My SGI O2: Down Off the Shelf and Back On the Desk


A quick update regarding the SGI O2 system I’ve written about a few times over the years. I grabbed an O2 setup on eBay back in 2003 (went in looking for an Indy, but the O2 seemed a better proposition) which consisted of an SGI O2 unit with a 64-bit 175MHz MIPS R10000 CPU, the O2 media interface card with camera, and a new-in-box 17-inch SGI 1600SW display and video interface card. It’s a sweet little system that I had setup and running down in the basement computer room for several years until I picked up an Apple Lisa 2/10 (in 2005) and needed desk space to set that up. I shelved the O2, intending to bring it back out one day.

screen-shot-2016-11-28-at-11-23-40-amThat day was last Tuesday.

What inspired me to bring it out was a series of videos that “Dodoid” / “DodoDude700” is publishing which take a look at the history of SGI. Here’s part I and part II. They’re worth a watch.

While there’s zero unused desk space across the six desks I’ve got down in the Byte Cellar, my office in DC has a huge amount of unused space. Two morning Uber trips in to the District was all it took. In the three years I’ve been working here I’ve brought in my Apple //c, my SAM440ep-Flex PowerPC-based “Amiga,” and a Raspberry Pi. And, joining them now, is the O2. It’ll be nice to be able to use it occasionally, as I do the other systems on my desk.

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7 Responses to My SGI O2: Down Off the Shelf and Back On the Desk

  1. Allen Schreiber says:

    What version of IRIX that the O2 is running? Wikipedia lists 6.5.30 as the last update. There were some free updates, but the last few updates required a support agreement.

    • Blake Patterson says:

      Bootup messages just say 6.5. I am not recalling if it’s actually 6.5.x or if its not. I got the install CDs from the chap in Britain with the huge SGI, Ian Mapleson years ago.

  2. Allen Schreiber says:

    I’ve only spent a little bit of time on IRIX. I briefly had some Indy workstations at work, but they were running a revision of IRIX that was not Y2K-compliant. The prices for getting updates were way out of reach so we shuffled them off to another department, where I heard they sat unused in a stack in their machine room for two or three years before being sent of to surplus.

  3. Pingback: A Glimpse of Paradigm Simulation’s ‘Certain Impact’ for SGI / IRIX | Byte Cellar

  4. Nick says:

    have been looking for just the case and a working cd rom of SGI O2 computer. hard to find.

  5. VK2FVAX says: has the inst sets it seems.

    You need to say “uname -aR” to get the minor rev numbers. uname won’t give it. Eg:
    corax 4# uname
    corax 5# uname -a
    IRIX corax 6.5 04100803 IP32
    corax 6# uname -aR
    IRIX corax 6.5 6.5.30f 04100803 IP32
    Likewise you can get a bit more infos from hinv -vm:
    corax 19# hinv -vm
    CPU: MIPS R5000 Processor Chip Revision: 10.0
    FPU: MIPS R5000 Floating Point Coprocessor Revision: 10.0
    1 300 MHZ IP32 Processor
    Main memory size: 1024 Mbytes
    Secondary unified instruction/data cache size: 1 Mbyte on Processor 0
    Instruction cache size: 32 Kbytes
    Data cache size: 32 Kbytes
    FLASH PROM version 4.18
    Integral SCSI controller 0: Version ADAPTEC 7880
    Disk drive: unit 2 on SCSI controller 0 (unit 2)
    CDROM: unit 4 on SCSI controller 0
    Integral SCSI controller 1: Version ADAPTEC 7880
    On-board serial ports: tty1
    On-board serial ports: tty2
    On-board EPP/ECP parallel port
    CRM graphics installed
    Integral Ethernet: ec0, version 1
    Iris Audio Processor: version A3 revision 0
    PCI Adapter ID (vendor 0x9004, device 0x8078) PCI slot 1
    PCI Adapter ID (vendor 0x9004, device 0x8078) PCI slot 2
    PCI Adapter ID (vendor 0x10a9, device 0x0009) PCI slot 3
    Video: MVP unit 0 version 1.4
    AV: AV1 Card version 1, O2Cam type 1 version 0 connected.
    Vice: TRE
    corax 20#

    This is even more chatty on Octane/Octane2:

  6. Pingback: The SGI 1600SW Flat-Panel Display Saga [Updated] - Byte Cellar

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