Exploring early GUIs

Frank McConnell fmc at reanimators.org
Sun Sep 20 20:01:22 CDT 2020

On Sep 17, 2020, at 19:18, Michael Kerpan wrote:
> Something in another recent thread about LISP machines got me wondering:
> how many early graphical systems are well emulated (or emulated at all)? I
> know that there are more or less functional emulations of Alto, Star, and
> Lisa out there, but what about the various LISP machines or the early
> workstations (Sun 68K, Apollo, etc) Also, assuming that there are emulators
> for some of these systems out there, has any software to run on them and
> been archived?

Something in the "early graphical" space that I think may be difficult or impossible to emulate: the Culler-Fried Online System.  I think it was built around an IBM 360 and operated at one site (UCSB) late 1960s into 1970s with the goal of running a particular educational/research application programming environment, CHM has one of the dual keyboards, and I am not at all certain that software exists.  Not so early to timesharing (late 1960s) but using storage scopes for graphical output terminals.

Al has a couple manuals in <http://bitsavers.org/pdf/univOfCalSantaBarbara/>.  So we can get some idea of what it was like.

-Frank McConnell

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