Designing and implementing new software is like inventing new tools. My toolbox now included :a variety of brushes, new colors, the ability to generate shapes, the ability to cut and paste, and tools to create patterns. These new tools extended my creative vocabulary!
After a couple of really grueling months of creating our new software, Harry and I decided to send a package to Apple Computer, Inc. He photographed images off the screen. We sent our slides and a letter to Apple. We wrote we were coming to California and would like to give them a demo of our program. We borrowed my mother’s Mercedes and drove up to Apple. We showed our program to a couple of from Special Delivery Software, a division of Apple to distribute software for the Apple II computer. They were impressed, but they had just decided to publish another program for the Graphics Tablet by rock and roll star, Todd Rundgren. I insisted that his program was more of a performance program, but our program was more for designers. We were able to make our case and Apple decided to publish. Our program would be called “The Designer’s Tool Kit”.
After exhausting the possibilities of the paint program that came with the Apple II Graphics Tablet, Harry Vertelney and I decided we could design a better paint program.
In1980, we recruited David Rifkind as the programmer. David was a 19-year old student at Pima Community College, in Tucson, Arizona. Just like so many of the personal computer programmer, David began programming calculators as a kid. David knew the Apple II inside out. His face would turn sideways in dismay when he wrote a program that didn’t work. The three of us lived in a tract house in Tucson. We worked around the clock on our one Apple II computer, designing and programming our new graphics software. David was a night owl and went to sleep at 3:00 A.M. I got up at around 3:00 a.m. I experimented with our software and imagined new features. Then it was Harry’s turn to test and imagine. On some evenings, David, Harry and I would discuss the achievements of the day, as well as traditional art tools and how the computer could emulate them. We added tools many shape tools. The tool I used most was the tool to create brushes pixel by pixel. More on that later.
One evening I asked David if there a possibility of having more than one “painting” at a time. I explained that when I paint in traditional mediums, I always work on several artworks at the same time, going back and forth between them. David said there is a second HIGH RES page in memory, puzzled that I didn’t know that. I then asked was it possible for there to be any interaction available between the two pages. That was when I learned about Boolean Logic (AND, OR and NOR). We incorporated Boolean logic to be used between the two High Res pages.
Designer Tool Kit: Coding a Graphics Program
©Lucia Grossberger Morales 2015