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Graphics Input Devices Apple Hardware

1979 Apple Graphics Tablet vs. the iPad 81

CWmike writes "When Apple launched the iPad earlier this year, it was the culmination of fans' long wait for the company to enter the tablet market. There's no doubt the iPad is a revolutionary device. But in 1979, an earlier generation of Apple users used a different kind of Apple tablet, back when the word meant something else entirely, writes Ken Gagne. The Apple Graphics Tablet was designed by Summagraphics and sold by Apple Computer for the Apple II personal microcomputer. (Summagraphics also marketed the device for other platforms as the BitPad.) To be clear, this tablet was not a stand-alone computing device like the iPad. Instead, it was an input device for creating images on the Apple II's screen, and it predated the Apple II's mouse by six years. Apple II fan Tony Diaz had an Apple Graphics Tablet on hand at last month's KansasFest, an annual convention for diehard Apple II users. He and Gagne, the event's marketing director, compared and contrasted Apple's original tablet with the iPad, snapping photos as they went." The contrived comparison is as silly as it sounds — but it's a fine excuse to look at some ahead-of-its-time gear, even in the form of an annoying slide show.
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1979 Apple Graphics Tablet vs. the iPad

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  • Re:Poor comparison (Score:3, Informative)

    by geogob ( 569250 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @04:18AM (#33249522)

    If you read TFA, you would notice that they do not really compare the functionality, but rather design, packaging, interfacing, etc. I believe it is more a comparison of Apple 1979 vs Apple 2010 than AGT vs iPad.

    And interesting device comparison to do both for the aspects compared here and for functionality aspects would be the Apple Newton Message Pad 2000 series against the iPad. It has been compared to the iPhone quite a few times, and probably already to the iPad to. (I think that an iPad comparison is more fair to the MP2000 than to the iPhone).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 14, 2010 @04:20AM (#33249530)

    Slow news day, eh?

    The news is just a thin disguise for the Apple commercial...

  • Mindshare (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 14, 2010 @04:33AM (#33249576)

    Another day another apple slashvert. How very fucking tedious.

  • Perq used it also (Score:3, Informative)

    by Smallpond ( 221300 ) on Saturday August 14, 2010 @11:09AM (#33250756) Homepage Journal

    The Summagraphics Bitpad was used as the graphical input device for the Perq. Rather than run a silly paint program, it allowed us to use the Perq as a CAD workstation to design the Perq II. Prior to that time most schematics were drawn on paper and netlists generated by hand. Graphical design saved countless hours and mistakes.

    The Bitpad was fantastic compared to some of the other input devices [] of the day.

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