X Window System
The X Window System is a windowing system for bitmap displays, common on Unix-like operating systems. X provides the basic framework for a GUI environment: drawing and moving windows on the display device and interacting with a mouse and keyboard. X does not mandate the user interface – this is handled by individual programs; as such, the visual styling of X-based environments varies greatly. X originated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1984; the X protocol has been version 11 since September 1987. The X. Org Foundation leads the X project, with the current reference implementation, X. Org Server, available as free and open source software under the MIT License and similar permissive licenses. X is an architecture-independent system for remote graphical user interfaces and input device capabilities; each person using a networked terminal has the ability to interact with the display with any type of user input device. In its standard distribution it is a complete, albeit simple and interface solution which delivers a standard toolkit and protocol stack for building graphical user interfaces on most Unix-like operating systems and OpenVMS, has been ported to many other contemporary general purpose operating systems.
X provides the basic framework, or primitives, for building such GUI environments: drawing and moving windows on the display and interacting with a mouse, keyboard or touchscreen. X does not mandate the user interface. Programs may use X's graphical abilities with no user interface; as such, the visual styling of X-based environments varies greatly. Unlike most earlier display protocols, X was designed to be used over network connections rather than on an integral or attached display device. X features network transparency, which means an X program running on a computer somewhere on a network can display its user interface on an X server running on some other computer on the network; the X server is the provider of graphics resources and keyboard/mouse events to X clients, meaning that the X server is running on the computer in front of a human user, while the X client applications run anywhere on the network and communicate with the user's computer to request the rendering of graphics content and receive events from input devices including keyboards and mice.
The fact that the term "server" is applied to the software in front of the user is surprising to users accustomed to their programs being clients to services on remote computers. Here, rather than a remote database being the resource for a local app, the user's graphic display and input devices become resources made available by the local X server to both local and remotely hosted X client programs who need to share the user's graphics and input devices to communicate with the user. X's network protocol is based on X command primitives; this approach allows both 2D and 3D operations by an X client application which might be running on a different computer to still be accelerated on the X server's display. For example, in classic OpenGL, display lists containing large numbers of objects could be constructed and stored in the X server by a remote X client program, each rendered by sending a single glCallList across the network. X provides no native support for audio. X uses a client–server model: an X server communicates with various client programs.
The server sends back user input. The server may function as: an application displaying to a window of another display system a system program controlling the video output of a PC a dedicated piece of hardwareThis client–server terminology – the user's terminal being the server and the applications being the clients – confuses new X users, because the terms appear reversed, but X takes the perspective of the application, rather than that of the end-user: X provides display and I/O services to applications, so it is a server. The communication protocol between server and client operates network-transparently: the client and server may run on the same machine or on different ones with different architectures and operating systems. A client and server can communicate securely over the Internet by tunneling the connection over an encrypted network session. An X client itself may emulate an X server by providing display services to other clients; this is known as "X nesting". Open-source clients such as Xnest and Xephyr support such X nesting.
To use an X client application on a remote machine, the user may do the following: on the local machine, open a terminal window use ssh with the X forwarding argument to connect to the remote machine request local display/input service The remote X client application will make a connection to the user's local X server, providing display and input to the user. Alternatively, the local machine may run a small program that connects to the remote machine and starts the client application. Practical examples of remote clients include: administering a remote machine graphically using a client application to join with large numbers of other terminal users in collaborative workgroups running a computationally intensive simulation on a remote machine and displaying the results on
The Atari Lynx is a 16-bit handheld game console, released by Atari Corporation in September 1989 in North America, in Europe and Japan in 1990. It was the world's first handheld electronic game with a color LCD, it was notable for its advanced graphics and ambidextrous layout. The Lynx competed with the Game Boy, as well as the Game Gear and TurboExpress, both released the following year, it was discontinued in 1996. The Lynx system was developed by Epyx as the Handy Game. In 1986, two former Amiga designers, R. J. Mical and Dave Needle, had been asked by former manager at Amiga, David Morse, if they could come up with a design for a portable gaming system. Morse now worked at a game software company that had a recent string of hit games. Morse's son had asked him if he could make a portable gaming system, prompting a meeting with Mical and Needle to discuss the idea. Morse convinced Mical and Needle to develop the idea and they were hired by Epyx to be a part of the design team. Planning and design of the console began in 1986 and was completed in 1987.
Epyx first showed the Handy system at the Winter Consumer Electronics Show in January 1989. Facing financial difficulties, Epyx sought out partners. Nintendo and other companies declined, but Atari Corp. and Epyx agreed that Atari Corp. would handle production and marketing, while Epyx would handle software development. Epyx declared bankruptcy by the end of the year, Atari owned the entire project; the Handy was designed to run games from the cartridge format, the game data must be copied from ROM to RAM before it can be used. Thus, less RAM is available and the games initial load is slow. There are trace remnants of a cassette tape interface physically capable of being programmed to read a tape. Lynx developers have noted that "there is still reference of the tape and some hardware addresses" and an updated vintage Epyx manual describes the bare existence of what could be utilized for tape support. A 2009 retrospective interview clarifies that although some early reports claimed that games were loaded from tape, Mical says there was no truth in them: "We did think about hard disk a little."Atari Corp. changed the internal speaker and removed the thumb-stick on the control pad before releasing it as the Lynx retailing in the US at US$179.95.
Atari Corp. showed the Lynx to the press at the Summer 1989 CES as the "Portable Color Entertainment System", changed to "Lynx" when actual consoles were distributed to resellers. The Lynx started off successfully. Atari reported that they had sold 90% of the 50,000 units it shipped in its launch month in the U. S. with a limited launch in New York. US sales in 1990 were 500,000 units according to the Associated Press. In late 1991, it was reported that Atari sales estimates were about 800,000, which Atari claimed was within their expected projections. Lifetime sales by 1995 amounted to fewer than 7 million units. In comparison, the Game Boy sold 16 million units by 1995 because it was more rugged, cost half as much, had much longer battery life, was bundled with Tetris, had a superior software library; as with the actual console units, the game cartridges themselves evolved over the first year of the console's release. The first generation of cartridges were flat, were designed to be stackable for ease of storage.
However, this design proved to be difficult to remove from the console and was replaced by a second design. This style, called "tabbed" or "ridged", used the same basic design as the original cartridges with the addition of two small tabs on the cartridge's underside to aid in removal; the original flat style cartridges could be stacked on top of the newer cartridges, but the newer cartridges could not be stacked on each other, nor were they stored easily. Thus a third style, the "curved lip" style was produced, all official and third-party cartridges during the console's lifespan were released using this style. In May 1991, Sega launched its Game Gear portable gaming handheld. A color handheld, in comparison to the Lynx it had a higher cost and shorter battery life, but it was smaller and was backed up by more games. Retailers such as Game and Toys R Us continued to sell the Lynx well into the mid-1990s on the back of the Atari Jaguar launch, helped by magazines such as Ultimate Future Games who continued to cover the Lynx alongside the new generation of 32-bit and 64-bit consoles.
During 1990, the Lynx had moderate sales. In July 1991, Atari Corporation introduced the Lynx II with a new marketing campaign, new packaging improved hardware, better battery life and a new sleeker look; the new system featured rubber hand grips and a clearer backlit color screen with a power save option. It replaced the monaural headphone jack of the original Lynx with one wired for stereo; the new packaging made the Lynx available without any accessories, dropping the price to $99. Although sales improved, Nintendo still dominated the handheld market. In 1995, Atari put more focus on the Atari Jaguar. A handful of games were released during this time, including Battlezone 2000. In 1996, Atari shut down its internal game development; the Atari Lynx's innovative features include being the first color handheld, with a backlit display, a switchable right-handed/left-handed configuration, the ability to network with up to 15 other units via its
The Atari ST is a line of home computers from Atari Corporation and the successor to the Atari 8-bit family. The initial ST model, the 520ST, saw limited release in April–June 1985 and was available in July; the Atari ST is the first personal computer to come with a bitmapped color GUI, using a version of Digital Research's GEM released in February 1985. The 1040ST, released in 1986, is the first personal computer to ship with a megabyte of RAM in the base configuration and the first with a cost-per-kilobyte of less than US$1; the Atari ST is part of a mid-1980s generation of home computers that have 16 or 32-bit processors, 256 KB or more of RAM, mouse-controlled graphical user interfaces. This generation includes the Macintosh, Commodore Amiga, Apple IIGS, and, in certain markets, the Acorn Archimedes. "ST" stands for "Sixteen/Thirty-two", which refers to the Motorola 68000's 16-bit external bus and 32-bit internals. The ST was sold with the less expensive monochrome monitor; the system's two color graphics modes are only available on the former while the highest-resolution mode needs the monochrome monitor.
In some markets Germany, the machine gained a strong foothold as a small business machine for CAD and desktop publishing work. Thanks to its built-in MIDI ports, the ST enjoyed success for running music-sequencer software and as a controller of musical instruments among amateurs and well-known musicians alike; the ST was superseded by the Atari STE, Atari TT, Atari MEGA STE, Falcon computers. The Atari ST was born from the rivalry between home-computer makers Atari, Inc. and Commodore International. Jay Miner, one of the original designers for the custom chips found in the Atari 2600 and Atari 8-bit family, tried to convince Atari management to create a new chipset for a video game console and computer; when his idea was rejected, Miner left Atari to form a small think tank called Hi-Toro in 1982 and began designing the new "Lorraine" chipset. The company, renamed Amiga Corporation, was pretending to sell video game controllers to deceive competition while it developed a Lorraine-based computer.
Amiga ran out of capital to complete Lorraine's development, Atari, owned by Warner Communications, paid Amiga to continue development work. In return Atari received exclusive use of the Lorraine design for one year as a video game console. After one year Atari would have the right to add a keyboard and market the complete computer, designated the 1850XLD; as Atari was involved with Disney at the time, it was code-named "Mickey", the 256K memory expansion board was codenamed "Minnie". After leaving Commodore International in January 1984, Jack Tramiel formed Tramel Technology with his sons and other ex-Commodore employees and, in April, began planning a new computer; the company considered the National Semiconductor NS320xx microprocessor but was disappointed with its performance. This started the move to the 68000; the lead designer of the Atari ST was ex-Commodore employee Shiraz Shivji, who had worked on the Commodore 64's development. Atari in mid-1984 was losing about a million dollars per day.
Interested in Atari's overseas manufacturing and worldwide distribution network for his new computer, Tramiel negotiated with Warner in May and June 1984. He bought Atari's Consumer Division in July; as executives and engineers left Commodore to join Tramiel's new Atari Corporation, Commodore responded by filing lawsuits against four former engineers for theft of trade secrets. The Tramiels did not purchase the employee contracts when they bought the assets of Atari Inc. so one of their first acts was to interview Atari Inc. employees to decide whom to hire at what was a brand new company. This company was called TTL renamed to Atari Corp. At the time of the purchase of Atari Inc's assets, there were 900 employees remaining from a high point of 10,000. After the interviews 100 employees were hired to work at Atari Corp. At one point a custom sound processor called AMY was a planned component for the new ST computer design, but the chip needed more time to complete, so AMY was dropped in favor of an off-the-shelf Yamaha sound chip.
It was during this time in late July/early August that Leonard Tramiel discovered the original Amiga contract, which required Amiga Corporation to deliver the Lorraine chipset to Atari on June 30, 1984. Amiga Corp. had sought more monetary support from investors in spring 1984. Having heard rumors that Tramiel was negotiating to buy Atari, Amiga Corp. entered into discussions with Commodore. The discussions led to Commodore wanting to purchase Amiga Corporation outright, which Commodore believed would cancel any outstanding contracts, including Atari's. Instead of Amiga Corp. delivering Lorraine to Atari, Commodore delivered a check of $500,000 to Atari on Amiga's behalf, in effect returning the funds Atari invested into Amiga for the chipset. Tramiel countersued Amiga Corp. on August 13, 1984. He sought an injunction to bar Amiga from producing anything with its technology. At Commodore, the Amiga team was in limbo during the summer of 1984 because of the lawsuit. No word on the status of the chipset, the Lorraine computer, or the team's fate was known.
In the fall of 1984, Commodore informed the team that the Lorraine project was active again, the chipset was to be improved, the operating system developed, the hardware design completed. While Commodore announced the Amiga 1000 with the Lorraine chipset in July 1985, the delay gave Atari, with its ma
The transputer is a series of pioneering microprocessors from the 1980s, featuring integrated memory and serial communication links, intended for parallel computing. They were produced by Inmos, a semiconductor company based in Bristol, United Kingdom. For some time in the late 1980s, many considered the transputer to be the next great design for the future of computing. While Inmos and the transputer did not achieve this expectation, the transputer architecture was influential in provoking new ideas in computer architecture, several of which have re-emerged in different forms in modern systems. In the early 1980s, conventional central processing units appeared to reach a performance limit. Up to that time, manufacturing difficulties limited the amount of circuitry that could fit on a chip. Continued improvements in the fabrication process, removed this restriction. Within a decade, chips could hold more circuitry. Traditional complex instruction set computer designs were reaching a performance plateau, it wasn't clear it could be overcome.
It seemed that the only way forward was to increase the use of parallelism, as the use of several CPUs that would work together to solve several tasks at the same time. This depended on such machines being able to run several tasks at once, a process termed multiprocessing; this had been too difficult for prior CPU designs to handle, but more recent designs were able to accomplish it effectively. It was clear. A side effect of most multitasking design is that it also allows the processes to be run on physically different CPUs, in which case it is termed multiprocessing. A low-cost CPU built for multiprocessing could allow the speed of a machine to be raised by adding more CPUs far more cheaply than by using one faster CPU design; the first transputer designs were due to computer scientist David May and telecommunications consultant Robert Milne. In 1990, May received an Honorary DSc from University of Southampton, followed in 1991 by his election as a Fellow of The Royal Society and the award of the Patterson Medal of the Institute of Physics in 1992.
Tony Fuge a leading engineer at Inmos, was awarded the Prince Philip Designers Prize in 1987 for his work on the T414 transputer. The transputer was the first general purpose microprocessor designed to be used in parallel computing systems; the goal was to produce a family of chips ranging in power and cost that could be wired together to form a complete parallel computer. The name was selected to indicate the role the individual transputers would play: numbers of them would be used as basic building blocks, just as transistors had earlier; the plan was to make the transputer cost only a few dollars per unit. Inmos saw them being used for everything, from operating as the main CPU for a computer to acting as a channel controller for disk drives in the same machine. Spare cycles on any of these transputers could be used for other tasks increasing the overall performance of the machines. One transputer would have all the circuitry needed to work by itself, a feature more associated with microcontrollers.
The intent was to allow transputers to be connected together as as possible, with no need for a complex bus, or motherboard. Power and a simple clock signal had to be supplied, but little else: random-access memory, a RAM controller, bus support and a real-time operating system were all built in; the original transputer used a simple and rather unusual architecture to achieve a high performance in a small area. It used microcode as the main method to control the data path, but unlike other designs of the time, many instructions took only one cycle to execute. Instruction opcodes were used as the entry points to the microcode read-only memory and the outputs from the ROM were fed directly to the data path. For multi-cycle instructions, while the data path was performing the first cycle, the microcode decoded four possible options for the second cycle; the decision as to which of these options would be used could be made near the end of the first cycle. This allowed for fast operation while keeping the architecture generic.
The clock rate of 20 MHz was quite high for the era and the designers were concerned about the practicality of distributing such a fast clock signal on a board. A slower external clock of 5 MHz was used, this was multiplied up to the needed internal frequency using a phase-locked loop; the internal clock had four non-overlapping phases and designers were free to use whichever combination of these they wanted, so it could be argued that the transputer ran at 80 MHz. Dynamic logic was used in many parts of the design to reduce increase speed; these methods are difficult to combine with automatic test pattern generation scan testing so they fell out of favour for designs. Prentice-Hall published a book ISBN 978-0139290688 on the general principles of the Transputer; the basic design of the transputer included serial links that allowed it to communicate with up to four other transputers, each at 5, 10, or 20 Mbit/s –, fast for the 1980s. Any number of transputers could be connected together over links to form one computing farm.
A hypothetical desktop machine might have two of the "low end" transputers handling input/output tasks on some of their serial lines while they talked to one of their larger cousins acting as a CPU on another. This serial link is called an os-link. There were limits to the si
The Atari Flashback is a series of dedicated consoles marketed by Atari, Inc. from 2004 to 2011. Since 2011, the consoles have been marketed by AtGames under license from Atari, they are "plug and play" versions of the classic Atari 2600 and Atari 7800 consoles. The systems are powered by an AC adapter, come with a pair of joystick controllers, use standard composite video and monaural audio RCA connectors to connect to a television; the Atari Flashback was released in 2004. The console resembled an Atari 7800 in appearance and came with a pair of controllers which resembled those of the Atari 7800, though they were smaller; the system had twenty games built-in, all developed by Warner Communication's Atari Inc. and Atari Corp. for the 2600 and 7800 game systems. The games which required analog paddle controllers were made to work with the included joysticks, it was designed by Atari veteran Curt Vendel, whose company Syzygy Co. designs other home video game and video arcade products. Atari Inc. gave Syzygy Co. ten weeks to design the product, produce its games, ready it for the 2004 Christmas holiday season.
The Atari Flashback was based on "NES-on-a-chip" hardware, not resembling either of the Atari systems which the Flashback was supposed to represent. As a result, the games it contained were ports and differed in varying degrees from the original games, therefore the Flashback was unpopular with some purists. There was a selection of about 20 games on the original Flashback. One game, was advertised as "unreleased"; the Atari Flashback 2, the successor to the original Atari Flashback console, was released in 2005. It has forty Atari 2600 games built in. A few of the included games are homebrews which were created by enthusiasts in recent years, two of the games were published by Activision; the appearance of the Atari Flashback 2 is reminiscent of the original Atari 2600 console from 1977. It is two-thirds the size of the original and is much lighter in weight; the Flashback 2 console has five buttons. The joysticks bear close similarity to the original Atari 2600 joysticks from 1977, are compatible and interchangeable with them.
The Flashback 2 does not come with paddle controllers, but original paddle controllers can be connected to it and used with its paddle-based games. Curt Vendel and Legacy Engineering returned to develop the Flashback 2. Unlike the original Flashback console, the Flashback 2 contains a single-chip version of circuitry designed by Vendel; as such, the Atari Flashback 2 runs games. The Atari Flashback 2 project was codenamed "Michele", after Vendel's wife, her name is printed on the motherboard. Marty Goldberg, owner of the Electronic Entertainment Museum, was the technical writer for the packed-in manual and full design of the online manual; because of changes in game content during the development and problems with the graphic design company keeping edit revisions straight, the manual which comes with the Flashback 2 has several errors in it including typos. For example, contrary to the manual there is no two-player mode in Centipede, there is no connected-ship gameplay in Space Duel. In the description of Save Mary "Barnaby just blew up the nearby damn" appears.
The available games are arranged into four categories selectable from an on-screen menu. Once a game is selected, the only way back to the menu is to use the power button to turn the console off and on again; the games listed below as hacks used other games' code as a starting point and modified their gameplay or appearance. Homebrews were written from scratch by Atari fans in the 2000s. Unreleased prototypes are games which were developed by Atari Inc. in the 1970s and 1980s but never sold to consumers. A few of the games listed are new and exclusive to the Flashback 2. Adventure Adventure II, a sequel to Adventure, built on its original assembly-based game code Haunted House Return to Haunted House, a sequel to Haunted House, built on the original Adventure's assembly-based game code combined with graphics from the original Haunted House) Secret Quest Wizard Arcade Asteroids of the original Atari 2600 Asteroids with the sprites changed to outlines to more portray the arcade version Arcade Pong, a version of Pong which can use paddle controllers if attached Asteroids Deluxe Battlezone Centipede Lunar Lander Millipede Missile Command Space Duel Caverns of Mars Quadrun Saboteur Space War Yars' Return Yars' Revenge The console includes two hidden titles which require the use of paddle controllers.
The Flashback 2 does not come with paddle controllers, so these games cannot be played unless the user has an original set of Atari 2600 paddle controllers. To access the hidden paddle game menu, the user must press up on the joystick 1 time, pull down 9 times, push up 7 times, pull down 2 times. The
The Atari 5200 SuperSystem known as the Atari 5200, is a home video game console, introduced in 1982 by Atari Inc. as a higher-end complementary console for the popular Atari 2600. The 5200 was created to compete with the Intellivision, but wound up more directly competing with the ColecoVision shortly after its release; the 5200's internal hardware is identical to that of Atari's 8-bit computers, although software is not directly compatible between the two systems. The 5200's controllers have an analog joystick and a numeric keypad along with start and reset buttons; the 360-degree non-centering joystick was touted as offering more control than the eight-way joystick controller offered with the Atari 2600. On May 21, 1984, during a press conference at which the Atari 7800 was introduced, company executives revealed that the 5200 had been discontinued after just two years on the market. Total sales of the 5200 were in excess of 1 million units. Much of the technology in the Atari 8-bit family of home computer systems was developed as a second-generation games console intended to replace the 2600.
However, as the system was reaching completion, the personal computer revolution was starting with the release of machines like the Commodore PET, TRS-80 and Apple II. These machines had less advanced hardware than the new Atari technology, but sold for much higher prices with associated higher profit margins. Atari's management decided to enter this market, the technology was repackaged into the Atari 400 and 800; the chipset used in these machines was created with the mindset that the 2600 would be obsolete by the 1980 time frame. Atari decided to re-enter the games market with a design that matched their original 1978 specifications. In its prototype stage, the Atari 5200 was called the "Atari Video System X – Advanced Video Computer System", was codenamed "Pam" after a female employee at Atari, Inc, it is rumored that PAM stood for "Personal Arcade Machine", as the majority of games for the system ended up being arcade conversions. Actual working Atari Video System X machines, whose hardware is 100% identical to the Atari 5200 do exist, but are rare.
The initial 1982 release of the system featured four controller ports, where nearly all other systems of the day had only one or two ports. The 5200 featured a new style of controller with an analog joystick, numeric keypad, two fire buttons on each side of the controller and game function keys for Start and Reset; the 5200 featured the innovation of the first automatic TV switchbox, allowing it to automatically switch from regular TV viewing to the game system signal when the system was activated. Previous RF adapters required the user to slide a switch on the adapter by hand; the RF box was where the power supply connected in a unique dual power/television signal setup similar to the RCA Studio II's. A single cable coming out of the 5200 plugged into the switch box and was used for both electricity and the television signal; the 1983 revision of the Atari 5200 has two controller ports instead of four, a change back to the more conventional separate power supply and standard non-autoswitching RF switch.
It has changes in the cartridge port address lines to allow for the Atari 2600 adapter released that year. While the adapter was only made to work on the two-port version, modifications can be made to the four-port to make it line-compatible. In fact, towards the end of the four-port model's production run, there were a limited number of consoles produced which included these modifications; these consoles can be identified by an asterisk in their serial numbers. The controller prototypes used in the electrical development lab employed a yoke and gimbal mechanism that came from an RC airplane controller kit; the design of the analog joystick, which used a weak rubber boot rather than springs to provide centering, proved to be ungainly and unreliable. They became the Achilles' heel of the system because of their combination of an overly complex mechanical design with a low-cost internal flex circuit system. Another major flaw of the controllers was that the design did not translate into a linear acceleration from the center through the arc of the stick travel.
The controllers did, include a pause button, a unique feature at the time. Various third-party replacement joysticks were released, including those made by Wico. Atari Inc. released the Pro-Line Trak-Ball controller for the system, used for gaming titles such as Centipede and Missile Command. A paddle controller and an updated self-centering version of the original controller were in development, but never made it to market. Games were shipped with plastic card overlays; the card would indicate which game functions, such as changing the view or vehicle speed, were assigned to each key. The primary controller was ranked the 10th worst video game controller by IGN editor Craig Harris. An editor for Next Generation said that their non-centering joysticks "rendered many games nearly unplayable". David H. Ahl in 1983 described the Atari 5200 as "a 400 computer in disguise", its internal design was extensively based on that of the Atari 8-bit family, including ANTIC, POKEY, GTIA. Software designed for one does not run on the other, but porting the source code is not difficult as long as it does not use computer-specific features.
Antic magazine reported in 1984 that "the similarities grossly outweigh the differences, so that a 5200 program can be developed and entirely debugged before testing on a 5200". John J. Anderson of Creative Computing alluded to the incompatibility being intentional, caused by rivalries between Atari's comp