Clippings from all of you...
Your feedback and your support has been just great!
Keep those cards and letters (electronically) coming.
Contributions to this page, either anonymous or signed,
not only welcomed but greatly encouraged. Use the
add/modify/delete form for info on this page.
Last updated: 2001-10-27 11:21:57
After 11 years of ducking, the axe finally swung my way on September 28, 2001, just a few days short of my anniversary. It was a great ride while it lasted! Now looking for working in pulic relations, employee communications or marketing in the Twin Cities area. Got any leads, let me know!
I entered Cray Research in 1983 as a presales analyst in charge of CGG, our first
oil & gas customer in France at this time. I contributed to the sales of about
20 different Cray systems to CGG until 1996 mainly in Paris, Houston and London.
I went throughout the world installing the CGG software on other Crays at Boeing,
Scripps Institute, UT at Austin, Oryx Energy in Dallas, EPFL in Switzerland, KIST
in South Korea and others.
Then as many of you, I was integrated into SGI, keeping the same customers happy
in an evolving world. I was more and more involved in high-performance visualization
in the oil & gas business. And I finally built them and controlled the execution.
And in the middle of 2001, SGI decided to reduce the number of its employees to 4,000
from 6,800 in two steps. I'm part of this big RIF.
But now I can join the ex-Cray family. It has been the most gratifying time
in my whole professional life.
The worst day of my life was following the night I went to sleep a Crayon and woke up a SGI
grunt. Although the worst, it exposed me to the SGI channel model and living in Dubai, outside
of Saudi! I had a hard choice in 2000 when the spin-off of the remnants of Cray from SGI to Tera
occurred. I didn't help my SGI career either. During a job evaluation by my SGI UK superiors,
they stated that I lacked the drive and enthusiasm of their typical SGI employees. I stated
that I was a big iron guy that enjoyed working for Midwest based US companies. I stated that if
I had a desire to work for a Bay area California based workstation company, I would have
applied to Sun long ago. I was slated to head back to Cray, either in the Netherlands or in
Detroit. But an opportunity arose to partner with an acquaintance and form a Sun Master
Reseller for the Middle East and Pakistan (plus Africa, hopefully.) I decided to give this a
shot. I figured it best to wait until I have 4 kids, a wife, living 6500 miles away from home
to risk everything. This was a great way to stick it to SGI in response to 3 years of living
hell. I don't know what the future will hold, but I know that Cray will survive, given the
chance. I wish Cray the best and perhaps a reunion in the future!
It was a great time, great people to work with, great friends. We did some unique things
in our time - but time moves on and we must too. We also made some BIG business mistakes
in our time - but time moves on and we must too.
Remember today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday - so don't worry, do good and look
I really miss the FOOD and the parties and the great people (well some of them).
Hello All! What fun to read the comments and see the names!
Just yesterday I was thinking back to my first yrs with Cray in 1440,
recalling how beautiful the bldg was as I came around the corner
each morning, and remembering how very, very glad I was to have
a place there.
Almost 20 years later, my daughter searched for a job that she could
care as much about, and tells me she has found her "Cray".
When SGI took over and we began to hear new product info...it was
awfully hard to see any !wow!ness in it. Who cared about cartoons
when you'd been saving the world??? Supporting places/work like NCI,
drug design, car safety, energy research......made Cray a MISSION
rather than a job. The memories bring smiles of delight!
And Cal, thanks so much for doing this site.
Lee (Dahle) Weimer
Time for my semi-annual pilgrimage to exCray.com, and WHAT A SHOCK!
Todd and Curt will be missed by all of us who ever had occasion to meet them. Light a candle, say a prayer, and huddle a little closer to the ones you love...
Thanks, again, Cal, for maintaining this web site. It's really a good resource - great to see the old names, and see what people are doing.
Hope you are doing well.
After leaving Cray I founded two software companies. The first in 1990, ZH Computer, Inc. located in Edina, Minnesota, (www.zhcomputer.com) and the second in 1997, MillionZillion Software, Inc., the international joint venture company, located in Minneapolis, USA and in Gdansk, Poland. MillionZillion Software is designing software requiring advanced mathematics. We work with mathematicians and scientists from different countries and associate them as Academic-Members. Currently, I am the President of MillionZillion Software Inc. (www.millionzillion.com).
Position: ...software development... And then there was the technical support adventure
I just want to say I really miss the Cray organization. I only worked for the "true" Cray Research
for a couple months before the buyout. But I was apart of it for a lot longer than that since my
dad has worked there for 23 years, as of this october. There were a lot of good times and at
one time, a lot of healthy profit sharing checks. I fondly remember all the parties out at Lake
Wissota State Park, with good old "what his face" the clown? I dont rememebr that much. Ha ha.
Not to mention the poseter contests. I thought it was pretty hysterical. A couple years ago,
Mary Bergeron pulled some old Cray newsletter that had me in a picture as one of the
winners of the Cray Fire Safety Poster contest. I must have only been about 5 or 6 years
old... just thought i would share.
I was part of the reduction force in 1997 when SGI and Cray
were joining forces. It was such an exciting time, and
I decided to take an early retiement and now live at Lake
Camanche with my husband, Gary, and our two yellow labs.
I miss all of you, still. I never worked for a company like
Cray.Those of you who share my views know what I mean. It's hard
to put into words. It's like "the 50's". We knew that era was
special at the time, we just didn't know it would go down in
history. You were my family for 15 years and I'm so greatful that
I had the oportunity to work with the best people and the best
customers. I miss them too.
I still keep in touch with about 15 Crayons. It's interesting to
follow their lives. Keep in touch.
Just want to say hi to all of the ex-cray folks! Drop me an email if you remember me!
Position: Technical Writer - 1991-SGI takeover
Thanks for the info, Cal.
BTW, I spent some time reading thru the messages and clippings on the
excray site... What fun reading the comments (understanding much of the
in-between-the-lines humor and history) and recognizing names - and also
being able to guess "who" where names were not included.
This site, and the warmth and emotion held within, makes quite a
remarkable statement about how a company *can* be run. It would indeed
be marvelous if the new Cray Inc can capture that magic once more.
I'll be watching carefully - I sit fairly close to ground zero for
someone who doesn't work there...
So, thanks again for your extrodinary efforts to keep this alive for
us to feed on when we need it!
I'll be in touch,
Spent 23 years at Cray and over 30 years with IBM as the enemy. Now I work for them???
I'm not sure if that is a joke or just the way the world turns....
Still plan on duing the Cray Reunion party in 2001. Please drop me an email if
you want more details.
Worked in the Boulder Central Region office before the *first* reorg.
Then worked at NCAR for 10 year - met up with other ex-Crayons there.
Now at Oregon State University, Associate Director of NACSE (Northwest
Alliance for Computational Science & Engineering).
President of the Cray User Group (and trying to help the organization
find it's way thru the vendor ups and downs and shifts and turns).
I was just at a wedding where I ran into several excrayons and found out
about this web site.
Excellent idea! Please add me to the list.
I was at Cray ("unofficially") for several summers as an intern from
1987-1990. I worked in the
Networking group all four summers with some outstanding people. I
became official sometime
in 1991 when I joined the MPP project. Once again, another outstanding
group of people.
It was sort of weird looking through the list of people on the list. Not just for
who was there but for who wasn't listed. Getting laid off was sad at first, but
it gave me the strength to walk away from other bad employment situations.
A while ago, Stu Johnson and I ran into a set of Sun hard drives labeled "Carina"
at a pawn shop. The owner didn't know what they were, so he sold them to us for
When we hooked them up to a spare Sun, the system booted right up. We couldn't
log in as root or our old accounts; however, the password for craymail was exactly
the way I left it before I was laid off! And since I had left tools for craymail
to gain root, it was only a matter of seconds till we were root.
The first job I had after CRI issued me an extension that was my former
CRI employee number!
Now that Cray split from SGI, and I got left behind, I think it would be
reasonable for me to join the ranks of excray. What do you think? Have
there been any decisions on this? After 17 years at Cray, I just want
to keep in touch with folks.
Cal, (Mary and Rene')
It was with mixed emotions that I visited your site today. I knew that
I would see signs of the wonderful camaraderie that we all admired and
appreciated as Cray Research Inc customers. It is just so sad to see
what unfortunately is a partial list of such wonderful people.
Kudos to your collective tenacity and sense of family. You all are a
I unfortunately know first hand that your list continues to grow, and
we have been trying to assist in helping to place folks with ...er...
more reputable companies... shall we say. Please do not hesitate to call
on me if we may be of service in aiding anyone.
Warm regards everyone.
ps. Can I start a petition for an "X-Cray Research Inc. Customer" hat?
Robert J. Silvia
So, Cal, where are you from? and under which of the circumstances did you
leave? I was layed off in the Nov. 97 round of cuts. 21 years.
I was a Cray-on from 19 Oct, 1981 until SGI fired me (for telling three VP's
they had no idea what was going on and calling them ignoramuses...) on 27
I started out as a field Engineer ... (3.5 years)
I worked as a design engineer in Chippewa (7+ years)
My last job was a technical instructor (5 years)
Currently I'm a design Engineer at Hewlett Packard in Richardson, TX.
It's the old Convex Supercomputer company - HP bought them out.
Cal, add my thanks to all the rest for the web site. The 16 years I spent
at Cray / SGI were the most amazing
and personally satisfying experience in my life. Life goes on and work does
as well --- but there will never be
But... if Seymour reincarnated, we would all go back and do it again! How
many people can say that about
"Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words." - Mark Twain
Wow, this site brought tears to my eyes!
This is awesome that this site exists!
I really miss my days with Cray Research, I have so
You may have a kick out of this. There is a club on
http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/exsgi for SGI former employees. It was started
by some people I worked with during the last year - all Mnt. View - and have
been laid off in August. Anyway, it is possible to add links in a (what
else) a link page. I added the excray link page with that comment that since
many - if not all - excray were also exsgi a link to the site was granted.
Guess what... someone removed the link! Can you believe it?. It seems that
the Mnt. View folks want to be petty on the Eagan vs. Mnt. View issues also
after being laid-off. Is this is not being anal, then someone needs to
explain me what it is...... and let alone the clear indication of lack of a
Cal, it is with great honor that I am requesting to be added to the list of
Ex-Cray, official Aug. 26, 1999!!!
You may be interested to know that out of serendipity I became the
custodian of the gfx lab after you left and I managed to keep Oahu and Lanai
in Eagan. At a certain point Oahu was the only Onyx2 in the books of
corporate marketing and I made myself a few enemies by refusing to move it
to Mnt. View. I also got budget to put upgrades and it has now a 8 channel
video board, a DIVO card and more recent raster managers. CPU upgrade was
next. Guess how livid they were when I discovered that the last thing I did
before receiving notice was to transfer the asset to the local sales office.
They machine stay in Eagan now under the tender and loving care of Diane
I thought you may be amused by that.
Subject: Here I come...
Date: Tue, 31 Aug 1999 10:53:56 -0500
X-Priority: 3 (Normal)
It is my time too! So I got laid off and will leave SGI in two weeks. Considering who
else is in the ex-cray-canned-by-sgi club, I am honored to add my name to the list.
Here are my coordinates until I land somewhere else.
Good memory! Yes, it was 1982. Right before Cray crested, and it was a long hard ride
down into the mouth of SGI. The CRTS was a definite high light for me, and my family.
There is life after Cray, but I will always be looking for a job like "Cray".
Heh-heh. "Disgruntled" was _____'s term--probably a bit too strong for me
SGI is just in a tough spot. It is *extemely* hard for a company to cloak
itself with a mantle of nobility under the circumstances. I have a certain
amount of sympathy for SGI's management. As for the old Cray employees,
times were almost too good to be true, and anything else will obviously
fall far, far short in comparison (that goes
for me, too). There's probably SGI old-timers who would say the same for
the "old SGI". Times change. The difficult thing is convincing yourself
that the "old" is no more (which is increasingly difficult as you get
older). It is a little eaiser to come to that conclusion when it becomes
obvious things probably won't get any better. Time to move on. No evil
intent or SGI management bashing (although God only knows
that I did ALOT of that on sgi.bad.attitude!).
How have you been . I just discovered the excray site. It was
good (sigh) to see all the old names.
I had lunch with someone today who told me about the site. Guess
IBM has been having a fieldday recruiting the cream of Cray!
It's just like the good old days (Except everything is written in Java!)
Got your www address from Tim Kirby. So, sure... sign me up for the ex-Cray
Not unlike a prison sentence, I did my time at 1440 and Oz from '81 to '95.
My kudos and appreciation to you for keeping something
like excray.com running. People who take the time to stay
in contact, and help others stay in contact, get an A+ rating
in my book! Its a rare thing ... it makes me glad to know I
have friends and colleagues like that.
We were a little amused the Silicon Graphics Inc has changed its name to SGI.
The heard the rational was that some potential customers for
servers were confused by the "graphics" in the name.
I can't tell you how strange it was to see the SGI job posting
for a Unicos SA at Ford. Vince Wayland, Lonnie Manning, Bob Vanderveen
and I installed the first Cray system at Ford back in January '85...
an X-MP 11, of all things, with only a megaword of memory. Rene' Copeland
was the salesman.
This is my last act as a SGI/Cray employee. I don't have an email yet, I'll get
you that later.
Please include me in the excray list.
I think that it will give a touch of exotisme....
Your list brought back a lot of (mostly) pleasant memories!
I had the chance to be fired by SGI just at the right time in Nov. 1997.
I am very pleased to join the club. It has been a GREAT eleven years in
What a hoot! That was a typo (put probably very much a Freudian slip!).
(email: email@example.com - Oops, should have been firstname.lastname@example.org)
No, I left SGI in January of 1998. Can't say I miss it (SGI). I do, however,
miss the old days at Cray.
How are you ? It was great to find this web page.
You have done a great job ! It was nice to see the names
of so many ex-crayons.
I am working in Pittsburgh now, as an IBM employee
as part of their e-business strategy. Hope things are going well
Someone in the old cray systems group told me to check out your site so i
did..Words getting around fast..i have passed it along to serveral folks who
wanted it as well. Please add me to the email list...
The people I had the opportunity to meet at Cray continue to be
important in my life, both personally and professionally. We've
participated in each other's weddings, births, and funerals.
I continue to work with a group of seven crayons in my current
research position at the University of MN.
I wish you and your family the best and appreciate this opportunity
to keep in touch.
And I just got a phone message saying that some group in the museum needs
clean clear pop bottles to use in a program to explore scientific ingenuity of
residents of the Kalahari desert. Now this poses the question: do you
think that they generate electricity by creating water pressure in pop
bottles in the Kalahari desert? And is there any connection between this
and the movie, "The Gods Must be Crazy"? Points to ponder on a Friday at
Would I have counted as an Alum if I was still at SGI? I left Cray
and joined SGI about 8 months before the merger! But now I'm with
Instrumental, on site at the Army Research Lab. I really miss the
time I spent at Cray. Dupont is replacing their C-90 with some SGI
Origins this month. We're planning a party at the site in a few
weeks for everybody that worked on the Dupont account. It's sad
that the salesman that first convinced Dupont to buy old serial 15
passed away. Gary Ball was great to work with and will be missed.
But not many people know that the deal for Dupont's first machine,
a Cray 1/A, was done on a napkin in an airport bar at MSP!
Subject: I never got mail like this at my old job!!!!
>Date: 4 Mar 1999 09:27:37 -0600
>Subject: Come to Paleo!
>Come one and all to the Paleo Hall to try out Peder Thompson's prototype of
>an interactive Diplodocus gizzard. As a visitor, you are invited to digest
>food (in this case, rice cakes) with the use of gizzard stones in a
>see-through stomach...this is just one of many interactive exhibits planned
>to pep up the new Paleo Hall...
>It's in the back of the hall, near the lab doors...
>"Real understanding is knowledge
> of the depths of our ignorance"
I LIKE getting mail like this.
This site is a great idea. I'm forwarding it on to another handfull of
ex's who aren't listed here yet. You may keep quite busy
with this site! Long live the X-MP, "a great place for a nap".
This is a great idea, and it was interesting to see who ISN'T at
Cray anymore. Quite an impressive group of people!
It's great to "hear" from you. Thanks for taking the time to set up this
page. What a great idea.
Things are going quite well here at Lawson. The company is growing like
crazy and there are lots of exciting things happening here (in fact, maybe a
little too exciting at times). The job I landed is called "Internet
Communications Manager" which means I'm responsible for developing (or
enabling the development of) all or most of the content for Lawson's public
website as well as a few extranet sites designed specifically for customers
and sales people. We are in the middle of redesigning the entire public
website to be way cool in terms of look and feel and functionality. So,
there's plenty to do.
But enough about me. What do you think about me?
New beer bottle warning: :
WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may lead you to believe that
ex-lovers are really dying for you to call them at 4:00 in the