Nostalgia for Silicon Graphics

The last post about feeling old reminded me of a Youtube video that confused me a couple of years ago. I’ve never been able to really wrap my head around it. I enjoy tinkering with retro gaming. Honestly, I spend more time and have more fun in the process of getting emulators working on different devices, than I do actually playing the games. This hobby is firmly rooted in nostalgia for my childhood.

But then there’s this video.

If you don’t want to watch all 21 minutes, here’s a summary: A teenager’s dad drives him to Toronto to buy a Silicon Graphics supercomputer from 1993 for an undisclosed sum. Hopefully not too much, because it’s basically worthless. These computers were used to make things like Super Mario 64 and Titanic. The kid moves all the furniture out of his parents’ bedroom so he has room to set it up and film it.

He gets it working, and it’s LOUD. He opens it up and goes over the components.

What’s this all about? This is an artifact from years before he was born. It’s way less powerful than a modern $500 computer and can’t run a modern operating system. It’s not something he can really even use at all, because eventually his parents will want to put their bed back in the bedroom.

In high school, I knew a few guys with 30-year-old Mustangs or Chargers that were constantly wrenching on them. Even if they weren’t nostalgic for the 60s, they got to drive those cars around. There’s nothing practical about a supercomputer half the size of a fridge.

What’s this kid’s deal? WHY?


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