Pixar Image Computer

Pixar Image Computer

Pixar Image Computer

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The Pixar Image Computer was a graphics designing computer originally developed by Pixar, which at the time was part of the Lucasfilm Computer Division, in May 1986. It was intended for the high-end visualization markets, such as medicine. The machine sold for $135,000, but also required a $35,000 workstation from Sun Microsystems or Silicon Graphics. The original machine was well ahead of its time and generated a lot of single sales, for labs and research. However, the system did not sell in quantity. In 1987, Pixar redesigned the machine to create the P-II second generation machine which sold for $30,000.

In an attempt to gain a foothold in the medical market, Pixar donated ten machines to leading hospitals and sent marketing people to doctors' conventions. However, this had little effect on sales, despite the machine's ability to perform CAT scans and show perfect images of the human body. Pixar did get a contract with the manufacturer of CAT Scanners, which sold 30 machines. The terms were: Buy a million dollar scanner, and get a $30,000 3D visualization system free. However, doctors were not trained to look at 3D, and could be sued unless they looked at the individual slices, per their training. By 1988 Pixar had only sold 120 Pixar Image Computers.

In 1988, Pixar began the development of the PII-9, a nine slot version of the low cost P-II. This machine was coupled with the world's first RAID, a high...
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