a new old toy

Friday, June 18, 2004, at 07:42PM

By Eric Richardson

Yesterday I picked up a new old toy from someone who got tired of having it collect dust in his basement. It's an SGI IRIS Indigo (more commonly referred to without the IRIS... just Indigo). It's another of those machines that were $30,000 to $40,000 new, but these days they'll go on ebay for next to nothing. I'm starting to build up a collection of old SGIs: two Indys, the Personal IRIS, an Origin 200, and now the Indigo.

The machine's an R4k, which most likely means it runs at 100mhz. I don't have all I need to boot it up, so I don't know that for sure or how much RAM it has (the SIMMs don't say and I can't tell). It does have the Elan graphics package, with 4 geometry engines. I've put up pictures showing the card's size compared against a PCI card, some rewired traces, and the card without z-buffer (here you can really see the 4 geometry engine chips that dominate the main card). I also put up a picture of the Galileo video daughtercard, which snaps into the Elan. I don't have either of the breakout boxes for the Galileo, though, so it's not going to do me much good at the moment. I do have an extra IndyCam that'll connect to the Digital I/O, but that's it.

Like I said, though, I can't yet boot it up. The only SGI monitor I have out here in California is the one on the PI, and its input is composite RGB. I have a couple of SGI branded GDM20D11 monitors in Michigan, but getting them out here is the issue. Hopefully, though, I'll be able to get a friend to carry them along when he drives out in a few weeks. Then we'll be in business.