Ardent Titan

Randy Dawson rdawson16 at
Wed Mar 15 02:07:49 CDT 2017

Hi Camiel,

First let me say you are one lucky guy.

I had one of these in my office for a few months, after their demo in Houston we were in constant contact to promote and sell them.

Ardent, later Stardent supplied the hardware and we ported an application to show at the Offshore Technology Conference, in our booth.

Great guys, and it got a lot of interest - it was a 3D model of downhole pipe exhibiting corrosion, 100K rendered polygons and you could swing it around in realtime, very impressive hardware for the 80's.

I have maintained my interest, they dissolved in spite of a very impressive machine.  The visualization pipeline was spun off as a separate company, AVS.

Kubota (who purchased Stardent) put the rendering software, Dore' in the public domain.  I have built it here under FreeBSD on a PC; it was in the ports system for a while, and without to much messing with, I got the demos running (FLAG, a flag blowing in the wind, with controls for wind speed and direction, controlled by the knob box) are still impressive.

Let me know how you come along, I really want to see you bring this up.  I can certainly copy Dore' over to you.

Another great resource, is the story of the machine itself.  It was a promotional book given to prospective clients, but a very detailed and well written book:

The Architecture of Supercomputers, Titan a Case Study

Daniel P. Siewiorek, Philip John Koopman, Jr.

ISBN 0-12-6430-60-8

I see its on Amazon:

Good luck, and keep in touch on how this is coming.


Randy Dawson

The Architecture of Supercomputers: Titan, a Case Study ...<>
The Architecture of Supercomputers: Titan, A Case Study describes the architecture of the first member of an entirely new computing class, the graphic supercomputing ...

From: cctech <cctech-bounces at> on behalf of Camiel Vanderhoeven via cctech <cctech at>
Sent: Monday, March 13, 2017 8:24 AM
To: cctech at
Subject: Ardent Titan

Last Friday, I finally received a shipment of 1980's minisupercomputers
from the US that I've been working on since September. One of the systems
is an Ardent Titan, which to my knowledge was the first (mini-)
supercomputer to come with an integrated high-end graphics subsystem
(1280x1024 at 60Hz, hardware spheres, antialiasing, and cast shadows).

After careful checking, I powered it on yesterday, and got as far as
trying to boot it; unfortunately, the harddisk does not contain the OS,
but I'm trying to get access to an installation tape. There's a full
writeup about my efforts this weekend on my website:

Ardent Titan power-on<>
VAXBARN: Camiel Vanderhoeven's computer collection

A description with some pictures of the Ardent can be found here:
Ardent Titan - VAXBARN<>
This Ardent Titan is one of the systems donated by a Stanford University professor. They are currently being shipped to me, so I have not been able to inspect these ...

Uncrating pictures are here:

Supercomputers have arrived<>
VAXBARN: Camiel Vanderhoeven's computer collection


Anyone who knows anything about these machines, please contact me! Also,
if you have access to installation tapes, manuals, brochures, anything
related to these systems, please let me know.

Kind regards,
Camiel Vanderhoeven

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