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From: info-...@utcsrgv.UUCP (info-mac)
Newsgroups: ont.micro.mac
Subject: flame about color Macs...
Message-ID: <4256@utcsrgv.UUCP>
Date: Sat, 12-May-84 01:57:33 EDT
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Posted: Sat May 12 01:57:33 1984
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Date:           Fri, 11 May 84 10:47:37 PDT
From: Kenneth Clark <uw-beaver!clark@AEROSPACE>
To: info-mac@SUMEX-AIM
Subject:        flame about color Macs...

  I think that many of the people that wish for a color Mac are
perhaps not seeing things in perspective. The Mac is part of a 
*system* concept, and is designed to integrate well with the
other components of that system. You could not just add a color
tube and hardware to Mac and have that be the end of it. Color
tubes draw more power, add a larger power supply. Bit planes
require more memory, and probably would require more horsepower
from the CPU to crunch that extra memory. Maybe all this extra
hardware/power would now require a fan, etc. Also, I think one of
Mac's great features is the ability to print out just exactly what
you see on the screen. So would we not need color printers also?
Maybe even a color laser printer for networking?

  My point is that these enhancements are more appropriate to
a system that is in general of a higher class than Mac. Such
an enhanced system could easily end up two or three times as
expensive as the Mac system. Let's face it, the Mac is the
Volkswagen of the computer industry, which is a valid and necessary
niche for a manufacturer to fill. But putting a Rolls Royce engine
in a Volkswagen does not give you a cheap Rolls Royce, it gives
you a very expensive Volkswagen...

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From: info-...@utcsrgv.UUCP (info-mac)
Newsgroups: ont.micro.mac
Subject: Re: flame about color Macs...
Message-ID: <4289@utcsrgv.UUCP>
Date: Tue, 15-May-84 10:57:41 EDT
Article-I.D.: utcsrgv.4289
Posted: Tue May 15 10:57:41 1984
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From: uw-beaver!ihnp4!utzoo!henry@Berkeley
Date: 13 May 84 01:19:31 CDT (Sun)
To: info-...@SUMEX-AIM.ARPA
Subject: Re: flame about color Macs...

I'm reminded of something that Rob Pike, inventor of the Blit, said
when he was asked about color.  He said (roughly), "I don't think
we know how to use small amounts of color well enough to make it
worthwhile".  I think he's right.  Color is dynamite for games, and
it's important for a very few specialized applications like VLSI
design, but otherwise it's not *at all* obvious that it's worth
the money and the performance penalty.  (Yes, there is a performance
penalty when you have to update four times as many bits to change an
area of the screen.)

Most of the more mundane uses of color that I've seen demonstrated
have been flashy sales gimmicks rather than truly useful techniques.
Having the headers of a spreadsheet in a different color from the
cells does not strike me as worthwhile.  In fact, it makes me retch.
A screen filled with gratuitous and unnecessary color changes is
worse than black and white.

*Real* color, at least 8 bits for each of red, green, and blue, is
a different story.  But that is much more expensive than monochrome,
and again many applications don't need it.

Face it:  color is a fad.  Its modest usefulness is being completely
obscured by marketing hype.  "Everybody knows" that monochrome is
obsolete and you've *just* *got* *to* *have* color, or your computer
is clearly a relic of the dark ages and positively an *antique*...
Gah.  I'll take high-resolution monochrome any day.

				Henry Spencer @ U of Toronto Zoology
				{allegra,ihnp4,linus,decvax}!utzoo!henry

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From: info-...@utcsrgv.UUCP (info-mac)
Newsgroups: ont.micro.mac
Subject: Re: flame about color Macs...
Message-ID: <4299@utcsrgv.UUCP>
Date: Wed, 16-May-84 09:30:14 EDT
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Posted: Wed May 16 09:30:14 1984
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Date: Tue, 15 May 84 08:05 PDT
From: uw-beaver!Piersol.p...@XEROX.ARPA
Subject: Re: flame about color Macs...
In-Reply-To: <8405130619.AA15785@ihnp4.ATT.UUCP>
To: ihnp4!utzoo!he...@UCB-VAX.ARPA
Cc: info-...@SUMEX-AIM.ARPA

I agree with some of Henry Spencer's points in his message, but think
some further points about color need to be made.

The usefulness of color in a machine relates directly to the complexity
of the information being displayed.  For relatively simple information,
like text or simple graphics, monochrome is fine, and indeed has
advantages.  For more complex information, such as VLSI, or high quality
graphics displaying complex information, color is highly desirable.  It
is not at all clear to me that color is 'a fad' of limited usefulness
generally.  I think you'll find color a significant advantage in most
programs if used sparingly.  Highlighting errors, key words, commands,
etc. are all valid and useful applications for color.  If high quality
color can be obtained, it should be.

The range of color needed for such high quality applications is has as
yet not been produced in what I'd call a personal machine.  You can
expect to spend at least $15k for a system with all the requisite bit
planes, local intelligence, resolution monitor, etc., and that doesn't
include the main processor.  If you want such a system, don't expect it
an a machine that sells for under $5k for a while.

Since we have not seen good color on personal machines yet, resolution
and clarity are the next items of importance.  I'm glad Apple provided
us with a superior black and white display package, rather than what
would very likely be a mediocre if not poor color display package.  The
technology simply isn't around to do this at a reasonable price for a
personal machine.  However, when such machines arrive, we can look for a
new first love besides Mac.

Kurt

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From: info-...@utcsrgv.UUCP (info-mac)
Newsgroups: ont.micro.mac
Subject: Re: flame about color Macs...
Message-ID: <4304@utcsrgv.UUCP>
Date: Wed, 16-May-84 09:32:02 EDT
Article-I.D.: utcsrgv.4304
Posted: Wed May 16 09:32:02 1984
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Date: Tue 15 May 84 02:16:10-EDT
From: Michael Rubin <uw-beaver!RU...@COLUMBIA-20.ARPA>
Subject: Re: flame about color Macs...
To: ihnp4!utzoo!he...@UCB-VAX.ARPA
Cc: info-...@SUMEX-AIM.ARPA
In-Reply-To: Message from "ihnp4!utzoo!henry@Berkeley" of Sun 13 May 84 
01:19:31-EDT

    In non-graphic applications, color tends to be used as a field
separator (a way of separating logically different parts of the screen)
or a standout mode (for highlighting invalid input or out-of-band
messages to the user like WARNING, DISK IS FULL).  The Mac, unlike the
competition, can use font changes and separate windows for the former
and alert/dialog boxes for the latter.
    However, if you are dealing with several planes of graphic data
(VLSI design, but also plotting more than two or three curves on a
graph, or drawing the electrical and plumbing plans of a building) you
just can't do it in black and white.  Even minimal color is a huge help
-- witness the three-color (red, yellow, green) radar scopes used by air
traffic controllers.
    Oh yes, four bit planes doesn't mean only 16 colors; ask any Atari
user about color look-up tables.  The IBM PC doesn't use these because
[IBM was dumb, and] cheap monitors only understand composite video (low
resolution) or digital RGB (can only display 16 colors anyhow).  The
present Mac has its own homebrewed video electronics anyhow; who cares
about standard video signals?
    Not to mention games... then again, us serious folks *never* play
games on our computers.

				--From the butane torch of:
				  Mike Rubin <Ru...@Columbia-20.ARPA>
-------

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From: info-...@utcsrgv.UUCP (info-mac)
Newsgroups: ont.micro.mac
Subject: Re: flame about color Macs...
Message-ID: <4312@utcsrgv.UUCP>
Date: Thu, 17-May-84 01:52:58 EDT
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Posted: Thu May 17 01:52:58 1984
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Date: Wed, 16 May 84 10:02 PDT
From: uw-beaver!Thomka...@XEROX.ARPA
Subject: Re: flame about color Macs...
In-Reply-To: "Piersol.pasa's message of Tue, 15 May 84 08:05 PDT"
To: Piersol.p...@XEROX.ARPA
Cc: ihnp4!utzoo!he...@UCB-VAX.ARPA, info-...@SUMEX-AIM.ARPA

Pertaining to your flame that
"You can expect to spend at least $15k for a system with all the
requisite bit
planes, local intelligence, resolution monitor, etc., and that doesn't
include the main processor.  If you want such a system, don't expect it
an a machine that sells for under $5k for a while"

There is a NEC machine, I believe it is called the PC-100 that has a
color screen resolution of 720x512.  The color selection is any sixteen
colors out of a total palet of 512 colors!  It uses an 8086 micro and
supposedly is PC-Dos compatable.  There is even a mouse used on the
machine.  The price for this machine is about $3300, and that includes
the monitor.  Of course you can get the monochrome version for about
$700 less.

I found out about this machine by reading InfoWorld.  There is small
section in there stating that Woz (of Apple) was in Japan, late last
year, looking the thing over.

	Chuck