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U > UNISYS > Icon


 

This mini forum is intended to provide a simple means of discussion about the Unisys Icon computer. If you want to share your own experience or memories, or add relevant information about this system: post a message! For other purposes like sales messages, hardware & software questions or information requests, please use our main forum.

  Click Here to add a message in the forum

 

Wednesday 11th October 2006
Eric March (Ontario, Canada)

We used the colour version of the ICON computers at Woodbridge High School back in the early-mid 90s. My main memory was of how incredibly slow they were, while at the same time having a cool GUI with which to select and load programs. We used these in a programming class where they taught Turing language using an MS-DOS application for the text editor and compiler. Compiling even the simplest Turing program seemed to take forever, and the entire excersize was pointless considering Turing wasn't useful outside the classroom in any professional setting, least of all on ICON computers. This was the first time I ever had contact with an ICON, and the only other time I ever saw one was in the later part of the 80s, where an Ontario Place science exhibit had an ICON hooked up to a large LED character display that any passerby could program messages into using simple commands on the ICON to control colour and how it was displayed.


Friday 16th December 2005
Mnem (Canada)

We had these things at our high school. They where strictly for the use of the students taking computer programming classes. One lab of Icon I's, 1 of II's, and 1 of III's with the built-in x86 hardware modules.

Don't really remember playing any games on them, but I do remmember making a sport of spinning the trackball forcefully enough to get it to jump out of it's socket and fling accross the room. That and shoulder-surfing the Teachers SuperUser password so we could create our own SuperUser accounts on it.

There was a cool little animation program on it too that you could draw sort-of frame-by-fram line graphics with which we inevitably used to make dirty animations and add them to students .login files so when they logged in the teacher would give them crap. That and adding 'logoff' to other students .login script so when they logged in they'd get logged right out again.

I remember when the teacher found out that some of us had a SuperUser account on the machine the only thing he did was tell us to never type 'frel .bitmap' at the root prompt since that would erase the entire file allocation table of the hard drive. Good times.


Wednesday 7th December 2016
Jasmine (Canada)

I found a Refugees in the Wilderness game! It''s not the original as it was destroyed. But, it''s close! http://www.theloyalistbartletts.com/site/start


Friday 26th August 2016
Lyon (Canada)

I''ve been researching an elementary school game on this Unisys Icon all night and I finally found out the name of the game, it was Peggie’s Potluck and I''m sure you guys have played it before. Yes, it was about cooking a stew lol. Does anybody have pictures of the gameplay? I need to feed my nostalgia lol.


Sunday 26th June 2016
Mike Budz (Canada)

I vaguely remember the "voice" saying something when it booted. I also remember think they were quite old in the late 80s to early 90s, being disappointed that there were so few programs. After a while these mostly collected dust in the backs of classrooms, "computer time" being treated like a reward when we didn''t have much to do. A shame really.


Monday 7th March 2016
Kevin Dutrisac (Ottawa)

I remember using a later version of this computer throughout the 1990s at my primary school. I remember first learning how to type on this thing using a certain learning how to type game. It also had very basic word processing. One game that I remember playing that I used to love was Northwest Fur Trader, which we played after we would learn about the history of fur trading. I also remember playing a game to draw faces.

Our school had these until the year 2000, and so it was very obsolete by then. We did have a handful of computers with Windows by then, which we had to take turns using and were normally for students who did not have computers at home.


Friday 13rd November 2015
Oliver (Canada)

In the eighties we had one of these (I guess) at Archie Stouffer Elementary in Minden, Ont. and I remember Off Shore Fishing but my favorite was North West Fur Trade. Anyone else remember it. Only game I ever played where you could contract cholera lol


Tuesday 3rd March 2015
mat (canada)

Is there any way I can find this game or even pictures of this game
It was the offshore fishing fame on the unysis icon computer. I havent seen this game since I was a kid

Metalic29@hotmail.com


Sunday 23rd December 2012
Ger

$IMG$http://imageshack.us/a/img838/7492/offshorefisher.jpg$/IMG$

$)


Monday 10th December 2012
djnforce9 (Canada)

I used these a LOT during Elementary school which would have spanned the late 1980''s and early to mid 1990''s. During my last two years there, the school started to replace them with conventional PC''s since the ICON''s were no longer suitable and REALLY showing their age. I never liked them too much because they were slow and lacked variety in software although a few games were fun such as Cross Country Canada and InterRail (the latter of which I made made my objective to get as much money as possible during travels).

Perhaps the highlight was getting "Duke Nukem 3D" to run on one of the latest icon models (i.e. the ICON PC which could run DOS and Windows applications as well as the regular ones) since the computer technician had given it 8MB of RAM so it could act as a proper print server. It was clunky but it did actually work well enough to be playable. The teacher even let me play it during the designated "computer period" which was awesome but the tech wasn''t too thrilled when he found out about this and had me remove it.

Anyway, I''m hoping one day some hobbyist get''s a hold of one and shows it off in a video. So far, information on these is very scarce and even moreso for their exclusive applications like Interrail.


Monday 13rd February 2012
Ruth Winters (west virginia/USA)

I was teaching remedial reading in the 80''s and 90''s and I had the Icons in my classroom. We had six workstations and one fileserver. I guess there was a teacher station too, but I don''t remember. I had not been an early adopter of technology, but when the Icons were installed I fell in love with computers. I stayed very late every night playing around with them. I learned file structure using the little GUI, and switching between the GUI and the prompt, and using the manuals to figure it all out. I was thrilled, and it started my love of technology. We purchased these for a reading program that used laser disks. We also played Mathmaze, Offshore Fishing, and others I''m sure. I remember that none of the other teachers wanted to have anything to do with them. They were installed in the room that had been the typing classroom, because there was conduit and outlets running throught the room on the floors. (These were all above the floor, serious tripping hazard.) I did accidentally reformat the file server once, and the reps had to come back and reinstall everything. I don''t think they realized I had done it. This has been a nice little visit to yesteryear.


Monday 13rd February 2012
Ruth Winters (west virginia/USA)

I was teaching remedial reading in the 80''s and 90''s and I had the Icons in my classroom. We had six workstations and one fileserver. I guess there was a teacher station too, but I don''t remember. I had not been an early adopter of technology, but when the Icons were installed I fell in love with computers. I stayed very late every night playing around with them. I learned file structure using the little GUI, and switching between the GUI and the prompt, and using the manuals to figure it all out. I was thrilled, and it started my love of technology. We purchased these for a reading program that used laser disks. We also played Mathmaze, Offshore Fishing, and others I''m sure. I remember that none of the other teachers wanted to have anything to do with them. They were installed in the room that had been the typing classroom, because there was conduit and outlets running throught the room on the floors. (These were all above the floor, serious tripping hazard.) I did accidentally reformat the file server once, and the reps had to come back and reinstall everything. I don''t think they realized I had done it. This has been a nice little visit to yesteryear.


Thursday 13rd January 2011
Shawn (Ottawa, ON)

I''ve been trying to track this computer down for ages now. As far as I can remember, we had these in our computer room.

The one game I distinctly remember was Robot R$D.

Does anybody know where I can find any other info about this game? It''s such a blur in my brain but I''m fairly sure it was for this computer.


Tuesday 23rd November 2010
coldlogic (canada)

I would also like to find this software... I read that they destroyed all the software without archiveing it, but i mean, someone out there has a copies of this stuff. If its not done soon it could be lost forever.


Monday 15th November 2010
crUshed420

OK, a bit more info about that game I''m looking for. It was actually part of a 4-part series called "The Bartlett Saga" and the four parts were named:

1) Refugees in the Wilderness
2) The Rebels
3) United We Stand: Confederation
4) The Golden West


Friday 12th November 2010
crUshed420 (Toronto, Canada)

Jim P - i''m pretty sure you''re thinking of "Refugees in the Wilderness" as well. That''s the game I''ve been trying to find for YEARS... if you find it, let me know! crUshed420@hotmail.com


Friday 12th November 2010
crUshed420 (Toronto Canada)

Alex B. - I think you are right!!! That game was so fun, I still wish I could find it. I remember at the end of the game you could ask for a print-out that detailed your "success" as a pioneer. Man, they should re-make a bunch of these games as little Flash/Java games you could play on a website!

Syd Bolton - that''s AMAZING you have an ICON setup in Brantford! Is "Refugees in the Wilderness" available to play?!?!


Tuesday 15th June 2010
Syd Bolton (Canada)
Personal Computer Museum

Thanks to Jean we have the ICON and a File Server (thanks to Walter) interactively setup at the Personal Computer Museum in Brantford, Ontario - so come out and play with it to bring back all your memories!


Thursday 25th March 2010
Jean-Edouard  (Montreal Canada)

I have one Lexicon and two Icons with a lot of documentations.Please let me know if you are interested. You would have to take delivery around Montreal


Tuesday 28th July 2009
jim p (canada)

I played a game in markham museum. where you made choices to raise herds or crops . weather and sickness and injuries all played a role in your outcome. what was this game and is it still avail?


Saturday 18th July 2009
Alex B.

It''s over 3 years ago now, but crUshed420 mentioned the game "Refugees in the Wilderness".

Was this the game that you could make a giant pot of Stew using various settler goods? I remember there were tons of different outcomes$ some humorous.

"The stew tasted horrible, but it cured Grandpa''s constipation".


Tuesday 21st October 2008
Keith (Canada)
Hungry Rantings from a Brainless Zombie

Does anyone here know where I could find an ICON computer? Anyone willing to sell? Also, is there anyone willing to sell or give details about the LEXICON file server?

Thanks very much!


Monday 2nd June 2008
Ken (Toronto)

We had these in my primary school in Scarborough, around 1986. I vaguely recall the fishing game, but I remember loving Oregon Trail, or at least a knock-off of the game.
I remember the built-in trackball (this was before mice were available, and when all home computers ran DOS)


Friday 18th January 2008
Ann Jun (Seattle)

Yeah, I heard about the ICON destruction. It makes me so sad...and pissed off. I miss Cargo Sailer...and the historical programs. Mathville was awesome, too. Moving up in the world!


Tuesday 18th December 2007
John Chan (Toronto)

Does anyone have a picture of the 2D low res/low color mathville. (not the VGA ones with the bunny). I was so happy when I learnt how to calculate taxes at the shopping checkout.


Friday 8th June 2007
Neil (Toronto)

Hey guys, I heard that these icons were contracted specifically for Ontario schools. What's more, when they were officially dropped by the ministry of education in 1994, the hardware was all but destroyed :-( Had a few friends of mine, now teaching in our former elementary schools, to see if they have any of these in storage, but to no avail.

According to the Wikipedia entry, the group that handles archiving of all things Ontario (i.e. Archives Ontario) refused to accept the hardware/software. I'd love to get my hands on 'Voyages of Columbus', but it looks like we'd have to sift through landfill to find them. D'oh!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unisys_ICON


Saturday 18th November 2006
John Chan (Toronto)

Where is the ICON 1--> ICON 2 (The one that is like ICON 2, but its white casing instead and uses dials (not buttons) for brightness control. It also has a speaker in the front and a green led light. I think it was mono. (unlike the ICON 2 which is color). They would be great for RDP over Xen if it isn't for the EGA/80186/Arcnet/1MB ram problem. I like the software, anyone have a "old-computers.com/ software museum?"


Sunday 12th November 2006
Jay (Ottawa, On)

I use to love these machines. I'd love playing Mathmaze, Offshore Fishing, Cargo Sailer, Logo and on the newer Icons playing Week In The Life Of, Rally & Mathville. I wish I could get my hands on one with some of the games on it or at least if someone would release them to play on PC or something.


Friday 13rd October 2006
Spencer (Toronto)

I was wondering if anyone knows where to pickup a Unisys Icon or Lexicon ? I'm in the GTA and would love to get my hands on one to play with. I remember these from grade 6 and 8, seemed like a big old beast of a machine..
Thank You


Thursday 21st September 2006
Trav Wilson (Tillsonburg)

Yep, I hear ya... We had a collection of these... fged was "Fine Graphics Editor"... The white and blue monitors spoken of were colour, and about as hard to look at as a vic 20 on a colour tv... i found the amber were nice. We had the 10 meg model of the lexicon, and i can remember a few who went off on their own and wrote 'c' programs for the qnx.


Tuesday 31st January 2006
Lea-Andra (Ontario)

I remember I had recess before our computer class and I offered to turn on all the computers during recess so I could start 'A day in the life of...' early. I never got to finish that game. I am going crazy trying to find it. If anyone does let me know.

Thanks


Thursday 17th March 2005
crUshed420 (Toronto, Canada)
Is it |4:20| yet?

Oh the Icons, how I miss them :( I've been trying to find an emulator for the PC so that I could relive those fun games.

I too remember off shore fishing and loved it, HOWEVER, my absolute favourite was "Refugees in the Wilderness".

That game alone has driven my search, and I have yet to find any reference to it online. It was a "choose your own adventure" type game where you were pioneers in the early 1800s and you had to plant corn, wheat, etc to survive. It was a really fun game, and if anyone finds a copy of it please email me!

crUshed420@hotmail.com


Tuesday 11th January 2005
Steph (Ontario, Canada)

Wow! I too like Annette have nightmares about the "whoosh". Annette is actually the one who showed me this site, as we grew up together on this slow machine w/ a trackball from hell. The game I remember from this ancient computer was that math quest game. You get to be a wizard and go though lvs and solve math problems and try to get to the end. I never got there because it just took too long. Then we got computers where you could put, get this, compatable disks into it. We were floored and the "icon" went into the depths of our memories. Memories that have been revived by this site.


Tuesday 11th January 2005
Annette (Ontario)

Wow. I remember using these in public school strictly for playing awesome games like off-shore fishing, and "A day in the life of..." The worst part about them was the goddamn trackball. They made a weird "whoosh" noise when you tried to use it quickly so just imagine the sound of 24 grade 1 kids trying to play off-shore fishing. I still hear it in my dreams. I'm still kicking myself for not getting one when my school was throwing them away.


Friday 30th January 2004
Alex (Ontario, Canada)
Alex Luyckx Computer Services

I am also a former user of the Unisys ICON computer, we had a single classroom of them while I was in Grade Nine. The class we took with these beasts was typing. I am going to check to see if any of the file servers for these computers still exsist at the high school (EC Drury).

<>< Alex
Rom 12:2a Eph 5:18
www.alcs.tk www.luyckx.tk





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