SGUG history Q&A

micrex22

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It's a little disingenuous when said prolific developers also engaged a few anti-community acts. There's really nothing wrong with information being posted in either community, but I mean--the more argumentation and fragments are just going to cause people to get less interested in UNIX and alternative OSes when there is so much drama... I was almost sick to my stomach to find out what happened to the OS/2 and 3dfx communities.

Where there's smoke, there's a fire. Things don't tend to happen without reason.
 

Elf

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It's a little disingenuous when said prolific developers also engaged a few anti-community acts.
I don't necessarily agree about the "anti-community acts" part, but I don't want to derail the thread about python or Dexter's work, so I'll write up my thoughts on this separately (as an individual, on a separate site, separate from any association with the User Group). Some people have said a lot of things about our members and we've refrained from commenting too much due to a desire to be productive and avoid drama, but I think it's worth it at least for me to give my perspective -- somewhere other than here! (Since this is just about Python)
 

Elf

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Questions (or statements) sometimes come up in regards to the early history of the Silicon Graphics User Group or the relation to IRIX Network.

The community ethic is to try to minimize drama, and I think we would all rather work on our own projects than talk about these things. However we also don't want to censor or squash questions or other discussion. So if you have any questions about that, you can ask them here. Also if it comes up in other threads we will try to move it here. Please keep it civil. We're here primarily because we enjoy SGIs.


The three posts above happened to be the first that started up this topic and so I have moved them here. Unfortunately I can't pin this post as the top post in the thread, so please excuse the mess!
 
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micrex22

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Yes, there was a lot of fire in 2019. Micrex please don't drag it up over here- thanks.
With all due respect, isn't that sort of embracing isolationism? There's always going to be a "fire;" look at nekochan, but in this case I am referring to the (weird) developers.

In regards to the anti-community stuff; like all niche interests there are always going to be a lot of vocal and eccentric individuals. However, the line (should) be drawn when personal threats or weirdness gets out of hand. I'm fairly certain that's the rule for every forum/chat room :0)

"that's just the state of things" is implying a state of degradation and resignation; and I'm certain if some developers got upset or were being weird, it really shouldn't have a bearing on the community as a whole? I mean from what I've been able to gather as a spectator this is my perspective of it:
#1 Personal threats and weird PMs have a right to cause for concern
#2 Installing Linux on (old) UNIX workstations that are missing most drivers is a waste (just buy a nice ryzen or something?...)
#3 Refusing to relinquish source code for generally open source projects <-- we've had an issue with this in the NoX community; one guy became weird and refused to share his source code for some code of the map editor. You know what ended up happening? Nobody took that B.S. and decompiled it, merged it to the source and called it a day with a few added enhancements -- now we have progress on the project again :)

If known developers are being weird, I just don't see what the point is of ingratiating strange behaviour that's known to be toxic to all communities? The higher tolerance for the B.S., the more stale the community is just going to become. It's one reason why the NoX community (for instance) has gained so much ground and projects continue to scale up.
 

Elf

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#1 Personal threats and weird PMs have a right to cause for concern
#2 Installing Linux on (old) UNIX workstations that are missing most drivers is a waste (just buy a nice ryzen or something?...)
Hm, I wonder if we might be talking about two different people. If you mean Carlo (aka ivelegacy, et. al.) he is one of only two people who also managed to get themselves banned here. We take pride in trying not to censor or ban for personal reasons and having an open discussion forum with very few rules, but Carlo unfortunately went way overboard. He has harassed me on other message boards and threatened to sue me -- for some not quite intelligible reason relating to us refusing to remove links to his website from posts he himself wrote.

I am not sure if Carlo is who you are referring to though?

When I said "prolific developer" I was mostly referring to @onre who as far as I am aware has never issued any kind of threats (public, personal, or otherwise), nor tried to install Linux on an SGI. He has also always posted his patches and source up on GitHub! Unfortunately he was slandered very heavily by Raion before as well, which is why he is one of the first people that came to my mind when I wrote that.

Although I have no personal interest in Linux on SGI, I would say that arguably all of what we do here with old machines could be considered wasteful in someone's perspective. What we're trying to support here at the User Group is a gathering place for anyone who has interest in SGIs, no matter how specific or peculiar that interest may be. That's a big reason that a lot of us got together and did this in the first place. Whether people want to discuss Itanium, Linux, Visual Workstations, SGI Fuels, GNU software, emulation, or other subjects that were at one point in time either disallowed or discouraged on IRIX Network, it's all allowed and supported here. It's not a place where we try to set rules and boundaries on what we consider the best use of peoples' time or of the hardware. IRIX Network has been a lot better about that lately, to its credit, but it wasn't always the case.

For example, there is a rule on IRIX Network that was designed (and enforced) to stop people from linking to the Silicon Graphics User Group. It is against the rules to "promote other services," but "other services" basically just means SGUG. Putting such a policy in place on the SGUG side would go against all the principles of open communication and lack of censorship that we hold strongly, and so you will see links to IRIX Network in posts here. But it's tough for us not to at least remark when that's a one way street.

But as for Linux, of course you are free to tell people it is a waste of time; that's okay! :)

The User Group is here both for people who think SGI Linux is a waste of time, as well as for the people who might believe that it is interesting.
 
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micrex22

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Hm, I wonder if we might be talking about two different people. If you mean Carlo (aka ivelegacy, et. al.) he is one of only two people who also managed to get themselves banned here. We take pride in trying not to censor or ban for personal reasons and having an open discussion forum with very few rules, but Carlo unfortunately went way overboard. He has harassed me on other message boards and threatened to sue me -- for some not quite intelligible reason relating to us refusing to remove links to his website from posts he himself wrote.

I am not sure if Carlo is who you are referring to though?

When I said "prolific developer" I was mostly referring to @onre who as far as I am aware has never issued any kind of threats (public, personal, or otherwise), nor tried to install Linux on an SGI. He has also always posted his patches and source up on GitHub! Unfortunately he was slandered very heavily by Raion before as well, which is why he is one of the first people that came to my mind when I wrote that.

Although I have no personal interest in Linux on SGI, I would say that arguably all of what we do here with old machines could be considered wasteful in someone's perspective. What we're trying to support here at the User Group is a gathering place for anyone who has interest in SGIs, no matter how specific or peculiar that interest may be. That's a big reason that a lot of us got together and did this in the first place. Whether people want to discuss Itanium, Linux, Visual Workstations, SGI Fuels, GNU software, emulation, or other subjects that were at one point in time either disallowed or discouraged on IRIX Network, it's all allowed and supported here. It's not a place where we try to set rules and boundaries on what we consider the best use of peoples' time or of the hardware. IRIX Network has been a lot better about that lately, to its credit, but it wasn't always the case.

For example, there is a rule on IRIX Network that was designed (and enforced) to stop people from linking to the Silicon Graphics User Group. It is against the rules to "promote other services," but "other services" basically just means SGUG. Putting such a policy in place on the SGUG side would go against all the principles of open communication and lack of censorship that we hold strongly, and so you will see links to IRIX Network in posts here. But it's tough for us not to at least remark when that's a one way street.

But as for Linux, of course you are free to tell people it is a waste of time; that's okay! :)

The User Group is here both for people who think SGI Linux is a waste of time, as well as for the people who might believe that it is interesting.
Neither of them actually, but I'm not going to publicly name names due to respecting privacy. ;)

Well I'm sure someone could say computers in general are wasteful--but some UNIX machines were still under support until not too long ago, so it's definitely a relatively useful skill if someone wasn't thinking of it in hobby terms. My argument was to take full advantage of the (unique) hardware you kind of have to use the (more interesting) OS that was designed for the respective hardware. Otherwise you're not taking full advantage of the unique hardware or even Linux itself--both become compromised and you're not able to learn either in their best state. Let's put it this way, nobody's going to be running graphigs on any Linux distro any time soon :p

And of course to that end, some people will just want to run Linux on unusual hardware; but if that butts into the focus of Irix, AIX or Solaris then most people into those will rapidly lose interest. If nekochan were a forum to run exclusively Linux on all hardware, it would be a completely different community with completely different people--I suppose that's what I meant to say.

A forum that's not ran by linustechtips won't prohibit external content if it wants to be useful. In regards to IRIX Network, I think the general sentiment regarding all of those points is thus:
#1 Itaniums are difficult to do anything with due to limited support, and some of the systems can be hard to obtain (PA-RISC is probably the only guy doing anything with Itanium and even he struggles to find anything useful for it, you can do far more on other systems like Irix), and I couldn't even FIND the Itanium system I was looking out for, so few were produced lol :(
#2 Running Linux on UNIX workstations is for a completely different non-nekochan audience (they may not like the fact we're running "genetic" UNIX for that matter)
#3 SGI Visual Workstations are pretty limited (PA-RISC has a decent video explaining why:
), so the audience and conversations about them are going to be very very limited to nonexistent, unless you're PA-RISC himself. AFAIK IRIX Network only decided to not include the visual workstation repository stuff because it's not Irix nor the focus of what most people want in classic UNIX workstations | even in nekochan everyone ignored them
#4 SGI Fuels can be discussed on the IRIX Network (https://forums.irixnet.org/thread-940.html) but to be fair they are using a retrofitted SGI Visual Workstation chassis that has serious thermal deficiencies
#5 Many view emulation as a 'cheap way out' but Raion changed his views on emulation a long time ago when the discord was still up (on that matter I've always been pro-emulator for convenience and preservation, but I have hardware which no emulators exist for yet and I hope someday that changes)
#6 some of the FSF people will definitely garner disdain towards proprietary UNIX, so I can't see how they're going to mix well in a UNIX community. That's why Debian goes above and beyond to omit proprietary drivers and offensive things like Firefox Quantum.

I suppose what it comes down to is who your audience is; since SGUG and IRIX Network are the result of nekochan closing down, it's only safe to assume these communities are aimed at high powered UNIX workstation users--anything else and the direction starts to become muddled or irrelevant; there are loads of Linux, GNU and emulation communities that do a far better job with those specific topics than UNIX workstation groups which tack them on as a "bonus". Otherwise what's the point if we're not talking UNIX workstations? We may as well take our Linux discussions to a community that specializes in that: and then before you know it we're running a Ryzen with GNU/Linux with no proprietary drivers discussing how well our emulators run :)
 

Elf

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I may personally agree with a lot of your points, but, I guess the overarching thing I was trying to say was just that we don't try to intentionally engineer the conversation here in terms of what is or isn't allowable. That was what caused a lot of the split with IRIX Network in the first place. I think if fewer people are interested in Itanium then there will naturally be no discussion about it and so on. Unfortunately previously on the IRIX Network Discord, when people were interested in discussing it, it didn't go so well.

SGI Fuels can be discussed on the IRIX Network (https://forums.irixnet.org/thread-940.html) but to be fair they are using a retrofitted SGI Visual Workstation chassis that has serious thermal deficiencies
They were certainly allowed to be discussed before, but any mention of them would come with a rant about how they deserved to be trashed and cannibalized :p

I am actually strongly inclined to believe now that the part about Fuels being thermally troubled is an urban myth. I haven't found any evidence of it, and one of the first things I'll do if/when I get a thermal camera is hopefully to put the issue to rest completely, either proven or disproven.

Regarding the VWs, Ciao has been making some use of one lately. I'd certainly like one if only to load Half-Life, Deus Ex, and Descent on it. It makes for a curious PC.
 

micrex22

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I may personally agree with a lot of your points, but, I guess the overarching thing I was trying to say was just that we don't try to intentionally engineer the conversation here in terms of what is or isn't allowable. That was what caused a lot of the split with IRIX Network in the first place. I think if fewer people are interested in Itanium then there will naturally be no discussion about it and so on. Unfortunately previously on the IRIX Network Discord, when people were interested in discussing it, it didn't go so well.


They were certainly allowed to be discussed before, but any mention of them would come with a rant about how they deserved to be trashed and cannibalized :p

I am actually strongly inclined to believe now that the part about Fuels being thermally troubled is an urban myth. I haven't found any evidence of it, and one of the first things I'll do if/when I get a thermal camera is hopefully to put the issue to rest completely, either proven or disproven.

Regarding the VWs, Ciao has been making some use of one lately. I'd certainly like one if only to load Half-Life, Deus Ex, and Descent on it. It makes for a curious PC.
Well many forums and forum administrators will give you their opinions. And if you're running a community you end up also receiving a lot of opinions from other people; I'm sure this forum isn't up to snuff for some people who want something lighter weight (I happen to like the changing backgrounds though, BUT OF COURSE others will complain). I never felt my conversations were engineered on the IRIX Network--and in fact they really aren't; because even some of my bitchy posts remain.

I personally think the Itanium discussions are (were?) going fine--but as fine as they can go. Interest was limited, even on nekochan. The people who are really into Itanium don't really seem to hang around the forums anyways--I have to DM them. No rant was followed by when I posted asking to purchase a fuel, btw: https://forums.irixnet.org/thread-443-post-3511.html#pid3511

I'd love to say more about the Fuel, but guess what? Every time I want to buy a busted one, someone wants $2000+ for a rather uninspiring system that happens to be broken in most cases. So then it just makes more sense to get a Tezro (which I don't want), but I'd really like a Fuel so I can pick its hardware apart and fix a few things and theories. And get my hardware fix. It shouldn't be a myth because the visual workstation chassis wasn't designed for the Fuel, rather, the Fuel was designed around the visual workstation chassis which is why you end up with those odd looking misshapen blue baffles--but that's exactly what I find alluring about it.

While I don't agree with Raion on everything about Linux or Windows 10; you have to realize that... much of what he says is echoed by even what the majority of the nekochan people said/say. Who is going to be running an SGI visual workstation as their main rig? Who is seriously going to use Itanium with Windows/Linux? Who is going to ignore the odd details about the Fuel?

Also these opinions are shared greatly in the UNIX community, one of the big AIX guys hates systemd as much as Raion. I honestly think it's silly to look for multiculturalism in a UNIX group. If everyone loved systemd and x86, they'd double down on that kind of thing. I don't think you'll ever achieve multiculturalism for classic UNIX workstations--but at the same time everyone has their opinions and that's natural. If Raion says the Fuel is shit (and maybe it is or isn't) that really doesn't affect what others will do--or what I will even do.
 

Elf

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And if you're running a community you end up also receiving a lot of opinions from other people; I'm sure this forum isn't up to snuff for some people who want something lighter weight (I happen to like the changing backgrounds though, BUT OF COURSE others will complain). I never felt my conversations were engineered on the IRIX Network--and in fact they really aren't; because even some of my bitchy posts remain.
Yes, it's always free to hand out opinions, but the work implementing other peoples' ideas is always long and potentially unrewarding! I know that feeling... :)

@onre actually has a working alpha code for an NNTP gateway for the forums now. This will allow people with older newsreaders on IRIX and other retro platforms to access it once we have it finished and deployed. It's quite a sight!

Regarding the constraint of conversations on IN though, I will say that there has been a lighter touch on the forums. I know you have been on both, but just for the benefit of anyone else reading, if they weren't around in the Discord they probably have only seen the surface of the story. The Discord chat I think is where most of those negative interactions happened. Although ironically my first IN Forum experience (the day after Nekochan had gone down) was posting a list of suggestions on how to grow, and getting it deleted :(

It's always fine for people to have opinions, even strong and forcefully argued ones. But there was a lot of blurring of the lines where disfavored subjects -- particularly in the chat -- suddenly became "off topic" and verboten (eventually to be sent to side channels when finally allowed). Or where opinions turned into demands and "requirements" that other people were supposed to spend their own hobby time implementing. Or, for example, where personal conflicts with other people (e.g. @onre, @Northsky, and some others) escalated into bans. If one wants to be the primary SGI community, is it really right to exclude smart contributors (or anyone) from the community just because there was some sort of argument or you felt offended, because you hold some sort of administrative position?

Ultimately that's the only reason I ever brought this up to begin with. It's hard to recommend to User Group members to participate or get content from IRIX Network when they are banned over there, or when mentions of / links to the User Group are disallowed. Unfortunately personal conflicts with Raion have excluded many people from there.

It's worth pointing out that many of the people at IRIX Network may never have encountered any of this. It might be a very good community for them and serve their needs wholly and completely, and I think that's fine too. They may be wondering what in the world I am even talking about. All I can say is not everyone has had that same experience, and many don't feel welcome anymore. I've become one of those people as well; I went from only being tangentially associated with the User Group (I didn't start it, and came on board late when it was still called SGI Dev) to pouring a significant amount of time and effort in its upkeep and promotion, mostly because after trying to help out IN for a year I saw too much craziness, maybe in ways that most people weren't exposed to.
 
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dexter1

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As the poster who sparked this discussion i would like to give my personal view about this:

Any forum has a set of rules about its usage and policy, it's just the details that differ from forum to forum. That means that there are always people or groups not feeling represented on certain forums and they either go elsewhere, or even create their own forum.
There are also people that have been restricted or banned from either forum on an individual basis for whatever reason.

That these matter divide the IRIX community to a certain extent is regrettable, but i am positive that both IN and SGI.sh contribute in expanding SGI machines knowledge, hardware, usage and fun-factor. To my knowledge there is no explicit or implied exclusivity about information posted on either forum and there shouldn't be (and please correct me if this is wrong regarding SGI.sh), which is why i repost my python patch explanation to this forum. The actual patches and build instructions and tardists for all my efforts are put on my personal webpage.

That this may be confusing for newcomers is understandable, which is why i think this thread is created to explain it a bit.
 
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foetz

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there is a rule on IRIX Network that was designed (and enforced) to stop people from linking to the Silicon Graphics User Group. It is against the rules to "promote other services," but "other services" basically just means SGUG.
interesting.
Raion aka RaionFox aka TeamBlackFox used to do exactly that intensively at nekochan when he started his site. at some point he even started bitching about nekochan right in that very thread which led me to ask him to stop doing so. telling him that allowing his self-promotion was a courtesy by us (the nekochan team) and that we expect to be treated equally respectful.
learning that he doesn't even allow links to other sgi sites is curious.
 

Unxmaal

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It's a little disingenuous when said prolific developers also engaged a few anti-community acts. There's really nothing wrong with information being posted in either community, but I mean--the more argumentation and fragments are just going to cause people to get less interested in UNIX and alternative OSes when there is so much drama... I was almost sick to my stomach to find out what happened to the OS/2 and 3dfx communities.

Where there's smoke, there's a fire. Things don't tend to happen without reason.
@micrex22 - Please inform the admins if you notice anti-community acts. If an admin is being naughty, message me directly. If I'm the one being naughty, ping Elf. It'll get resolved.

If you have examples of prior anti-community acts that have occurred here or on Discord, please list them here. I will investigate.
 
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Elf

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Raion aka RaionFox aka TeamBlackFox used to do exactly that intensively at nekochan when he started his site.
I do remember that! How times change... :)

That these matter divide the IRIX community to a certain extent is regrettable, but i am positive that both IN and SGI.sh contribute in expanding SGI machines knowledge, hardware, usage and fun-factor. To my knowledge there is no explicit or implied exclusivity about information posted on either forum and there shouldn't be (and please correct me if this is wrong regarding SGI.sh), which is why i repost my python patch explanation to this forum.
Thank you for the level headed view! :)

To step back from it, I think the availability of multiple choices of venue -- for whatever suits one's personal tastes -- is only a good thing. There have definitely been a lot of great contributions on IRIX Network, and there are definitely good people over there that aren't over here (and vice versa).

Since we are just a collection of users with very little central authority, there is certainly no community-wide desire to have or enforce any kind of exclusivity. Any of that would just be on the part of the individual users and what they request with their own content. For example, on my power supply information I request that people who duplicate it link back to and credit the original.

Also, thank you for posting your work here as well. I really appreciate it and I know others do too!
 

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  • Silicon Graphics User Group (SGUG) is a community for users, developers, and admirers of Silicon Graphics (SGI) products. We aim to be a friendly hobbyist community for discussing all aspects of SGIs, including use, software development, the IRIX Operating System, and troubleshooting, as well as facilitating hardware exchange.

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