Silicon Graphics at Abacus World Expo

Funny Stuff
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After Y2K was a comic started by Nitrozac and Snaggy way way back … before Y2K in fact. Sadly it’s no longer being updated, but the archives are still available on the Joy Of Tech website.

The pinnacle of the entire AY2K comic (for me at least, anyway) was when the survivors of the Y2K disaster tried to rebuilt computing using the humble abacus – leading to Abacus World Expo!

And the comic that made me laugh out loud was this one:

SGI Silicon Graphics Abacus World Expo

You can view the full page here – I can recommend reading from the beginning, it’s good stuff.

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Who does Steve Jobs love?

Funny Stuff
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He loves his Silicon Graphics Octane. Found this fantastic old SGI promotional video on YouTube, where Steve Jobs shares his love for the Octane.

Admittedly this was when he was CEO at Pixar – it’s not like it was last week or anything. Still worth a chuckle though.

And it’s interesting to note that WETA Digital were still using Silicon Graphics Octanes years later for effects in The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

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Vue formally launched by Silicon Graphics

Silicon Graphics News
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The press releases are out, and Silicon Graphics has now officially launched it’s Vue suite. And very interesting it all looks too. It reminds me a lot of VRML on steroids, and I’m looking forward to getting some more details on how the visualisation copes with bandwidth limits as well as varying display resolutions on the remote devices.

Here’s the video from SGI introducing Vue and it’s associated technologies:

Check out some of the images of Vue in action:

Visual data mashups – in this case, command and control activities. SGI say:

Silicon Graphics FusionVUE™ – FusionVUE™ dynamically integrates any kind of information in any combination from any source and presents information via an intuitive, contextual and 3-dimensional VUEspace™ environment.

Or global collaboration. This example shows:

Silicon Graphics VUE™ – Product design teams collaborate across the globe for everything from daily interaction to company-wide design reviews. Colleagues around the globe can view and interact with 3D product models, simulations and product plans, while videoconferencing within the same 3D viewing environment.

On a related note, it’s nice to see the return of the Cube and the old Silicon Graphicslogos on the main press release. Head over there for some more pictures and details of the Vue suite.

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Silicon Graphics launching Vue software suite?

Silicon Graphics News
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The Wall Street Journal has a short piece about a new move from Silicon Graphics into providing software solutions to graphics manipulation problems.

Apparently SGI are going to be launching a toolset called Vue that allows users to remotely manipulate and share images and data, bypassing the need for specialist desktop machines. Sounds like a natural progression for a company that can boast the largest Single System Image (SSI) machines on the planet – thin clients and shove the data processing back into the data centre.

Anyone thinking this sounds a bit like ‘Cloud Computing’ or even ‘Sofware As A Service (SAAS)’ would be right on the money.

You can find a more detailed article at

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Misleading benchmarks from Sun

Performance, Silicon Graphics News
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I suppose I should be resigned to the whole benchmark silliness, where vendors highly tune their own systems and then run favourable benchmark tools – that have no real-world relevance – and compare the results against dissimilar and un-tuned gear from their rivals.

It’s the biggest ego match in the industry, and it’s all pretty sad. Are people really naive enough to buy kit based on these benchmarks, instead of trying out different vendors’ solutions in-house using their own real world workloads?

Regardless, I find the latest press release from Sun touting their ‘HPC leadership’ a bit much.

In it, Sun cites SGI beating FLUENT benchmarks. Yet, the press release doesn’t mention numbers at all. The link to the actual FLUENT benchmarks shows no values at all for the X2250 cluster Sun used, and the main Sun benchmarks website makes no mention of these ‘HPC dominating’ benchmark figures either. Surely if you’re going to trumpet the results, then you should also be making the actual figures available?

bmseer (a blogger from Sun who I have a huge respect for, and who regularly picks apart the outrageous benchmark figures from IBM) should be hanging his head in shame right about now ;-)

Regardless, the Sun benchmark site is well worth a visit at

Silicon Graphics could take a leaf out of Sun’s book here and be far more pro-active and upfront with their current systems’ performance figures.

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