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RE: BeOs

Just to add to this a bit....

SGI is pushing Linux to replace IRIX in the high end arena, as well,
such as the Origin 2000 series, the Origin 3000 series, the Onyx 2 and
3, the Origin 200 and the presumptive Origin 300.  As a guy who has
some of these machines in a mixed Linux/IRIX environment, I'm 
quite aware of where SGI is going according to their roadmap.

This actually might be one of the most exciting developments in
Linux coming... not only is the Cluster Supercomputer concept 
nearly the sole realm of Linux, but now the Big Iron boxes are
migrating to Linux... eventually, the same Linux OS that you 
have on your workstation will be the OS running the Supercomputers.
And with SGI's Supercomputing Visualization, so will the hot
graphics apps.  And no, I'm not an SGI employee either; I'm
an SGI customer.

Bill Ward

-----Original Message-----
From: Kevin Holmquist [mailto:kevinh netronin org]
Sent: Thursday, October 19, 2000 1:04 AM
To: redhat-list redhat com
Subject: Re: BeOs

Hi Michael,

----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael R. Jinks" <mjinks uchicago edu>
To: <redhat-list redhat com>
Sent: Tuesday, October 17, 2000 8:58 AM
Subject: Re: BeOs

> I've wondered about this myself.  SGI based a significant portion of
> their business on multimedia Unix boxes; granted the OS they used was
> IRIX and the platform was mostly MIPS, and SGI is now headed directly for
> the dustbin, so I wouldn't recommend that anybody actually buy an SGI
> machine for anything real these days.  (On that note, Be ain't doing so
> hot either last I checked.)

A few notes about the whole IRIX, MIPS, graphics thing:

First, If you were implying that IRIX is some arcane, off-the-wall OS that
doesn't resemble any other OS, than your incorrect.  IRIX is a full Unix
flavor and you can thank IRIX for the rc.d system we enjoy in Linux.

SGI boxes achieve their high graphics performance through two things: a)
very high bandwidth i/o and b) not using Xwindows at all!  The graphics
functions are handed off to a 'graphics pipe' which is essentially a
computer-on-a-board that does nothing but render images to a display.
Xwindows is used as a terminal for configuration and often isn't even

As far as being 'headed directly for the dustbin,' I think it's a little
premature to write off SGI.  True, anything's possible in the 'wild west'
financial market, but SGI can still do things that no one else can, and some
of their new products look very promising (www.networkcomputing.com has done
some write ups on Linux recently and were very impressed with SGI's Linux

> But SGI proved it could be done long before there was a BeOS.  Linux seems
> to be going pretty strong these days, modern hardware is fast enough to
> around some of X's bottlenecks (provided you're running X server and
> on the same machine, at least), or there are some alternative windowing
> systems coming up (I've not tried any of them) which promise better
> performance than X can put out.
> A lot of the development in recent kernel versions has promoted
> Video now has kernel-level support depending on the card you have.  Sound
> has been getting better.
The problem isn't hardware; it's drivers.

I think it was put best in an interview with an Nvidia engineer (I don't
remember his name); he said 'we've had ten years to develop Windows drivers
and less than one year to develop drivers for Linx.'  All it takes is time
for Linux development to mature.

You are correct, however that xwindows can be a bottleneck.

> As SGI spirals downward, they appear to be trying to get as much of their
> technology out in the open as they can, before the company goes away.
> Probably the best example of this is their release of IRIX's filesystem
> and volume management software into open source, but there has been other
> stuff as well IIRC.

Again, you are corect, but for the wrong reason.  SGI is refocusing on their
core strengths and they regard Linux as an essential part of  their
strategy.  SGI has not only open sourced some of their software, but they
have released entire lines of new machines that run Linux.  They have also
pushed Nvidia to support Linux (see www.tomshardware.com for a review of
Nvidia's graphics drivers) and I as a Geforce owner, thank them.  SGI's
basic strategy is this: IRIX for the high end, Linux for the middle/low end,
and NT/Solaris for clients.

I know I'm being a little defensive and I apologise; and no I'm not an SGI
employee.  I do work with SGI boxes, however, and can testify to their
potential.  Besides, I view anyone that truly supports Linux, rather than
ride on it's coattails (*cough* Dell *cough*) as someone worth supporting in



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