There is an O2 in C16-H10-N2-O2
Few months ago, I shared my experience in reviving an SGI IRIS Indigo. That machine was really nice when it was launched in 1991. The Indigo was really the first SGI workstation in my eyes. This week, I decided to start-up my O2 from 1996 that I acquired few weeks ago and dismounted to repair it (it suffered badly during shipping unfortunately). The fist noticeable detail when comparing the two systems, is that the O2 is much smaller and can really fit on the desktop next to your monitor. I will skip on the obvious, one is Indigo and the other is blue – at least the first version. My O2 is paced by a MIPS R5000 (IP32+FPU) @ 1.2 GHz and has all its memory slots populated, for a total of 1GB (you can have all the system details in the post’s pictures – beware there are more pics that what you can access swapping thru on your phone). On the graphics side, the O2 had a specific chip designed by SGI, the CRM. In my system, the pixel clock is running at 135 MHz, with the 75 Hz frame buffer configured @ 32 bits for the front buffer depth. The output can reach 1280×1024 pixels, and the good news is that the O2 is using a standard VGA port (so you can use any LCD screen out of the box). OK, this Is not a war machine by any means – especially compared to modern CPUs/GPUs as the one I am using to type this post – but it has pretty basic OpenGL capabilities thru HW support. And in 96, that was cool. Since it is an SGI, I am running IRIX (6.5). I read somewhere that none of the MIPS Linux distros really supports the HW (especially the graphics) even though you can boot. For sure I will not try, I’ll keep my original and it is fun to use UNIX. I enjoyed playing around with the O2 to check if it is still working after cleaning it up, removing all the broken parts during shipping, and re-assembling it (yeah, the especially the plastics of the SGIs are so fragile, that simply pulling on a peace a bit strong will immediately break it in pieces!).