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Lisas help draw weather maps for the Beeb


This video of a Lisa being used to generate weather maps for the BBC has come up a few times on Twitter:

A few technical details can be found in this internal technical newsletter

It seems there's a VAX in between the Lisa and the graphics engine, so the Lisa interface may mainly result in commands being sent out over the serial port to the VAX.

Neat! didn't realize they originally used black rubber magnets for those lines back in the day.

Fish vs Mouse, Fight! and 35hrs of sunshine in one day, such amazing, much sun.

That's very interesting. At first I thought it was using Macworks, but the screen fonts look like the proper ratio for Office System. Also, the menu has an Apple symbol for commands.

Note the wristwatch wait symbol though!

Indeed! Note also the "v" in "Save" --- it's the Lisa system font for certain.

My guess is that the app is a custom Workshop program whose creators put a lot of effort into simulating the Lisa interface during development. You can use the system font in Workshop QuickDraw, but you'd have to make the menus yourself, which may be why there's so much space between the items in the "Frame" menu. I don't know for sure but it could be that QuickDraw only provides you with the standard mouse arrow pointer, so if you want something else, you'll need to make your own. Hence the watch.

The BBC uploaded a copy of this, and it looks to be higher resolution.

I wonder if any of the Quantel PaintBox crowd has details on what made this work?



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