||To communicate with the I/O cards an optically isolated serial interface was developed. It communicated at 2M bits per second. The I/O card would hold in a reset state when the clock from the computer was not present keeping the machine in a safe state. Much of the architecture used is now seen in the ubiquitous USB interface.
||The I/O cards used LCAs (Logic Cell Array) that were programmed at startup time. This allowed for the design to be updated in the software.
||Flash was new technology and only starting to take part of the optically erasable or one-time programmable memory market. The program could be updated via the network.
||The machines were in a harsh environment and we developed a fiber optic network using plastic fibers. We could monitor the machines, update the software, and update the sock patterns and programs over the network.
||VRAM (Video RAM) and an LCA was used for the display controller. Black, white, and grey was achieved by modulation techniques on a display that was black and white only.
||The touch panel used an 8 bit analog to digital converter which allowed us to resolve a 256 by 256 grid. However, with numerous issues to resolve and limited processing time to allocate to the touch panel, we had an 8 by 8 grid in software.
||A virtual trademark of our projects was the cluster of four red and four green diagnostic LEDs. After all, looking at a computer does not let you know if it is running unless there is something that shows activity. At power on a dance would occur that would show the self-test progress. During operation each LED would blink in sequence to show that the system was actually running. Errors would flash an error code.