bqt at softjar.se
Mon Feb 15 18:57:24 CST 2010
Pontus Pihlgren <pontus at Update.UU.SE> wrote:
> Hi All.
> I just stumbled upon this video of a computer tablet:
> They show a VAX-11/780 with RP06 and TU70 (I think) and claim its doing
> the graphics. But I'm curious, what terminal and software is used? Does
> anyone have a clue?
Interesting to see the speculations of people around here.
The tape drive is a TU77 or TU78, which you should know Pontus... ;-)
My guess would be a TU77 though.
Anyway, no, the graphics is not DEC. And no, it's not a serial
connection. If you ever tried doing bitmap graphics over a serial line
you should all realize that a high resolution picture like that would
take a very long time to download over a serial line, even at 19200. And
by 1986 you didn't have any faster serial ports on a Unibus-machine.
Also, DEC didn't have any high-resolution hardware for Unibus. The
closes was the VS11, VS60 and that kind of stuff. And those don't get
close to the type of resolution, number of colors, or speed of this
thing. DEC did play with a few tablets for the VAX stations by this
time, but hadn't come that far.
So, yes, this is a third party thing.
The two companies that springs to my mind here are Intergraph, who did
CAD systems based on VAXen. They usually based their systems on the
VAX-11/750, but I don't think there was any technical reason that an
11/780 shouldn't be possible as well.
The other is Evans and Sutherland, who specialized in high performance
graphic subsystems. My guess would be that this was some E&S graphic
system, but it's hard to tell, since I never actually saw any of their
stuff in real life. But I think it was/is a whole bunch of cards on the
Unibus, and video cables to a color monitor. And of course input ports
for keyboard and tablet.
There might have been other players around as well.
But I know of no DEC hardware that could produce better than aboout
256x256 on Unibus machines, and only with a very limited palette.
And it's definitely not a VT-whatever. The "best" VT-terminal, in terms
of graphic is the VT340, which have a fair resolution of about 240x800
(roughly from memory), but at most 16 colors, out of a palette of 4096.
But it's also newer than 1986, and don't look like that at all.
Johnny Billquist || "I'm on a bus
|| on a psychedelic trip
email: bqt at softjar.se || Reading murder books
pdp is alive! || tryin' to stay hip" - B. Idol
More information about the cctalk