MiST - Amiga ST FPGA + intro

ethan at 757.org ethan at 757.org
Thu Mar 31 12:35:04 CDT 2016

> It's an "FPGA computer" it's hyper-neat, if you ask me. :-)

Like that Transmeta!

> SGI of my own. I think when you have geek lust for something as a kid or 
> teen, but can never get your hands on it, it makes it even more "special" to 
> you as an adult (where other folks just see some old obsolete junk).

Same. Drooling over the Wired 1.1 SGI Ads with the Indigo. And seeing the 
Sparcstation 20s at NASA LaRC when I was in high school.

> I got a deal on mine for $1000 about two years ago. The owner didn't think 
> the machine was in working condition. It turns out it was a decked out 
> full-quad rig that came from a California special effects house. It wouldn't 
> post or boot. I knew I could sell the CPU boards alone for more than $1k, so 
> I bought it. As it turned out, the only problem was that someone had juggled 
> the boards on the system as they decommissioned it (probably to remove a 
> special board the still wanted), and in so doing didn't properly re-seat 
> everything. At the time, similar systems were going for $4k to $10k on ebay.

Interesting. The Origin 350 was another machine that had my eye. I've 
never seen a Tezro IRL. So wild looking.

> I've had an Indigo and I've worked on Octanes quite a bit but never had one 
> of my own. The problem with both of them (and my Tezro) is how huge and loud 
> they are. If I ever buy a house, I'm going to modify a closet to put this 
> crap into so I don't have to hear it. That's the main thing that holds me 
> back from using them more. I use my Indys more than my O2 or my Tezro because 
> of the noise.

My past history of machines I've owned by have given away or once in a 
while sold:
Origin 2000 full rack
Origin 200
Challenge XL (x2)
Challenge L (x4)
Onyx RE (x3)
Crimson (x2)
Vault L
Indy (x 8?)
Challenge S (x 2 IIRC)
Indigo (R3K and R4K, hopefully still have the R4K CPU card)
Indigo^2 (both Teal and Purple)

Never owned an O2, randomly just never landed one.

In that era I worked at NASA LaRC as a system admin and we had Origin 
2000s, one Onyx^2 running a cave, Challenge XLs, and Origin 3800s.

SGI machines were interesting. The origin 2000 and Challenge XL are really 
friendly large computers to own. They're not crazy overbuilt, so they're 
lightweight and friendly.

Power costs are definitely a consideration, and I'm in the same boat 
regarding storage. Housing costs have doubled+ so moving large computer 
collection and arcade collection everytime landlord raises rent too much 
or job changes is a P.I.T.A. If only the US Government would stop 
manipulating the market in cahoots with the bankers, prices would sink 
sink sink. Hopefully another crash soon!

In the meantime, I do have my Cray J932SE up for sale. It's on eBay but 
I'd rather sell around eBay. I need to shed that and an industrial robot 
arm to clear out storage back in Norfolk!

> Mine doesn't. I'm on Nekochan.net quite a bit and I don't see any chronic 
> issues with the Tezro power supplies. However, I can confirm the issues with 
> the Fuel.

Cool. Probably bad caps, I replaced 4 in an Indigo^2 that I sold.

> Fortunately, there are pretty easy hacks to replace the PS on a Fuel. I've 
> got mixed feelings about the Fuel, but it's still a fun machine. If it wasn't 
> for the noise, the O2 would probably be my favorite. It's one of those 
> completely designed-from-scratch true hardware-Unix-workstations with some 
> neat ideas (like the ICE co-processor and the outstanding A/V option). The 
> unified memory architecture of the O2 was also really neat. The first time I 
> saw someone use an O2 to super-smooth zoom down on a 16000x16000 satellite 
> image I was very impressed.

He was saying he can swap the PSU with a PC one, I asked him if it's a bad 
cap issue. He has a 2nd motherboard for it as well. He perked up when I 
mentioned Tezro. He also hasn't seen one IRL

Ethan O'Toole

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