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Silicon Graphics

Rackable Buying SGI Assets For $25M? 159

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the still-not-totally-sure-about-this-one dept.
UnanimousCoward was one of many people to submit a story that might be an April Fools day joke, except that I don't think it is. Rackable Systems has announced that it is buying SGI for the bargain basement price of $25M. Time was that there was little cooler than an SGI workstation. And note to Rackable's PR: Either this was a genius joke, or a terrible day to announce huge news. Someone either deserves a promotion or a firing.
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Rackable Buying SGI Assets For $25M?

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOsPam.gmail.com> on Thursday April 02, 2009 @07:44AM (#27428689) Journal

    a story that might be an April Fools day joke

    Hey I myself enjoy taking a joke too far but if this is an April Fool's Day joke, I must confess I would have jumped out and yelled "surprise" before filing a merger and acquisition notice with the Security and Exchange Commission of the United States Government [sec.gov]. I hear they don't take too kindly to joke 8-Ks.

    From the SEC Filing:

    On April 1, 2009, Rackable Systems, Inc. ("Rackable"), a Delaware corporation, announced that it had signed an Asset Purchase Agreement (the "Agreement") to acquire substantially all the assets of Silicon Graphics, Inc., a Delaware corporation ("SGI"), including SGI's non-U.S. subsidiaries and operations, other than certain assets unrelated to the ongoing business. The Agreement, dated March 31, 2009, was made and entered into by and among Rackable, SGI and certain SGI subsidiaries. The Agreement has been approved by the respective boards of directors of Rackable and SGI.

    Under the terms of the Agreement, Rackable or a subsidiary of Rackable, will acquire the assets for a purchase price of approximately $25 million in cash, $10 million of which will be placed in escrow and available to Rackable following the closing to reimburse Rackable for payments and expenses made or incurred in connection with certain tax matters. In addition, Rackable will assume certain liabilities associated with the acquired assets. Following the signing of the Agreement, SGI and certain of its affiliated entities located in the U.S. filed a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition and motions to approve the Agreement.

    Also note that they had planned to repurchase up to $40 million worth of shares but it looks like instead they're opting to acquire SGI. What that means to you day traders and quant fund managers, who knows?

    And note to Rackable's PR: Either this was a genius joke, or a terrible day to announce huge news. Someone either deserves a promotion or a firing.

    The world doesn't screech to a halt because a bunch of nerds are slapping their knees and pulling pranks; here's evidence someone got something done yesterday.

  • by Assmasher (456699) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @07:46AM (#27428711) Journal

    Right up until you found out how bad Irix could be ;)...

    Very sexy hardware, terrible *nix implementation. I once had (sigh) an IR2 in my office for 6 months. I don't think I slept at home the entire time.

    • by robthebloke (1308483) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @08:02AM (#27428901)
      The nix part was ok, IIRC it was the god awful GUI implementation that really let it down. The hardware was awesome for apps like Maya/Softimage etc, however you had to learn ways of working that avoided the GUI entirely. Oh, and re-installing irix was as simple as constructing an atomic bomb in your garden shed, from 2 paperclips, some woodglue, and a dead panda, whilst your arms are tied behind your back. Actually. Now i think about it. You're right, .... irix was shit.

      Even now, Maya still has some legacy hangovers from those days: Ctrl+Space to remove the GUI. Ctrl+M to remove the menus. Space to bring up the 'hotbox', which is basically a menu rendered using openGL (about the only thing Sgi's could do really well).

      Even now, I'm still staggered by how far Sgi managed to fall from grace. Mind you, i think Apple learnt a lot from SGI about how to switch to Intel processors successfully. The way SGI did it made every single one of their existing clients run to the hills, and they never looked back.
      • The only IRIX I ever installed was 5.3 on an Indigo R3000 that I got with the 17" trinitron and entry graphics for $500, and sold a few months later for the same price. The patch set was literally bigger than the OS. IIRC it took considerably longer to install, too.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Assmasher (456699)

        Lol, I used to absolutely DREAD getting Irix updates from SGI. Every few months a batch of CDs with 5.x/6.x on them would show up and I'd be the poor bastard going through the Indys (we had one for testing purposes), O2s (testing), Octanes (work stations), and our IR2. Made NT4.0 look good, Irix did...

        • Made NT4.0 look good, Irix did...

          Lol. sad, but so very true....

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          I don't know quite what you were doing, but I think odds are You're Doing It Wrong.

          Whack the images onto a dist server and use inst's selections file format to specify the locations. Piece of cake.

          And installing IRIX (as complained about in a sibling post) consists of copying about 10 lines of source locations into your serial terminal emulator and something like:

          install *
          keep conflicting
          go

          It used to take me about five minutes from turning the machine on until IRIX was happily instal

      • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @08:39AM (#27429259) Journal
        Depends on what you mean by the GUI. Their X implementation had a lot of neat features; they were doing accelerated indirect OpenGL over a decade before X.org/XFree86 managed it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Leafheart (1120885)

        Oh, and re-installing irix was as simple as constructing an atomic bomb in your garden shed, from 2 paperclips, some woodglue, and a dead panda, whilst your arms are tied behind your back.

        So you need to be McGyver?

      • by dwater (72834)

        I loved the SGI UI...so much so that I can't wait for to get it on Linux [maxxdesktop.com] too. I tried aqua and hated that, and gnome ain't much better.

        I hope this doesn't affect that effort.

      • by Shinobi (19308)

        Actually, SGI's X-server and Window Manager are the only ones I've used I've felt have been decent, especially when working with graphics.

        Personally, I'd just like to see anyone associated with X development(No matter which project) dragged out to a dump and shot, for perpetrating a serious crime against computing .

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Creepy (93888)

          I wouldn't knock X too much - X was designed for a different audience than other windowing systems - specifically, it was designed for the model where an expensive server sits in one location and lots of cheap terminals lie around and connect to that server. It is actually a good design for what it was intended for. The problem is, almost nobody uses setups like that these days (though it's coming back... see OnLive), and it also lacked a number of "essential" features like security since the devs made th

          • Yeah, they missed some awesome opportunities. They created the amazing N64 hardware (33 million sold), then failed to turn it into a real consumer powerbase. Thus, several engineers left to form Nvidia, and Nintendo went to ArtX/IBM for their next console.

            The capability of the N64 proves they could have created a competitive card the same year the Voodoo Graphics was released for PCs (1996). All they had to do was rip-out the MIPS processor and sound hardware, tack-on a PCI interface, and write some driv

      • Apple and SGI were thought to have been doomed in 1997. It just took SGI 12 years for the collapse. SGI had a slight edge in hardware but their competitors were cheaper, almost as good, and more importantly, reliable. Apple diversified into consumer gadgets like iPods and iPhones while maintaining a software advantage. They survived by targeting a certain demographic (high-end consumers) and designing for them. The Apple switch to Intel was more about logistics than anything else. Apple realized tha
        • The Apple switch to Intel was more about logistics than anything else. Apple realized that they were constantly at the mercy of their CPU supplier (IBM, Motorola) for a custom chip.

          This may be part of the reason for the Intel switch. But another reason was that IBM and Freescale didn't have a low power G5 processor for laptops. I waited for more than a year after the G5 came out for one to be put into a laptop. Apple couldn't get one to run cool enough. As it is after the switch many people complained t

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by sootman (158191)
        SGI had lots of problems. They were the height of coolness but they didn't take advantage of what they had when they had it. I think Apple learned a lot more from them than just how to transition CPUs. (They had done that once before, as it happens.) But speaking of Apple, a few days after SGI was delisted (the first time, back in 2005), 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] The article has this quote from SGI founder Ji
      • by JWSmythe (446288) *

        The panda is unnecessary. You're working from the old instructions. :)

        I know your pain though. I had an SGI Indy, and an SGI Origin 200. As I recall, the Indy wasn't so bad, but the Origin was almost like black magic to upgrade the OS on. I do recall a lot of chanting, and several virgin sacrifices to get it right.

        The Indy wasn't amazing either. I compared various tasks run on both the Indy and a 133Mhz Intel Linux machine on the same desk. The Linux machine was blazing

      • by flaming-opus (8186) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:29AM (#27430983)

        This is why SGI finally fell apart; you guys are all talking about SGI workstations. SGI hasn't been in the workstation business for years. There hasn't been a workstation business for years. HP,IBM,Sun sell workstations, but they are just rebranded PCs. Dec,DG,EnS,Intergraph,Appalo: all defunct.

        Lately SGI has been selling low-end HPC clusters and a few mid-range altix machines. (and one really big one at nasa) The HPC business is a really difficult place to make money. SGI has never been good at keeping their operating costs down. Compared to their competition, they always seemed to employ a lot of people, and have a lot of irons in the fire, most of which never panned out.

        SGI has always loved to engineer their way around problems; In a mature market one makes money by engineering a solution to a problem and then licensing it out to the rest of the world until it becomes an industry standard. Numalink could have been what infiniband is now. Infinitereality could have been what geforce is now. CXFS could have been what lustre is. XIO could be PCIe. SGI wanted to control it though. They tried to keep it all under the tent.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by kramulous (977841) *

          We have a couple of SGI machines and the real value add of having SGI is the support.

          Some hardware breaks, and unless it needs to be shipped from the US it is fixed within hours.

          Some software breaks, and you get a full diagnosis on what the problem was and options to choose from on how you'd like to fix it.

          Some researcher has code that runs like a dog, they'll tune and parallelise it for the appropriate system.

          I hope our local guys are fine with this news. They are worth their weights in gold. I can't say

    • by Culture20 (968837)

      I once had (sigh) an IR2 in my office for 6 months. I don't think I slept at home the entire time.

      The nightmares of switching between streams were that bad huh?

  • by sean_nestor (781844) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @07:48AM (#27428737) Homepage
    Or if it is, the Alternative Press [yahoo.com], Reuters [reuters.com], and Wall Street Journal [wsj.com] are all in on it.
  • by Zakabog (603757) <johnNO@SPAMjmaug.com> on Thursday April 02, 2009 @07:51AM (#27428767)

    "Time was that there was little cooler than an SGI workstation."

    My head hurts trying to parse that sentence. Is there some grammatical rule that I don't fully understand or was that just a mistake in the summary?

    I kind of understand it to mean -

    "There was a time when there was little cooler than an SGI workstation."

    Though I could be wrong.

    • by LaminatorX (410794) <sabotage@@@praecantator...com> on Thursday April 02, 2009 @07:57AM (#27428835) Homepage

      You have parsed the sentance correctly. The construction is an idiomatic one, typically used by older folks looking back on how times have changed or younger folks affecting a similar attitude.

    • by _Hellfire_ (170113) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @08:23AM (#27429087) Homepage

      "Time was that there was little cooler than an SGI workstation."

      My head hurts trying to parse that sentence. Is there some grammatical rule that I don't fully understand or was that just a mistake in the summary?

      Building target "quote"...

      0 errors, 0 warnings

      Build complete.

      The sentence is old-fashioned, but lexically correct. In plainer English it basically means "There was a time when an SGI workstation was really cool and there was little else that was cooler".

    • could I ask (Score:3, Informative)

      How old are you, where did you learn to speak English, and is it your native language?

      Serious questions - I found the sentence mostly unexceptional (I'd probably have left out "that"), and I'm curious about the difficulty you had in parsing it.

      • by dwater (72834)

        I had similar trouble figuring out exactly what it meant, though, like him, I guessed well enough.

        I'm 43 and English. Yes, the English language is my first language, and, no, the sentence doesn't make much sense (to me). Maybe it would help to be familiar with the American off-shoot.

        • by dbIII (701233)
          Aha - that's the problem. With only that sentence to go on it isn't clear whether it is written in the dialect of Yawl or Ebonics.

          The journalist was trying to be "folksy" by imitating the speech patterns of the poorly educated.

          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by ovu (1410823)
            Creative use of language implies a poor education now?

            Here's an alternative interpretation: Author writes sentence as intended, and it doesn't mesh w/ readers' default mental vocabulary.
    • by dbIII (701233)
      The cool grad students got to use the SGI workstation while I had to use a teletype terminal into a VAX.

      Now get off my lawn :)

      Yes I know, they guy with cards could only dream of using a teletype terminal so there are far better established lawns out there.

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn@nOsPam.gmail.com> on Thursday April 02, 2009 @07:54AM (#27428795) Journal

    Time was that there was little cooler than an SGI workstation.

    Time was that there was little cooler than your company having its own Cray [wikipedia.org] machine.

    Time was that there was little cooler than having the latest Sega game system [wikipedia.org] in your home.

    Time was that there was little cooler than to puts around on a BSA motorcycle [wikipedia.org] in front of your friends.

    Time was that there was little cooler than to be a citizen of Rome ... Wait, I'm sorry, what was the point of this exercise again? To wax nostalgic about the inevitable fall of empires?

    • by mikael (484) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @09:24AM (#27429897)

      The question is why do empires fall? Usually because they run out of lands to conquer. Or they lose their strategic advantage in technology (transportation, resources).

      SGI was cool at the time, but their executive had a fatal flaw - they believed that the marketplace would always be willing to pay premium prices simply for the cool silver SGI badge on the monitor and desktop unit. Back then, anything that connected to a UNIX system would have a UNIX markup price; a UNIX RS232 or monitor cable would cost two or three times as much as a regular PC cable. Just to make sure no-one attempted to use a regular PC cable, an additional pair of pins would be used simply as a loop-back. Other vendors charged site licences by the maximum number of user accounts, the amount of memory, or the number of CPU's in the system.

      Even though their engineers could see that PC's were catching up to workstation standards of CPU performance, SGI's executive board refused to develop for the PC platform, as they feared that they would have one half of the company attempting to undercut the profit margins of the other half.

      By 1995, Microsoft had brought out Windows NT and other 3D vendors were providing professional graphics accelerator boards supporting texture mapping, SGI's engineers had left to form Nvidia. Then SGI sold all their graphics patents to Microsoft. SGI also bought out part of Cray in an effort to remain in the high-end visualisation market, but as PC clusters keep creeping upwards in performance that didn't work.

      If SGI had been willing to provide 3D graphics technology to every possible marketplace, they would have probably been able to retain control rather than Microsoft to dominate.

      • by anss123 (985305)

        If SGI had been willing to provide 3D graphics technology to every possible marketplace, they would have probably been able to retain control rather than Microsoft to dominate.

        SGIs could do more than 3D graphics. It's possible that they made a mistake emphasizing so much on 3D, resulting in customers thinking of SGI as a high tech company and going to Sun and IBM for servers.

        • by mikael (484)

          SGIs could do more than 3D graphics.

          I guess that is true - back then, a server was really seen as a workstation without the graphics card and some additional space for a large hard disk drive.

          There was always this perception of SGI being the high-end visualization company. All the UNIX vendors took great pride in being the chosen supplier for a particular Pixar/Disney movie or new visualization center. You went to Cray for the supercomputer, storage and high speed networking, and SGI for the visualization a

        • by jonbryce (703250)

          If you call your company Silicon Graphics Inc, it is understandable if your customers think of you as a 3D graphics company.

    • There is still little cooler than a BSA motorcycle.
  • by phoxix (161744) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @07:57AM (#27428839)
    ... But SGI is $500+ mil in the hole.
    • To re-quote the first response in this thread:

      Under the terms of the Agreement, Rackable or a subsidiary of Rackable, will acquire the assets for a purchase price of approximately $25 million in cash, $10 million of which will be placed in escrow and available to Rackable following the closing to reimburse Rackable for payments and expenses made or incurred in connection with certain tax matters. In addition, Rackable will assume certain liabilities associated with the acquired assets. Following the signing of the Agreement, SGI and certain of its affiliated entities located in the U.S. filed a voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition and motions to approve the Agreement.

      So, if i'm reading this right, they bought the assets for $25mil, and immediately after SGI went into Chapter 11. Not sure what those liabilities are, but I'd assume it's more to do with maintaining the existing SGI customers out there rather than incurring all of their depts. I can't imagine SGI would need chapter 11 if Rackable had picked up the full $500mil of dept. Sounds like they put all the crap in one place and scuttled SGI....

      • by ari_j (90255)
        There are several ways for one company to take over another one. Among the more common:
        1. Purchase all shares of target and make it a subsidiary; you can purchase the shares with cash, with shares of your own company, or even with bonds
        2. Merge one company into the other - the particular direction of the merger can be a strategic matter
        3. Purchase substantially all the assets of the other company and leave it as a hollow shell with nothing but cash and liabilities

        Each of these has its advantages and its disadvan

      • by jonbryce (703250)

        As I understand it, SGI went into Chapter 11, and then immediately after, they bought the assets for $25m.

        In England, this process is called a "prepack bankruptcy".

  • Surprised? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by plasticsquirrel (637166) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @08:01AM (#27428879)
    It's definitely not an April Fools joke. But does this really surprise anyone? They're just going the way of DEC and just about every other Unix vendor. The only ones that are still around and thriving are Sun, IBM, and HP. But those too are slowly dying the old Unix death, done in by Linux I suppose.

    When I was younger, I could have only dreamed of having one of these venerable Unix systems. But now that they're finally cheap and I can afford them, Linux now makes them seem very outdated and proprietary in nature. Kind of a sad thing to see old dreams die, but in this case I think it's also a step forward.

    It's always seemed like such a shame to see old well-designed machines built around Unix (rather than just generic PC's) become a thing of the past, though. Good quality hardware and a machine that looked and ran like it meant business, with fast disks and lots of RAM... :-)
    • by dcowart (13321)

      Sun not so much, rumors are that IBM may buy them... HP is only alive b/c people are still using HP/UX and Tru64 for things.

      IBM learned long ago the money is in selling support contracts. None of the other vendors ever seemed to really grasp that idea.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Dan Ost (415913)

        IBM learned long ago the money is in selling support contracts. None of the other vendors ever seemed to really grasp that idea.

        Actually, it's a lesson that HP has learned also (witness their growing services arm).

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by rubycodez (864176)

        oh no, HP is not alive because of their crappy Unixes, imaging and printing and networkig is practically carrying the company. In fact, the turd that is HP's Itanic er Itanium2 processor helped bring down sgi and

        • by dcowart (13321)

          yeah I was ignoring their printing business and just thinking of their unixes... I had forgotten about the Itanics though... like most of the world !zing!

      • Re:Surprised? (Score:4, Informative)

        by swordgeek (112599) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @09:58AM (#27430433) Journal

        HP? They're not alive because of people using HP-UX, they're alive because HP-UX is a trivial part of their business. They make laptops and printers, and that (especially the printers) is why they're alive.

    • Workstations died because all the PC hardware and software got better, and by leaps and bounds.

      I think it started with the discovery that people could buy server motherboards and put them into desktops. Workstations were always about multiple processors and big bandwidth, and you could get there with a PC by buying a server motherboard. AMD + Intel's Mhz war just rocketed x86 way past where the likes of MIPS and Alpha could go through sheer brute force.

      Even in the late 1990s, I had a dual Pentium II that wa

      • by robthebloke (1308483) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @09:08AM (#27429639)
        There's also the Nvidia effect. All the old SGI engineers who worked on OpenGL and SGI hardware (Mark Kilgard etc al) all ended up working for Nvidia. Around the time of the geforce1, pretty much every single white paper and tech demo that came out of Nvidia was written by an ex-SGI employee. It was only going to be a matter of time before nvidia overtook SGI, and it's another reason why nvidia's openGL support has always been so strong.
      • by arth1 (260657)

        Workstations died because all the PC hardware and software got better, and by leaps and bounds.

        No, workstations died because all the PC hardware and software was both cheaper and easier to buy. Quality and features had little to do with it. (You still can't get a 15k RPM drive unless you buy or build your own workstation, for example. Nor tape backup.)

    • The only ones that are still around and thriving are Sun, IBM, and HP.

      You forgot Apple - OS X is a certified Unix after all.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by swordgeek (112599)

      Generally correct, although a few things that I would argue.

      #1: IBM and HP are both companies that do something other than Unix. SGI quit selling MIPS gear and had announced the end of the road for Irix a while back. That means that Sun is the only pure Unix company left standing--and the idiotic BoD is trying to get bought by anyone willing to fatten their wallets.

      Interestingly, Apple's OS X and Sun's (Open)Solaris are the only Unixes that are (a) available on commodity hardware, and (b) actively being dev

    • They're just going the way of DEC and just about every other Unix vendor. The only ones that are still around and thriving are Sun, IBM, and HP. But those too are slowly dying the old Unix death, done in by Linux I suppose.

      IBM and HP as still surviving. They diversified into other markets though. IBM sells service more these days. Also not in your list is Apple. All Macs are Unix machines and they even sell workstations (MacPro) and servers (Xserve). I think in terms of sheer sales, Apple sells more Un

    • by jonbryce (703250)

      HP make most of their money from printers, which have nothing to do with Unix other than that some of them might work with Unix computers.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I remember when Everex and Kodak (and Dell too?) all got out of the Unix/SVR4 business. Kodak got out by selling to Sun. I seem to recall that Everex sold off their Unix operation for a paltry $100K.

    I really wonder why Rackable is even bothering? Do they think the companies using SGI iron today will keep buying more stuff an SGI label on the front?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 02, 2009 @08:06AM (#27428941)

    It was obviously going to be all downhill for SGI when they replaced their cool cube logo with the useless text logo....

    • by anss123 (985305)

      It was obviously going to be all downhill for SGI when they replaced their cool cube logo with the useless text logo....

      Boring sells in business.

  • It's real (Score:4, Informative)

    by confused one (671304) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @08:13AM (#27428997)
    It doesn't sound like Rackable is paying much for SGI's assets; but, they are picking up SGI's considerable debt, several hundred million dollars, in the deal. So, the up front $25 million cash is only a small part of the total "cost" of the transaction.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by robthebloke (1308483)
      you sure they are picking up the dept though? They put SGI into Chapter 11 immediately after the deal was signed...
      • from the press release on SGI's site:

        Rackable Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:RACK), a leading provider of servers and storage products for medium to large-scale data centers, today announced its agreement to acquire substantially all the assets of Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI) (NASDAQ: SGIC) for approximately $25 million in cash, subject to adjustment in certain circumstances, plus the assumption of certain liabilities associated with the acquired assets.

        Note the statement about assumption of liabilities. They may not end up with all of SGI's debt. According to Bloomberg

        The new Chapter 11 petition, filed today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, listed assets of $390 million against debt of $526 million. Liabilities include $141.5 million on a secured term loan and $20.7 million on a secured revolving credit.

        The assets cannot be sold without the secured debt holders being satisfied. They may not end up with all of the debt. In the past bankruptcy SGI's unsecured debt was reduced to 26 cents on the dollar. A similar reduction may occur this time.

    • Re:It's real (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mikael (484) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @09:38AM (#27430093)

      SGI bought out part of Cray, the supercomputing/interconnect part. Sun bought out the other part of Cray, the storage systems part. Even if a company is in debt and has no sales, the patent portfolio is worth something even if it is for counter-litigation purposes.

      • Many of the old cray patents are expired, and some have gone to the new Cray Inc.

        The problem on the IP front is that SGI already leveraged most of their IP a long time ago. Most of it is already sold, cross-licensed, or expired.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by virtual_mps (62997)

        SGI bought out part of Cray, the supercomputing/interconnect part. Sun bought out the other part of Cray, the storage systems part. Even if a company is in debt and has no sales, the patent portfolio is worth something even if it is for counter-litigation purposes.

        No, Sun bought the interconnect (it was eventually sold as the E10k series and made a ton of money outside the supercomputing space). SGI bought the nameplate, the legacy systems (you could buy a Cray T3E or SV1 from SGI and it would come with a Sun workstation to boot it up), and entry into a shrinking market. SGI never made any money on their purchase and ended up selling it for a loss. This kind of brain dead management is why SGI is in the trouble it is in.

        SGI's storage systems came from its StorageTek

    • I'm sure they're not picking up the debt. Rackable doesn't have the assets to pick up that debt. They are picking up the company for essentially nothing, but SGI has lost money every quarter for years. So they can expect to take on those loses for at least a couple of quarters. They won't owe the creditors, but they still have to pay some sort of severence to all the people they let go, and figure out how to do something with SGI's customer list and try to turn it into new rackable business.

      There are valuab

      • See my comment above. Rackable is picking up $390 million in assets for $25 million + liabilities associated with the assets. I am assuming that that liability is the existing secured debt of approximately $162 million and possibly some fraction of the remaining unsecured debt (SGI's total debt is $526 million according to Bloomberg).
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ari_j (90255)
      You are likely incorrect. This is an asset purchase, and it appears that all debts and other liabilities of SGI are being retained in the surviving SGI corporation with no assets other than the $25M in cash. That's the reality, regardless of bankruptcy. Bankruptcy will just allow SGI to pay off its $500M or so in debts with $25M in cash.
    • It doesn't sound like Rackable is paying much for SGI's assets; but, they are picking up SGI's considerable debt, several hundred million dollars, in the deal.

      No, Rackable isn't picking up all of SGI's debt. TFA [rackable.com] says Rackable is assuming certain liabilities relating to the assets.

      Falcon

  • O2 (Score:2, Informative)

    by gers0667 (459800)

    My O2 is running OpenBSD, now. Too bad I can't get the latest versions of IRIX. It was pretty impressive what that little O2 could do.

    My Octane does a pretty good job of holding the carpet down.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Dan Ost (415913)

      My Octane does a pretty good job of holding the carpet down.

      Stupid uppity carpets

  • Old friends (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hwyhobo (1420503) on Thursday April 02, 2009 @10:05AM (#27430547)

    It almost broke my heart when during the remodeling I finally decided to put my old Sun workstation out to pasture - literally, into the backyard, to be picked up by trash folks later. It looked at me with that big monitor, "is that what you do to your elders?". A few years back it was my first Pentium, all SCSIed up and nowhere to go. Then it was my first 386, with extra drives hanging on ribbons out of a half-opened case. Before that it was my XT, along with its sharp yellow Casper monitor. I couldn't bear even to look at it. We spent so much time together. The only thing that remains from those days is my VT220 terminal which I used to log in to work through a modem to work remotely.

    I never owned an SGI machine, but I knew people who worked there. SGI was in my back yard, so to speak. We were all so proud or "our" companies and "our" valley. There was no cooler place to live on the planet.

    I also remember when Computer Literacy Bookstore closed down. I remember looking into the empty space at North First St. I remember when Kim Vestal's "Get your buns out of bed!" did not ring out in the morning.

    Our friends leave us every day. Every time the world gets a little grayer. When it's all colorless, it may be time for us to go.

  • as was HP and Sun, until Linux and OpenBSD Unix took away a lot of their marketshare by allowing cheaper Unix boxes based on Intel X86 PC systems to exist.

    Who needs an expensive SGI Irix box when you can build a Linux box a lot cheaper?

    The same thing happened to Amiga, Inc. and Be, Inc. when Windows 95 and Linux showed that they could compete with AmigaOS and BeOS on cheaper Intel X86 PC clones.

The Universe is populated by stable things. -- Richard Dawkins

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