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Issue No.02 - April-June (2001 vol.23)
pp: 32-37
<p>The union of digital computing and video was made possible by high-density integrated memories in the early 1970s. This new technology led Xerox PARC researchers to develop SuperPaint, the most famous of the early pixel-based frame buffer systems and one that portended a significant part of the future of computer graphics in television by illustrating the Pioneer spacecraft missions to Venus and Saturn.</p>
Richard Shoup, "SuperPaint: An Early Frame Buffer Graphics System", IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, vol.23, no. 2, pp. 32-37, April-June 2001, doi:10.1109/85.929909
1. SuperPaint was not the first such frame buffer nor the first digital paint program. For definitions and additional background relating to early frame buffers and painting systems, see the accompanying article in this issue by Alvy Ray Smith, "Digital Paint Systems: An Anecdotal and Historical Overview."
2. M. Hiltzik, Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age, Harper Collins, New York, 1999.
3. R. Shoup, "Simple Animation by Changing Color Definitions," Proc. ACM SIGGRAPH Conf. Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques, ACM Press, New York, 1979.
4. To our knowledge, SuperPaint was the first fully video-compatible pixel-based computer graphics system.
5. R. Shoup, "Some Quantization Effects in Digitally-Generated Pictures," Soc. for Information Display Symp. Digest, Soc. for Information Display, San Jose, Calif., 1973.
6. R. Shoup, "Menu-Driven User Interfaces for Videographics," presented at the SMPTE 17th Television Conf., San Francisco, Calif., Feb. 1983. Published inSMPTE J.andSMPTE Video Pictures of the Future, Soc. of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, Scarsdale, N.Y., June 1983.
7. R.G. Shoup, "Some Experiments in Television Graphics and Animation Using a Digital Image Memory," SMPTE 13th Television Conf., San Francisco, Feb. 1979. Published inDigital Video, vol. 2, Soc. of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, Scarsdale, N.Y., Mar 1979, pp. 88-98. Republished inDatamation, May 1979.
8. If you would like to assist in getting the SuperPaint Nova 800 in full working order again, or can otherwise read Diablo-31-style 8-sector packs written by a Decision disk controller circa 1972, please contact the author at
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