Magnolia – The 68000-based Smalltalk system from Tektronix

Ever since I heard Xerox licensed Smalltalk to a select few companies around 1980 (Apple, Tektronix, HP, and DEC), I’ve wondered what Tektronix did with it. Information on what Apple did with it was fairly easy to find. They mostly used it internally, though they released a couple versions on their high-end Macs, for those who asked. They didn’t market it, so you had to hear about it through word of mouth.

I used to know about Tektronix, because they made terminals. When I was in college, there were some around that were hooked up to the school’s Unix systems.

Originally shared by Ed S on Google+

Magnolia – the 68000-based Smalltalk system from Tektronix.

“The first development generation (1980-1981) of Tektronix’ Smalltalk system was a single-board 68000 system connected first to a Tektronix 4025 raster graphics terminal, later on to a directly connected bit-mapped display. The Smalltalk base system was implemented using their own Pascal compiler (cross-compiled on DECsystem 10/20 computers).”

“This success inspired Tektronix to come up with a Smalltalk workstation product, code named “Pegasus”. It ended up in the model 4404 which was 68010-based and was marketed as an “AI machine”, featuring both Smalltalk and Lisp (as an option). As Motorola was not shipping yet a 68k MMU, a discrete MMU had to be designed as virtual memory support was considered essential for supporting Smalltalk and Lisp.”