Terak 8510/a

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Terak 8510/a workstation with keyboard and graphic display

The Terak 8510/a of 1976 or 1977 was among the first desktop personal computers with a bitmap graphics display. It was a desktop workstation with an LSI-11 compatible processor, a graphical framebuffer, and a text mode with downloadable fonts. The combined weight of processor, display, and keyboard was approximately 50lb. Despite the lack of an MMU, it was capable of running a stripped version of UNIX version 6. It was the first personal machine on which the UCSD p-System was widely used.[1] Various universities in the USA used it in the late 1970s through mid-1980s to teach Pascal programming. It provided immediate graphic feedback from simple programs encouraging students to learn.

Three entrepreneurs created the company in 1975: Brian Benzar, William Mayberry and Dennis Kodimer. Terak products were manufactured in Scottsdale, Arizona from 1976 thru 1984. Sales reached $10M and Terak was publicly traded in 1983-84. Besides the original frame-buffer-centric 8510/a, other products were developed: color graphics and a Unix workstation. Eventually Terak succumbed to two forces: the sales juggernaughts of Sun, IBM and Apple plus venture capitalists with little expertise in the computer industry. A Terak computer was on display at the Boston Museum of Science and also the Jefferson Computer Museum.


  1. ^ "» Pascal and the P-Machine the Digital Antiquarian".

External links[edit]