The ICON workstation and LEXICON file server were originally designed by Cemcorp, the Canadian Educational Microprocessor Corporation, specifically for use in Canadian schools. They were first produced by Burroughs then took the name of Unisys when Burrough and Sperry merged to form Unisys.
Up to about 20 diskless workstations got everything off of the central file-server. They ran QNX, a flavour of Unix operating system with optional GUI shell. The workstations offered a graphical interface including windows, pick-areas, and a tracker/cursor that responded to the user through manipulation of a trackball located onto the keyboard. Two versions of the GUI interface were available, called Ambience and ICONLook, as well as a file manager called House.
The Lexicon were 80186-based servers. They contained 1 or 2 8-inch floppy drives and a 70 MB hard disk. Standard programming languages (Basic, Pascal, Fortran, C) came from Watcom. A word processor and a spreadsheet were also available.
However, the LEXICON-ICON systems were very expensive and suffered from a lack of educational software. They were replaced with IBM PC and AT systems and were quickly forgotten.
There were also Icon II and Icon III computers, see the link section for more information.
More information from John Bridgman:
The ICON was originally designed as a courseware authoring and delivery tool intended to let teachers implement their own lessons and share them with other schools and classes, using a hypertext model similar to the (future) WWW but based on NAPLPS (Telidon) graphics rather than HTML and embedded bitmaps.
The "any teacher can create lessons" model was rejected by the Ontario MOE in favour of courseware they funded and controlled, and the hypertext project was cancelled before the ICON shipped, leaving only the Watcom language interpreters, the native QNX command-line interface, and the Cemcorp-developed text editor.
The fileserver originally had a 10 MB hard disk and a single 5-1/4" floppy. The Ministry requested a 5 MB hard drive but we felt that was too small. As soon as larger drives became available (70 MB unformatted, 64 MB formatted) we switched to the larger drive.
About half way through the original ICON production a floppy option was added to the workstation to meet a "checklist" requirement somewhere (in the US, I think) but very few were actually purchased.
|BUILT IN LANGUAGE||None|
|KEYBOARD||Full stroke keyboard with function keys and numeric keypad|
|RAM||384 KB - 1 MB in ICON-II second version|
|COLORS||Monochrome blue and white or 8 colours (at least) display|
|SOUND||Speech synthesis system|
|SIZE / WEIGHT||Unknown|
|I/O PORTS||Parallel printer connector, video port|
|BUILT IN MEDIA||None in the ICON workstation.
5.25'' floppy disk drive + 10 MB hard disk in the file server
|PRICE||About C$2.500 (ICON workstation)|
IMLAC  PDS-1The Imlac PDS-1 is a graphical minicomputer made by Imlac Corporation (founded in 1968) of Needham, Massachusetts. The PDS-1 debuted in 1970 and is considered to be the predecessor of all later graphical minicomputers and modern computer wo...Date2017.12.20 Views9133
TOSHIBA  T-200Two models were available: the Toshiba T200 C-5 with only one floppy disk unit (250 KB) and a hard disk (5 MB), and the T200 C-20 with a double floppy disk unit, one hard disk (10 MB) and one streamer (10 MB). It was possible to connect up ...Date2017.07.20 Views6274
TERTA  Tap34TAP 34 is a self design of Terta company from Hungary. Primarily it was designed as a terminal for big computer systems but it was also able to process data alone. The main integrated circuits were assembled in the USSR and in Hungary by Tu...Date2016.10.24 Views7348
금성  FC-100http://www.mydiyworld.net/?p=1074 http://tpholic.com/xe/ibmboard2/7060017 1982년 발매된 금성사의 첫 번째 8비트 개인용 컴퓨터. '교육용 컴퓨터'라는 활용 방향을 염두에 두고 만들어졌다. 산요전기의 8비트 컴퓨터 PHC-25와 부분적인 호환성을...Date2016.05.14 Views6799
Vector Graphics  Vector 1The Vector 1 was a clone of the ALTAIR 8800 based on the common S-100 bus structure and the Intel 8080A microprocessor. It was sold under kit or assembled versions. Vector Graphics said it offered a stronger cabinet and a well-designed powe...Date2016.05.14 Views7020
ACT  Apricot PCAfter having imported the Victor Sirius for years in the UK, ACT produced its own computer largely inspired by the Sirius : the Apricot PC. It was supposed to be transportable as there is a handle on the main-unit ! If you really want to mo...Date2016.03.31 Views5796
TRIUMPH ADLER  TA-1600TRIUMPH ADLER TA-1600 The TA 1600 system was introduced in 1983 at the CeBIT (which was only a part of the "Hannover-Messe" by that time). TA showed a few sample applications and the 1600 family in general. Triumph Adler's hardware inclu...Date2016.03.29 Views5862
ACORN  Risc PCIn April 1994, Acorn announced the release of the second generation of ARM machines � the Acorn RISC PC 600. Code named the Medusa project, this was set to replace the then ailing flagship A5000machine. As the name suggests, one of the m...Date2016.03.03 Views5520
ACC  8000We have little information about this computer which was manufactured and exported by Asia Commercial Co. Ltd, a company based in Hong-Kong. The ACC-8000 was one of the rare machine of the time to be equipped we three microprocessors: a MOS...Date2016.02.16 Views6331
ACORN  BBC Model A / B / B+The Acorn BBC model A was the successor of the Acorn Atom and its first name was Acorn Proton. It was a very popular computer in the UK and was widely used in schools, but it didn't have great success elsewhere (even though it did have ...Date2015.12.29 Views7000
ACORN  ATOMThe Acorn Atom was the ancestor of the BBC computers series. It was sold in kit or ready-assembled versions. The great advantage of the Atom compared to its competitors (TRS-80 & PET), was its high resolution capabilities (256 x 192) wh...Date2015.12.10 Views5510
UNISYS  IconThe ICON workstation and LEXICON file server were originally designed by Cemcorp, the Canadian Educational Microprocessor Corporation, specifically for use in Canadian schools. They were first produced by Burroughs then took the name of Uni...Date2015.11.22 Views5705
PCC  PCC 2000PCC 2000 is a professional computer released in 1978. It was designed in 1978 by Pertec, the company which merged with MITS by the end of 1976. The PCC is conceived as a monobloc machine, where the display and two 8" floppy disk drives are ...Date2015.10.21 Views5515
Fujitsu  FM 7Fujitsu was (and still is) japan's leading electronics company. This computer was the succesor of theFM-8 itself first member of the Fujitsu FM (for "Fujitsu Micro") range of computers, extending from hobbyist home computers up to 16-bi...Date2015.10.21 Views5655
Fujitsu  FM 77 AVThe FM 77 AV was an impressive system in 1985. It's a good example of what was developped in Japan and we never heard of in the rest of the world. The system has great audio and video features, hence the AV for "Audio and Video". It can...Date2015.10.17 Views5530
Fujitsu  FM-16sThe Micro 16s was designed to be a powerful package of hardware and software in a professional business system. It offered a unique architectural design for the time: interchangeable microprocessors and thus operating systems. In fact most ...Date2015.10.12 Views5907