I used to have a…perverse desire for an SGI workstation. Of course, SGI boxes have always been made of unobtanium. So, in my early days of being paid to do this thing called computing I would take every opportunity to drool over them. I would always check out their booth at trade shows. I would fiddle with programs and windows I knew nothing about. I would marvel at their power and design.
At some point I managed to get on the local sales offices mailing list. In retrospect I have no idea how I pulled that off. But, once on it, I got invites to private events and seminars. This was back in the day when tech companies were spending money like it was going out of style. And no, I’m talking about BEFORE the bubble! I got invited to demo sessions for Maya and Lightwave. At one point I saw the video called “The End”. Someone had put this together with Maya on an SGI to demo at SIGGraph. See, I even remember what SIGGraph is. 🙂 I was floored by what one guy could accomplish with an SGI. Then the “Bingo” video came out. Simply amazing! BINGO! 🙂
I even got invited to movie premiers a couple of times so SGI and Lightwave could show off how they made the dinosours in Jurassic Park.
I look back at those days fondly and now think, good grief that was a long time ago!!! When did I get old? And now, this company that I adored, that I would have done almost anything to be a part of, is struggling to live in a world with cheap processing and cheap (if not free) 3D software. Blender, which is free, is an amazing piece of 3D rendering software. Even Maya can be downloaded as a trial, for free. Kids these days have amazing tools at their hands and it won’t cost them $10k to just get their foots in the door. “When I was a kid…”.
More than anything there was an “aura” around SGI. Even more so than Apple, SGI had a certain allure. No more…