Seeking immediate rescue of full-rack SGI ONYX near Northbrook, IL

Ian Finder ian.finder at
Tue Apr 19 11:22:40 CDT 2016

I love the Onyx rack.

Ethan wrote:
> I think they're the best of the newer large computers

They're something splendidly entertaining about a big honkin' graphical
workstation that you can roll up to and poke around the GUI on.

I have one of the full rack 3-phase ones in Seattle which, like the one I
gave away, has the Audio option.
J.P. (kiwigeek) helped me re-wire it to split phase, and I love showing
people Quake, Maya and Photoshop on this giant behemoth from 1993.

I hope the Chicago Onyx gets the love in it's new home that it deserves,
and I'm pretty confident that it will.

12 i860s to run the graphics! How absurd!

If we're rambling about SGIs now, my all time fav. is the Indigo 2 R1000
Max Impact. You see one, and it looks normal enough, but when you pop that
cover- there is so much logic packed into that box! It's one of the densest
machines I've ever encountered...


- Ian

On Tue, Apr 19, 2016 at 9:07 AM, <ethan at> wrote:

> I agree. I'm just glad I don't have to find the space or lift the damn
>> thing
>> :-)
> Compared to IBM, Sun big iron, Cray big iron the SGI Origin 2000/Onyx2 and
> Challenge XL/Onyx are very friendly fridge sized computers! They roll easy,
> they're lightweight and not overbuilt. They use a simple 220v or 240v or
> whatever outlet, and have bad-ass bargraphs on the front LCDs of the CPU
> load.
> I think they're the best of the newer large computers!
> The Onyx is rad. However it's cool-to-weight ratio suffers with comparison
>> to an Indy or O2. So, that's why I own those, instead. The Tezro is a bit
>> in-between. It's about 2x to 3x the size of an O2, but it's still smaller
>> than an Onyx. However, that Onyx sounds like it's decked out with the
>> RealityEngine and the A/V option board (Sirrus) that was really fun &
>> flexible before digital video ruled.
> If I could find a cheap Tezro I'd have to add it to my collection.
> The Octane (green, R12K, dual video) is heavy as hell. I mean, it's
> innocent looking and plastic and stuff. But oh man, so heavy. I gave away
> the dual 24" widescreen CRT 1920x1200 SGI monitors that came with it :-/
> They were getting flyback arcing to frame. At the time I didn't know what
> it was but now after reparing arcade monitors I could remediate it.
> --
> Ethan O'Toole

   Ian Finder
   (206) 395-MIPS
   ian.finder at

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