[Duel] SGI Granite vs. Bigfoot

SGI Granite vs. SGI Bigfoot <=> 7bit vs. Daniel Beardsmore | FIGHT!

SGI Granite
18
75%
SGI Bigfoot
6
25%
 
Total votes: 24

User avatar
Daniel

27 Feb 2014, 21:07

I'm in favour of a solution with two pages, one for the specific Granite-coloured models and one for the complete "Bigfoot" series.
Just copy the current wiki article and delete the unsuitable items from each.
I think both sides have valid arguments that support their opinion.

User avatar
Soarer

27 Feb 2014, 23:35

SGI Granite may well be a nickname and slightly ambiguous, but it's by far the most commonly known descriptor of that keyboard.

SGI Bigfoot? Enlightenment? No.

Now that we know of the nickname Bigfoot - for a group of (generally?) Alps based keyboards - then of course there should be a page that explains it. But is it more important as a classification than SGI or Dell? I don't think so; at most it's a curiosity.

User avatar
Daniel Beardsmore

28 Feb 2014, 19:11

Soarer wrote:SGI Granite may well be a nickname and slightly ambiguous, but it's by far the most commonly known descriptor of that keyboard.
Why is that keyboard special? It just seems like a "precious snowflake" problem, that it has to be segregated because it's "pretty". It's not special for being PS/2, or Bigfoot, or anything really. It's not unique for the colour, either amongst the SGI Bigfoot series (I've posted the photos of the other granite model, that's not PS/2) or amongst PS/2 SGI keyboards. Precious snowflake is not adequately notable.

I do agree with 7bit's split in terms of using "SGI Granite" to refer to a design language, which makes more sense, especially as I didn't know there was a matching mouse and other granite peripherals. They all got forgotten completely.
7bit wrote:Why not "SGI Alps keyboards" or so?
You're certain there are no other SGI keyboards with Alps switches and/or made by Alps, that are not from the Bigfoot product range?

You have to expect the unexpected … like Cherry/Hi-Tek hybrid keyboards … The surprises get stranger and stranger with time!

User avatar
7bit

28 Feb 2014, 20:30

Bigfoot is not a product range!!!
:mad:

User avatar
Daniel

28 Feb 2014, 20:39

Of course the fact that "bigfoot" is a community term should be inserted into the article as well. Maybe a new category to "tag" bigfoot keyboards could be introduced additionally?

User avatar
Soarer

01 Mar 2014, 00:51

Soarer wrote:SGI Granite may well be a nickname and slightly ambiguous, but it's by far the most commonly known descriptor of that keyboard.
Daniel Beardsmore wrote:Why is that keyboard special? It just seems like a "precious snowflake" problem, that it has to be segregated because it's "pretty". It's not special for being PS/2, or Bigfoot, or anything really. It's not unique for the colour, either amongst the SGI Bigfoot series (I've posted the photos of the other granite model, that's not PS/2) or amongst PS/2 SGI keyboards. Precious snowflake is not adequately notable.
Yes, the community has spoiled the "precious snowflake" by repeatedly and consistently calling it "SGI Granite" :lol:

Of course it's "precious" - a decent layout, Alps switches, and PS/2 interface all combine to make it so.

You cannot deny the widespread and common use of the term, for that particular keyboard, however "wrong" you think it is.

Whereas prior use of the term "SGI Bigfoot" is rare.

For the wiki, why not just have a main SGI page called "SGI Keyboards"? And then maybe expand the "SGI Granite" page to include other Granite-coloured things (but still pointing out near the top of the page that the term is a nickname for one particular keyboard).

User avatar
Daniel Beardsmore

01 Mar 2014, 15:04

Are you all really this retarded? Maybe it really is time to call it quits. I don't see the sense in wasting time with idiots any longer.
7bit wrote:Bigfoot is not a product range!!!
If you're an obsessive nitpicker, it's "Alps Bigfoot" when it comes to SGI keyboards, as they're believed to all be genuine Alps products. (I understand that the term "Bigfoot" was also used for the Silitek-made Dell keyboards, but we have no evidence of any kind to explain why Silitek were making them, and whether they were licensed or whether it was customer theft.)

I don't know what it's officially called, as Alps Electric appear to have made little effort in this regard. Sandy has a copy of the Alps catalogue from 1994, and we still can't find any product names for their keyboard or switch series. The "SK" in SKCL/SKCM means "single key switch" apparently. That's all we know — with Alps, it's all semi-meaningless codes. In some of my image filenames I'm using "SKC" to refer to both, as apparently there weren't any other products in 1994 beginning "SKC" (complicated) or "SKB" (simplified), but I have no way to tell whether this was always the case.

A photo of what might be an old catalogue (probably between 1985 and 1988) gives a contradictory definition, by using the term "tactile CM" for blue and tactile cream Alps.

You can't even figure out names for Alps products from a catalogue. I'd rather use a long-standing term "Bigfoot" than guess that KFCLEA/KFCMEA (or whatever it was) is a reliable term for the whole series.
Soarer wrote:Of course it's "precious" - a decent layout, Alps switches, and PS/2 interface all combine to make it so.
Do you actually know that the Indigo² models (part numbers 9500820 and 9500829) are not PC compatible? Are they not in fact PS/2? The only difference that I know of is the colour. There's a non-PS/2 granite, too.
Daniel wrote:Of course the fact that "bigfoot" is a community term should be inserted into the article as well.
Seriously? Did you actually follow the Alps Bigfoot link on the page?

User avatar
wheybags

01 Mar 2014, 15:42

You won't win an argument by calling people retards...

User avatar
Daniel

01 Mar 2014, 16:17

Daniel Beardsmore wrote:
Daniel wrote:Of course the fact that "bigfoot" is a community term should be inserted into the article as well.
Seriously? Did you actually follow the Alps Bigfoot link on the page?
Yes, I had a quick look at the links in the wiki article.

I thought it was a community term, because of your posting at the beginning of the thread:
Daniel Beardsmore wrote:Keyboard enthusiasm began in Asia. The term "Bigfoot" predates Sandy — it's the community term for the standard Alps Model M-style keyboard platform and, I think, the clones too (no-one actually knows what went on with Silitek, Alps and Dell over the AT101 — licenced, or cloned).
I see relation between the Bigfoot series and the SGI Granite the same as the relation between the G80 series and the e.g. G80-3000HFD. Is this correct?

User avatar
7bit

01 Mar 2014, 18:21

No, it is IBM Industrial case color vs. IBM Longleg!
:-)

User avatar
Daniel Beardsmore

01 Mar 2014, 21:45

Daniel wrote:I see relation between the Bigfoot series and the SGI Granite the same as the relation between the G80 series and the e.g. G80-3000HFD. Is this correct?
Alps Bigfoot (KFCLEA/KFCMEA, whatever) was a stock OEM product range, i.e. a product range made by one company that is labelled as though it was made by another. That is, a company such as Silicon Graphics would instruct Alps to put their logo on an existing keyboard design and ship them over. In many cases, such as with SGI, the product range already existed and no design work was carried out, although there would have been customisation for those keyboards that used the SGI protocol and keyboard connector.

For example, Dell did not make the keyboard on your office PC; it came from a keyboard OEM such as Silitek, Logitech, NMB or Chicony. Dell have the keyboards made by another company, with the Dell logo on. Some of them may be designed by Dell, with just the manufacturing outsourced. SGI didn't have any design work done in this instance.

The SGI Granite is just a standard Alps OEM keyboard. It's nothing more than a Dell AT101 with fancy coloured plastic.

Cherry also sell their keyboard ranges as stock OEM in the same way — lots of Cherry keyboards are sold with other companies' names on. Some of them are still Cherry-branded, and others are not. I have a Techies-branded RS-6000 (G83s series) that is branded Cherry on the back, whereas the Olivetti G80-3011 was sold without any obvious mention of Cherry:

http://deskthority.net/wiki/Cherry_G80-3011

However, the FCC grantee code of GDD will confirm that the OEM was Cherry, and the FCC ID also contains the original model number. FCC IDs are really useful at determining who really made a keyboard.

User avatar
Soarer

02 Mar 2014, 00:13

Soarer wrote:Of course it's "precious" - a decent layout, Alps switches, and PS/2 interface all combine to make it so.
Daniel Beardsmore wrote: Do you actually know that the Indigo² models (part numbers 9500820 and 9500829) are not PC compatible? Are they not in fact PS/2? The only difference that I know of is the colour. There's a non-PS/2 granite, too.
Either you're trolling or retarded, perhaps both. You'd know what I meant if you bothered to read what I wrote. I know of these other models, but only one commonly gets called SGI Granite and is (vaguely) sought after (i.e. precious) - the one I described. Didn't expect to have to state that I was talking about the nice granite coloured one and not one the icky beige ones :lol:

NEITHER "SGI Granite" NOR "SGI Bigfoot" is ideal as a title for a page of SGI Keyboards.

So why not just call it "SGI Keyboards"?

User avatar
Compgeke

02 Mar 2014, 08:10

How about we call them both the "Silicon Graphics Incorporated Alps Keyswitch Full Size Computer Input QWERTY Keyboard"?

User avatar
Daniel

02 Mar 2014, 10:55

Okay, thanks for the clarification Daniel. So 'bigfoot' keyboards were / still are what today are called whitelabel products.

User avatar
Daniel Beardsmore

02 Mar 2014, 13:34

Soarer wrote:NEITHER "SGI Granite" NOR "SGI Bigfoot" is ideal as a title for a page of SGI Keyboards.

So why not just call it "SGI Keyboards"?
You want the page to be extended to cover ALL SGI keyboards, regardless of who made them? e.g. Alps, NMB, etc.

Not sure if sarcasm.
Daniel wrote:Okay, thanks for the clarification Daniel. So 'bigfoot' keyboards were / still are what today are called whitelabel products.
I don't understand the distinctions between badge engineering, white label and OEM, but basically yes. Alps did sell some models under their own name, too.

I created a separate OEM category hierarchy to track this:

http://deskthority.net/wiki/Category:Keyboards_by_OEM

You can see who's made keyboards for which other companies; this is of course still far from complete. The Cherry OEM category existed even before I set up the category tree, so it's quite well populated.

User avatar
Soarer

02 Mar 2014, 23:13

No, I wasn't being sarcastic, it just seems the logical way to go if there is any uncertainty about the manufacturer. Are you certain that all these SGI Bigfoots are simply rebrands? Were the Granite Bigfoots made by Alps using SGI's special granite sauce plastic, or did SGI have them made separately to fit the Alps module (PCB/plate/switches/firmware)?

User avatar
Daniel Beardsmore

03 Mar 2014, 00:29

So you want a page called "SGI Keyboards" that only covers a subset of SGI keyboards? Or you want to just throw the whole lot—every single SGI keyboard ever made in the history of ever—into one big page?

This is really getting far too stupid for me now. Do whatever you want with these pages. Suit yourselves.

User avatar
Soarer

03 Mar 2014, 00:45

Whatever, this is not a debate I'm willing to continue. If the answer to "Why not call it 'SGI Keyboards'?" is that SGI never actually made any, then you could just say so instead of posting childish insults.

User avatar
Daniel Beardsmore

03 Mar 2014, 01:36

It defies comprehension that this could be this complicated.

For the last time, pay attention. Hopefully there are no more details left not explicitly mentioned for anyone to pretend they haven't read anywhere/were too lazy to bother thinking about.

SGI Bigfoot series comprises keyboards branded for SGI, by Alps, using the Alps Bigfoot product line. There is nothing irregular about this page title. Wiki pages are named per the branding, not the OEM. Diatec don't make any keyboards, but we don't call them "<name of some factory in China hired by Costar on behalf of Diatec> <some internal order ref>", we call them by the branding written on the keyboard. In the case of the SGI keyboards, there's no overarching family name from SGI or any model names at all, just part numbers, and no known family name from Alps either.

Despite all the religious nutjob ravings, the Granite is just one of a set of keyboards from the same Alps product line with only minor differences, and clear crossovers in characteristics including colour and protocol. I felt that I handled the sacrosanct Granite sensitively by ensuring that it still got special mention on the rewritten page, but there's no arguing with religious fanatics. It's like people are worshipping the Granite Shrine. 7bit's already found a sensible solution that I've already said I agree with!

I doubt Alps Electric would struggle putting some different coloured goop into their mould machine. If their Japanese experts can't figure out making plastic in different colours, I'm sure one of their related companies such as Gold Star Alps of Korea understands plastic manufacture, but don't forget that we think Alps had in-house double-shot keycap moulding, as well as the machinery to make one of the most intricate keyboard switches on the planet. (In fact, Gold Star Alps might have made Granite keyboards — they do say "Made in Korea" on the PCB.)

Sandy is convinced all SGI Granites are Alps made. It's possible that something funny went on, just as with Dell; if you want to do your own research, then examine the sticker on this 100% confirmed Alps Bigfoot keyboard, made for HP (bottom-right photo):

http://www7.ocn.ne.jp/~hisao/image/c1414a.htm

Check Granite keyboards for that same sticker, as it occurs on lots of Alps-made keyboards. Also check the PCB for an Alps part number, as any Alps-made PCB will have an Alps PCB part number. You should be able to recognise those by now; they're very distinctive.

SGI also had keyboards made by other companies, that did not resemble the Bigfoot series. For example, the NMB RT6856T that is clearly stated as not being a "real" Granite. There are also completely different SGI keyboards. See here:

http://www.sgidepot.co.uk/sgidepot/kybdsmice.html

I honestly cannot fathom any logic for a page called "SGI Keyboards". That's what the SGI keyboard category exists for. The SGI Bigfoot series page is solely for Alps Bigfoot keyboards. It's not for the NMB RT6856T keyboards. It's not for the black rubber dome ones that look a bit like the old Dell PS/2 keyboards. It's not for any other type of SGI keyboard. It's for keyboards from one very specific Alps product range, with Silicon Graphics branding on them.

Capisce?

User avatar
Daniel Beardsmore

03 Mar 2014, 09:55

Oh, one thing I did forget to reiterate: there is some uncertainty as to whether "Bigfoot" by itself refers to the product range, or the design (I'm waiting on confirmation of this). "SGI Bigfoot series" as a name therefore does leave room for non-Alps versions to exist, should we find that SGI did have another company copy the design or, inexplicably, tool up for full metal plate mechanical keyboard production. The page on the Alps product line is qualified as "Alps Bigfoot" anyway.

User avatar
lowpoly

03 Mar 2014, 11:02

Daniel Beardsmore wrote:Sandy is convinced all SGI Granites are Alps made.
Just opened my 904, the 95/1 dated pcb is (c) 93 Alps, no Silitek logo, Made in Korea. The case sticker says Made in Ireland.

Alps has a production facility in Ireland since 1988: http://www.alps.ie/profile/

User avatar
HaaTa
Master Kiibohd Hunter

04 Mar 2014, 07:17

Damn....this is getting childish.

Anyways, I agree with Daniel Beardsmore that SGI Granite really isn't an ideal name (I saw the original wiki page move...while sipping on a beer in a ski lodge :P).
While community names do hold, they are often incorrect no matter how ingrained they have become (vintage switch monkiers, Monterey Blues, etc.). I'm plenty guilty of creating baseless and incorrect names.
Really, my argument against this name. Is there a documented case where an SGI keyboard was labelled as "Granite"?
If not, it's name is trump-able by a documented name associated with the keyboard.

SGI Keyboards, while a more correct name, includes a lot more keyboards (a la IBM Keyboards vs. IBM Buckling Spring Keyboards). Wiki pages shouldn't be catchalls for everything unless the intent is a high level overview. SGI Granite refers to a specific range of keyboards, and should be identified as specific group by a name other than SGI Granite.

SGI Bigfoot sounds like a reasonable name, if there is documentation supporting this name. Or if all, and only these keyboards used Alps Bigfoot switches (if another SGI related keyboard series used the Alps Bigfoot switches and there is no documentation calling these keyboards as such...then not really an ideal name).
The ideal proof of this is if Daniel Beardsmore (or anyone else) can find that "Alps Bigfoot" was the name of the product line.

Now, seeing as SGI Granite is/was the common name. I don't really see it going away, but a simple redirect and explanation can help remedy this.


My question to the peanut gallery: Why the aversion to SGI Bigfoot other than it not being "SGI Granite"?

User avatar
Daniel Beardsmore

04 Mar 2014, 09:55

Oh man, what? Honestly? Again?

HaaTa: go and read the relevant wiki pages — what you just wrote makes no sense.

Before people chime in here, could you please bother actually reading the relevant pages! It would save having to explain the same things over and over and over and over to people who would rather listen to shoulder aliens and rumours.

lowpoly: be sure to post some photos then ...

User avatar
HaaTa
Master Kiibohd Hunter

04 Mar 2014, 10:09

Bah, sorry. This discussion has gotten much too childish. Maybe I should browse the forum drama more often :P

SGI Granite is a type of the SGI Bigfoot line...I don't see where the problem is...and why this needs discussion at all.

User avatar
Daniel Beardsmore

04 Mar 2014, 22:37

I resent having to explain the same simple facts again, and again, and again, while people who refuse to read the pages in question try to argue as though I had never written any of what I did. People aren't arguing against what I wrote, they're arguing against what they imagine I might have written, or from a viewpoint where I wrote something different, or half of what I wrote, which is truly strange.

Someone told me that I should explain that Alps Bigfoot is a community term. You're suggesting that we research if the term was official. The first line of the [wiki]Alps Bigfoot[/wiki] page? It says:

"Alps Bigfoot (also BigFoot and Big Foot) is a nickname given to the former Alps standard OEM keyboard platform."

I can't figure out whether I should scream or sob when confronted repeatedly with people who have strong viewpoints that have little or no basis in what I actually wrote on the wiki, or whose arguments bear gross ignorance — e.g. calling the page of Alps-made SGI keyboards, "SGI Keyboards", leaving nowhere to put the non-Alps SGI keyboards (of which one was always given on the page in question).
HaaTa wrote: SGI Granite is a type of the SGI Bigfoot line...I don't see where the problem is...and why this needs discussion at all.
7bit originally reverted my "stupidness" by renaming "SGI Bigfoot series" back to "SGI Granite". Why? The page content was left the same, except, as part of a process of self-preserved ignorance, the page title no longer reflects the page contents. I returned the page to a name that fitted the page contents.

The result was a load of confusing editing that resulted (as it stands now) in two duplicate pages, with all links to the SGI Granite keyboard pointing to the wrong one. Even the new lead paragraph was incorrect, citing only one of three switch types found in the Granite itself. Since then, the duplicate page has just been left there. If you have a change to make, you find time to make the change in one go and keep the page consistent, not hack at it piecemeal over a period of years, leaving confusing content there in the meantime.

It just seems like people clinging, like Gollum, to their precious: the Granite is a sacrosanct concept, and I've invited holy war. Nothing else makes sense.

What has happened to people here? Why are the sane people all at Geekhack now?

User avatar
002
Topre Enthusiast

04 Mar 2014, 23:00

:roll:
Can we just let the ship sail now? You said yourself that you and 7bit have agreed on a solution.

User avatar
7bit

05 Mar 2014, 00:02

No. I'm waiting for more torpedos to be delivered to my U-Boot. Once they arrived, my U-777 "Granit" can sink the HMS Bigfoot Beardsmore and the battle will be over.
:shock:

User avatar
Daniel Beardsmore

03 May 2014, 19:40

BTW, "KFCMEA" is ruled out:

http://www7.ocn.ne.jp/~hisao/image/bp286.htm

That's a KFCMEA keyboard with a completely different design.

I am cataloguing the codes here:

[wiki]Alps keyboard codes[/wiki]

The part after K is useful because it's a source of switch part numbers. "KCFL" allowed us to identify SKFL. Sadly, for Alps integrated dome, we only have the 'E' thus far, as no PCB labels have been sighted yet (these have the final letter). I've tried SKE* and can't find a match yet. SKEL notably does exist, which is cute.

User avatar
flowerlandfilms

24 Sep 2017, 07:17

Sorry to re-animate the dead, but on another note, SGI and Silicon Graphics can not be used interchangeably.
The company was rebranded to SGI which stands for 'Silicon Graphics International' in 2009, but it's current name is officially just SGI. As a company they had nicknamed themselves 'SGI' for 'Silicon Graphics .Inc' in 1999, to get away from the notion that they only did graphics, but the name was only officially changed during the corporate takeover by Rackable Systems in 2009. Either way, when they made the workstations which these ALPs keyboards came with in the early to mid 90's, they were simply called 'Silicon Graphics' or 'Silicon Graphics Computer Systems' so there is no such thing as an SGI Granite or SGI Bigfoot it's a Silicon Graphics Granite or Silicon Graphics Bigfoot.

User avatar
subcat

24 Sep 2017, 08:21

flowerlandfilms wrote: Sorry to re-animate the dead, but on another note, SGI and Silicon Graphics can not be used interchangeably.
The company was rebranded to SGI which stands for 'Silicon Graphics International' in 2009, but it's current name is officially just SGI. As a company they had nicknamed themselves 'SGI' for 'Silicon Graphics .Inc' in 1999, to get away from the notion that they only did graphics, but the name was only officially changed during the corporate takeover by Rackable Systems in 2009. Either way, when they made the workstations which these ALPs keyboards came with in the early to mid 90's, they were simply called 'Silicon Graphics' or 'Silicon Graphics Computer Systems' so there is no such thing as an SGI Granite or SGI Bigfoot it's a Silicon Graphics Granite or Silicon Graphics Bigfoot.
While we're on the subject of trivialities, 'ALPs' as a plural for the switches is incorrect, as the company name is ALPS electric. So the 'S' should be capitalised.
But really, I don't think anyone cares. I'm pretty sure the AEK shortening isn't official, yet people still use it all the time. Seems to be same concept here.

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