new toy

Thursday, January 03, 2002, at 04:33PM

By Eric Richardson

Two days ago I picked up an ancient SGI Personal IRIS. R3K 20MHZ CPU, 32MB RAM, and a 676MB HD. Yes, it's not much now, but you have to understand that this system was released -- with these specs -- in 1990. For the time, this thing was a horse. The P.I. line was the workhorse of computer video effects for years. Click for more...

My machine is running IRIX 4.0.5, which is ancient, but really snappy on the hardware. The GUI definitely does not feel its age. 4DWM feels just like every 4DWM I've ever touched, and the SGI commitment to a consistant user experience throughout their product line is clear.

The only downside of 4.0.5 is that there's never been a Netscape release for it, so browsing is a little interesting. Right now I've got NCSA Mosaic v2.4 up and running.

I've got a working compiler, though, so I think I should be able to get something working. I've already compiled gzip and bash, two tools which make my life a whole lot easier. I'm looking for a lightweight browser to try and compile right now.

In sort of a weird turn, the IRIS is actually connected to my home network via... fiber? Yep... The only AUI transceiver I could find was fiber, and so I now have a 4ft fiber run connecting a 20MHZ machine to a 10BaseT hub. The world is a weird place.

Ok, back to looking for a browser...