January 2003 Archives

SGI Photo Archive Updates

Over the past couple of weeks I've been steadily adding to the SGI Photo Archive due to new hardware image submissions from Steve Bian, Sergiu Partenie and Shea McCombs. In addition I've added scans of several interesting HotMix and IndyZone CD covers.

I believe it's come along nicely from the four lonely Indigo shots that populated that section for nearly two years!

New Tardists at Silicon Bunny

Tom of Silicon Bunny has updated his website with a few new tardists! The additions include the following:

Allegro Version: 4.1.9 (unstable branch)

Allegro is a cross-platform gaming library - similar to SDL. Off the top of my head, you'll need ESD installed to get sound. There's an ESD tardist on the SGI Freeware website.

Elite:TNK Version: 1.0

Elite is the greatest computer game known to man. Ever. Elite:TNK is the result of a project by Christian Pinder to reverse-engineer Elite from the original BBC disk version.
This requires Allegro, and runs splendidly on my Octane.

Freebirth Version: 0.3.1

Freebirth is a software bass synthesizer/step sequencer/sample player. This is a tardist built from the modified source, tweaked to work under IRIX.

Be sure to check out Silicon Bunny's download page for these tardists and more.

If you're having problems getting to the 6.5.17m release on SGI's new Supportfolio site, this may be of interest: Planet Mirror has a page with download access to 6.5.13m through 6.5.17m.

When Spam Hits the Blogs

Wired wrote an interesting article last year about spammers choking referral logs with bogus links on many popular 'blog' sites. Well it finally happened to me this month.

The behavior I discovered appears to be the result of a small script run on the attackers machine (in this case a single IP) which streams hundreds of false referrer and user agent strings in an attempt to make the log appear legit.

In any case, please disregard the referrer listings in the Site Reports section ... and certainly don't click on any of the links. Unfortunately I may have to discontinue that portion of the site completely; I'll keep an eye on the situation over the next few days.

Note: Due to the possibility of further abuse, the Site Reports section has been shut down.

Silicon Graphics Espressigo

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Benoit Gassien has come through once again with another very cool SGI promotional item sighting on eBay Germany: the SGI Espressigo, an espresso maker housed in an Indigo case!

Unlike the rOctane and Indy Case which I found out about after the auctions had closed, the Espressigo is currently still available (until February 2nd).

Now I'm wondering if SGI ever made similar promotional items out of Indigo2/O2 cases.

(Note: I've added the Espressigo auction photos to the SGI Gallery.)

SGI has posted new tardists for Java2 v 1.4.1 on their developer website. This is not a full release - it's considered beta software - but interesting to play around with nonetheless.

For more information and downloads, see:


SGI Boot Logos


Frank Everdij wrote that he has managed to extract boot logos from SGI EPROM firmware:

Last couple of weeks I have tried to reveal some secrets of the EPROM-firmware of several SGI's and I succeeded in extracting the Boot Logo for three systems: the Indy, the Indigo and the O2. I have included the gifs to this email (my first in Pine!)

Maybe someone can use this as elements for a custom Wallpaper...

I've rolled the three logos into tarball which you can download here. This is really very cool and I may just throw together some custom wallpaper myself! :)

MPlayer v0.90rc3 For IRIX Released


John Bernatz wrote to let me know that the newest release of MPlayer finally compiles cleanly under IRIX without any special tweaking. Go grab the source tarball from the official Mplayer page and give it a try.

Update: Timo has created a tardist for MIPS4 with some useful patches; see his comments below for more information.



Pegamento 1.0Beta4 Available

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C�sar Blecua has announced the release of Pegamento:

"Hi to all,

I'm happy to announce that the first downloadable beta of Pegamento, an IRIX-native hardware accelerated image compositing application, is ready for download.

Current beta is free. Future versions might be commercial, or might continue being free.

The major requirements are:

* Texture memory (or UMA, GUMA, etc).
* IRIX 6.2 or later.

But a more detailed requirements list is available at the website.

NOTE: I'm having problems with web caches. The "Screenshots" page doesn't work for this reason. I hope to have such page working as soon as possible. The rest of pages (seem) to work fine.

Download page:

Thanks a lot to anybody interested in testing this,

C�sar Blecua

Looks like another interesting application! C�sar has also set up a new feedback page at http://webs.ono.com/cesarblecua/feedback.html to report bugs and suggestions.

New Forums Online

I decided to try out adding forums to the site this evening. The topics available are minimal for the time being until I get a feel for what is needed/desired ... no sense adding lots of topics if the demand isn't there.

SGI Releases Mozilla 1.3a Tardist


SGI has posted a new Mozilla 1.3a tardist on their Developer Central Open Source page. You can grab the file here: ftp://oss.sgi.com/projects/mozilla/download/irix/1.3a/mozilla-1.3a.tardist

This version of the browser is fantastic; highly recommended.

Since I received a comment that Shoutcast streaming wasn't working well with SGI's mpg123, I decided to release a tardist of mpg123-pre0.59s for those using my GQmpeg tardist. This build has been patched against the "Gobble Exploit" recently unveiled on bugtraq (MAX_INPUT_FRAMESIZE has been set to 4096 to prevent buffer overflow in common.c).

I've done some testing with Shoutcast streams on this build and everything is working beautifully; the test station used was Japan-A-Radio at http://lsac1-0-s04.shoutcast.net:8046/ as I love that sort of thing :)

Keep in mind that this tardist does not remove or overwrite the mpg123-0.59r package in /usr/freeware/bin. As my tardist installs in /usr/local/bin you may have to reorder your search path or simply remove the older build.

As always, let me know if you have any problems.

G160 Online, Nekochan Net Operational

Nekochan Net was offline for a couple of hours this evening for the 3c597 to G160 swap. I'm happy to report everything is working perfectly; I'm seeing about 2MB/sec increase in transfer rates with lower processor occupancy so I'm very happy.

The G160 has some installation caveats that made it a bit challenging to install, the most vexing being the inability of the system to boot if the G160 occupies slot 1 (lower slot; system status light amber with no video output once powered on). After messing around with it for a bit and getting nowhere I found others on Usenet who shared the same experience. The fix was to shift the Maximum IMPACT down to slots 1-3 and put the G160 in slot 4. I've no idea if this strange behavior is covered in the Phobos documentation since I received the G160 as a system pull ... no box or manual.

After some further research it seems this is normal behavior due to the arrangement of the GIO-64 slots. Despite having four GIO-64 connectors there are only two logical GIO-64 slots; the two top and two bottom are combined. Since MI uses the bottom connector as the "live" interface, the G160 and MI were sharing a slot. Weird stuff.

I'm going to let the G160 burn in for a week or so and then the 3c597 will be available for sale. Make me an offer if interested!

Silicon Graphics rOctane

Benoit Gassien wrote to point out another interesting auction that recently closed on eBay, this time for a rOctane. A rOctane is apparently another SGI promotional item much like the Indy Case sold in Europe, this time an Octane case integrated with a JVC UX-1000 stereo system.

It looks like this one sold for a good price; makes me wish some of these SGI promotional items were available here in the US.

(Note: I've added the rOctane auction photos to the SGI Gallery.)

Gallery Updated

I've updated the photo gallery today with a few new images. Both IRIX galleries have received one new image each while the Miscellaneous Photos gallery has been completely redone ... all the old photos have been expunged and brand new January 2003 images uploaded in place.

In addition, Shea McCombs has contributed several high quality shots of Octane and O2 hardware both with and without skins to the SGI gallery. I'm impressed with the fantastic submissions made to the image galleries lately; thanks again to everyone who has contributed.

System Maintenance etc.


Not much new to report today so far, but I do want to mention that Nekochan Net (and subsequently my e-mail server) will be down tomorrow evening while I replace the 3c597 card with a Phobos G160. Hopefully it won't take too long and the outage will be minimal.

I now have a couple of extra network cards available: a Phobos G130 (in original box) which will work with Indy/Indigo R4K (GIO32 slot), and a 3Com 3c597 (EISA slot) suitable for Indigo2. Both are 100Mbit cards; anyone interested?

Creating File Typing Rules (FTRs)

microcosmos.co.uk has posted an excellent tutorial for creating file typing rules and custom icons; if you have any interest at all in this subject go there at once! Great stuff.

BzFlag 1.7g0 For IRIX

Marcus Herbert has just posted new mips3/mips4 builds of BzFlag for IRIX.

The official BzFlag website describes this release best:

1.7g0 "Holy Dancing Monkeys" released! Buy now and get two for the price of one! world file caching, team killers die, tank labels on roaming, new GUI options including a smaller display for slow systems (set opacity all the way up), and much more!

This is a very cool game; you can find a screenshot here and binaries/sources here. Lots of additional goodness at http://www.bzflag.org as well.

Equinox-3D v0.7.45 for IRIX Released


Gabor Nagy has released an IRIX version of Equinox-3D! I'd e-mailed him asking about a possible IRIX download last month and received this response (December 19th):

"Hi and thanks for your interest in EQUINOX-3D.

Actually, I started developing EQUINOX-3D on IRIX, back in 1993, but I don't have easy access to SGI machines any more. Since I'm not really making any money on EQX, I can't afford or justify buying an IRIX box.

Trust me, I'm not a big fan ot the Intel architecture, but you can get a Linux box that's over 10 times as powerful as a similarly-priced SGI, and it's pretty much the same thing: UNIX / C / X11 / OpenGL etc.

I will probably do occasional releases for IRIX if I can find an SGI machine somewhere, but I can't promise much at this point."

Then out of the blue I hear about this new vesion, and not via e-mail either ... if I hadn't seen a post regarding it on Usenet I wouldn't have even bothered to go back to the Equinox-3D site. So I'm glad that a new version did come out, and a little miffed that he didn't tell me about it :)

On to the program (from the website):

EQUINOX-3D aims to be a complete 3D package, including modeling, animation and rendering.

Some of the main features and strengths:

  • Super-fast renderer, a fully interactive ray-tracer!
  • Clean, easy to use user-interface.
  • Universal, unlimited undo/redo infrastructure
  • Very fast and memory-efficient design. For example: thanks to some design decisions and custom tools to aid plugin development, EQUINOX-3D starts up in ~ 2 seconds with about 50 plugins loaded (1 second on my system)! (*) Try that with other 3D packages :)
  • Multiple Geometries allowed on transform nodes (compared to most other 3D packages, much fewer NULL models needed to group things, resulting in cleaner/more efficient hierarchies).
  • A robust internal structure and a direct-API (Application Programming Interface) for manipulating and displaying 3D geometry from plugins.
  • 3D file formats supported: I/O for SOFTIMAGE ".hrc" and Wavefront "OBJ" (it's very easy to add a new one).
  • 2D file formats supported: JPEG, PNG, SGI, SOFTIMAGE, TIFF.
  • Plugin-manager: allows you to unload, change, re-compilie and reload plugins without restarting EQUINOX-3D.
  • Plugins for creating primitives (torus, cylinder etc.) and complex surfaces (Revolve, Skin etc.).
  • More and more modeling tools every couple of weeks... ("Mirror", "Merge", "Cleanup" etc.)
  • I plan on giving it a try myself this weekend; looks to be a great program.

    New IRIX Tardist: LAME 3.93.1

    This evening I created a mips4 tardist of the latest version of LAME 3.93.1. If you're running a mips3 machine you can still use Marcus Herbert's binary.

    Just for fun I ran some tests between Marcus' mips3 build and my own:

    Source file: Falling Star in Your Eyes from the album Los Angeles by the Brilliant Green (03'21)

    time lame --preset extreme FALLING\ STAR\ IN\ YOUR\ EYES.aiff FALLING\ STAR\ IN\ YOUR\ EYES.mp3

    LAME 3.93.1 mips4 (gcc 3.2.1 -O3):

    342.721u 1.530s 5:51.81 97.8% 0+0k 0+0io 0pf+0w (351.81 seconds)

    LAME 3.93a2 mips3 (gcc 3.0.2):

    384.950u 1.531s 6:34.50 97.9% 0+0k 0+0io 0pf+0w (394.50 seconds)

    Time difference: 42.69

    IRIX64 Mika 6.5 6.5.18f 10151453 IP28

    FPU: MIPS R10010 Floating Point Chip Revision: 0.0
    CPU: MIPS R10000 Processor Chip Revision: 2.5
    1 195 MHZ IP28 Processor
    Main memory size: 384 Mbytes
    Secondary unified instruction/data cache size: 1 Mbyte
    Instruction cache size: 32 Kbytes
    Data cache size: 32 Kbytes

    SGI Freeware GCC 3.2.1 Alert


    Just a heads up to those who are thinking of updating to gcc 3.2.1 off of the February 2002 Freeware distribution: there have been several reports that using this version on an OS below 6.5.18 can cause problems ranging from the inability to compile simple programs to outright kernel panics. I'll keep an eye on the situation and report back as events unfold.

    For the record, it's been working great for me under 6.5.18f.

    New SGI Related Web Portal Opens


    James Holden has launched a new SGI related site: http://www.microcosmos.co.uk. Check it out see how it comes along; he's already hinted that a FTR tutorial is forthcoming.

    I missed this a couple of days ago, but SGI announced the latest update to the Fuel workstation line on the 9th: Fuel R16000/700. Still too much for me to afford (the 700MHz models start at $13,995), but it's always nice to see new IRIX workstations still coming out of SGI. Plus they're a lot cheaper than IRIX workstations were a few years ago. Read the SGI press release here.

    New IRIX Tardist: GQmpeg 0.20.0


    Note: The links in this entry have been updated to the new 0.20.0 release.

    I created a tardist of one of my favorite media players this evening, GQmpeg 0.20.0. You may have noticed it on a couple of my more recent screenshots, like this one or this one. It depends on a few things from SGI's Freeware site, hopefully I remembered all of them:

  • gtk
  • gdk-pixbuf
  • libpng
  • mpg123
  • ogg-vorbis
  • Once up and running you can find additional skins on the GQmpeg site.

    Try it out, let me know if it doesn't work and I'll do my best to track down the bugs.

    Silicon Graphics Indy Case?


    Another humorous entry, this one brought to my attention by Gavin Hubbard: the mysterious Indy Case, as seen in this eBay auction. The auction closed December 9th so the attached images might not stick around much longer. According to the auction description this was manufactured by SGI in 1994 as a promotional item.

    (Note: I've also added the eBay Indy Case photos to my SGI Gallery.)

    UNIX Means UNIX!

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    While cruising ThinkGeek today I found a humorous customer "action shot" featuring (among other things) an SGI O2 (Full image available on ThinkGeek). I think they're both cute!

    SGI Freeware February 2003 Posted


    SGI has posted the February 2003 Freeware archive online. You can check it out at the usual place: http://freeware.sgi.com.

    I bought this book a year ago and finally dusted it off after picking up the A:M 2003 upgrade at MacWorld. This book is one of the best guides I've found for Animation:Master to date; especially considering my own interests. It of course primarily focuses on "anime" style character modeling, using both cel shading techniques as well as more traditional 3D. The tutorials are just awesome; I don't know how else to describe them. Fans of anime may already be familiar with Mahou Yuugi 3D, a recent series animated by AIC using Hash's Animation:Master (the Hash booth at Macworld was even showing it on a portable DVD player). Much of the 3D design work was done by Maki Yoshida who contributed a character named "Hinako" as one of the tutorial models (shown here on the book's cover).

    A CD-ROM containing a (now pretty dated) A:M 99 demo along with associated tutorial files is included. Though the book is in Japanese, it features many detailed diagrams and screenshots which will no doubt help anyone interested in improving figure modeling in Animation:Master.

    Now that A:M 2003 is heading to OS X (the reason I picked up the upgrade; it's going to be a free download), the book will finally see some use!

    Anyone interested in buying this book can order it from Amazon Japan for 3,200 yen. I purchased my copy at the San Francisco Kinokuniya Bookstore.

    Copyright 1999/Ani:Mas User Group/Laputa Books ISBN4-947752-02-5

    The Return of Silicon Bunny Downloads


    Tom of Silicon Bunny wrote earlier today and advised me the Silicon Bunny downloads page has reopened! Go have a look; the site has lots of great material in addition to excellent tardist offerings not found anywhere else.

    Apparently an OS/2 distribution of LimeWire 2.8.5 Pro (the latest version as I write this) can be made to run under IRIX.

    Initially I had problems getting this working though it turns out that Java debug variables I'd set up for another project caused the random crashes. All is now working well, and I've been able to download several files.

    For the Pro version, download the package lwos2.zip.

    Extract and run the package:

    unzip -d LimeWire lwos2.zip cd LimeWire java -jar RunLime.jar

    My test environment:

    [Mika:~] neko 107% uname -aR IRIX64 Mika 6.5 6.5.18f 10151453 IP28

    [Mika:~] neko 108% java -version
    java version "1.4.0"
    Java(TM) 2 Runtime Environment, Standard Edition (build 1.4.0-mtibuild_19_sep_2002_19_12)
    Java HotSpot(TM) Client VM (build 1.4.0-mtibuild_19_sep_2002_19_12, mixed mode)

    setenv JAVA_HOME /usr/java2
    setenv JAVA_PATH /usr/java2
    setenv JDK_HOME /usr/java2
    setenv JRE_HOME /usr/java2
    set path=($path ${JAVA_HOME}/bin)

    Additionally the Linux version of LimeWire will work without modification (run it using the same 'java -jar' method shown above). You can download the "no installer" version from http://www.limewire.com/index.jsp/download_other.

    Try it out and let me know how it goes!

    I ran down to Macworld San Francisco 2003 this morning and had a great time there ... amongst the many activities for the day I visited the Alias|Wavefront booth and picked up another training DVD, bought the latest update of Animation:Master from Hash along with their own training DVD set, and of course grabbed the requisite convention swag which will probably take me days to go through.

    I'm really impressed by the new PowerBooks ... I'm tempted to get one, but I just bought a new 15" Titanium model last September and I really haven't outgrown it yet. I do wish that Apple offered the new 802.11g Airport cards for older models though. I've posted a few digital photos taken while I was at the show in the convention gallery.

    I'm hoping to buy an Octane next week, something with MXE/MXI graphics at minimum. I have a couple possible candidate machines lined up; I'd really like to get an R12000/300 but might settle for a slower dual CPU configuration. At any rate it should be fun!

    My IRIX tip for the day is common sense but I personally seem to have a hard time with it: never leave cold beverages in front of a powered-on Indigo 2 MaxIMPACT (with tower feet) unless you want them to be warm. :)

    New IRIX Tips Site

    Jappe Reuling wrote that he has started a new IRIX tip archive at sun.lowlife.org. I found the bit on integrating ssh-agent with the Toolchest very interesting.

    Useful IRIX Software


    Andreas Backhaus has posted a nice list of useful software for IRIX. There a few things on there I'm planning on checking out myself when I get a free moment :)

    Octane: The Soundtrack


    I came across an interesting site today which offers Silicon Graphic's promotional Octane: The Soundtrack CD in MP3 format (look toward the bottom of the file list). It's kind of neat actually ... if you haven't heard it before, check it out.

    Startup Items


    Just a quick tip today for those needing certain apps to run whenever the window manager is launched. Create a file called ~/.sgisession and add commands (this example launches an aterm shell and a clock):

    /usr/local/bin/akaneclock /usr/local/bin/aterm -tr -sh 50 -bg black -fg cyan -sl 1500

    That's it!

    Quick note in regards to some comments I've gotten over the past few days: I apologize if some of these tips seem very basic and easy to locate in existing documentation; I'm attempting to make things a bit easier and accessible to those wishing to improve the IRIX experience and I feel these are all worthwhile tidbits to know. Rather than complain, contribute! :)

    Custom Toolchest Menus


    If you're tired of program icons littering your desktop, or find navigating pages in Icon Catalog less than speedy this might be of interest: create some custom menu items in the Toolchest for fast application launching.

    Adding new menus is relatively easy, just create a new ~/.auxchestrc file such as the following example:

    Menu Tools
    no-label f.separator
    "Aterm Shell" f.checkexec.sh "/usr/local/bin/aterm -tr -sh 50 -bg black -fg cyan -sl 1500"
    "EmiClock" f.checkexec.sh.le "/usr/freeware/bin/emiclock"
    "AkaneClock" f.checkexec.sh.le "/usr/local/bin/akaneclock"
    "Nedit" f.checkexec.sh.le "/usr/freeware/bin/nedit"
    "Mozilla" f.checkexec.sh.le "/usr/freeware/bin/mozilla"
    "GQmpeg" f.checkexec.sh.le "/usr/local/bin/gqmpeg"
    "Gmemusage" f.checkexec.sh.le "/usr/sbin/gmemusage"
    "XnView" f.checkexec.sh.le "/usr/sbin/xnview"

    Menu ToolChest

    no-label f.separator
    "Tools" f.menu Tools

    Simply change Tools to whatever you'd like the menu to read (i.e. Graphics, Web, etc.) but ensure that you change all three instances above. The screenshot at the head of this article provides an example of what the custom menu will look like in use.

    Log out/in to try out the new menu.

    About this Archive

    This page is an archive of entries from January 2003 listed from newest to oldest.

    December 2002 is the previous archive.

    February 2003 is the next archive.

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