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

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.

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RE[3]: Lisa
by vaette on Wed 29th Aug 2012 15:27 in reply to "RE[2]: Lisa"
vaette Member since:

Dumb terminals are defined by not having programmatic capabilities, it is likely that this terminal does given its advanced hardware.

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programs on the Blit
by andybalholm on Wed 29th Aug 2012 15:40 in reply to "RE[3]: Lisa"
andybalholm Member since:

Yes, the Blit had the ability to download programs from the main computer. For example, Rob Pike's text editor, sam, could download its GUI portion onto the terminal; then the only communication needed was the text being edited, instead of the pixels to render to the screen. This sort of thing was what made the terminal usable on a 1200 baud modem.

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RE[4]: Lisa
by henderson101 on Wed 29th Aug 2012 15:46 in reply to "RE[3]: Lisa"
henderson101 Member since:

What advanced hardware? It has 500KB of RAM and a 68000 processor. It would need that kind of power to generate the bitmapped graphics. Look at your average Citrix/Terminal services hardware client, aka "thin client":

So this one, I randomly picked from a google search, has a Cortex A8 1Ghz processor and 1GB RAM. All it does (pretty much) is connect to a Terminal server/Citrix farm or VMWare virtual server and serve a remote desktop. It has an embedded Linux OS, but all that does is provide the interface to choose/log on to the provided clients and then run the client full screen.

When they say "terminal" they mean "terminal" in the true sense of the word. Just because it has a graphical UI doesn't make it any less the grandaddy of thin clients.

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