MiST - Amiga ST FPGA + intro

ethan at 757.org ethan at 757.org
Thu Mar 31 22:03:27 CDT 2016

> Killer pics. What is that octagonal structure (room?) behind the machines? 
> Dude, *please* tell me that was your office.

StorageTek Powderhorn tape silos! 40 or 50GB per tape IIRC, but tons of 

> Well, it was a forbidden fruit thing for me. I never got to touch that 
> one.

I sold mine to random people, I got the Onyx which I think I paid $666.66 
for (GSA auctions, sealed bid) and then sold the Crimson to help cover 
costs but it was probably for $300 - $400 :-)

> IMO, you are right on all points. I wished they would have allowed the 4-way 
> R10k boards to work in tandem, because you'd have got 24 CPUs that way. IIRC, 
> you could use dual R4k's or dual R10k's for a maxxed out version (12-way). 
> Overall, they look a bit cooler and fit with the SGI motif better, too 
> (purple / blue). The Reality Engine was also a killer system for caves. I 
> built one for the DOE years ago using a similar setup. With the full kit they 
> had genlocks, SVideo, a frame grabber, ridiculously overspec'd sound I/O, 
> etc... When you look at the rear of an Onyx you definitely start thinking 
> "This thing is built for fun and interesting media work."

The Onyx they had for the cave was the one that looks like the Origin 
2000, basically an Origin 2000 node that has video (you can numalink the 
onyx^2 to origin systems IIRC.)

> Small world, eh? Well, he is an awesome guy. He lives close to me and we'd go 
> to computer swap meets in Golden together sometimes when he ran Reputable. I 
> haven't talked to him in a few years. The first time I ever saw Quake III 
> running at impressive framerate was at Greg's place on a Rocktane^2.

Very cool! He even had the BoulderCam or something on the website.

> I was obsessed with getting a Galileo board, myself. I wanted one and an Indy 
> to go with it so very badly when they were new.

Crap this wasn't that. SIRUS video? Siris Video? This is it:
I think I only had the break out boxes (like 3 new in box) and cables.

> to get a machine to put it in. However, by Jove, I got *something* from them 
> after all. Every time I turn on my Indy, I wonder if they ever caught up to 
> the crooked owner dude or if he just started over scamming somewhere else...

Hah! That's pretty crazy! The only crazy auction story I remember was an 
ISP (it's always an ISP?) called Picus in Virginia Beach. I go to the 
auction and there is 2 or 3 Sun E450s, they were getting older at the time 
but still kind of new. I go to the auction, everyone is there looking at 
the desktop PCs. I'm surrounding my heard of Suns thinking... oh yes, 
these are mine. Eventually this hill billy looking guy comes rolling in. 
Overalls and all. I'm thinking so far, NO competition these babys are 
mine! Hillbilly looks at me, looks at the Suns, looks at me, looks at the 
Suns... "Do you know if the ultra scsi disks are Fujitsu or Seagate?" 
Fuuuuu... yea. He took the Suns for some buyer he had lined up, another 
guy took the Cisco equipment.

> Very cool. I can see those challenge S boxes up there. Too bad the cases fade 
> so much faster than the normal Indys. I would also have liked it if they'd 
> have had more badges for them.

Retrobright might fix?

> Next work-from-home gig I hook up with, I might have to do just that. I 
> dearly love Colorado, but that doesn't mean I can't move to some tiny 
> agri-town and live in a converted machine-shop or something. I'll be 
> buggerized if I'm going to give 2x the cost of a house to a bank for a 
> mortgage on a place that's already twice as expensive as it should be for 
> what I'm buying.
> It'd get real time call data and then if it detected that a calling card was 
> being used in two geographically dispersed areas too close together 
> time-wise, then they'd figure it was a stolen card and freeze the account. 
> The Cray was the only thing that could handle all those data streams. It was 
> at MCI in Colorado Springs, years ago. It had a zillion network interfaces, 
> too.

Mine were used to engineer nuclear submarine power systems or something 
for the Navy

> -Swift

Ethan O'Toole

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