The Imlac PDS-1 is a graphical minicomputer made by Imlac Corporation (founded in 1968) of Needham, Massachusetts. The PDS-1 debuted in 1970 and is considered to be the predecessor of all later graphical minicomputers and modern computer workstations. The PDS-1 had a built-in display list processor and 4096 16-bit words of core RAM. The PDS-1 used a vector display processor for displaying vector graphics as opposed to the raster graphics of modern computer displays. The PDS-1 was often used with another flagship Imlac product, a typesetting program called CES.
The PDS-1 was used in many pioneering computer applications. The FRESS hypertext system had enhanced capability and usability if accessed from a PDS-1 system; the user could make hyperlinks with a light pen and create them simply with a couple of keystrokes. Multi-window editing on FRESS was also possible when using the PDS-1.
The PDS-1 also had the capability to run remote graphical programs such as those that ran on the Stanford AI Lab's main computer. The PDS-1 was also able to run Mazewar, the first online multiplayer computer game. The PDS-1 connected to a host PDP-10 computer (located at MIT) running ITS over Arpanet and the Mazewar program. Up to 8 players running PDS-1 minicomputers or other terminals could access MIT's Mazewar host. The PDS-1 was also important during the early days of Arpanet when network graphics protocols were under consideration.
I used to work at Imlac in Needham, MA back in 1975. I was an electronic assembler/tester and built the CRT monitors and light pens. I remember getting a -1450 volt shock from a defective light pen! We used to make 100 foot cables by pulling the wire bundles through a shrink wrap tube. We used talcum powder to help get the cables pulled through!
Saturday 23rd April 2011
Gary Paresky (Massachusetts/USA)
Founded by a brilliant MIT grad, Jim Cunningham, Imlac was on the cutting edge of graphics in the ''70''s. Interesting sidelight in view of current politics, angel financing was provided by the Koch brothers. I was National Sales Mgr. at that time.
Thursday 3rd January 2013
I worked as Field Engineer for the Gerber Garment Technology (in 1982) that acquired from Hughes Aircraft the AM1 System which was an Advanced Cad Cam system. They were using the Imlac pds4 ....even if I knew there was some Imlac pds 2 around the old clients...
The system expanded to the IMLAC PdsII a smaller graphic system (all included in the monitor!) that was a full 64k ram video for 2048x2048 lines in 16 intensity (of green) color...
Please find here 2 pics of the last time it was shown VCF Italy 2004 in Desenzano del GARDA
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid$1422742061403$set$a.1185163042076.29590.1618264378$type$1 (Super condensed system..Imlac II is just the "monitor" )
http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid$1289357366869$set$a.1185163042076.29590.1618264378$type$1 (close up image...of a Garment marker)
(I''m the Secretary..temporary Curator of Mupin a Computer Museum near Torino, Italy) http://www.mupin.altervista.org/