by Darius Kazemi, May 6 2019
RFC-126 is titled “Ames Graphics Facilities at Ames Research Center” and authored by John McConnell of the NASA Ames Research Center. It's dated April 1971, with no date but presumably was submitted alongside RFC-125 on April 18th.
The technical content
The author is providing, for informational purposes, a description of the graphics facilities available at Ames on their IBM 360/67. Devices available include:
- An SC4020 microfilm system
- Calcomp pen plotters
- ARDS storage tube CRTs
- IMLAC PDS-1 refresh CRTs
- One IBM 2250 CRT
They are trying to create a front-end that simplifies access to all of these diverse devices.
A “storage tube” CRT is a monitor where you can write an image to it and then you don't have to constantly update the image to keep it on the screen. The tube itself “remembers” the image you've sent it and continuously displays the image as long as it has power.
Hardcopy Camera on the SC4020, June 1968. © Science and Technology Facilities Council, available from http://www.chilton-computing.org.uk/
The SC4020 was a massive machine that I am only just now learning about. As best I can tell, it's a multimedia production machine, capable of acting as a printer or creating animated films and who knows what else! There is a massive history of the SC4020 at Chilton Computing that I'm going to have to devour at a later date.
You can read about and see some poorly scanned ARDS storage tube CRT systems in this military supply documenation from 1967.