BlackBird Saga: 10. From O2 to Blackbird

I have been started the transition from my SGI O2 (with the IRIX 6.5) to my brand new BlackBird (with the Fedora Linux, now in version 30). As I expected it is not (and will) not be smooth nor easy. At the moment I use the O2 for most of time and the BlackBird only when I need more computing power (and yes, also when I need to add a WordPress post). I ahve been trying to find good substitutes for various pieces of software which I have been using for years. Below is a short summary of things which are already done.

It is good to remember that the BlackBird is a POWER9 computer (ppc64le) not an Intel/AMD-based PC (i386 or x68_64) nor my favorite MIPS (misp/mipsel). It has its (big) advantages but it also can make it less compatible with some codes.

Mate Terminal with the IRIX-like colors

  • My own uFEM software (so Gtk+-2.0 + OpenGL 1.1 + libgtkglext) – done. Surprisingly, there were no issues as all of the necessary libraries are still supported. It might change in near future, though.
  • My own MicroDef software (so Gtk+-2.0 + libGD). The Gtk+ is the same as in the uFEM case but the GD was not in the Fedora for some reason. But it compiles without issues here. Done.
  • Web browsing: There is a Firefox (66 at the moment) which is not fully optimized, so some ugly, JavaScript-burden pages are not as fast as one might expect. But this is a minor problem of some porly made pages (one of the biggest Czech e-shops is a typical example). I don’t use services like Facebook or Twitter so I don’t know how responsible they are. The second problem is that I have to use the Chromium/Chrome browser to upload stuff to my calculator. There is no such browser for Fedora on ppc64le, yet (but I can use my GPD Pocket for this task). So partially done.
  • LaTeX/csLaTeX/Beamer and so: I have had to finally abandon the old csLaTeX here and use the Babel package which all normal human beings have using for ages. So I have to update all my files to that. Fortunately, it’s a change of 2 \usepackage{} statements and it also works on my older TeXlive instalation on the O2. Done.
  • Image viewer: I used to use the GQview port on IRIX. There is an actively developed fork called Geeqie for the Linux. Done.
  • Vim/gVim -> Vim/gVim. Done.
  • Gnuplot -> Gnuplot. Done.
  • GNU Octave -> GNU Octave. Done.
  • XFig -> XFig. Done.
  • Terminal Emulator. XTerm -> XTerm (even the Tektronics mode still work!). SGI Winterm -> Mate Terminal. I only adjusted the colors and change the font. But I’m not happy from any available font and I’m still have been searching for a better one. Work in progress.

More on this topic later…

BTW, an archive of this blog can be also found at That archive is much more friendly to old computers and browsers. Also a WWW version of my Gopher Phlog can be found at that place. Many thanks to Logout for them!

BlackBird Saga: 10. From O2 to Blackbird

2 thoughts on “BlackBird Saga: 10. From O2 to Blackbird

  1. ClassicHasClass says:

    I’m having trouble with those URLs. Is there supposed to be an @ in them? Firefox interprets them as a username.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s