Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 29th Aug 2012 11:10 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces Sometimes, you wake up in the morning, check your RSS feeds, and you know you just hit the jackpot. From the AT&T archives comes a video and description of Blit, a UNIX graphical user interface from 1982, on a 800x1024 portrait display. It employs a three button mouse, right-click context menus, multiple windows, and lots, lots more. It was developed at Bell Labs, and is yet another case that illustrates how the technology industry doesn't work in a vacuum.
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Lisa
by henderson101 on Wed 29th Aug 2012 11:32 UTC
henderson101
Member since:
2006-05-30

Okay, so the Lisa development began in 1978. This also looks more like Windows 2.0 than a modern GUI, as seen with the products from those companies that you choose to discredit.

Nice find though.

Edit: it's also worth noting, this is just a terminal. It's not on the same level as the Xerox machines - they were independent work stations. This is more like a dumb X terminal. Not to belittle the achievement. But from what I can tell, you needed a mainframe in a server room to make the terminal do anything useful.

Edited 2012-08-29 11:36 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE: Lisa
by vaette on Wed 29th Aug 2012 11:47 in reply to "Lisa"
vaette Member since:
2008-08-09

The video states that is has a 68000 processor and 256 kilobytes of RAM, that is hardly dumb terminal hardware (same processor as the original Mac an twice the RAM, two years before the Mac was released). The question is how it is driven, but if applications on the mainframe can upload fairly general programs to the terminal to run and communicate with now and then it is very much a hybrid system.

Edited 2012-08-29 11:48 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Lisa
by henderson101 on Wed 29th Aug 2012 13:52 in reply to "RE: Lisa"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

And? What do you think generates the bitmapped graphics? All terminals require some kind of processor, they don't just work by magic. Indeed, a lot of the Citrix/Win Terminals you see these days are ARM based. The processor runs the basic protocol drivers for inpur, comms and UI, the clever stuff is done on the mainframe.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE: Lisa
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 29th Aug 2012 11:59 in reply to "Lisa"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

There's not a single bit of discrediting going on here. I'm only trying to make clear how this industry works: independent groups of people working within the same constraints coming to the same conclusions, building upon one another, as opposed to how some people think - namely, that companies work in isolation, coming up with everything all on their own.

It seems like to me the only person discrediting anybody's work is you with your comment, trying to downplay Blit to make other products appear more advanced.

Edited 2012-08-29 12:00 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 9

RE[2]: Lisa
by henderson101 on Wed 29th Aug 2012 13:56 in reply to "RE: Lisa"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

Well no Thom. No discredit here. The product was in development in 1982, but look at when the final product was released.. 1984. So no need to argue. As I said, the Lisa was in development in 1978. You're very righ... in the late 70's there was a lot of buzz about GUI.

Again, this is a fine achievement, but it's no Xerox Alto. It very much reminds me of screen shots I've seen of Plan 9, though I think that window manager tiles.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Lisa
by tupp on Thu 30th Aug 2012 04:17 in reply to "Lisa"
tupp Member since:
2006-11-12

Okay, so the Lisa development began in 1978.

No reason to assume that Lisa development began before that of BLIT.


This also looks more like Windows 2.0 than a modern GUI,...

If so, it was well ahead of it's time.


it's also worth noting, this is just a terminal.

Not really. It is more much more significant is that this is yet another early GUI. It further establishes the fact that there were a lot of pre-Apple GUIs.

Reply Parent Score: 3