Ivan Sutherland is a computer graphics pioneer who developed some of the first visually interactive concepts that eventually made their way into the Mac, then Windows, plus video games.

  1. smartalix says:

    In the mid-80’s, the Vectrex Video game offered a light pen with animation software. Too bad Milton-Bradley bought GCE and ruined the Vectrex.

  2. Jim says:

    Truly nightmare material! 🙂

  3. WmDE says:

    Here’s what happened to Sketchpad


  4. Ghazban says:

    More importantly, whatever happened too Uncle Dave posting lots of interesting “Whatever happened too…” stories and keeping the “Whatever happened too” page updated.

    That and Alice&Bill were the main reason I subscribed to Computer Shopper back in the day.

  5. Lowfreq says:

    ‘Sketchpad’ certainly put all of the elements together for modern 2-D, 2-1/2 D, and even some 3-D MCAD. Nice to see some of the ‘glory days’ of American ingenuity.

  6. Harold Hinchey says:

    #4 Ah yes, Computer Shopper from the good ol’

  7. Michael_gr says:

    This is truly amazing! as a working 3d artist / CAD user, I am awestruck by how advanced and user friendly this software was. There are some ideas there (smart snapping, turning a free drawing to a constrained perpendicular drawing) that were only introduced to commercial graphics apps in the last ten years or so.
    These guys were geniuses.

  8. ridin the short bus says:

    He is one of the very famous duo on David Evans and Ivan Sutherland who created the Salt Lake City Based Company that is the Grandfather of all visual systems used in Flight Simulation Today.
    “In 1968 he co-founded Evans and Sutherland”

    Their systems used to Run on Old TI-980 Computers from the early 1970’s thru the Late 80’s then were updated to a UNIX based Single Board Computer etc..etc..

    I also seem to recall that they were instrumental in the Movie ‘TRON” anyone remember that one?…

    E&S Company is now Owned by Rockwell Collins today Commercial Division of Flight Simulation Visual Systems, still the Worlds most Supplied systems to the Airline and Military Simulation Systems…
    an amazing and innovative Individual.
    So What ever happened to David Evans?…

  9. CPDay says:

    #7 ‘Last ten years or so?’ Gee, I remember using those techniques with MacPaint in 1984. Full-blown PC CAD has been around for at least 20 years.

    And get off my lawn, you kids!

  10. Mark T. says:

    Hmmm, this reminds me of the old b/w CADAM drafting program used by aerospace companies back in the 1980’s. We had dozens of engineers in dark air conditioned rooms poking light pens on their computer screens for hours upon hours.

    CADAM even had a very similar button pad so that you could instantly switch drafting functions. The keyboard was only used to enter text and dimensions.

    You can very clearly see that CADAM was a direct result of this MIT research. I am pretty sure that CADAM was owned (or at least distributed by) IBM. CADAM is still around but is a now owned by Dassault Systemes of France (a division of the Dassault Aviation, manufacturer of the Mirage and Rafale jet fighters). Dassault eventually replaced CADAM with the awesome CATIA software that is used by the majority of aircraft manufacturers the world over.

    If anyone is interested, visit 3ds.com.


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