Looking for "Programming CalComp Electromechanical Plotters" book
rdawson16 at hotmail.com
Fri Sep 28 20:39:59 CDT 2007
I have hung on to something that might be useful it this sort of project. Its some code I've always wanted to revive, because it was so cool when I first used it.
Its the Versatec Versaplot package. I'm sure its long dead and abandoned by the company, (do they even exist, it got sucked up by Xerox I think) but perhaps the group can advise how we go about getting clearance to post code on bitsavers or some such similar archive.
Its a really cool massive Fortran vector plotting library, with a back end rasterizer (Laing-Barsky algorithm for clipping into mannageble bands, or bitmap arrays)
Ive ported this to the PC a few times, and it was pretty simple task with Ryan McFarland Fortran, should be a snap with GNU.
I also have the updated follow on to Brigham Young University MOVIE.BYU. Its a c Xwindows app for 3d raytracing and animation. I paid for it, ($$$$) a license from BYU, but they never really supported me so I dont feel too guilty about releasing this one either. It was Sun, SGI, HP workstation code, but I got it ported to PC unix (real SYSV) and later Linux.
If anybody knows of any other leading edge graphics from the past, I would be interested in hearing from them.
> Date: Fri, 28 Sep 2007 17:38:39 +0200
> From: erik at baigar.de
> To: dave at kaleidosoft.com
> CC: cctalk at classiccmp.org; sellam at vintagetech.com
> Subject: RE: Looking for "Programming CalComp Electromechanical Plotters" book
> Hi Dave,
> thanks for your email. Given this information, I think
> my stuff is not of use for your project...
> > We have an IBM 1627 plotter which is really just a private-labelled CalComp
> > 565 plotter. It has a 220mm width plot area and uses presurized ball point
> > pens.
> Yes, this is an early ancestor of the 1038/1039 I have got up and
> > We have the schematics for the IBM controller, but don't have one. We'll
> > need to build our own to connect between the IBM 1620 computer and the
> > plotter.
> I do not know the details on this, but maybe it is easier to
> rip an other plotter using stepper motors and connect the clock
> and direction signals to the 565 directly. There should be quite
> a lot plotter out there suitable for this.
> What kind of processor does the IBM controller use? In somewhat
> later Calcomp plotters (as mine from 1972) a OPC (online plotter
> controller) was included. The original Calcomp PCB contains a
> 6800 processor which interprets signals from a RS232C interface.
> This PCB generates the signals needed to drive the plotter (i.e.
> step and direction pulses). Since this OPC was optional it might
> be easier to obtain than the IBM part? Maybe they are identical?
> For the Calcomp OPC I have got schematics and ROM dumps. It has
> the same name as the language it understands "PCI906" and of
> course includes a character generator...
> > The information we are looking for is: 1) detailed descriptions of the
> > CalComp HCBS [basic plot] library; 2) the algorithms used by CalComp to
> > implement the plotting functions; and 3) the vector character font data
> > that CalComp used.
> Sorry, I do not have anything of the mentioned...
> > We have no application programs for the IBM 1620 that do plotting [although
> > we have 200,000 punched cards of programs and data]. We'll be writing the
> > demo application in addtion to the basic plot library.
> That sounds great - I wish you the very best for this
> best regards,
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Erik Baigar [mailto:erik at baigar.de]
> > Sent: Thursday, September 27, 2007 10:33 PM
> > To: Sellam Ismail
> > Cc: Classic Computers Mailing List; dave at kaleidosoft.com; Erik Baigar
> > Subject: Re: Looking for "Programming CalComp Electromechanical Plotters"
> > book
> > Dear Sellam Ismail,
> > I have got a 1039 plotter which I got from a engineering company years ago.
> > They used it in the 90ies with DOS based software and they had certain
> > libraries (I think it was fortran) from Calcomp to use the plotter. These
> > libraries contained commands for e.g. drawing mathematial diagrams,
> > characters and so on.
> > Maybe I somewhere have got the documentation (a few
> > pages) listing the commands which are implemented in the library.
> > Is this the kind of stuff you are looking for? What type of plotter do you
> > have got? Has this one got a digital interface (like e.g. PCI907 or PCI906)?
> > Do you have got any application software on your 1620?
> > Best regards,
> > Erik.
> > > The IBM 1620 Restoration Team at the Computer History Museum needs a
> > > copy for a project they are working on to interface a CalComp plotter
> > > to the 1620.
> > >
> > > If you've got a copy you can provide (all they need is a photocopy or
> > > scan) please contact Dave Babcock <dave at kaleidosoft.com>.
> > >
> > > --
> > >
> > > Sellam Ismail Vintage Computer
> > Festival
> > >
> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > --
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> > http://www.vintage.org
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