You want power, you want speed, the 700 series has what you need


PA-RISC has set the pace, Hewlett-Packard now leads the race

@calvin did they evenshow stuff like this this on American TV or was it made for internal use at sales conferences etc?

From what I vaguely remember of these they would only be affordable to a medium size business as a large capital investment, and folk who make such decisions tend not to be swayed by cheesy pop rap videos (even if it *was* the 1990s!)

@vfrmedia from @coryw: every UNIX workstation vendor did this shit, Much of it was internal cheerleading, esp. "Power of Suns" by the Suns and Noses.

@coryw @vfrmedia
19:55 < coryw> Dealers did exist, to an extent, and would be sent stuff like this.
19:55 < coryw> I have an O2/Octane dealer prep CD, for example

@vfrmedia @coryw
19:56 < coryw> which has like datasheet templates and a copy of the Gill Sans font for the Octane
19:58 < coryw> to address the affordability issue: Whether or not this is true of HP in that particular era, SGI and Sun did have on-file $5000 workstation configs at various points, and it wouldn't surprise me if some showed up in university bookstores.

@calvin @vfrmedia Sorry, I hope all these replies make any sense. To talk to the $5000 (US) price point, it was more common later on, here's a good article that talks about the experience of one of those baseline configs in 1998

SGI had a $5000 O2 config meant for web authoring in 1996-1997, and I'm sure there was a $5000 Indy but it was meant as a diskless netboot station, booting off an origin and being front-end to an Origin.


@coryw @calvin one of my friends in SE England had one of those SGI boxes in about 2003; it had either been given away to him or sold for about £50 by a former employer who went bust. I think it was that Indy as we tried to get it to do something like a "normal" Linux box but it was clearly looking for a bigger server to connect or some proprietary software that he didn't have..

@vfrmedia @calvin That's close to when I got my Indy, I was able to get someone to send me the CDs for it and eventually upgraded to an Octane, but the thing you start to notice as you get more powerful SGIs is that as the '90s wore on, interest in making anything "regular" for them dropped, probably because it had become affordable for companies to give anyone who needed a workstation a regular business PC or Mac as well. (Sun's solution to this was a PC on a PCI card you could install.)

@calvin @vfrmedia So, the SGI Octane I had was actually pretty swole for 1997, but there's not an awful lot of practical work I was able to do on it. Calvin and I's friend @tsundoku spent a few years making IRIX his primary environment, mostly by porting OSS stuff to it. Although the OSS got EOLed in IIRC 2013 so he's since switched to solaris and FreeBSD.

@vfrmedia @calvin Idly, most UNIX workstations from the era can be configured stand-alone, but this is a use for the ISDN modems in many '90s workstations I had not considered: dialing "home" to do things like update your homedir and receive management directives from the network. I don't know if any were used that way or if it was just a fancy checkbox feature that didn't cost a lot to include but was important because of ~multimedia~. (DEC systems with ISDN use it for their sound I/o IIRC)

@calvin @vfrmedia OK this is an extreme tangent, I'll stop after this I promise, but thinking about this, I'm surprised NeXT didn't put ISDN in. Perhaps Jobs saw through the Bell's claims that ISDN would be in any day and didn't want to waste the money on it.

@coryw @calvin ISDN was normally added here to kit for Germany or other countries of Europe where it was more widely deployed.

Outside of these (including much of UK) it was
uncommon or if you got it at all it was used to share internet over LAN like todays ADSL routers.

My main memories of ISDN were having to be careful recovering kit from disused buildings, as BT would cease service but leave the line powered and when you powered down the NTE the pairs received -120V rather than -48V!

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