[rescue] replacing an Ultra2

Carl R. Friend crfriend at rcn.com
Fri Apr 27 17:44:14 CDT 2007

    On Fri, 27 Apr 2007, Bill Bradford wrote:

CSH>> Well, they did a lot of the world on a PDP-11 with a
CSH>> graphics system, and I think that might be why some people
CSH>> balked.

> PDP-10 clone, the Foonly F1.

    Tron could, at best, be considered "computer assisted", and
even then it wasn't (if I'm recalling things correctly) all
that heavy.  Graphics capabilities existed at the time, to be
sure, but stretching them to "perform" on the big screen would
have been a major push.

    I forget when the first *completely* computer-generated
(more properly, "rendered") shorts came out.  "Luxo" and
"Breaking the Ice" come to mind in that category, and I'm
thinking that was 1985 or so.  Symbolics machines were used
to define the motion of the flock of birds in "Breaking the
Ice", running a program called "boids" written in LISP.  I
do not reall what the rendering machines were.

    A sweet little film called "The Last Starfighter" was released
in 1984 where virtually all the effects to do with the space-ships
were CGI and were done on a Cray X-MP (if I recall the credits
correctly).  "Last Starfighter" won't make your skin crawl the way
that "Blade Runner" does, but it does show what the technology of
the time was capable of ("Star Wars" from 1977, by contrast, had
*no* CGI bits in it).  The film was a bit of a flop, but still lives
on in the minds of those that track the progression of the "digital
world" from its inception to the point, where it is now, of just
about taking over cinema completely.

| Carl Richard Friend (UNIX Sysadmin)            | West Boylston       |
| Minicomputer Collector / Enthusiast            | Massachusetts, USA  |
| mailto:crfriend at rcn.com                        +---------------------+
| http://users.rcn.com/crfriend/museum           | ICBM: 42:22N 71:47W |

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