Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI) was a computing manufacturer that produced high-performance computer hardware and software from 1981 through 2009. SGI’s collaboration with game studio Rare and their work on Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park cements them within the 1990’s computing zeitgeist.
Dr. James H. Clark left his position as an electrical engineering associate professor at Stanford University to found SGI in 1982 along with a group of seven graduate students and research staff from Stanford: Kurt Akeley, David J. Brown, Tom Davis, Rocky Rhodes, Marc Hannah, Herb Kuta, and Mark Grossman; Abbey Silverstone - a former manufacturing executive at Xerox; and a few others. The Mayfield Fund venture capital group supplied the initial funding.
SGI machines were known for their processing power, yet their workstations were not produced for the personal consumer market. The primary barrier to entry was their exorbitant price tag. Yet, even if one could afford to purchase a SGI workstation IRIX, the proprietary Unix-based operating system was optimized for 3D visualization and high performance computing environments. This meant that SGI systems often lacked of support for popular software of the time, including video games.
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