re:Press Release (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Ctrl-Z (28806)
        What, you mean like this text in the second paragraph? "...the Company and its U.S. subsidiaries have filed voluntary petitions under chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code."
        • What, you mean like this text in the second paragraph? "...the Company and its U.S. subsidiaries have filed voluntary petitions under chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code."

          No, I mean in the headline--of course they need to mention it in the body of the text. Don't you think that "SGI Takes Action to Reduce Debt" is a bit euphemistic for what's happening?

  • A lot of movies companies used to use SGI computers for special effects in the 90's, however a lot of them have switched to regular pcs and macs due to increases in technology.

    So the question is are the SGI workstations worth the cost? Is SGI going to survive.

    And for karma whoring here is the wikipedia index on SGI's history:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicon_Graphics [wikipedia.org]

    • So the question is are the SGI workstations worth the cost? Is SGI going to survive[?]

      I don't know; let's check their company for signs of health.
    • When your core business is high end and you push products through lots of R&D then have your market sapped by commodity products, its easy to overstep your budget and not adjust the business quickly enough. Even worse of course if the people in charge don't see the train comming down the tracks for a long time, which is what often happens in bigger businesses. SGI is also in a more vulnerable position than say Sun because Sun can deploy a server that is expected to stay put (and need support) for ma
    • So the question is are the SGI workstations worth the cost? Is SGI going to survive.

      No, whether they are worth the cost has never been the question. A business man might not think that a $80 camel hair brush and a $120 tube of pigment is worth the cost, and balk at the artist demanding this instead of the much cheaper alternatives. Of course, the workstation isn't worth the cost, but that's never been the issue. The question is whether the combination of the workstation and the person working on it is

  • Sad (Score:4, Insightful)

    by syylk (538519) on Monday May 08, 2006 @09:02AM (#15284557) Homepage
    I worked with IRIX at some point of my career. Nothing impressive, mind you. But the machine was stylish and the aura of "eliteness" leaked from every vent grill. Onyxes, Octanes, Origins... They could be beat by a low-level GPU these days, but back then, they were wet dreams coming true.

    I'm sad to see them go. Not surprised, but still a bit sad.

    Erwin will need a new home...
    • Hell yeah. Irices were maybe not impressive, but certainly cool.

      I browsed some SGI docs literally a hour ago just to make a piece of software portable to Irix -- not out of any necessity or even utility, but just because of the old fondness.

      Sleep well, Indy. We'll miss you.
    • Some friends and I picked up a lot of 1600Sws a few weeks ago and they still exude cool like few monitors can, and you should see the picture on those. It's too bad they don't sell them anymore, those monitors alone could be the basis of a pretty nice business.
    • Re:Sad (Score:3, Informative)

      by turgid (580780)

      I worked with IRIX at some point of my career. Nothing impressive, mind you.

      I keep hearing this from ex-Irix and Solaris users. Solaris and Irix were the best unixes at one point (1990's). However, their greatness was internal, in the kernel. Most users never got to see it.

      I've never used Irix, but speaking for Solaris, the user land was pretty archaic and clumsy (the commands and utilities) compared to the GNU userland (the commands on Linux). Sun finally realised this in 2004 and started migrating the

  • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Monday May 08, 2006 @09:02AM (#15284558) Homepage Journal
    the SGI Investor's Relation page doesn't say anything

    They'll add it in with green-screen later.

    • All of SGI's existing common stock and the unsecured subordinated debentures will be cancelled upon confirmation of the plan by the court and receive no recovery.

      What just happened is that the new CEO & CFO cut a deal to enrich bankers (who held "secured" bonds) at the cost of the people who put their trust and money in SGI. So the guys who really belived in SGI all these years, who supported it, and who bought SGI's stock or bonds just got completely 100% screwed by a back room deal.

      Well at least

      • Well at least *some* of the employees will get to keep their jobs, but I'll bet the ones with their retirement plans in SGI stock will be hopping mad.

        As the Enron debacle showed, having a majority of your retirement tied up in your employer's stock is unwise. Something about eggs and baskets. Business rarely rewards loyalty on the downside of things, particularly if the company is publicly traded.

  • by furry_marmot (515771) on Monday May 08, 2006 @09:04AM (#15284565) Homepage
    ...I'm surprised it took this long. After throwing over their own OS for NT workstations and losing the high-end specialty graphics market, they veered into supercomputers and bought Cray, which didn't help either company, and they haven't done anything interesting in years. RIP SGI
  • Terribly sad (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mccalli (323026) on Monday May 08, 2006 @09:04AM (#15284571) Homepage
    Got to say that I find this terribly sad. When I started in computing, SGI used to be some magical company that I aspired to touching the hem of - sort of how Pixar is viewed today, although obviously without the narrative bit.

    I know it was inevitable. I know the economics. I know various other things but still...still...it's a sad, sad day.

    Cheers,
    Ian

    • I am sad too and I just hope no 16 year old around to say "who cares" since I won't care for my karma or anything to reply.

      At least, respect for OpenGL folks!

      Or if you have a EA game or something , look at the credits at the last page of manual. Always some SGI libs involved.
    • I don't know that it was inevitable. There are far more people using far more computers today to do things then were at the height of SGI. There is more money going into hardware today then went in in the late 80's and early 90's. There are lots of people who want be able to do sound and video better than you can do with so / so hardware.

      I don't see any reason there can't be a workstation market today.
  • Unexpected (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wombatmobile (623057) on Monday May 08, 2006 @09:05AM (#15284581)

    Old age is the most unexpected [accelerating.org] of things that can happen to a man. -- Trotsky

  • Seeing as Inferno is shipped as a HW/SW package for SGI boxes only. I guess that's a niche product though.
  • by MindPrison (864299) on Monday May 08, 2006 @09:16AM (#15284645) Journal
    I remember fondly my first encounter with 3D graphics, from the TRON movies, man - that was many years ago, the SGI computers was the no.1 on my wishlist as a kid - but a machine like that where WAY too expensive, and thats where the Commodore Amiga came and stole our hearts, all of a sudden - 3D became affordable, SGI did'nt belive in "3D-for-everyone" and I believe that would be the main reason for their demise.

    You've got to put your belief in the little guy on the street if you want to survive, being boss - playing big, with the big - will only work until the rest of us grow up. And we did, but SGI didn't invest in our future together, if they did - we would have embraced them without as much as a seconds hesitation, but if you keep selling to the elite party (those with WAY too much money) you're out of tune with the development.


    (For those too thick to read between the lines - it simply ment, they didn't follow the times)
    • Computing becoming more affordable made for leaner times for a lot of those high-end workstation vendors. They were very specialized and couldn't innovate as fast as the industry as a whole. And perhaps they were resting on their laurels and didn't realize the danger until it was too late. I know the attitude at IBM at least up until the mid to late 90's was that PCs were toys and if you wanted real computing you shelled out big bucks for big iron.

      When the 386 appeared on the scene and it became feasible

      • Their best bet probably would have been to file patents like crazy and force every graphics card company on the planet to license their stuff, but they just weren't evil enough to go that route.

        Ever heard about a company called nvidia? ever read some discussions about why their Linux drivers cannot be open sourced even if nvidia would want to?
  • by spacemky (236551) * <nick@ar y f i .com> on Monday May 08, 2006 @09:16AM (#15284649) Homepage Journal
    Info about the Chapter 11 is up now, via a press release:

    http://www.sgi.com/company_info/newsroom/press_rel eases/2006/may/sgi_reorg.html [sgi.com]

    From the release:
    "As part of this agreement with many of its major stakeholders, and as the next step in its previously announced plan to reorganize its businesses, the Company and its U.S. subsidiaries have filed voluntary petitions under chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. SGI's non-U.S. subsidiaries, including European, Canadian, Mexican, South American and Asia Pacific subsidiaries were not included in the filing; will continue their business operations without supervision from the U.S. courts; and will not be subject to the requirements of chapter 11. The Company expects to file its Plan of Reorganization reflecting the agreement shortly, and to emerge from Chapter 11 within six months."
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Will make those new look and feel updates to Slashdot all the more easy to create.
  • by chiph (523845) on Monday May 08, 2006 @09:19AM (#15284665)
    My SGI shirts are now collectors items!
    Woooot!

    Chip H.
  • Almost 10 years ago, I had the use of two packed-to-the-gills Reality Engines, one supplied by Nintendo when I was doing game AI work and one by Disney when I was the lead on a virtual reality prototype.

    I am not a computer graphics specialist, but it was great to work with full screen graphics at a high frame rate. The artistic types at Angel Studios where I worked created amazing 3d models, textures, and environments - really, some of the most fun I ever had working.
  • by saha (615847) on Monday May 08, 2006 @09:35AM (#15284747)
    ...although I'm surprised it took this long. Their upper management really was a mess and lacked focus. Their venture into the the Windows NT boxes and Itanium platform didn't help much either.

    Heck, I use a Powerbook G4 for most of my tasks these days and my SGI O2 and SGI 320 NT box in my office are used little these days, but the Macs do lack some advanced hardware features that are only available on Infinite Reality gfx boards and Tezro v12. See Discreet's website and you'll notice that Flame, Inferno and Fire still run on ONLY SGI hardware. SGI InfiniteReality boards are used as image generators for flight military flight simulators and also to drive the Inferno compositing and film mastering, using up to 32 film resolution layers and 10-bit anti-aliased graphics

    Sure, Nvidia and ATI cards go have an polygon count advantage and they do have features like pixel and vertex shaders, but overall for high fidelity graphics one still goes back to SGIs. If one looks at what is capable in Final Cut Pro HD, it still falls in terms of output quality compared to what an SGI can handle. For video DMediaPro options with support for two streams of high-definition 10-bit 4:4:4:4 RGBA video. Or if one needed to generate your own video signal. Programmable FPGA video card or drive a C.A.V.E. or Powerwall SGI Mutichannel Option cards are capable of doing this. I have yet to see PC based Image Generator be as successful at doing this without a lot of hacking, blood, sweat and tears. SGI's handle the tough visualization tasks do out of the box. SGI's gfx API are second to none

    OpenGL Inventor

    OpenGL Multipipe (+ SDK)

    OpenGL Optimizer

    OpenGL Performer

    OpenGL Shader

    OpenGL Vizserver

    OpenGL Volumizer

    ImageVision and Image Format Library (IFL)

    SGI was a great company, although it was badly mismanaged. I'd love to see it merged with Apple and all the SGI gfx API's integrated into OS X. Plus other tecnologies like ccNUMA, XFS, CXFS, NUMAlink4 (6.4GBs), NUMAflex combined with Hypertransport and Infiniband (when customers need cheaper solution than NUMAlink)

    • If one looks at what is capable in Final Cut Pro HD, it still falls in terms of output quality compared to what an SGI can handle.

      How so? I was under the impression FCP has caught up with SGI -- if it hasn't, why have a fair number of Hollywood full-length films been made with FCP?

      I'm not trying to flame -- I'm actually interested in how FCP falls short.

      But even if the OP is correct and FCP still doesn't compare with SGI, FCP has the advantage of being relatively inexpensive. Every college student film ty

    • by Tester (591)
      See Discreet's website and you'll notice that Flame, Inferno and Fire still run on ONLY SGI hardware. SGI InfiniteReality boards are used as image generators for flight military flight simulators and also to drive the Inferno compositing and film mastering, using up to 32 film resolution layers and 10-bit anti-aliased graphics

      This is no longer true. Discreet has now ported all of their software to Linux PCs. Even the Inferno (which was the last). I was at NAB last week (major tradeshow for the media busin

    • I can cite a few reasons why SGI has fallen on hard times:

      1. Current Linux distributions can run workstation level hardware/software.

      2. x86-compatible machines now have powerful enough CPU's to run workstation level hardware/software.

      3. High-end graphics cards using the nVidia Quadro GPU chipset can do most of what SGI machines can do in terms of graphics but at much lower cost.

      Why do you think Dreamworks Animation is using AMD CPU boxes with high-end graphics cards running Linux?
  • SGI Workstations (Score:3, Interesting)

    by 10Ghz (453478) on Monday May 08, 2006 @09:39AM (#15284762)
    I hope that someone will buy their MIPS-based workstation-business. What I would like to see is for someone to take that business, beef it up a bit, and port the whole lineup to Linux. I would say that there would be a sizeable market for quality MIPS-workstations that run Linux.

    How about.... HyperTransport-links between CPU's, integrated mem-controllers, on-die L2-caches, HTX-expansion, multicore, multi-CPU-setups. All this, and running Linux. Hell, those changes alone would give us a nice boost, even if the CPU-core (R16000A IIRC) itself stayed relatively same.
    • Re:SGI Workstations (Score:2, Informative)

      by Kumba (84067)
      Linux on SGI's MIPS workstations is already pretty usable. The core site is at http://www.linux-mips.org/ [linux-mips.org], plus both Gentoo [gentoo.org] and Debian [debian.org] have functional MIPS Ports [ G [gentoo.org] | D [debian.org] ].

      Between both distro's, most of SGI's systems from the Indy to the Octane are supported (although support for the individual components is dependent on the machine). We're hoping to get our hands on some of their newer stuff, like a Fuel or an Origin 300 to see how hard that will be to port to (especially the R14000), but the dream is
      • Linux on SGI's MIPS workstations is already pretty usable.

        Hi Kumba, long time no see :). Anyway, I wouldn't call Linux on SGI's workstations "usable". It may work well on some machines, but some are very hard to get working at all. And the latesst models (Tezro and Fuel) are right out of the question. I have been to the gentoo-forums, and I have seen people struggle with Linux-MIPS. When the users can pick just about any SGI-workstation and expect to be able to use Linux there (and in such way that it actua

    • How about.... HyperTransport-links between CPU's, integrated mem-controllers, on-die L2-caches, HTX-expansion, multicore, multi-CPU-setups. All this, and running Linux.

      Sounds like you're talking about Opteron.
    • "I would say that there would be a sizeable market for quality MIPS-workstations that run Linux"

      Really.... why? MIPS CPU's still have a place in the embedded market, maybe, though I'm not sure I wouldn't pick ARM instead.

      In the workstation market they are a doormat to Intel and AMD these days. SGI cratered in the workstation business years ago because they bet everything on MIPS and they simply didn't have the resources to keep MIPS competitive with better funded rivals. Oh and then they bet on Itanium w
  • by csoto (220540) on Monday May 08, 2006 @09:54AM (#15284833)
    With a Chapter 11 reorg, a potential buyer would get access to a lot of very interesting HPC technology, without a lot of liability. This is what the current bondholders are counting on - buy it while it's cheap and sell it for more to some other company.

    What do you get (of any value) when you snap up SGI?

    -XFS/XVM/CXFS - one of the best storage environments out there in production
    -OpenGL/VAN
    -DMF/TMF
    -GRIO
    -Numerous other subsystems to IRIX/Linux

    Their hardware hasn't kept pace as well. However, there's still a lot to like about the architecture (HyperTransport looks so much like SGI-Craylink). They're about the only ones who managed to make something useful of Itanium (another straw on the camel's back). Perhaps someone could do something with it, provided they supply the needed R&D money.
  • Now is the time... (Score:4, Informative)

    by robbo (4388) <slashdot@[ ]ra.net ['sim' in gap]> on Monday May 08, 2006 @09:57AM (#15284848)
    ... to mirror the STL progammer's guide [sgi.com] (for personal use, of course).

    It's sad to see them go, and not just for their cool h/w. This is the company that brought us OpenGL and, for a long time, the only useful STL documentation on the web (not to mention Irix had a working c++ compiler). I can almost forgive them for IRIX 6.5.
  • by Pervertus (637664)
    Several factors are tied to the sudden but expected death of SGI:
    • Compatibility - they used to have a proprietary method for connecting things to the computer. Instead of using the VGA that we all use and love, they used 3 RGB cables. People didn't like that because they couldn't make fun use of SGI monitors - at least not without buying converters and stuff.
    • IRIX user friendliness - while it was cool that IRIX had scaleable icons, it was a shame that if you tried to use the camera with program A but the ca
  • I bought a few of their systems, ranging from an R4400-based Indigo2 to an R12K based Power Challenge L. I was usually happy with the hardware, but the sales guys were really slimy, and the company made it very difficult and expensive to get basic OS and compiler updates.

    A $3000 Indy might have seemed like a good deal, but when you need a thousand dollars a year worth of hardware and software contracts to support basic administration of the box, it didn't compare too well with its competition.

    Of course, my
    • There is nothing that ranks higher than a grudge in the world of personal motivators. I wish sales people, especially software sales people, would read Slashdot to see posts of frustration like this one. You can't walk off a used car lot and start selling high tech gear and hope to get repeat business.
    • "...R12K based Power Challenge L"

      Sir, such a product does not exist. I think you must have dreamed it.

      The Power label was reserved exclusively for R8000 workstations and servers, and the Challenge series never supported R12K processors.
  • Oh No! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by twazzock (928396)
    What's going to happen to OpenGL? The API can't die! I don't want to have to use DirectX! What will I use in Linux?
  • by Darth Maul (19860) on Monday May 08, 2006 @10:22AM (#15284985) Homepage
    It's a shame, because back in the early 90's I got into comp sci and computer graphics, using Indigos and Onyx machines in all my early work. I even bought an Indy for use in college, and there's no way I would have been able to do such cool project work in school without it. It's a shame to see this, because I was as big a fan as SGI could have had back in the day, but I know the day SGI started its decline.

    It was SIGGRAPH 2000. New Orleans. I got an invite to the SGI party, and we were all expecting a huge new announcement of a SGI-brand PC graphics card. This would have been the smart move, because about this time PC cards were starting to eat into SGI's markets... So why not use the amazing brand name of SGI and produce a killer PC card? So what did SGI announce? A new line of supercomputers. There were audible groans in the crowd.

    Oh well, it was part of history. My Indy still works just fine, and I was even able to update to a newer version of Irix recently... And I'll still wear my SGI shirts, thankyouverymuch ;-).

  • As I see it, it is not ATI and Nvidea who have finished off SGI, but rather all those companies making Beowulf clusters. Most people still seem to think that SGI is a computer graphics company, but so far as I can see, that is quite a small part of their business these days.

    From where I sit, SGI are primarily a high performance computing company, hence their Altix range. The problem is that 95% of HPC problems run just fine on a cluster, and there just isn't enough business in the 5% of us who's problems

  • I was going to pose the question, "Could SGI survive on Apple's Server-oriented product line *and* sales", but as I thought about Apple's mainstream UNIX, HP's engineering workstation stronghold, with Linux running on so many renderfarms, it became clear.

    If you cant really *move* in a lively and limber way when your survival depends on it - to either keep up with the times or keep out of an alligators jaws - time rolls on without you.

    If a company spends its days _anchored_ in a particular mode of oper

  • Like I said elsewhere last year, [newbox.org]

    A few days after SGI was delisted [google.com], I stumbled across an old (1994) article about SGI [wired.com] while I was poking around in one of my favorite places, the Wired archive [wired.com].

    (I'm a huge computer history junkie--if nothing else is happening, I can amuse myself for hours digging up old computer stuff on the web. And if you're ever in the San Francisco Bay Area, I highly recommend visiting the Computer History museum [computerhistory.org].)

    Anyway, the article has this quote from SGI founder Jim Clark [wikipedia.org]:

    Clark
  • While Chapter 11 doesn't mean the company is dead (heck, airlines in chapter 11 are even merging these days) it would be very sad to see SGI go. One of the coolest things for me is the single system image computing, for example their Altix single system image supercomputers [sgi.com]. High end scientific computing in the US has really thrown its weight behind clustering with off the shelf components (or, in IBM's case, custom components) working together over relatively slow interconnects. While this does work rea
  • Investor News: SGI Takes Action to Reduce Debt [more] [sgi.com]
  • Well, I still use my SGI machines. I've an older Indy, that just is a file server and an O2 that still makes a great desktop machine.

    Over the years, IRIX and SGI have been good to me. Thought I would put a few things down here that were worth it:

    -never lost a filesystem. Many folks I worked with carried their configuration from machine type to machine type over the years. (indy, o2, octane)

    -love the interactivity of the desktop. Still do actually. It's clean, fast and makes sense. The extra desks fun
  • I thought they were already dead. Or bankrupt. Whatever. (Yes, I know Ch.11 is not necessarily THE end.)

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