"PC Design" redirects here. For the design of the IBM PC and its clones, see IBM PC.

The KoalaPad is a graphics tablet produced from 1984 by U.S. company Koala Technologies for several early 8-bit home computers, including the Apple II family, TRS-80 Color Computer (TRS-80 Touch Pad), Atari 8-bit family, and Commodore 64, as well as for the IBM PC.

Originally designed by Dr. David Thornburg as a low-cost computer drawing tool for schools, the Koala Pad and the bundled drawing program, KoalaPainter, was very popular with home users as well (KoalaPainter was called KoalaPaint in some versions for the Apple II, and PC Design for the IBM PC). A program called Graphics Exhibitor was included for creating slideshow presentations from KoalaPainter drawings.


The KoalaPad

The pad was four inches square (i.e. roughly 10×10 cm) and mounted on a slightly inclined base with the back of the pad higher than the front. At the top, "behind" the pad, were two buttons. The pad hooked into the computer using the analog signals of the joystick ports (the so-called "paddle" inputs), which meant that it had a fairly low resolution and tended to jostle the cursor if moved during use.

Instead of the drawing stylus, the pad could as easily be operated by the user's fingers for less precision-demanding work, such as selecting between menu items (i.e. using the pad as a kind of "indirect touch screen").

The top-mounted buttons tended to be somewhat frustrating to use, as the user had to "reach around" the stylus to push the buttons in order to start or stop drawing. A similar tablet from Atari, the "Atari CX77 Touch Tablet", addressed this with a built-in button on the stylus,[1] which some enterprising users adapted for use with their KoalaPad.


KoalaPainter menu screen (C64 version). The "undo" command was called "Oops" (2nd row, left). The lowermost part of the screen contains the color choice chart (16 pure colors, 16 dithered). Immediately above the color chart is the brush shape bar (8 different shapes).

The pad shipped with a simple bitmap graphics editor called KoalaPainter (aka KoalaPaint or PC Design), developed for Koala by Audio Light, Inc. Although bundled with the pad, KoalaPainter could also be operated using an ordinary digital joystick.

One unique feature of the program, for its time, was that it held two pictures in the computer's memory, allowing the user to flip from one to the other—a function commonly used in order to study the differences between an original and modified picture, and to copy and paste between two different pictures.

Some third-party bitmap editors could also be used with the KoalaPad, such as Broderbund's Dazzle Draw for the Apple II.

File Format

The Commodore 64 version of Koala Painter used a fairly simple file format corresponding directly to the way bitmapped graphics are handled on the computer: A two-byte load address, followed immediately by 8000 bytes of raw bitmap data, 1000 bytes of raw "Video Matrix" data, 1000 bytes of raw "Color RAM" data, and a one-byte Background Color field.


Koala Technologies offered more software than the bundled KoalaPainter and Graphics Exhibitor to use with the pad. Among these applications, marketed under the moniker KoalaWare like KoalaPainter itself, were educational software for use with customized keypads and overlays, such as spelling tools, music programs, and mathematics instruction, as well as software for "translating" graphical designs into LOGO programs.


External links

  • Vectronic's Koala Pad – An Apple II collector's description of the KoalaPad and software, with photos and screenshots

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Поможем сделать НИР

Look at other dictionaries:

  • KoalaPad/Painter — PC Design redirects here. For the design of the IBM PC and its clones, see IBM PC .The KoalaPad is a graphics tablet produced from 1984 by U.S. company Koala Technologies for several early 8 bit home computers, including the Apple II family, TRS… …   Wikipedia

  • Commodore 64 software — The Commodore 64 amassed a large software library of nearly 10,000 commercial titles, covering most genres from games to business applications, and many others. Contents 1 BASIC 2 Development tools 3 Modern Day Development Tools 4 …   Wikipedia

  • Commodore 64 — Тип Персональный компьютер Выпущен Август 1982 …   Википедия

  • Сравнение растровых графических редакторов — Сравнение возможностей некоторых популярных растровых графических редакторов. Содержание 1 Список программ 2 Основная информация …   Википедия

  • Commodore 64 — Type Home computer Release date August 1982[1] Discontinued …   Wikipedia

  • Graphics tablet — This article is about the computer input device. For other tablet devices, see Tablet device (disambiguation). A graphics tablet (or digitizer, digitizing tablet, graphics pad, drawing tablet) is a computer input device that enables a user to… …   Wikipedia

  • Timeline of computing 1980–1989 — History of computing Hardware before 1960 Hardware 1960s to present Hardware in Soviet Bloc countries Artificial intelligence Computer science Operating systems Programming languages …   Wikipedia

  • Okimate 10 — The Okimate 10 by Oki Electric Industry was a low cost 1980s color printer with interface plug n print modules for Commodore, Atari, IBM PC, and Apple Inc. home computers. Unlike thermal printers, which use thermal printing technology and require …   Wikipedia

  • Koala (disambiguation) — A Koala is a marsupial native to Australia.A Giant Koala is an extinct marsupial that was native to Australia.Koala may also refer to: *KoalaPad/Painter a graphics tablet for home computers *Kid Koala a.k.a Eric San, a Montreal based DJ and… …   Wikipedia

  • Brotkasten (c64) — Der C64 im „Brotkasten“ Gehäuse Der Commodore 64 (kurz: C64, umgangssprachlich auch 64er) ist ein 8 Bit Heimcomputer mit 64 KByte Arbeitsspeicher. Seit seiner Vorstellung im Januar 1982 auf der Winter Consumer Electronics Show war der von… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”