Image Processing Reference
Fig. 7.50 First microprocessor-based color system, Intelligent Systems' Intecolor 8001 circa
1975 (Courtesy of Charles Muench)
7.9.3 Color IN the Home and Office
The early home computers and the Datapoint business computer (discussed in the
chapter on Developing the Computer). had small monochromatic screens, which
at the time seemed wonderful, but clearly left some users wanting more - namely
To produce color you had to increase the display memory, the frame buffer, so it
could support two, three, or 8-bits per pixel which would yield 16.7 million shades
or colors. The first company to fulfill this need was Intelligent Systems Corporation
(ICS) in Norcross Georgia, with their Compucolor system (Fig. 7.50 ).
The company introduced the “Intecolor 8001” in late 1975 and offered a fixed
plot block graphics display with 160
192 resolution and text as 80 columns by 48
rows single height (24 rows in double height mode). The frame buffer was 7,680
bytes. In 1979, the company introduced a pixel graphics (dot-addressable) option
384 graphics, which was a dual circuit board and firmware add-on
to the base model. The frame buffer was 92,160 bytes.
Charles Muench (1937-) started Intelligent Systems in his basement in 1973 to
build displays for process control systems. ISC went public in 1980 and spun out
privately held Intercolor which operated up till it was acquired by Rockwell in 1996.