The interest of IMPA in computer graphics dates back to the 1980's. In fact, in 1981, the Institute acquired a Textronix, a graphics computer, shown in the figure below.
The Tektronix has a DVST ("Direct View Storage Tube") monitor which allows the creation of high precision vector graphs. More then a simple stand alone machine, it has also the ability to be used as a terminal, linked to a server computer. Here is its configuration:
- 64 Kb RAM
- Resident BASIC Interpreter
- Resident Graphics System (in BASIC)
- Expanded cartridge with signal processing libraries
Different projects in mathematics visualization were realized in this platform. Today, the Textronix is at the VISGRAF lab entrance, as part of its history collection. Certainly, the acquisition of this equipment was the very start of what would become the VISGRAF Project, created almost ten years after.