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Was the IDIIOM the First Stand-Alone CAD Platform?
April-June 1998 (vol. 20 no. 2)
pp. 14-19

This article recounts the development of a stand-alone CAD platform, the IDIIOM. The IDIIOM was developed during the mid-1960s at Information Displays, Inc. (IDI), then in Mt. Vernon, N.Y. According to its creators, the IDIIOM was the first general-purpose design workstation, the first commercial CADD platform, and the first software drafting package to operate on its own computer without communication links to a mainframe computer. The article follows IDI's startup, the company's evolution into the fledgling computer graphics field, IDI's development of stand-alone CADD hardware and software, and IDI's unwillingness to accept the emerging technology of the Direct View Storage Tube.

1. Author's 19 Apr. 1991 interview with Carl Machover.
2. RMS Associates, Inc., Mamaroneck, N.Y., Company Information Sheet, 1960.
3. Auerbach On Alphanumeric Displays.Princeton, N.J.: Auerbach Publishers Inc., 1971, pp. 22-24.
4. Summary of IDI Display Installations, undated IDI Data Sheet 181-375.
5. Author's 14 Mar. 1997 interview with Carl Machover.
6. I.E. Sutherland, Sketchpad: A Man-Machine Graphical Communication System, TR-296, MIT Laboratory, Lexington, Mass., Jan. 1963.
7. Prospectus, Information Displays, Inc., by Dempsey-Tegeler&Co., Inc., 27 July 1967, pp. 7-8.
8. E.J. Hurst, Significant Events: The History of Computer Graphics, Year End Report of Milestones submitted to SIGGRAPH Executive Committee, 21 May 1989.
9. Information Displays, Inc., Mount Kisco, N.Y., IDIIOM2 Programmer's Manual IDI-4120 PM, July 1970.
10. IDIIOM Technical Report presented to the American Ordnance Assoc., Apr. 1970.
11. Information Displays, Inc., Annual Report 1970,2 Apr. 1971.
12. Author's correspondence with Olaf E. Brauner, 4 Apr. 1997.
13. "Picture Looks Brighter for Computer Displays," Electronics,16 Oct. 1967, pp. 165-171.
14. N.H. Lehrer and R.D. Ketchpel, "Recent Progress on a High-Resolution, Meshless, Direct-View Storage Tube," Proc. Fall Joint Computer Conf., 1966, p. 532.

Citation:
Don Bissell, "Was the IDIIOM the First Stand-Alone CAD Platform?," IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol. 20, no. 2, pp. 14-19, April-June 1998, doi:10.1109/85.667292
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