[rescue] rescue Digest, Vol 134, Issue 13

Skeezics Boondoggle skeezicsb at gmail.com
Fri Jan 17 12:47:20 CST 2014

On Thu, 16 Jan 2014, Toby Thain wrote:

> A lot of portrait screens sold in the late 80s (Apple sold one; Radius
> Pivot was a rotateable one). And some machines like the Alto (and Perq?)
> were designed portrait from the beginning.
Yup!  Alto and Perq were portrait, although later Perqs added a landscape
option.  When I show non-technical people my server room they're always
most interested in the strange Perq displays.  "How come that screen is
sideways?"  The more technical are far more impressed by the fact that a
machine built over 30 years ago could do 768x1024 or 1280x1024 @ 60hz
non-interlaced, with 100dpi resolution (and mine are still crisp and
bright, after all that time!)...

But speaking of 4K, has anyone heard of Megascan?  The Perq guys had
intended the next generation display to be "much higher resolution,"
according to their 1984 annual report, but Perq systems went bust in 1985.
 So they took the technology and created a 3172 x 2048 display with 300dpi
resolution and, IIRC, basically put the Perq RasterOp engine on an ISA card
to drive it and sold it as a high res frame buffer for PCs.  In 1988, or
thereabouts.  I think Bill von Hagen may have the only one left in the
world?  They're terribly rare... but that would be an *awesome* rescue.

So while I might have some dates and details wrong, the point is that you
could essentially get a "4K Retina display" in the late 1980s.  Monochrome,
initially, but the company said "grayscale is coming" (from the press
clipping).  If only they'd considered that for the NeXT computer... Display
Postscript at laser printer resolution!?!  Woulda been *sweet*.


-- Chris

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