Some time around 1996 or so, a friend and I went to Comdex Mexico. They were peddling SoftImage for Windows NT running on a dual-CPU Alpha system. "Look how you can edit 3D models in real time, much cheaper than SGI boxes".
Back then Windows NT was extremely slow. I thought, well, I suppose anything can be fast on a fucking DUAL ALPHA.
Some time around that, we got our first Alpha at the university, and I did my Linux/GNOME work there. It was incredibly, screamingly fast. Best FPU ever.
I mention this because these days, any non-descript box can run Blender and do that in real time, no problem. But back then, seeing 3D meshes deform in real time as you moved the mouse, on a non-SGI box, was just Magic(tm).
@federicomena I got an alpha as my main desktop in about 97 (with a 3dfx card); a nice fun Linux box at the time; and making things happy in 64 bits was fun as well (the one I remember was X braking when gnome v started having more than 32 clients because it's FD set code wasn't 64 bit clean; 32 clients being almost unheard of in old desktops)
@penguin42 woah, I never ran into that bug. Obscure indeed :)
I don't remember if in those days I was actually running stuff on the Alpha, but displaying it on a Sun's X server. I mostly sat at the only Sun box with a 24-bit display, a beautiful flat Sun CRT. Caught a few endianness bugs that way :)