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Silicon Graphics

SGI Name Change 74

TurboDog sennt us a link to an article that suggests that SGI will change its name on wed. I'm waiting for word from my SGI contacts, but so far this is just a rumor. Update: 04/12 05:44 by CT : chrisd noted that their signs are covered up on shoreline... Update: 04/12 08:29 by CT : a few folks have wrote in to say that Silicon Graphic's new name will be.... SGI. Bummer.
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SGI Name Change

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  • Then they are now SILICAN(c) Graphics! Amazing!
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  • Posted by Gargamelo:

    I'm not sure what kind of applications you are using, but I sure as hell am not going to be using my NT box with a TNT2 for real time visualization anytime soon. Even suggesting that such a sytem could be anywhere near as capable as my InfiniteReality2 system with 4 MIPS 10000 processors is cause for someone to be drawn and quartered. Until you have really used both systems, you really can't know the difference.

    As for I/O bandwidth, the virtual reality cave that I work in is going to have more than a few problems with 4X AGP. Rendering and sending out four different channels of video 30 times a second is not a job for AGP.
  • I doubt you know what you're talking about. Most of us see nothing but rather focused, intense praise for the O2k servers, *primarily* for its I/O, and *then* for its CPU performance.

    And I don't know what magical store *you* can go to to pick up a $99 card to match an Octane's gfx, but all the rest of us who must live in the Real World where DoomII can't really be used to model and animate recognise that that $99 card won't be worth butkis for real work.

    The geometry performance in an Octane MXE still hasn't been surpassed by any PC/NT-based technology. For that matter, neither has Reality Engine2. Fast pixel fill rates are nothing. Fast pixel fill rates won't rotate 2 million polygons per second, shaded, textured, and antialiased.

    It amazes me to think that you could possibly think so. Have you ever actually used an Octane?

    The commodity 3D PC market is just that: a commodity, equivalent to toothpicks and toothpaste. An SGI is for professional, high-end work, when you need Hitachi earthmovers and concrete instead of said toothpicks.

    The commodities have their place. But their place is nowhere near an SGI.

    The remainder of your post is unqualified commentary, unfortunately. I instead suggest more research into what constitutes 3D development on NT and IRIX, respectively.

    In case my password doesn't quite work:
    Scott Elyard. http://www.stonebug.net/
  • ...has been bought, sold, stuffed, stamped, filed, briefed, debriefed, indexed, or numbered.

    And if anyone here can make 5 Billion a year in business disappear in, say, a month, then, and only then, will I believe that large companies like SGI (or Sun or Apple) are dying.

    Where do you people get these arrant flapdoodles of nonreality?

  • SGI myth and reality:

  • For a very good reason. "SGI" is their
    new name, according to the rumors. Except it doesn't stand for anything anymore. It's not an acronym. Just a horrible lame three-letter logo.

    I used to work there. I absolutely loved it, and I still love their Unix and their Unix computers. But this is exactly the sort of lame thing they waste their money on. I sure will miss their terrific corporate culture, but with braindead management decisions like this, they get what they deserve, unfortunately.


  • How About: Cube made of an endless pipe-looking thingy? Hey, at least it'll be consistant. What's that thing supposed to be anyway?
    Steven Webb
    System Administrator II - Juneau and TECOM projects
    NCAR - Research Applications Program
  • Dude, he said "O2K", which means Origin 2000. No one in their right mind is trying to position the O2 as anything more than a Blue Macintosh :)

    Besides the Ultra 10k's from Sun kick the crap out of the O2Ks...

  • Shoot, I figured I was the last person to find out about this, and I knew last week. Check the new logo [uspto.gov], courtesy U.S. Patent and Trademark Office...

    (Random aside: This seems similar to "The American Telephone and Telegraph Corporation" changing their name to "AT&T" about 10 years ago. Maybe SGI felt that "Silicon" was going the same way as "Telegraph".)

  • I was merely commenting on how often EITHER a name change OR a merger is an indication of the health of a company.

    Anyone who has lived through a merger can attest to the later.

    As for the former, name changes are generally an attempt to put distance between a company and mistakes people associate with it. Think ValuJet became AirTran (a combination name change/merger), and the other examples sited.

    Companies make huge investments in branding themselves, and making the name they have chosen mean something. When they abandon that name after pouring such resources into a corporate identity, then something is wrong. It isn't done just out of desire for something new.

    Seems SGI probably is just removing the "Silicon Graphics" longhand version of the moniker everyone knows them as anyway, "SGI", to indicate they don't just do graphics. That's more a shift in which identity they are focusing on than a complete change. If they were changing the name to "Bedan Systems", or another drastic change, then that would indicate they were abandoning years of imprinting the SGI name on customers, and hence, something really was amiss.

    Like, if I see "Inprise", I never think Borland. Borland used to make pretty cool tools. I have no idea what Inprise does.
  • Doesn't it seem name changes and mergers both mean the same thing... a company is dying?

    Look at Borland, er, Inprise.
  • The 3d performance is actually far superior to a 3dfx card, if you run an application that's worthwhile.

    PC 3d cards only accelerate fill rates, not geometry transformation. Quake is mainly large polygons with textures that takes advantage of the PC fill rate, while avoiding the geometry transformation problem. The Octane targets CAD work, and therefore much more focused on geometry transformations.

    It may not be very impressive on a fill-rate game like Quake, but can push the 3d models displayed in game magazines around with hardly a sweat.
  • I suspect it's the logo change, which we saw posted on /. some time ago. (I enter this speculation not having read the mentioned article, as it's been slashdotted already.)
  • Just got the latest issue of Game Developer. Inside are some more of the "It's Alive!" ads that SGI is running. The new logo is indeed the one mentioned before in the quickies.

  • You would think that they would get basic graphics right, but they are busy trying to get their feet back underneath of them.

    I'm going to miss the cube too. Even though it looks sort of 80'ish, I like it.
  • Now I'm glad I took a picture of their corporate headquarters. Something to show my nephews when they ask how they made those movies way back in the 90's.
  • Remember Radius? They became Digital Origin after the Mac market collapsed a few years ago. A slowly dying Broderbund split their gaming division into Red Orb, and tried to reserve the "Broderbund" name for non-gaming software before they were eaten up. It's kinda like buying a porsche and dyeing your hair when you hit 50.
  • Started Going Intel
  • Hmm. It looks like the Volkswagen logo. Pretty blase really.
  • Noticed on that logo page that it says: SILICAN GRAPHICS, INC.. not silicon.. :-)

    Silican? Better than Silican't, I suppose..

    (yes, i'm aware it's probably a typo)

  • KenTacoHut = KFC + Taco Bell + Pizza Hut

    PepsiCo owns KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut. To maximize their patrons choices, PepsiCo has merged these three restaraunts in a few locations. I know there is at least one in San Diego. I've never eaten there, though. (I am a paranoid vegetarian.)

  • Well, it sure didn't take long for the /. effect to take this server down.
  • Hahaha! Fool!

    Sure, TNT-2 provides faster than normal CPU->AGP bandwidth? Sure, the memory I/O of such a system will beat a SGI? Sure, you can make broadcast quality graphics with a TNT-2?

    Be glad you posten anonymously..
  • Perhaps some of you remember the changeover that AT&T made (thought it wasn't such a big deal) from AT&T standing for American Telephone & Telegraph to just AT&T, not standing for anything. Obviously this is because they provide more than just telephones & telegraphs (well. not telegraphs) But they want to keep people from getting too confused if they ahd changed their name. This is sort of like what SGI is doing, but SGI is a little more drastic.. Since they apparently don't just make graphical workstations anymore, this should reflect their new image.
  • Well, if you think about it, they all sell the same thing.. Rat meat, cheese, pepsi. (heh. now I know why they have a million signs that say pepsi in pizza hut :) )
  • How about Sicilian Graphics Inc...as in "Never go in against a Sicilian when DEATH is on the line! Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha ha ha ha....*THUD*"

  • You might want to get a bit informed on SGI's product line before you start making conclusions.

    Granted, the commoditization of the 3D hardware business has hurt SGI. But there is not way in hell you are going to match an Octane, much less the old Indigo2 I am writing this on, with a $99 graphics card from Best Buy.

    Secondly, they aren't positioning the O2 platform as a server. That is what the Origin platform is for. It is well suited to I/O intensive and server-based applications. Try heading on over to www.sgi.com and checking out the specs.

  • by irix ( 22687 )
    So I missed the 'K', but that doesn't change anything - the Origin 2000 is still an excellent server. And you still can't get a $99 graphics card from Best Buy that will turn your PC into an SGI workstation.

    We have a 4 processor O2K here, but only a Sparc 20 so I can't compare your assertion :)
  • KFC stood for Kentucky Fried Chicken, but the Colonel wanted people to forget his food is fried. yuck...

    Also probably because it's not just in Kentucky anymore and it's not chicken. (mmm.. rat meat) :)

  • JWZ mentions something similar to this... [jwz.org]

    It's this kind of story that really enforces one's belief that working for yourself can only be a good thing.


    One thing I've always liked about SGI is their impressive looking logo and interesting out of the ordinary case designs. Now one of those coolness factors is gone.

    What's wrong with the current logo? It symbolizes 3D rendering and is quite professional looking. The new one is just simple and unimpressive. Sorry, SGI, you just blew it big time.

  • Did I say real time visualization? No, I said that hardware 3D is being pushed into the consumer market, making it more of a commodity than anything else. And I also didn't suggest that a 4 CPU RISC UNIX system is going to be faster than a Wintel box. BUT... The Wintel box is about 1/4 - 1/10 the price of the InfiniteReality2, and for model design, scene design, all the pre-render work that goes into big projects, the Wintel box is WORLDS better than an Indy, an O2, even in some cases an Octane. My point was that SGI was seeing THESE markets disappear, and decided to supplement them with server sales. And IMO, their server offerings are expensive, difficult to maintain, and simply not robust enough for use in a customer-facing production environment.
  • I'll _crush_ that Indigo2 with a dual P2-400 and a TNT2. If you want to limit hardware to what's out now, substitute a Rage128.
  • I'll tell you why they're changing things. Someone else noticed it too, the sudden huge market for 3d hardware acceleration on the desktop.

    Since 3d hardware has pretty much become a commodity, they can't charge inordinate sums of money for their product, when you can walk down the stree to the local Best Buy and get a $99 card with fill- and polygon rates to match an Octane. (granted, CPU power is a different matter, but I digress) Why dou you think they pitched the low-end IRIX-based platforms in favor of a Wintel solution? Because all the really fast-paced, forward looking development in 3d hardware is occuring over there.

    unfortunately, they've decided to reposition themselves as a server vendor, a task which (unfortunately) neither IRIX nor the O2K platform are really prepared to handle. They may be able to make fantastic rendering farms, but for heavy, sustained, I/O intensive server-type tasks, there are better solutions out there.

  • ... an 18-wheeler chock full of SGI, ehm, sgi, technology. A trade show on wheels, it has (at least when I worked it) a small O2K, deskside Onyx2, about a half a dozen workstations (Octanes and O2s) and in the very back, a kick-ass three-pipe Onyx2 Infinite Reality dual-rack.
  • The rest of the Unix world never had a piece of th VFX pie. Sure Sun, HP, IBM et al have had the occasional stab in the past and backed away just as fast. Their current offerings (strike Sun) are typified by the generic "NT too" offerings. The platform SGI defined is solely responsible for the proliferation of graphics visualisation at the high end. It is a credit to their hardware and software vision that they garnered the richest core of software developers.
    Remember my response was to a comparison of SGI's worth to a cheap PC and 3D card and I would agree that there are better flavours of Unix for enterprise level businesses.
    "Most high end benchmarks" is a big call though. What percentage is most? Benchmarks for what? And no, I don't particulary think it is a big issue unless those O2000 users spend most of their business time running benchmarks, is there money in this? Please explain.
    Last general impression I had of benchmarks was they were generally useless for measuring application* specific performance.
    *as in "use of" not "software"

  • Yet another gameboy freak who thinks real world performance is measured by fps in Quake. Snap out of it kid, why do you think that every major VFX studio in Hollywood uses SGI for their grunt work. Its cause these monsters don't choke when the benchmark is over, they keep on truckin'. Flexibility, scalability, reliability. A frontend to backend solution in hardware and software. These are the other measurements of performance. You'd be suprised how quickly any initial saving on a NT box dissapear when they go belly up during production. Stick yer head out the window, see it, do ya? That's the real world mate!
  • No....

    The place that ran the article *about* SGI.

  • Heh... I just went there and it's still down. Did you notice what the server was running? (IIS)

    So does anyone know what they might be changing their name to... and why?

  • Just curious what evidence backs up the claim that Suns Ultra 10k pounds an origin2k? Not to mention, I have a hard time believing many of you have actually sat down and done some seriou I/O testing with many of these boxes.

    There is actually data out there (and real software) that can record and play real-time uncompressed 1080i HDTV off an Onyx 2 Infinate Reality engine (which is basically an 8 proc r10k Origin with graphics) at a sustained rate for as long as your storage can go. Sure Sun's make great FTP servers, but there aren't many machines that can handle sustained polygon and 3D data changes in crash modeling or real-time surface mapping.

    I also find it hard to believe that my Origin can't go toe to toe with an Ultra 10k when we're pounding with 12 clients rendering 2k 16bit film scans and Maya models, all at once. The only bottle neck I have is with network bandwidth.

  • I, for one, would like to see SGI gain back some of it's now lost market share. SGI used to be a kick ass, progregressive company with state-of-the-art graphics systems. They still are to some extent, but have lost some of the shimmer associated with the Silicon Graphics name.

    I'm happy to see their new Intel systems. If you have looked at the specs, you can see they are not your off-the-shelf P-II systems. They are completely custom from the ground up. SGI is just trying to stay competitive. When have you been able to get this type of hardware and support for such a low price? SGI's RxK workstations cost many more times as much as the new Intel boxen.

    People need to give SGI a break, wait and see how things pan out for them, and see how their new Intel systems perform before being so critical. I'm certainly interested.
  • I believe it's suppose to be an endles pipe-looking thingy!:-) The problem is that you view it in static 2-D. At least since I 1st worked on a Personal Iris about 10 yrs ago, SGI has had a demo program that displayed the pipes. By moving the mouse with one of the button pressed, you could make that thing rotate in real-time while it did the rendering (lighted polygons). Not so impressive today, but back then it was pretty slick.

    I used to view the SGI pipes as sort of a 3-D version of the Sun logo. I don't know if SGI had this in mind, but to me it seemed like a way to differentiate between the two companies.
  • So they're changing the name from Silicon Graphics, Inc. to SGI. From now on, the initials officially don't mean anything.

    Big deal.
  • If they're changing their name, then how come they've got painters putting up their new "sgi" logo right now?
  • Hmmm.. have you noticed that a lot of the product shots on the website have had the new logo hastily retouched on? I think their GD department need a few lessons in quality retouching. =)

    _S_ervers, _G_raphic workstations, and _I_nsights? Pah. No sign of the wireframe cube, though. =(
  • The new logo was posted in the quickies a while ago... Here it is...

    http://trademarks.uspto.gov/cgi-bin/ifetch4?ENG+ PEND+3+950865+0+-1+-1+F+1+2+1+MS%2fSGI#Cgi Bottom

    I tried to put it in a real link but the Slash parser for some reason put a space after the "S" in "SGI"... Hmmm

  • I think AT&T changed their name because the Wall Street JOurnal and others kept referring to them as "American Telephone", and they didn't like the confusing press.

    3M still makes Mining products, and is still Minnesota Mining and Manufaturing on paper.
  • by Anonymous Shepherd ( 17338 ) on Monday April 12, 1999 @12:57PM (#1938290) Homepage
    If anyone's been successfully able to link and read the article, since it's /., I'd much appreciated if you could respond and tell us all what the speculation is?

    I believe it's more a logo change than a name change, but again, I can't read the article...

    Thanks much!

"The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception a neccessity." - Oscar Wilde