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[3]: Lisa
by vaette on Wed 29th Aug 2012 15:27 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Lisa"
vaette
Member since:
2008-08-09

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

Reply Parent Score: 3

programs on the Blit
by andybalholm on Wed 29th Aug 2012 15:40 in reply to "RE[3]: Lisa"
andybalholm Member since:
2012-08-29

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.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE: programs on the Blit
by henderson101 on Wed 29th Aug 2012 15:47 in reply to "programs on the Blit"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

Cool... so it really is the original graphical "thin client".

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Lisa
by henderson101 on Wed 29th Aug 2012 15:46 in reply to "RE[3]: Lisa"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

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":

http://www.igel.com/uk/products/hardware/ud2-lx-multimedia.html

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.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE[5]: Lisa
by saso on Wed 29th Aug 2012 19:02 in reply to "RE[4]: Lisa"
saso Member since:
2007-04-18

Dude, you're comparing apples to oranges here. This is 1982 we're talking about. A 68k and 256k of memory was pretty huge back then, as vaette noted, same CPU and twice the memory as the Mac that was released a year later. It's like saying a PC with a Core i5 and 16GB of memory is a low-spec dumb terminal by today's standards.

That being said, whether something is a dumb terminal or not depends mostly on the ability to run application software on the machine itself, not by the grunt in its hardware.

Reply Parent Score: 2