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ZGrass Computer Expansion Module

Console Information

Tom DeFanti developed the GRASS programming language for his 1974 Ohio State University PhD thesis. In 1977, the now Dr Tom DeFanti was introduced to Jeff Frederiksen, a chip designer working at Dave Nutting Associates, which had previously been contracted by Midway to create a standardised graphics driver chip that was intended for use in most of their future arcade games, as well as a the Bally Home Library Computer. Midway was interested in seeing the GRASS language running on their system, and contracted DeFanti to port it to the platform. A number of people at the Circle Graphics Habitat (today known as the Electronic Visualization Laboratory, or EVL) worked on the project, as well as some people from Dave Nutting Associates. The project at this point was referred to as the Z-Box.

The expansion module for the Bally Home Library Computer was put on hold soon after the release of the system. It was around this time that the technology from the expansion module stemmed a separate project for a standalone workstation using Bally's chipset and the GRASS programming lanaguage, which ultimately became the UV-1. It was originally called the Bally ZGrass UV-1 and was assembled by DataMax. It subsequently was renamed to "Datamax UV-1". Its release was now being targeted as a system for outputting high-quality computer graphics to video tape. These units went on sale between 1980 and 1982, with about 300 o of the units being made. The released model was the UV-1R, mounted in a rack mount case (hence the R in the name).

Platforms: GRASS (Version: ZGRASS), Control Program for Microcomputers (CP/M).

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