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Re: Getting X on Linux/SGI

To: (Larry McVoy)
Subject: Re: Getting X on Linux/SGI
From: (William Fisher)
Date: Fri, 20 Jun 1997 01:55:31 -0800 (PDT)
Cc:,,, (William Fisher)
In-reply-to: <> from "Larry McVoy" at Jun 20, 97 00:34:26 am
> : "Christopher W. Carlson" <> writes:
> : >My point was that SGI is into making hardware.  That's how it started
> : >and that is still its main focus.  Yes, it is true that our software
> : >is very important because it takes advantage of the proprietary stuff
> : >in the hardware, but the main income for SGI is hardware.
> : 
> : How many people buy the hardware and program the bare metal?
> We own MIPS.  MIPS sold or licensed 19.2 million chips last year.  About
> 19 million of those were of the type "program the bare metal".
> Much of the Linux/MIPS interest is for embedded systems.  We should have
> done this years ago, there is no reason why not to do it other than NIH.
        If the demand for Linux on MIPS chips is comming from the "embedded"
        systems then things sure have changed since the early days of
        MIPS Computer Systems. The embedded market in 1992-1996 was
        NOT asking us for Linux, since it was very sensitive to running
        small real-time kernels. In fact nearly all of the original
        chips vendors who licensed the chips used the PROM code, remote
        dbx, compilers, etc. which were sold/licensed to the chip vendors
        for resell to the embedded customers.

        If fact the original VP of embedded system marketing at MIPS was
        Chet Silvestri, now VP of SPARC embedded systems at SUN. Chet
        was very familar with embedded systems having worked at Intel
        on numerous automobile systems, real-time process control, etc.
        Nearly all of those systems were nearly bare metal software
        environments since we had numerous talks with Chet at MIPS
        about software features that would propell the business.
        NONE of those customers wanted anything to do with any flavor
        of Unix, Linux, BSD, System V, etc.

        In fact Hunter-Ready and the other real-time kernels weren't that
        popular with the hard core real-time/embedded folks.

        Hence I would like to here more about larry's definition of
        "embedded systems" because they sure don't sound like any
        that our semiconductor partners sell to.

        I would like to see Linux on the low end of the SGI workstations
        for two reasons; One as an existance proof that a lightweigth
        Unix can be shown to run very fast on our hardware and secondly
        for sale to either universities or other research labs that want
        source code and want to hack. I don't think it will sell that many
        machines but it can't hurt.

        I personally believe that the popularity of Linux on ALPHA is
        pushed by the Digital Semiconductor Division and they will do
        anything to sell chips and Digital systems. I think it is
        similar behavior that you see in both IBM's Semiconductor Division
        and at the Motorola's Semiconductor Division with the PowerPC.
        That being they have no particular religion on any software or
        OS, anything that moves chips is alright with them.

-- Bill

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