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Disk OS Installations
It is often the case that someone who has obtained a 2nd-hand SGI
system needs to reinstall the system disk. Some relish the challenge,
but for others it may not be possible or practical for them to
attempt the reinstallation. In other cases, a disk may have become
corrupted. Whatever the case, I can reinstall the system disk for 35
UKP + the return shipping costs of the disk. The disk can either be
posted to me, or a disk I already have can be purchased and an
installation then carried out. See my feedback page for example comments from people
who have asked me to do disk installations for them.
I always put on a full installation, with lots of extras and custom online information (ie. items that are not part of a default installation) so that a user can get to grips with the system straight away - this is especially useful for home/hobbyist users, but can often be very helpful for commercial users who may be unfamiliar with certain aspects of system operation and resources, or it may simply be a useful time-saver. A full IRIX 6.5.x installation typically requires a 4GB disk or larger. An older system such as Indy or non-IMPACT Indigo2 requires at least a 2GB disk. A smaller disk is still perfectly usable though - the user simply decides which items are not to be installed in order to take account of the lower capacity, eg. excluding demo software, freeware, etc.
For more experienced users, I can configure the installation as much as I am able prior to shipping, eg. installed software, system name, IP address, gateway, name servers, etc. I've been an SGI sysadmin since 1995 so I have a a lot of experience in system configuration.
My ethos is to install as much of the OS software as possible; the user can then remove items they may not need, or I can do it for them if they are sure which items can be removed. Either way, I include as much useful extra software as possible. Also included is a good default desktop layout for the root account, plus extra handy scripts and programs in /usr/local/bin, and many other things, especially items that are not installed by default and are not part of the standard SGI Freeware, thus saving users much time and effort, eg. by default I install RealPlayer8, Flash5, IrixDivX, mplayer, OpenOffice, Blender, BMRT, Ayam3D, Eclipse, Doom, Quake, all applicable demo programs (O2, Octane, Certain IMPACT on Indigo2, etc.) and so on. See Appendix A below for a description of what I would normally install on disks of various sizes.
If a disk is to have an older version of IRIX installed, I still do the installation using the same methodology, eg. a full 5.3 with XFS or 6.2 installation with everything installed and ready to use.
Just send me the system, I'll clean it inside and out, then send it back. The cost is 35 UKP plus the return shipping costs of the system.
Please use good packaging to send me any system as I will always use the sender's packaging to return the system. Of course, a personal delivery and collection would prevent any shipping problems.
For a commercial customer, the cost is 250 UKP for a half-day or 400 UKP for a full day, plus expenses such as travel costs, accomodation (if necessary for an overnight stay), food, etc.
Note that although my forte is SGI systems, I have a great deal of experience running PC systems too, so I can also help with PC/SGI networking, security, etc.
Also note that sometimes I might charge less when doing a complicated repair/reinstallation job at home, namely at half rate even for a full day's work. When I'm visiting a remote site, often I have to do tasks that need to be left alone while they complete, such as cloning disks or doing backups. While this is happening, I can't really do anything else, except answer any questions the client may have, help with other issues, etc. In other words, when off site, all the time is used up on the job at hand. By contrast, at home, when doing something like a disk clone, in the meantime I can work on other things, including unrelated tasks, ie. I don't think it's right to charge a full day fee even if I may have spent all day working on something (OS inst/repair jobs are typical), eg. when I have to leave a system alone while a disk clone is ongoing, or allow a superglue repair to cure, IDE diags test to run, etc. I know this isn't the way most would charge for such work, they'd just charge for a full day anyway (especially if one ends up working into the late hours of the night), but to me it's a more ethical way of defining what something costs for the effort involved.
Assuming I can locate the problem, then I can either replace parts as requested or just return the system as-is (postage paid by sender).
This is a list of the items I install on a 1GB disk:
A 2GB disk allows me to install much more (extra demos, Performer, further development environments, more freeware, etc.) A 4GB disk provides enough space to install almost everything, including Quake and Quake2, plus O2 demos and Octane demos if appropriate (some of the Octane demos run just fine on High and MaxIMPACT). A 9GB disk is ideal.
Here is a typical example output from swmgr, though note this list doesn't include all the manually installed items such as BMRT, MOPS, Blender, RealPlayer8, IrixDivX, Doom, Quake, etc.