[rescue] FS/FTGH: Sun kit

Charles Shannon Hendrix shannon at widomaker.com
Mon Jan 16 23:28:02 CST 2006

Richard wrote:

> I suppose it all depends in which circles you travel.  In 1989/1990, I
> was surrounded by people who were regularly using 24-bit frame
> buffers.  HP workstations, Apollo workstations, SGI workstations, DEC
> workstations, Sun workstations and E&S workstations in the labs I used
> were almost entirely 24-bit frame buffers.  (The ESV I had on my desk
> from 1989 through 1993 had an 88-bit frame buffer; 24-bits double
> buffered, 32-bits Z, 8-bits window id.)

Apple computers had quite a few interesting graphics options in the 
early 1990s, well ahead of what you could get on a PC.  On the PC, it 
was all a mess because nothing was standard.  On the Apple, for the most 
part, Apple's graphics API made every card work with all software.

For example, one Nubus card had four GPUs on it, and at the time was one 
of the fastest graphics cards you could get.  I can't remember the 

I remember the first time I saw a "nice" Apple setup.  There was a IIci 
and a IIfx together, both with quad GPU graphics cards.  Everything was 
fast and smooth even at high resolutions.  Both of them cost more than a 
decent car.

This was at a time when most other systems slowed to a crawl at high 
resolution, unable to keep up with fast typing or mouse movement.

Of course, I could not have even afforded just the graphics card at the 
time, let alone a $6500 IIci or a $10K IIfx from Apple.  Those were 
amazingly expensive machines.

I really marvel that Apple was able to sell enough machines to stay 
alive.  No one I knew could afford more than the slowest and most base 
level models available.

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