SGI Indigo2 IMPACT Back Up and Running

glitchwrks

New member
Jun 18, 2020
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Central VA
www.glitchwrks.com
Wow, imgur says *five* *years* ago I pulled out Amy's Indigo2 IMPACT machine and started cleaning it up:



This machine came from Virginia Tech surplus, pretty sure Amy picked it up while we were still in college. Someone helpfully wrote a bunch of information down and stuck it inside the front door:



Including the hostname and the date it was shut down (which makes sense for when we were still at VT):



Well, last weekend I finally decided to actually set it up properly. I'd already done the NVRAM, of course :p I believe I'd had NetBSD 7.x booting on it, which let me verify everything was still working. Interestingly, NetBSD 9.2 no longer seems to boot from the installation CD: it loads the kernel and stops when it identifies int0. No messages, just hangs. Something to investigate later!

The main impetus to actually getting IRIX 6.5 installed was a) getting a hard disk in it and b) remembering to burn a set of discs. I have a super nice Seagate Barracuda with 50-pin low density connector, 36 GB, 0.2 hour on the internal counter. Very quiet, doesn't run hot. Since the Indigo2 should be fast enough that a SCSI2SD would be the bottleneck, that's where the Barracuda is now installed. I couldn't get a SCA drive and adapter in there, at least not with what I thought was a suitable fit, and I was worried about heat anyway.

After feeding discs and waiting a while, I have IRIX 6.5 up and running:



I had images for IRIX 6.5 from 1998 so that's what I've burned, but I'm thinking I will do a clean install with the 6.5.22 overlays, since I know everything is working now.

First thing to update will obviously be the RAM: it has 64MB installed, and if I understand the tables correctly, I should be able to put 384MB in there, with the R4400.
 
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glitchwrks

New member
Jun 18, 2020
9
10
3
Central VA
www.glitchwrks.com
Lovely machine! My favourite SGI, even though I’ve never owned one. :) For 6.5 I’d say 128mb is minimum, 256mb is nice. Anything over that is great!
Thanks! It is indeed a pretty nice machine, I like the form factor. I had an O2 for a while, which was fine, but I like this case style better.

Nice machine; I like the historical information on the door :)
Same here! I kept the original hostname, though it is now kriz.glitchworks.net instead of the vt.edu subdomain :p

Thankfully RAM for the Indigo2 (and Indy) should be fairly easy to obtain on eBay still, as it is somewhat commodity: https://forums.sgi.sh/index.php?threads/indy-ram-suppliers.625/#post-3704
Indeed, part of the attraction of the Indigo2 and Indy (recently-ish acquired one while designing the NVRAM replacement for it). Some of the old Suns I have use the same memory, so I've got some on hand, but usually only 4MB and 16MB SIMMs.
 
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