Now I feel old

Silicon Graphics has entered bankruptcy.

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…

Ugh.

Reading the signals – part 2

Well, that was quick! The hazard flasher does work perfectly. I’ve updated the diagram to reflect the new design.

I just had the thought that I’ll probably be able to elminate some more cable by running the wires coming from the switches through the bus bar as well. I’ll save that for the final dash positioning though. No need to go hacking up wires when I’m not sure exactly what I’ll need. It’s always easier to take them out than it is to put them back in! I also had the thought that I might be able to use one of the female ends of the spade lugs I’ve been using for the lights. They might fit over the spades coming off the switches very nicely.

This small thing is another significant step. I need to think about this over night but I’m pretty sure I’m done with the rear harness now. I think I can start grooming it and tying it down. After I’ve done that I can install the trunk aluminum. Still a lot to do but it’s an important milestone that opens up other tasks for completion. One thing I need to remember to mention to Angie…a 3 link would go in a lot easier without the trunk aluminum installed. 😉 Reading this hon?

Reading the signals

Spent a good part of the weekend hooking up the turn signals and the hazards.  I was a bit worried about making sure I was thinking straight so I did this diagram in visio real quick.  I missed a couple of things so I’ll be posting a “finish” diagram later.  Notably, using a DPST for the hazards works better than the SPST in the diagram.  Using an SPST will result in either a loop and everything flashing no matter which signal you use, or the necessity for diodes to stop the current flow back through the loop.  The DPST switch seemed much cleaner to me.

I also replaced the badly frayed coil plug’s wire.  Here’s what it looked like before:

Here’s what it looks like now:

Click on the pics to zoom in to the gallery.  I’m pretty sure I actually saw sparks a couple of times with the old pigtail!

Of course, here’s my Box O Wire that I never posted from the wire diet entry:

I haven’t weighed it but it looks significant!

I have a few more pics in the electrical section of the gallery.  I only have one outstanding problem with the signals and it goes something like this.  When I turn on the turn signal and then apply the brakes the turn signal freezes in mid cycle.  The rear turn signal is out while the front one is on.  I posted on FFCobra about it and got a very interesting response.  Seems the “turn signal” flasher doesn’t get enough load to kick over when the brakes are applied.  However, the “hazard” flasher doesn’t have that problem.  I’m going to try it out as soon as I finish here.  I actually like the hazard flasher idea better since it seemed to be a faster flash.  If that does work I think I might be able to pull the power lead for the turn signals from the hazard flasher instead of the turn signal flasher.  That’d be a few more wires to add to that box!