Silicon Graphics has lined up preview footage from Lord of the Rings to mark the opening of its new training suite in Auckland tonight.
The company announced this week that Weta FX - a long-term SGI customer - had bought 16 dual-processor SGI 1200 servers running Linux as it builds capacity for post-production work on the Peter Jackson-directed films of Tolkien's trilogy.
Weta has provided work from the project - although it's not clear whether it will be the same six-minute package shown to an industry audience at the recent ShoWEST trade show in Los Angeles, or new footage.
The $100,000 central Auckland suite marks a dual first for SGI - in that it contains eight Linux workstations alongside another eight running the company's flaship Irix OS, and because it is the first of a planned string of training bases throughout the Asia-Pacific region. A Sydney suite is scheduled to open next month with one in Singapore by the end of the year.
SGI's Asia Pacific education manager, Julia Clarkson says the new training centre will treble the number of standard SGI courses available in New Zealand and make it easier to deliver customised training.
"We are also committed to providing the most comprehensive range of commercial Linux training available," she says.
"Many developers and organisations are moving to use Linux for the Internet. By providing a state-of-the-art suite such as this, we will make the technology of SGI much more accessible and available to a wider audience."