a little more compucolor rant; sgi

From: Victor the Cleaner <jonathan_at_canuck.com>
Date: Sat Jan 9 14:35:42 1999

Courtesy ard_at_p850ug1.demon.co.uk (Tony Duell):

>> I've ever seen, and nonexistent development software. Words of advice:
>> If you want to learn graphics, go track down an SGI Indigo - the purple

> Look, (and this may sound strange....) if all you want to do is compute,
> go and get a PC or a Mac, right. Part of the fun of classic computers is
> dealing with 'warts and all' - the fact that there are kludges
> everywhere, but somehow we get round them.

Yup. With a great big hammer and a nearby dumpster. If I want warts,
fun, and interesting, I'll spend my time on the MCS-4 or even one of my
old DG Novas. They had their strengths and their weaknesses, but they
were both well-built and historically significant. A badly-designed
machine was a waste of time the first time around - you insult your own
short lifespan by wasting yet more. If you don't agree with me, I'll
be happy to send you a box of assorted unreliable S-100 DRAM boards that
will keep you busy well into your retirement.

As for fun vs. usable, who the hell says you should have to choose? Why
not have both? That's why we're after our first Cray, why we maintain the
NetBSD Build Lab (a single location in which we're trying to assemble one
example of each machine supported). Normally I couldn't give half a shit
for Amigas, but it's fun to rackmount one and help get unix running on it.

Maybe that's the primary philosophical divergence here: I consider few
obsolete machines to be inherently interesting, when there are so many
others that are merely _thought_ to be obsolete but are still utterly
useful given a current, robust OS.

> Having once tried to get spare parts out of SGI, never again. I don't
> want a totally unmaintainable machine, thank you very much. It was all
> custom silicon, and it was all unavailable....

Well, this is just silly. How much more luck have you had getting parts
for that Compucolor? SGIs are just like anything else - if you've got
enough bits you can maintain them yourself. And I'll tell you one thing
for sure: Gathering enough spares to do the support is easy, seeing as
how there aren't (yet) any collector scum driving the prices of Indigos
to 20 times their original price.

Received on Sat Jan 09 1999 - 14:35:42 GMT

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