Yesterday (April fools day) was a sad day as SGI (formerly Silicon Graphics) was acquired for a mere $25 million dollars. During it’s heyday, SGI generated billions in revenue by making high-powered workstations and servers that were used in ground breaking visualization applications, such as rendering the special effects in the movie Jurassic Park. SGI technology was also at the heart of the popular Nintendo 64 gaming console.
In the early 1990’s, I used Silicon Graphics workstations during graduate school while interning at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The Air Force used SGI hardware for cockpit visualization and simulation. Silicon Graphic’s reputation was based on their fast MIPS processors, their OpenGL graphics hardware, a slick UNIX implementation (IRIX), and funky colorful industrial design with machines like the Indigo, Crimson, and Onyx. SGI had a coolness factor that made it the Apple of the UNIX workstation market. Of course, Apple is still the maker of cool hardware – even making UNIX the foundation of its MacOS X.
A sad reminder that nothing remains the same. Nothing.