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cayenne
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 8:02 pm    Post subject: What to do with 4 Indy's? Reply with quote

Hi all,

A friend of mine called..his company is dumping hardware, and he knows I like playing with *nix type machines. He said he snagged me 4 Indy RS5000 boxes, and a SGI 17" monitor.

I'm starting to read the Gentoo install manuals...but, just realistically...what can I use these boxes for? At 200 Mhz...can't imagine they'd be fast enough for anything. Can you do something like a 'beowolf cluster' of these things...tied the 4 processors together? I've currently got an Ultra2 dual 300Mhz Sun box I put Gentoo on, and run as my email server...I've got another of the same I'm putting together as a dedicated web server.

What to do with the Indy boxes? Would they be good as a mini-render farm for something? Would they be good on the network at home to dump off MythTV recordings to, to let them transcode them as dedicated funtions?

Anyway, just fishing for suggestions on how to make them useful...

TIA,

cayenne
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ian!
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 9:24 pm    Post subject: Re: What to do with 4 Indy's? Reply with quote

cayenne wrote:
A friend of mine called..his company is dumping hardware, and he knows I like playing with *nix type machines. He said he snagged me 4 Indy RS5000 boxes, and a SGI 17" monitor.

I'm starting to read the Gentoo install manuals...but, just realistically...what can I use these boxes for? At 200 Mhz...can't imagine they'd be fast enough for anything.


Well. You could send one of these boxes to me. :wink:

cayenne wrote:
Can you do something like a 'beowolf cluster' of these things...tied the 4 processors together?

Afaik not. (x86-only? I might be wrong.)

cayenne wrote:
I've currently got an Ultra2 dual 300Mhz Sun box I put Gentoo on, and run as my email server...I've got another of the same I'm putting together as a dedicated web server.

What to do with the Indy boxes? Would they be good as a mini-render farm for something? Would they be good on the network at home to dump off MythTV recordings to, to let them transcode them as dedicated funtions?


First of all: these boxes are pure fun imho. I own a O2 and already owned and Indy r4600 133Mhz before. It's fun to learn to netboot these machines and and learn by using a different architecture. I had some Sun boxes as well. But SGI definitively has been more fun.
If I were you I'd try to install one of these boxes to see if you've got fun using them too. I'd use them as irssi server, http-test box etc.
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cayenne
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2004 9:50 pm    Post subject: Interesting!! Reply with quote

Hmm..the irssi server sounds interesting...
While reading up on netbooting (whew, that looks daunting)....I saw references to the OpenMosix documents...for clustering. It mentioned that it worked for different architectures...so,t hought maybe it would be a way to kind of make these boxes into a 'quad'-processor Indy.

Thanks for the reply....other suggestions welcomed!!

C
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Kumba
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Indy's are rather functional machines, despite their age. Take an Indy, which was found often in ~1993/1994, and compare it to a PC of that time. The PC just gets absolutely blasted out of the water.

Under Gentoo, you can probably find some interesting things to do with an Indy. I'm curious about the CPU speed you reference. R5000 processors really only max out at 180MHz. 200MHz is possible, but only by soldering on a new clock chip. 200MHz might imply they are of the R4x00 class, which are a bit slower than their R5K bretheren.

Regardless, however, if they've got 24bit Newport cards, they can make functional X systems, especially with the possibility of a new Newport driver for X being designed by a guy in the gentoo-mips IRC channel that's better than the current Newport driver.


--Kumba
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cayenne
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2004 5:07 pm    Post subject: Cool! Reply with quote

Cool!
Thanks for the great responses, I hope to pick them up this weekend and will report back exactly what I get.

Hey, while reading up on the netboot/diskless howtos'....came across the OpenMosix's clustering pages. It seems to be a patch you put on your kernel. Is this only for x86's or would it work on my new mips boxes?

C
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Kumba
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2004 3:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not too sure on the clustering bit. While I own a couple SGI Machines, I know little on clustering technologies. It is probable to assume that OpenMosix is x86-specific, however, I cannot independently confirm that.

About the only clustering that I specifically know of in relation to SGI machines is the built-in clustering capabilities of the Origin-class systems via the high-speed CrayLink cables.

--Kumba
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cayenne
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2004 9:48 pm    Post subject: Got them... Reply with quote

Kumba wrote:
Indy's are rather functional machines, despite their age. Take an Indy, which was found often in ~1993/1994, and compare it to a PC of that time. The PC just gets absolutely blasted out of the water.

Under Gentoo, you can probably find some interesting things to do with an Indy. I'm curious about the CPU speed you reference. R5000 processors really only max out at 180MHz. 200MHz is possible, but only by soldering on a new clock chip. 200MHz might imply they are of the R4x00 class, which are a bit slower than their R5K bretheren.

Regardless, however, if they've got 24bit Newport cards, they can make functional X systems, especially with the possibility of a new Newport driver for X being designed by a guy in the gentoo-mips IRC channel that's better than the current Newport driver.


--Kumba


I got them..fired one up...and nicely enough...IRIX 5.2 (?) was on this one...and NO ROOT password. So, got to play with it a bit. I may keep at least one of them with IRIX...will start on a Gentoo install of one soon. It seemed to use a normal mouse...but, the generic keyboard I plugged in...seems borked. Some keys work...but, many do not. The "I" key outputs "7" to the screen...etc. My friend says he has one SGI keyboard, so I'll get it. Guess they need a proprietary keyboard??? Have you run into this?

Also, just curious...how did they install/upgrade IRIX on these boxes? No floppy...no CD....did they have some kind of netboot to do that back in the day too??

Thanks for all the input so far...starting to play with them...and sure I'll have some 'stupid' noob questions as I progress...

C
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Kumba
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2004 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The keyboard oddity sounds more like an IRIX issue. Probably an incorrect keymapping was used. With Linux, I've primarily stuck to serial console, but the few times I've used framebuffer on my Indym the keyboard worked quite fine.

As for IRIX, upgrading it is just a matter of hooking an external CDROM up to the Indy's external scsi port (a Sun 411 case w/ scsi CDROM works very well for this) and going through the usual process of upgrading IRIX. Though, going from 5.x to say, 6.x would probably done better by wiping the drive and starting fresh.


--Kumba
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