Pixar, Apple CEO Steve Job’s other company, will announce its second-quarter financial results Thursday.

Pixar announced net profits of $26.3 million in its first quarter, mainly due to the success of Toy Story 2, which generated $479 million in ticket sales worldwide.

The company recently announced its purchase of 250 Silicon Graphics Octane2 workstations – rather than G4 multiprocessing Power Macs. The machines were bought to use in the production of its fourth animated-feature film Monsters Inc, which is set for release in 2001.

Speedier SGI’s Octane2 computers, built on the UNIX standard, were launched by Silicon Graphics in June. Greg Brandeau, vice president of computer operations for Pixar, said: "We chose Octane2 for its unmatched speed, power and features that enable us to produce a more visually-rich film."

On Apple’s recently announced G4 multiprocessing Power Mac, graphics-accelerator manufacturer 3dfx’s Bryan Speece, said: "Apple is obviously going for some of the high-end, Silicon Graphics, 3D-design space." He added "what's needed is a state-of-the art graphics accelerator board".

In a separate announcement, Pixar and Disney have launched two interactive-learning adventure CD-ROMs starring Toy Story’s Buzz Lightyear. The titles are aimed at primary school students, and offer activities and exercises to help kids acquire better maths, creativity and language skills. These CD-ROMs are aimed at the US education market.