A Brief History of (computer and video game) Graphics

At least the first half of this historical survey relates to our retrocomputing interests, I think:

We namecheck Elite, Shadow of the Beast, Prince of Persia, among others (including a great number of arcade and console graphics.)

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No TX-2, PDP-1, PLATO, etc. :-/

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Here’s something that goes a little further.


Going all the way back to late 1940s.

Thanks! That’s Retrospectives I from SIGGRAPH '89 and here’s a snippet:

Charlie Adams, the original programmer, decided that we’d better go beyond static curves. And he invented what we call the Bouncing Ball Program, the solution of three differential equations.
Now Whirlwind was a cantankerous machine. The storage tubes sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t. In order to do the testing, we had built 32 registers of test storage. Twenty-seven of those registers were read-only memory (we didn’t have that word then. We just called it toggle switch memory). Five registers were flip flop memories.
The challenge was to put a program in those 32 registers that would run something interesting when the rest of the machine was down. Adams succeeded in doing this with some very clever programming. Jack Gilmore has a copy of that program. It might be the first display program ever written. This was in 1949 .

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