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PostScript revolution - was Re: Perfboard computers, VAX and others - Re: About support for rtVAX300

On 14/01/13 9:32 PM, Gregg Levine wrote:
On Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 9:22 PM, Toby Thain<toby%telegraphics.com.au@localhost> 
On 14/01/13 9:14 PM, Gregg Levine wrote:

On Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 9:06 PM, Toby Thain<toby%telegraphics.com.au@localhost>

On 14/01/13 2:12 PM, Paul Koning wrote:

On Jan 14, 2013, at 1:40 PM, John Wilson wrote:

From: Toby Thain<toby%telegraphics.com.au@localhost>

I have
a couple of J11's sitting around, and a dozen Transputers. I'd love to
learn enough electronics, and have enough spare time, to build the
support circuitry and run them.

You definitely should!  I don't know much about the Transputer but if
anything like the XMOS XS1 CPU (same architect) it must be a ton of

John Wilson
D Bit

Transputers are interesting beasts.  All I know is their theory, which
appears to be small compute nodes interconnected by multiple fast
passing links.  So you can build a large multicomputer setup with a mesh

For programming, you can use C or the like, but there's a different
programming language (Occam) specifically designed to make use of that
message passing machinery.  Given who created it (C.A.R. Hoare) I assume
ties into his research into the design of reliable distributed

I used two T800 TRAMs in the late 1980s, attached to a NuBus card (Levco
Translink) in Macintosh II series. I programmed them in C (under MPW) and
yes, they are heaps of fun.

I also ported TeX, METAFONT and associated utilities to the Transputer
(since evan a single T800 was so much faster than the 68020 host machine
I was using them for production work every day).



I remember that family of processors. Interesting family.

I also remember my second Mac. It was a Mac II who worked at a
typography facility that my father ran. The system did a better job
running Quark Express and feeding output to a pair of laser
phototypesetters. And this was a facility who also hosted a pair of
(very) bored Eclipse machines (DG) who did the same, and a trio of
regular systems for phototypesetting.

I bought a used Linotronic L100 - the hardware still exists, it's stored in
Sydney Australia. I wasn't able to find a collector interested in it, even
though it was the first PostScript imagesetter. I used to drive it with TeX,
but also all the other graphic arts software including Illustrator and
Photoshop, Quark XPress, etc.

Likewise, I worked with my father; we ran a small newspaper for a few years.
Long story, but all Mac based from about 1987 until 1992 when I left.

I have a friend in Melbourne Australia who collects Nova 3 and Eclipse
machinery: http://chookfest.net/nova3/index.html

I wrote this assembler to help him out (Nova/PDP-8):


You (Toby) must be aware that TI invented the NuBus backplane and used
it for the family of LISP systems that were popular about that time
period. I believe all of those machines were based on bit-slice

Apple licensed the bus and used the parts TI created to support it,
for that family of machines, until the invention of the PCI bus.

That's why Dave I know a fair bit about the DG machine living with all of
Gregg C Levine gregg.drwho8%gmail.com@localhost
"This signature fought the Time Wars, time and again."

That's the family member alright. The fellow understood Postscript,
but used a translator box to translate PS into Cora.

Not in the case of the L100, that was pure PostScript.

You may be thinking of Linotron, the older series? There were all kinds of adapters to drive phototypesetters, I believe, since the hardware was still being paid off when PostScript hit like a tsunami, I guess :)

The same happened in high end graphic repro. From 1992 I worked in a reproduction house (probably the last with substantial bench staff) that had invested hugely in non-PostScript digital Crosfield gear (drum scanners, real time drum recorders) and Crosfield's digital colour separation software.

Crosfield had a "PostScript bridge" but due to the nature of Crosfield's primitives, it had dire limitations. My job was to run the pure-PostScript side of the business, which had acquired one of the earliest proper drum PostScript imagesetters, a Scangraphic (the first imported into Australia afaik). It was an incredible piece of equipment, and a pleasure to use. We put a great deal of colour separation work through it.

...and things got even bigger and more interesting after that (Herkules M, Linotype-Hell Chromagraph S3900, Aviion file server, ...) By this stage the incumbent players of the 1980s, with their expensive proprietary systems and outrageous prices for typesetting and repo, were thoroughly disrupted and on the run. The film/plate revolution was over, by 1995. Then the digital press revolution BEGAN...


Those were fun.

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