Welcome to a brief history of microcomputing technology at EnerGraphiX Engineering, applying microcomputing technology to the engineering, multimedia and graphics fields.
EnerGraphiX was originally called Energraphics when it first began in 1980, concurrent with the birth of the microcomputer and the personal computer revolution. The company focused on developing software in support of energy efficiency modeling and California Title 24 energy efficiency compliance calculations...
Around 1980, the first computing machine used in development of energy efficiency compliance calculations was a Tandy "Radio Shack" Model III equipped with an "incredible" 16K of dynamic RAM. The machine was upgraded 48K, added dual 384K floppy diskette drives (one to boot from, the second one for data), and a decent letter-quality dot matrix printer.
This Model III workhorse ran TRS-DOS Version 2. The CPU was a well-respected 8-bit Zilog Z-80, capable of running at spec 4MHz clock speed, but for in Tandy's design, Tandy derated it, and clocked it down to 2.77MHz. The Z-80 addressed a total of 64K of RAM, however Tandy also dedicated the first 16K to system ROM and RAM, leaving only 48K as user RAM. After the installation of the dual diskette drives and the TRS-DOS required for them, the system also soft-configured another 12K leaving only about 36K of usable RAM.
Despite the machine's memory and speed limitations, compiled BASIC and Z-80 Assembler programs performed Energy Compliance calculations for residential and commercial structures. These compliance calculations were required by the California Energy Commission as of 1978 for all new structures built in California as a response to the "Energy Crisis" in the 70's, particularly in the aftermath of the OPEC oil embargo.
Other microcomputing equipment was acquired around 1983, and the TRS-80 Model III continued on to be programmed for database, payroll, and word processing applications. Finally, civil and structural engineering applications were programmed, however, the machine's data storage limitations weighed heavily in favor of retiring the machine.
In its final incarnation, the TRS-80 Model III system operated until 1987, serving from 1983 thru 1986 as a pre-MIDI drum machine sequencer! Lots of ribbon connectors!
IBM PC Revolution
In 1988, the IBM-compatible PC revolution provided EnerGraphiX Engineering (still called Energraphics) an IBM PC-XT compatible, based on the Intel 8088 microprocessor. The PC was upgraded with a 20MB hard disk, then EMS memory expansion. The advent of graphical user interfaces (GUIs) required upgrading the processing power of the PC. A completely new motherboard was installed, making it no longer an XT, but a 386SX 25MHz PC, running the then brand new Windows 3.0 GUI. At that time, it was cutting edge multi-tasking PC architecture.
The XT system was replaced in 1991 by a 486 33MHz PC running Windows 3.1. The 486 was equipped with SCSI hard drives and multimedia equipment: CD-ROM, 16-bit soundcard, and high resolution graphics.
By 1993, the 'Wintel' PC revolution was in full momentum. The company acquired its first Pentium machine - a Pentium 75MHz based system. That system was soon replaced by an upgrade to a Pentium 133 CPU just a couple years later.
In 1995, Energraphics adopted the EGX moniker as it ventured into the multimedia application of PC systems. EGX was doing digital audio editing and MIDI sequencing on Pentium 133 hardware. The PC systems were linked and synchronized to ADAT digital audio tape multitrack and TASCAM DAT for outboard digital audio mixdown. IBM's OS/2 was introduced for server duties.
In 1997, EGX was using non-Intel alternatives and comparing performance against the mainstream CPUs from Intel. The Cyrix 233 performed well, though short-lived as the multiclocking monster CPUs and the Intel Pentium II arrived. Microsoft Windows NT became the server standard O/S.
In 2000, EGX standardized on Pentium II for multimedia production and digital audio editing.
The future looks good!
Apologies for not keeping up with updated "history" in the years here... we're busy and MAKING history.
Today, EnerGraphiX Engineering provides multimedia and internetworking consultation in keeping ahead of rapidly changing technologies and seeking the best in integrated digital audio.
A Brief History
the birth of the microcomputer revolution, the first computing machine used was a Tandy "Radio Shack" TRS-80 Model III
The Model III system operated until 1987, serving from 1983 through 1986 as a pre-MIDI drum machine sequencer
a PC XT compatible, based on the Intel 8088 microprocessor
The system was replaced in 1991 by a 486 33MHz PC running Windows 3.1.
Network Systems Engineering, Internet, E-Commerce, and Linux Software Development
Digital Audio editing and multimedia production
The revolution continues.