The death of SGI


SGI comic

Today is definitely a sad day - SGI announced their bankruptcy.

SGI was once a great company - in the 1990s, they made the best computers ever, such as the Indigo2, O2, and Octane. The cases and designs looked awesome, and they had amazingly fast 64-bit MIPS RISC CPUs and stellar video cards! Plus, they made an excellent graphical UNIX operating system: IRIX.

Although I am a Mac OS X UNIX user now, IRIX will always be my favourite UNIX. The comic shown here from captures it perfectly.

SGI basically sold their entire company for $25 million in cash to pay preferred creditors (they have over $500 million in debt and just over $300 million in assets). I guess it shouldn’t really come as a surprise since they discontinued their MIPS/IRIX line in 2006 due to financial reasons, but I had hoped that they would at least exist as a niche seller of Linux clusters.

Ironically, this past weekend I prepared an SGI Indy box with the File System Navigator (FSN) program on it from the Jurassic Park movie (1993) for my class as a cool demo. SGI was used to create many movies in the 1990s, but was most often used by scientists and engineers for visualization (e.g. chemical modelling, CAD) and other heavy duty purposes.

SGI was once a great company that made amazing computers and the best UNIX. May it rest in peace.