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Silicon Graphics The Almighty Buck

SGI Warns That Bankruptcy Might Be Year-End Option 307

tbcpp writes "OS News reports: "SGI issued its most ominous regulatory filing to date, warning that a bad 2006 could force the former high-flyer into bankruptcy. In order to improve its business, SGI will consider measures ranging from axing or selling off product lines to pursuing 'a strategic partner or acquirer.' The hardware maker will basically look at anything and everything to remain a going concern.""
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SGI Warns That Bankruptcy Might Be Year-End Option

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  • The Circle Closes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday February 09, 2006 @08:52PM (#14683467) Journal
    Recently I was working on a project that involved an SGI server. It was initially just for simulation but it needed to render LADAR images and also show pretty graphics of planes flying over terrain.

    When I got up to present it, I had made a video that captured the output through a capture device of the SGI box. It was a real pain in the ass to capture that in high quality but I did. One of the females in the audience (and it was a large audience) raised her hand and asked me why it looked like shit. I told her that it was because SGI servers concentrate on points of location--not really graphics. She balked at my explanation and kind of scoffed at me for not finding another alternative that sold better. She told me her son's PS2 rendered better graphics than that. I agreed though I said her son's PS2 wasn't concerned about exact locations and LADAR images.

    What I'm trying to say is that they've been surpassed in quality.

    Oh, and another thing, I had to get these LADAR images across the network onto a Windows machine that was running a webservice. Let me tell you that the support for NTFS and SAMBA servers on SGI servers is really not there anymore. I barely got something to work and that was pretty ganky.

    My coworker (who is ten years older than I) told me that those purple boxes used to sell for ~$125k. Now, he says you can pick up the newer ones for around $25k. That's quite the drop in market dominance.

    Goodbye SGI, I'm sorry things didn't work out better for you. You lost site of what kept you floating. In the long long ago, I hear tell you made the product. Today, that foothold has crumbled.
    • Re:The Circle Closes (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Xzzy ( 111297 )
      told me that those purple boxes used to sell for ~$125k. Now, he says you can pick up the newer ones for around $25k. That's quite the drop in market dominance.

      Actually I'd wager the price drop was to stay in competition with the growing dominance of cheap commodity hardware. Of course it didn't work, but that's besides the point.

      Place I'm at used to be a big SGI place.. O2000, 192 cpus, 48 GB memory, was a multi-million monster when it was new. It ran a batch server for user jobs. Then in 2001 they started
    • Re:The Circle Closes (Score:5, Interesting)

      by cgenman ( 325138 ) on Thursday February 09, 2006 @09:27PM (#14683755) Homepage
      I think your experience sums it up perfectly: there is a market out there for high-end commodity hardware.

      SGI could easily sell an amazing, high-end but commodity artist's station for 5k. SGI is a legendary brand, and could easily compete with Alienware for the multi-thousand dollar multi-graphics card gaming market. Or external "renderfarms in a box." Or one of a million other things that they could do with some technical wizardry on commodity hardware.

      Specialty hardware and OS's are going away. It is just too much RnD money to sink into chipsets that will only go into a few thousand machines, let alone the software layers required to make working with that power easy.

      • SGI is a legendary brand, and could easily compete with Alienware for the multi-thousand dollar multi-graphics card gaming market.

        Alienware doesn't make enough money to service SGI's debt.

        -jcr
  • ouch (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 09, 2006 @08:53PM (#14683472)
    well that's bad news for someone. They should try and sue someone using their patent portfolio. That seems to be in vogue at the moment.
    • Re:ouch (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Their competitors were smart enough to patent their own research, and then cross-licence the technology. They tried a lawsuit against Nvidia which was settled through cross licensing. 3dfx tried a lawsuit with Nvida, ran out of money, and ended up being bought up. If SGI tried any funny business now, they would end up like 3dfx.
  • them's the breaks (Score:5, Insightful)

    by winkydink ( 650484 ) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Thursday February 09, 2006 @08:54PM (#14683482) Homepage Journal
    They backed the wrong horse (Itanium) and don't appear to have a Plan B. We have some nice parting gifts and the home version of The Silicon Valley Company Game.

    SGI's heyday was when most people thought of them as The Purple Computer Company; the Jurassic Park Era. And yes, their lack of a brand identity and strategy was part of their undoing.
    • SGI's heyday was when most people thought of them as The Purple Computer Company; the Jurassic Park Era. And yes, their lack of a brand identity and strategy was part of their undoing.

      I don't think they had a lack of brand identity, I think thats all they had. I've only minimal exposure to SGI workstations, but I view them much like Sun or HPUX machines. Very expensive and very proprietary (and at one time very high performance). Perhaps a distorted view now - I haven't followed their Linux offerings.

      In

      • "I think this will eventually catch up to Sun also"

        Except sun is still innovative.

        dtrace, ZFS and zones on the software end (Solaris runs on sparc, x86 and amd64), UltraSPARC T1 on the hardware end (coolthreads, look it up). That said, they even offer linux machines if that's what floats your (phb's) boat.

        I don't work for Sun or anything either, btw.
    • If they'd had their dramatic culture shift towards Linux and back towards Openness only a year or two earlier, it would have made a big difference to them. Five years earlier, and they'd be dictating terms to the likes of Sun nowadays.

      Too little, too late. Pity, much of their gear is excellent. I suppose it's too late now for AMD64s on a stick or some other Plan B which slashes manufacturing costs without destroying quality.
      • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr&mac,com> on Thursday February 09, 2006 @10:23PM (#14684118) Journal
        If they'd had their dramatic culture shift towards Linux and back towards Openness only a year or two earlier, it would have made a big difference to them.

        Nope.

        What killed SGI was the standard Big Computer squeeze, just like it killed Cray, DEC, Tandem, DG, etc, etc. The commodity hardware improved enough to eat their lunch, and there just aren't enough of the super high-end customers to keep them in business.

        SGI could have survived by returning to their roots as a graphics hardware maker. Instead of ATI and Nvidia, we'd have SGI and a handful of also-rans, but SGI's management thought that making graphics boards for PCs was beneath them.

        -jcr

    • SGI's heyday was when most people thought of them as The Purple Computer Company; the Jurassic Park Era.

      The advert they had in various magazines and on their website in the early 1990's was perhaps too successful. This was the picture with several levels of scaffolding around a large Tyrannosaurus Rex, silhouettes of people standing around on the floor and the caption at the bottom: "SGI - helping build a better dinosaur". This was available in both low-resolution and high-resolution image formats (there's
    • They backed the wrong horse (Itanium) and don't appear to have a Plan B.

      Linux killed SGI, not Itanium. I've always argued that Linux is a far greater threat to traditional unix vendors. like Sun and SGI, than to Microsoft. Sun and SGI sold many systems to users who did not really need anything Sun or SGI specific. For some they just needed a generic unix box and a PC running Linux was a whole hell of a lot cheaper than a Sun. With PC graphics cards getting decent 3D hardware, some found a PC running Lin
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 09, 2006 @10:16PM (#14684066)
        It's amazing how quickly people forget. Ricky "Microsoft Mole" Belluzzo is the reason SGI got it's head-shot to begin with. Remember Rick? Yeah, he was the guy who, while working at HP back in the mid-90's, made the announcement that HP would be "dumping HPUX in favor of Windows NT" without any warning or approval, forcing HP to do the world's larged backpedal ever seen.

        He then went to sabotage SGI with the SAME STUPID GAMBIT, before finally going "home" to Microsoft.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 10, 2006 @03:40AM (#14685657)
          Yep. I have to agree with that. Instead of continuing Mips R10/12k development and continuing with IRIX, Belluzzo told all the engineers taht Mips and IRIX were dead... before there was anythign to switch to! I could hear the resumes being updated even as he spoke.

          SGI's greatest asset was its amazing engineers. Many strategies would have been possible for a management team that understood the power of the people SGI has in their engineering organization. Belluzzo was a commodity, cookie cutter guy. He couldn't create his way out of a paper bag. Good riddance.

              Steve, a former SGI system software developer
      • Linux killed SGI

        Not hardly. Linux hasn't killed any vendor, but it's fooled a couple of struggling ones by looking like a life preserver.

        -jcr
    • Let's not forget the outright bonehead moves in the mid-lates '90s.

      "We're going to compete in mid-range business servers". Squashed by IBM from above and Sun from below, especially as bankers think of them as "the Jurassic-Park people".

      "We're going to makes Windows NT boxes". Twice as long development as their competitors. Nice machines, steep price, wierd drivers, and ineffectual marketing (as well as insufficient effort porting key apps that Irix graphics customers were used to).

      "We're going t
  • So, so sexy (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 09, 2006 @08:54PM (#14683490)
    And to think I nearly forked over the cash to buy one of the machines. They were just so damn sexy. I easily would have given up beer for a few months to pay for one.

    I used to dream about these boxes. Of course whenever that wonderful experience came over me, the wife would wake me up for real sex.

    Gawd.
    • And to think I nearly forked over the cash to buy one of the machines.

      I've often window-shopped for SGI machines on Ebay. I just think its cool being able to purchase computers that used to cost tens of thousands of dollars for a couple hundred bucks. I've always balked though, because the big SGI machines use tons of electricity, have pretty skechy Linux support, and their keyboards, monitors, and peripherals are somewhat proprietary and thus rather pricey.

      So I have my poor-man's SGI: and Athlon-XP with

      • Re:So, so sexy (Score:2, Informative)

        have pretty skechy Linux support,

        You wouldn't run Linux on them, I hope. When you're running a classic UNIX box with high end graphics, you don't want whatever graphics support 'the hackers' have come up with, particularly when you're running a formerly rare expensive framebuffer. The same is true when running Sun's classic 'High End' framebuffers. The cg14 just isn't hacker friendly without the full docs that Sun won't provide.
      • Re:So, so sexy (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rs79 ( 71822 )
        " I just think its cool being able to purchase computers that used to cost tens of thousands of dollars for a couple hundred bucks."

        That's cause you haven't actually done it.

        I have a few bigass suns in my barn I picked up, 4 yrs old for like 2 cents on the dollar. Lots of cpus, ram and disk.

        Like I said, they're sitting in the barn now. My not so recent IBM 1U servers are way faster and use a tiny fraction of the power.

        The Suns would be ok space heaters if they wern't so damn noisy.
  • Altix, missteps (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cblack ( 4342 ) on Thursday February 09, 2006 @08:58PM (#14683520) Homepage
    This would be a real shame as SGI has talent for engineering great systems. The Altix is a really nice architecture, the idea being you start with a 4 CPU node and can scale to a very large system with a single system image, high availability, easy scalability of memory, cpu, storage and interconnect, and has nice management tools for partitioning, etc. Unfortunately the price of entry is a bit high, and I think that perhaps going with IA64 rather than the budding Opteron was a misstep at the time.
    I also feel they lost a lot of momentum by dabbling in various unpopular markets like high end NT workstations, expensive specialty graphics workstations (given this was a core market for them earlier, but high power graphics became commoditized) and didn't really strongly launch into the linux server market and make a big presence in time. If they had pushed a cheaper starting system for a scalable single system box they may have done better, but who knows.
    • I think that perhaps going with IA64 rather than the budding Opteron was a misstep at the time.

      It is unfortunate, but I am pretty sure that SGI committed to and started designing IA64 systems before Opteron was announced. I think SGI started its transition to IA64 shortly after it was announced.
      • I remember the party at Linux World when AMD announced their intent to design 64-bit extentions to the x86 architecture. I was working for SGI at the time. Only a few months after that we had prototype hardware with Itanium chips and were testing the heck out of it.
  • Everything dies
    End of story
  • by jigjigga ( 903943 ) on Thursday February 09, 2006 @09:00PM (#14683539)
    Dibs!
  • ...so that the investing public only needs to deal with one bankruptcy this year!

    Don't hate me; I just think that Sun has made some *questionable* decisions since I bought their stock :-(

  • Please let it be IBM (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Gothmolly ( 148874 ) on Thursday February 09, 2006 @09:12PM (#14683642)
    who buys their IP, that is, the IP which isn't secretly pwn3d by Microsoft already. That is, if SGI has any IP that isn't secretly pwn3d by IBM already, either. SGI gave us whizbang graphics, spiffy NUMA stuff, and XFS (and more, let the list begin here). Some of the people there are obviously clever. Let IBM buy them for a song, and set up a skunkworks project somewhere.
  • by wpg3 ( 601933 ) on Thursday February 09, 2006 @09:15PM (#14683659)
    I interviewed at SGI in the early 90s (for a compiler job). I was really impressed by the quality of the people there. But their stock performance was very, very mediocre, and I wondered why so many smart people could do things that don't shine in terms of corporate results.

    I have heard it said of Microsoft that they have so many really smart people, and you don't see it in the products that they actually release to us normal humans. (I have even heard people who work there say it: they say they have really cool stuff in house, that somehow never gets out, or when it gets out, the cool has been removed.)

    I'd be interested in hearing other examples of "really smart engineers working there but the results that outsiders see are mediocre". Amazon.com is another example that comes to mind (I used to work there).

    I do not have an explanation for why this happens so often.

    A counterexample: I worked at Apple in the early 90s and, given the amount of really dim or useless people we had there, we had really GREAT products.

    • I have heard it said of Microsoft that they have so many really smart people, and you don't see it in the products that they actually release to us normal humans.

      The same thing was also said about IBM Research.
    • by baryon351 ( 626717 ) on Thursday February 09, 2006 @09:36PM (#14683822)
      But their stock performance was very, very mediocre, and I wondered why so many smart people could do things that don't shine in terms of corporate results.

      In the late 1980s I saw the same thing happen with a Hyundai. Motoring magazines reported on a really nice sporty little car they'd prototyped. It was really cute two door, a unique looking convertible that would have sold like hotcakes. Then as it got closer & closer to release it gained full rear seats instead of being a 2+2 layout. Then it got a bigger trunk for more luggage, a fatter roofline for more rear-seat passenger room. The "radical" front styling was softened, then it was given another two doors. In the end it was just another small four door hyundai, and when released was received so poorly it never made it out of Asia.

      A press statement from Hyundai stated something along the lines of "market anticipation failed to convert to sales" when it was canned. That's because the beancounters, the conservative marketers massages the product into something virtually the antithesis of the original product the market built up its anticipation about.

      Seems a common theme in the big companies, where something good is created but because of a lack of forceful "no. don't touch" from smart management everyone gets to poke their fingers in and change things, making Yet Another Lowest Common Denominator Product.
      • lack of forceful "no. don't touch" from smart management

        That was one of the most interesting posts evar (or at least today).

        (And to think I let my last two mod points go to something I don't even remember. Maybe they lapsed. See, I don't remember.)

      • Man I wish I could find that Steve Jobs quote right now about great ideas slowly being killed as they work their ways through accounting and marketing departments.
    • Microsoft always has to leave some room for improvement, so that people will buy future releases. I'm sure they still regret the whole year 2000 "lets make good software" fiasco. Companies are going to keep running those 2k products until their hardware fails. That why they decided to delay Longhorn/Vista so many years.
    • I have heard it said of Microsoft that they have so many really smart people, and you don't see it in the products that they actually release to us normal humans

      It's a leadership problem. Would you expect a cretin like Ballmer to know what's worth developing?

      -jcr
    • I'd be interested in hearing other examples of "really smart engineers working there but the results that outsiders see are mediocre".

      Google.
    • I worked at Apple in the early 90s and, given the amount of really dim or useless people we had there, we had really GREAT products.

      You should see the place now. ;-)

      The remnants of Apple's Sculley-era management dysfunction are pretty well isolated. Poseurs don't last long anymore.

      -jcr
  • by rfernand79 ( 643913 ) on Thursday February 09, 2006 @09:16PM (#14683675)
    I wouldn't be surprised if Apple considers acquiring SGI. They certainly can afford it these days, and benefit from all the UNIX goodies that SGI has produced over the years.
  • by jihadi_lame ( 925725 ) on Thursday February 09, 2006 @09:24PM (#14683730)
    SGI faced the innovator's dilemma big-time; it was tricky to cannabalize their $2 billion workstation business for a $300 million graphics card market. And to move from being a full-system vendor to being a graphics card vendor. And even with all the management and business-issue problems, I noticed three problems their engineering effortsg never overcame:
    - trouble with quality and shipping on time (see IMPACT)
    - couldn't match/switch from 3-4-year development cycles of the workstation business to 6-month product cycles of the PC graphics card business
    - engineers were loath to give up control of the chipset/box/OS in order to settle for just controlling the graphics subsystem. They tried to be a full-system player in a PC world. Given that Compaq couldn't really do it (something that was at least semi-obvious at the time), its not a surprise they, coming from the workstation space, couldn't do it with their integrated NT workstations.
    - The engineers were delivering product that was differentiated but not in the areas that the biggest customers cared the most about. The benefits of UMA (unified memory architecture) graphics just weren't in sync with what the market most wanted: the fastest 3D at the cheapest price. And in the classic workstation space, polygon-pushing was what was most needed. Half their business was CAD workstations and in the end they lost that to Sun/HP/IBM who didn't have the sexy texture mapping stuff but could render polygons "good enough".

    SGI also benefitted from many years from the other workstation vendors under-investing in 3D graphics. When that era ended, even the workstation business they were in got a heck of a lot more competitive.

    Anyway, that's what comes to mind when I remember back to SGI in the mid-90s. In hindsight, I don't know of any silver bullets that would have gotten them out of the situation; it was death by a thousand cuts. At the time, I wondered if a merger with Apple would have made sense but it wasn't clear that the disfunctionality of the two organizations at the time would have melded into something better. (11072394) Maybe a damn good CEO could have helped them carve out a more defensible role in the industry; that's the only thing that got Apple through as far as I'm concerned.
  • Opengl ? (Score:4, Informative)

    by dmh20002 ( 637819 ) on Thursday February 09, 2006 @09:26PM (#14683743)
    A question and a comment:

    How will this affect Opengl or is it completely independent of SGI now?

    I recently took an opengl class at SGI in Mountain View. The class and material was good but the desktop SGI machines were less than impressive. The final application I ended up with ran at 20 fps on the SGI machine and at 250 fps on my vanilla dell 2.5ghz pentium with intel integrated graphics. I mean come on, they are supposed to be the graphics dudes. I forget which SGI model it was but is was a weirdly shaped purple mini-tower (couldn't stack anything on top of it, thats for sure). If they hoped to ever sell anything to the classroom attendees then they shouldn't have given us something that made them look so bad.
    • I thought they sold all the rights of Opengl to microsoft? Obviously microsoft has an interest to kill it off and make directx as teh new defacto standard to kill any competion
    • Re:Opengl ? (Score:2, Interesting)

      by sgidude ( 538156 )
      Smart question, it's an open standard now, with Apple being the key vendor who needs it the most, my guess is the driving force moves to them with the Card vendors keeping in step. For some history, the first SGI I worked with was a 4D20, which is back 1988 or so, did elections, game shows, weather gfx the whole lot with them. But now it's a PC world and Nvidia/ATI are driving it ( mind you Nvidia is SGI reincarnated in many ways, or how Jim Clark wanted it to go back in '93 or so ) and I would never want
    • by Blu-Ray ( 906616 )
      As far as I understand it, it seems the Standard Implementation is licensed under a BSD, mozilla alike license

      http://www.sgi.com/products/software/opengl/licens e.html [sgi.com]

  • by ArmedLemming ( 18042 ) on Thursday February 09, 2006 @09:26PM (#14683745)
    Back during the .com bubble bust, I was looking to invest in a company with some of my RedHat stock money I'd made (post IPO). A coworker who had been dabbling in trading heard my question. He suggested I invest into SGI. I looked 'em up and they were somewhere around $10. Having just invested in a stock that I bought at $50 and sold at double the price, I wasn't too keen on buying such an inexpensive stock. He just shook his head knowingly and looked at me with a big smile and said:

    "When there's blood in the streets, buy!"

    So i finally got around to buying it at $12/share. That was its peak. I waited and waited, but only lost and lost. I sold most of it at something like $5/share.

    Two lessons learned:

    1) Some companies have more blood than you think they do.
    2) I am not (nor was ever) a real stock trader.

    To hear that SGI's only now announcing the possibility of bankruptcy tells me they had years worth of blood left...

    (My friend never sold his stock and AFAIK still holds his shares!)
    • Another thing you should take-away from the experience is the importance of diversity. If you took that money and split it among five companies, one of them being an amazing success like Apple (which has gone up 8x in five years), and the other four being dismal failures that went bankrupt, you still would have made 60% returns on your entire portfolio.

      By investing in only one company, you really put yourself at a disadvantage.
    • Two lessons learned:

      1) Some companies have more blood than you think they do.
      2) I am not (nor was ever) a real stock trader.

      Sadly, you have not, but should also have learned:

      3) The difference between a bull and a bear

      I have to agree with BlackTriangle. It's obvious you don't know anything about stocks, and I hope you're at least smart enough to get out right away, before you lose everything.

      People act like the stock market is a money-making machine. But truthfully, it's a lot closer to a horse race or py

  • by postbigbang ( 761081 ) on Thursday February 09, 2006 @09:31PM (#14683780)
    Huge proprietary one-off systems, divisions that fight each other, a virtual pinball machine of executive changes, marketing that would make even DEC blush, it's no wonder why SGI is toying with Chapter 11. This after several years of trying to get themselves sold, is just so amusing.

    I have a strong pity for people that thought SGI was a Silicon Valley progenitor and captain, only to find that it was really a dopey engineering company determined to constantly reinvent the wheel, never use anything anyone else did, and had the quintessential not-invented-here sickness that nearly killed Silicon Valley after co-inventing it.

    It's my fervent hope that they just liquidate, and get it over with. My advice: skip Chapter 11 and go straight for seven, and put SGI and its employees (I've known many) out of its constant misery and pain.
  • nostalgia (Score:5, Interesting)

    by alphafoo ( 319930 ) <loren@boxbe.com> on Thursday February 09, 2006 @09:32PM (#14683792) Homepage
    SGI was my first non-government job, and my first time exposed to the Bay Area, back in the early 90's. SGI was just on a tear then, with Jurassic Park and virtual reality and so on, and it was a blast to work there. In fact, looking back, I'd say I was happier when I was at the office than when I wasn't. The people were brilliant, the products were dead sexy, and the environment was all about balance. For instance, while the group I worked in taught me a lot about what can be done with a polygon, they also introduced me to sumo wrestling (those padded costumes), windsurfing, motorcycle riding, a Grateful Dead concert (one of Jerry's last ones), and strip clubs (bachelor party for a team member).

    If there's ever a funeral for SGI, I'd show up.
  • by delire ( 809063 ) on Thursday February 09, 2006 @09:35PM (#14683818)

    They were responsible for the OpenGL spec itself, had a ton of influence on directions taken in the CG market generally, and instead sang endlessly about something called "Virtual Reality" while the rest of the world realised that unless it could be affordably domesticated, there would be no market for it. While NVIDIA and ATI said "Hey, mind if I check out this 'gaming' thing while you're out?" they were selling Caves with Dolby and a few O2's to CEOs of mining companies and a few UNI's once or twice a year.

    I know, I worked in one. SGI reps would come over with "THE FUTURE" written all over their face even when we were openly replacing their boxes with white PC's running GeForce cards.

    Snobbery or stupidity (they often converge), it is utterly their fault.
  • by CatOne ( 655161 ) on Thursday February 09, 2006 @09:36PM (#14683821)
    I mean, they have been circling for like 6 years now.

    I have a friend there, he says the've lost money for 28 straight quarters. The layoffs they do EVERY quarter don't exactly help morale, either.

    They're a premium brand, and USED to have cool stuff. They got passed in the graphics business, their bet on Itanium turned out to be a turkey, and the government isn't buying SGI stuff like they used to -- they used to have some nice hookups there.

    Turn out the lights, the party's over.
  • All the off world contacts and the Ori? Oh SG-I- not SG-1- ... Nevermind...
  • Just somebody please pick up the rights to OpenGL and make it Free.

    Anyone interested in forming an OpenGL foundation?

    • Re:OpenGL (Score:4, Informative)

      by atomic-penguin ( 100835 ) <wolfe21.marshall@edu> on Thursday February 09, 2006 @10:03PM (#14683987) Homepage Journal
      It's already free. Here is paragraph one of the license.
      (c) Copyright 1993, Silicon Graphics, Inc.

          ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

          Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software
          for any purpose and without fee
      is hereby granted, provided
          that the above copyright notice appear in all copies and that
          both the copyright notice and this permission notice appear in
          supporting documentation, and that the name of Silicon
          Graphics, Inc. not be used in advertising or publicity
          pertaining to distribution of the software without specific,
          written prior permission.
      • Re:OpenGL (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Trogre ( 513942 )
        That's true for the software, but not the OpenGL trademark.

        And what of subsequent revisions of the spec? Are they always guaranteed to be open?

  • Am I the only one who read that as SG1 at first glance? :P
  • Changes (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Phanominon ( 946057 )
    We all though Apple was dead and out too. And now look at them. It sounds like it is house cleaning time and a change of direction. The OpenGL standard is nice but really out dated. If a company created a real time ray tracer (RTRT) they could pomel the raster graphics erra. But this is just my opinion.
  • by sien ( 35268 ) on Thursday February 09, 2006 @10:03PM (#14683988) Homepage
    Soon Going Insolvent....
  • I see that, as usual, a lot of people are reading "bankruptcy" as "going out of business". Incorrect. Bankruptcy is just a legal device for walking away from your debts. Companies do it in order to survive.

    SGI will certainly be around for a while, though probably with fewer employees and products. Of course, they're already way past being an important player in the marketplace.

  • SGI *was* cool. How many of you has actually help the company by really *buying* some stuff from them?

    Apple *was* cool and *is* cool. I, like many many many of you, own an iPod.
  • by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Friday February 10, 2006 @12:03AM (#14684772) Homepage Journal
    Apple used to be on the verge of death as well, but Steve Jobs made the smart move of makeing the "i" series of products. The 'iMac' and the 'iPod" saved Apple and made it the powerhouse it is today.

    Using that same lowercase "i", SGI needs to create the following products:

    iRIX -- a new "internet" version of their operating system. Based on Unix and with a slick looking GUI, it should be named after various breeds of Dogs.

    iNDIGO -- A candy-colored all-in-one box, preferably purple, that glows while it's on, pulsates while downloading data from the network and runs absolutely silently.

    iNDY -- A smaller version of the sam box. Maybe plays MP3s.

    This series of moves should save them from death...

    TTYL
    Brian C.

  • Silicon **GRAPHICS** Inc.

    Yeah - GRAPHICS.

    They made a pretty OK server thingy - with a UNIX kinda thing - and they were black and purple with sexy blue lights...but in the end, the only thing that was truly, utterly, unique was blindingly fast realtime 3D graphics.

    The very day the 3Dfx Voodoo and the TNT and their ilk appeared, you could get fast-ish 3D for $300 instead of $500,000. You just can't sustain a market in that environment. SGI's hardware was quite a bit better than the PC cards of the day - but
  • by sadangel ( 702907 ) on Friday February 10, 2006 @12:57AM (#14685077)
    Maybe they aren't taking in cash hand over fist like they used to, but SGI still holds some serious patents that are being used by Nvidia, ATI, and other major players. I doubt they will go the SCO route and start suing everyone, but don't be surprised if there is a bidding war over this particular bloated corpse.

  • SGI'ers know what I'm talking about...

  • by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Friday February 10, 2006 @06:23AM (#14686079) Homepage Journal
    See "Lost In Space" The Movie, to see what I'm talking about. SGI got a plug in the film as co-funding the trip the Robinsons were taking. D'oH!

    I guess that's like the PAN-AM logo on the Shuttle in Kubrick's 2001.

    Or the ATARI logo in Blade Runner.

    Hrmm. The one thing you should not put in a Sci-Fi film is an existing corporate logo... Seems to be the kiss of death.

Recent research has tended to show that the Abominable No-Man is being replaced by the Prohibitive Procrastinator. -- C.N. Parkinson

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