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Rand Tablet
Gift of The Rand Corporation, X450.84
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Rand Tablet with operator
c. 1964
Credit: The Rand Corporation

Rand Tablet
The Rand Corporation, United States

The Rand Corporation produced one of the first devices permitting the input of freehand drawings into a computer. Also called the Grafacon, the original Rand Tablet cost $18,000. The attached stylus sensed electrical pulses relayed through a fine grid of conductors housed beneath the drawing surface, fixing its position to within one one-hundredth of an inch. Many experimental systems were developed to recognize handwritten letters or gestures drawn on the tablet, such as Tom Ellis’ GRAphic Input Language (GRAIL) method of programming by drawing flowcharts.

Koala Pad
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Gift of Mitchel Kapor, X1126.93