Click Here to visit our Sponsor
The Latest News ! The History of Computing The Magazine Have Fun there ! Buy books and goodies
  Click here to loginLogin Click here to send a link to this page to a friendTell a FriendTell us what you think about this pageRate this PageMistake ? You have mr info ? Click here !Add Info     Search     Click here use the advanced search engine
Browse console museumBrowse pong museum


C64 maze generator T-shirts!

see details
Ready prompt T-shirts!

see details
Spiral program T-shirts!

see details
Pixel Deer T-shirts!

see details
BASIC code T-shirts!

see details
Shooting gallery T-shirts!

see details
Vector ship T-shirts!

see details
Breakout T-shirts!

see details
Pixel adventure T-shirts!

see details
Pak Pak Monster T-shirts!

see details

M > MINDSET CORP. > Graphics computer


This mini forum is intended to provide a simple means of discussion about the Mindset Corp. Graphics computer 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 15th November 2006
Gene Apperson (Pullman, WA)

I worked for Microsoft starting in the early '80s (I started in March '83) and initially worked in the Basic language group. I implemented the Mindset extensions to the GW-Basic language. I think it was probably late '83 or early '84 when I did this.

A sprite data type was added to the language. A sprite was made up of multiple bit maps. A sprite could be animated by giving it a line to follow, a velocity, and a rate at which to cycle through the bit maps.

There was syntax added to the ON 'event' GOTO and ON 'event" GOSUB statements to add collision and arrival events so that the program would be notified when two sprites collided or when a sprite arrived at its destination.

I did this work a long time ago, so I don't remember many of the details, (it was all written in 8086 assembler), but it wasn't very hard to do. There were a couple tricky memory mangement issues to solve, but it was pretty straight forward stuff. I never interracted directly with the animation hardware as there was a machine BIOS with functions to handle all of the hardware animation features.

I never actually saw a production Mindset machine. We have a development machine, which was just a motherboard and power supply that wasn't even in a case. This was kept in a locked room and there were only about three people allowed in there. The only time I met Paul Allen was in there when he was being given a demo of the machine (at this time he was recovering from Hodgkins disease and wasn't actively involved in Microsoft any more).

Tuesday 5th July 2011
Chuck Hunnefield (Lancaster, PA)

A friend of mine brought this computer over to my house. It came in it''s own nylon carrying case - very impressive looking. I think they took some design cues from Apple - everything was packaged on a whole other level from anything else I remember back then.

It did indeed have hardware-based sprites and the extensions in GW-BASIC were amazing to behold. You could simply define a bitmap, tell it what direction to go, and it would simply travel there. All while you typed on the command line. I was awed by that!

My friend had purchased a game that was written by Synapse Software, and it was the single most impressive game I had ever seen.

It was called ''Viper'' and it was a 3D shoot ''em up, with incredible real-time 3D color animation - something I''d never seen before in a game. It was played with an analog joystick (also from Mindset).

So what happened to this terrific computer?

Like the Amiga, I think this machine was more than the general public thought they wanted. Back then, PC''s were for business - everything else was considered a ''game machine''. The word, ''multimedia'' had not yet been invented, and so there was no business case yet for having excellent graphics and sound.

What also didn''t help is the fact that due to it''s use of the 80186 AND a slightly incompatible BIOS, true compatibility with DOS was not possible. Word got around that the Mindset had some difficulty with mainstream software and that pretty much sealed it''s fate.

The 80186 went on to be featured in the Tandy 2000 and in RAID controllers. It was sold for many years after the Mindset, however, not as a primary microprocessor for a personal computer.

Tuesday 25th August 2015
Bill Steedle (Farmingdale, Long Island, NY)

The "Visual Communications: Art $ Graphic Design" department at Farmingdale State College (SUNY) established a computer graphics lab with 12 Mindset computers during the mid 1980''s. The facilities included a video capture unit for input, and both a film recorder and a color ink-jet printer for output. They were amazing machines - nothing else quite like them at the time. We added an Artronics graphics system, and then Apple Macintosh systems. We currently have nearly 100 Macs in our department.

Sunday 6th January 2013

Very interesting computer. This one got past me$ I do not recall
hearing about it when it came out.
Another rare use of the 80186 chip was in Convergent Technologies
computers. They also had a stylish build reminiscent of the Mindset
and the NeXT cubes. I used these at Burroughs, where they rebranded the line as the B-20 series. I think the B25 was an 80186. Some of the other models I recall were 8086. They sided stepped MS-DOS compatibility with a serious multi-tasking OS which in my opinion wasn''t matched for some time in the microcomputer world.
A little after this, though, around 1985 I was developing on using Convergent Technology computers at Burroughs (rebranded B-25 series) and some of these were 80186 machines. T

Wednesday 14th February 2007
Rokstenha (New York State)

I own a Mindset PC. Its graphics were amazing for the time. I chatted, briefly, with another in a CompUSA store. He thought that the Mindset was still or recently in use in Europe. I cannot verify that. It has been fun owning evidence for the 80186 chip. While taking courses at RIT I never found an instructor who accepted the fact that the 80186 chip ever existed.

Wednesday 28th January 2004
Blake Patterson (Alexandria, VA)
The List

I was always fascinated by this machine, though I never saw on in person. The writeup mentions that the Atari ST has the same graphics modes as the Mindset. While this is true, and while it is also true tha the 68000 in the Atari ST was a more powerful processor, the Mindset's animation abilities seem like to have been notably more powerful than that of the ST, more like that of the Amiga, given the custom graphics hardware present. (All animation on the Atari ST was fully driven by the CPU, there being no such custom hardware in its architecture.)

Click here to go to the top of the page   
Contact us | members | about | donate old-systems | FAQ
OLD-COMPUTERS.COM is hosted by - NYI (New York Internet) -