SGI Software Usability II (IRIX 5.1 memo)

Don Hopkins don at
Thu Oct 12 23:43:12 AEST 2017

When I was working at UniPress in New Jersey, we had an SGI Iris named pink on which we developed the 4Sight versions of NeWS Emacs (NeMACS). 

Speaking of SGI leaks:

Those things are fucking heavy! 

It was raining torrentially outside and the UniPress office started to flood, so we had to keep taking shelves down off the wall and wedging them underneath the Iris to jack it up above the water, as it kept getting deeper and deeper.

Ron will remember the emergency bailing technique MG and I developed of repeatedly filling the shop vac with water then flushing it down the toilet. 

The Indigos were another story entirely: They couldn't touch the raw graphics performance of an Iris, since the rendering was all in software, but you could actually stuff one of them in the overhead compartment on an airplane!

And then there was the SGI Indy... They made up for being small on the outside, by being HUGE and BLOATED in the inside:

"Indy: an Indigo without the 'go'". -- Mark Hughes (?)

This legendary leaked SGI memo has become required reading for operating system and programming language design courses: <>


> On 12 Oct 2017, at 15:16, Don Hopkins <SimHacker at> wrote:
> <>
>> On 12 Oct 2017, at 15:04, Michael-John Turner <mj at <mailto:mj at>> wrote:
>> Hi,
>> I came across this on Lobsters[1] today and thought it may be of interest to the list: <>
>> It appears to be an internal SGI memo that's rather critical of IRIX 5.1.  Does anyone know if it's true?
>> [1] <>
>> Cheers, MJ -- 
>> Michael-John Turner * mj at <mailto:mj at> * <> 

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