Graphical processing 1974 - 1978
The PDP 11/60 and the Evans & Sutherland PS/2
In the mid of 1979, the CDC Digigraphic graphical
computer system was replaced. by a DEC
PDP 11/60 and a Evans &
Sutherland Picture System/2 (PS/2). The PS/2-system was bought for US$ 110.000,
the PDP 11/60 system cost were roughly the same. The PDP 11/60 system
comprised 192 KB memory, a CPU with hardware floating point unit and four
RL01-disk units (removable packs) with a capacity of 5 MByte each.
The in April'92 planned installation was largely delayed because the transport
of the PDP and the E&S equipment during its flight to The Netherlands was not handled well.
The system frame of the PDP was displaced ten degrees to the left and the back,
a - amazingly still operating - monitor tube was displaced five centimeter to the
back. One could touch the boards through the front.... End of July'79, a replacement
PDP 11/60 system was installed and the other damages were repaired.
The PDP 11/60 with the four RL01-disk units an the Kennedy magnetic tape recorder.
During the acquisition of the system, the Laboratory still tried to obtain excemption of import taxes as the
PS/2 graphical system was a piece of equipment for "scientific research" to be used only for
"scientific research activiteiten". This request was denied by the Commité Tax-excemptions.
In 1980, the time had arrived that mini-computers and graphical processing systems had become
ordinary pieces of equipment.
End of 1980, the Picture System/2 was expanded to a Multi-Picture System.
The main driver for that was the research group Telecommunication, which used this system
for the simulation of the raster communication plan for the Netherlands First
Army Corps (1LK).
The CDC Cyber 18-17: plotting and the D-Manager
The CDC Cyber 18-17 (in short System 17), that was
used earlier to drive the Digigraphic graphical
display, was re-used as mini-computer to drive both the Calcomp 936-plotter
and the DManager. The DManager was a Laboratory development: a bus structure connecting
a maximum of 63 processors (POP's). As extension of the "Janus" program, the CDC
CYBER PP-programma 1IR that drove the card reader,
printers and the Calcomp
plotter, an overlay was developed to make a hand-shake via a 6000-channel coupling
with a program on the Cyber 18-17. The plot data was transfered to the Cyber 18-17,
which in turn drive the plotter. The channel speed was 3-4 Mbyte/s. After plotting,
the plot files remained a while on the system in order to replot them in case
of dried-out plotter pen or any other malfunctioning.