Supercomputers, fishing for information

ethan at ethan at
Mon Nov 7 10:46:45 CST 2016

> Supercomputer collectors are like the mainframe collectors, they like to keep a low profile other than the
> Cray-Cyber folks in Munich.

Those guys are cool, and I appreciate them putting notes online. My Crays 
had their hard disks removed and destroyed (came from high side / govt 
contractor / nuclear engineering for war machines.) When it came to trying 
to get info to re-install the OS I found that every collector I could find 
with a working machine -- it came to them with the OS installed and 
everything :-)

I have Unicos for the J90 series but I'm not 100% sure the release and 
stuff I have is compatible with my machine. It kernel panics on install 
boot -- could be a config thing or it could be the binaries I have are for 
some other version / iteration / etc.

I worked around a number of Cray employees as well and they had no idea.

> I don't know what they do for software. We tried getting it with the last Cray we got, and got nowhere getting it released.

Yep, I hit the same thing. Cray was willing to write me permission to use 
though -- they faxed me document saying I was okay to run my system and 
such but they obviously weren't going to fork over the OS. At this point 
Cray had already switched hands and was out of the custom computer 
business and in the PC cluster business I think.

I wouldn't be surprised if Unicos like IRIX has licensed components in it 
and they can't distribute it even with it being old.

I was just in California / Silicon Valley for work and got to hang with 
some ex-SGI people that are friends of friend and I was asking them what 
happened to all the SGI documentation and stuff on the proprietary 
graphics systems and such -- any chance of it ever being cleared for 
release / does it still exist / etc. I think one of the guys might of 
mentioned you! But he talked as if much of that documentation was gone.

Ethan O'Toole

More information about the cctalk mailing list