SGI

SGI is short for “Silicon Graphics, Inc..” Even though i’ve never worked for them, i have always paid attention to any news related to them. In my mind, SGI’s fate seems to illustrate the Chinese philosophy of “Thirty Years River’s East, Thirty Years River’s West”, which basically means what goes up has to come down, although the Chinese saying didn’t end with the failure, it has the well-known Chinese circular theory in it. In other words, once you come down, you can go up again. Your position relative to the river could change periodically.

When i graduated from college, in the eyes of EE/CS majors, SGI was pretty much the “Google” then. I remember listening to co-workers describing the amazing engineering centric culture that SGI advocates, “The engineers are the ones have offices with windows because they need the space and privacy to concentrate, and the managers end up in cubes in the center of the building.” “They have amazing food!” “They have really nice offices.” “They got huge bonuses.” Even today, you could still hear googlers rave about how they love these ex-SGI offices. “It is airy! It is bright! It’s artistic! and it is really enjoyable to work here.”

Maybe I’m a fatalist. But when I heard that Google’s current main Mountain View campus was originally built by SGI, who has gone bankrupted and had to lease their buildings for peanuts to get by. First thing came to my mind was, wow, someone climbed that high could fall so fast. SGI was once as glamorous as Google today. How fast things change, how soon people forget.

That’s why today when i saw this news item:
Silicon Graphics: Revs Grow; New Chairman; Needs Capital
. I was amazed. Who would have thought? in today’s economic climate, that a long forgotten name is coming back, admittedly slowly, but coming back nonetheless…