sgi-octane

Demise of classic hardware: the final act

So today I finally got around to the SGI kit in my possession. Not quite sure where all of it went, there’s a SGI PS/2 keyboard, Indy Presenter LCD and a SGI O2 R5000 180MHz CPU module that have gone AWOL, but this morning I took advantage of the Brisbane City Council kerb-side clean-up.

Screenshot of the post — yes I need to get Mastodon post embedding working

I rounded up some old Plextor 12× CD-ROM drives (SCSI interface) that took CD caddies (remember those?) as well to go onto the pile, and some SCSI HDDs I found laying around — since there’s a good chance the disks in the machines are duds. I did once boot the Indy off one of those CD-ROM drives, so I know they work with the SGI kit.

The machines themselves had gotten to the point where they no longer powered on. The O2 at first did, and I tried saving it, but I found:

  1. it was unreliable, frequently freezing up — until one day it stopped powering on
  2. the case had become ridiculously brittle

The Indy exploded last time I popped the cover, and fragments of the Indigo2 were falling off. The Octane is the only machine whose case seemed largely intact. I had gathered up what IRIX kit I had too, just in case the new owners wanted to experiment. archive.org actually has the images, and I had a crack at patching irixboot to be able to use them. Never got to test that though.

Today I made the final step of putting the machines out on the street to find a new home. It looks like exactly that has happened, someone grabbed the homebrew DB15 to 13W3 cable I used for interfacing to the Indy and Indigo2, then later in the day I found the lot had disappeared.

With more room, I went and lugged the old SGI monitor down, it’s still there, but suspect it’ll possibly go too. The Indy and Indigo2 looked to be pretty much maxxed-out on RAM, so should be handy for bits for restoring other similar-era SGI kit. I do wish the new owners well with their restoration journey, if that’s what they choose to do.

For me though, it’s the end of an era. Time to move on.