Digital Research's GEM (Intel 8086 version!)

GEM was Digital Research's GUI (or a WIMP in the original), written in the 1980s. It stands for Graphical Environment Manager, and was written by someone (Mr. Lorenzen) who had just left Xerox PARC (where the concept of a GUI/WIMP was invented). GEM was a quite widespread interface at one time - GEM/1 was used on the Atari, GEM/2 was supplied with the Amstrad PC1512 in 1986 (where it brought the ability to run a graphical environment capable of running some very good apps in just 512k), and GEM/3 was the last generation of GEM, after which Windows killed it off. It was later 'reincarnated' in a cut-down form as ViewMAX under DR DOS, and had just a version of the GEM Desktop file management tool.
GEM was a very close match for the MacOS - the same on-screen layout of menu bar at the top of the screen, then windows below - the first version of the GEM Desktop had a wastepaper basket. Then Apple took DRI to court and got the bin and some other stuff taken out, with the end result that GEM became much less like the Mac.
GEM was one of the first commercially available GUIs for both the IBM compatible market (being packaged with Amstrad's original PC series) and more successfully for the Atari ST range. The PC version was produced by Digital Research and was not developed very far. The Atari version, however, continued to be developed until the early 1990s and the later versions supported 24-bit colour modes, full colour icons and a nice looking sculpted 3D interface. Like the Macintosh interface and Microsoft Windows, GEM provides a windowed environment for running programs.

IBM PC class machines code.

    GEM was demoed at the November 1983 COMDEX and shipped in the spring of 1984. DRI did not recognize the potential of a GUI interface and did not put any marketing effort behind it. DRI eventually withdrew GEM from the retail market. It continued to market GEM to software developers as a front end for their graphics products. The most well-known product to use the GEM GUI was "Ventura Publisher" from XEROX.
      The first version was GEM 1.1 (~3/85)
      The first retail version was GEM 1.2 (9/85)
      The last retail version was GEM 3.13 (4/89)

    After Apple's lawsuit and DRI's continued weak marketing of GEM, the original developers began to leave (literally run) in other directions.

    Lee Lorenzen and Dan Meyer, started ventura software continued to customize the GEM sys, never affected by DRI's 'apple' problems.

Digital Research Inc. is now owned by Caldera Inc.

GEM Desktop

GEM/3 Desktop Release 3.11

Copyright (C) 1988 - Digital Research, Inc.
    November 3, 1988
      The later versions of the GEM VDI/AES support features such as cached and compressed fonts bezier curves and improvements to GEM OUTPUT. The use of screen and printer device runtime configuration via *.ddf's etc. started here. Screen drivers and VDI properly handles rotated text and other minor improvements.Authors: Michael Franusich, Lowell Webster, Susan B. Champlin, Nick Webb

GEM Application Development

GEM Programmers Toolkit 3.0

Copyright (C) 1986, 1988 - Digital Research, Inc.
    March 28, 1988
      GEM Programmer's ToolKit/ Compiler Bindings. GEM Programmer toolkits were marketed with portability, both in terms of the 'C' compilers supported, as well as the M68k platform.
      Large model binding and batch files are included. The user can decide whether to install small model, large model, or both models. The files INSTALL.APP, INSTALL.TXT, INSTALL.RSC are included to help the user install the GEM/3 Programmer's Toolkit.
      The executable (.APP) versions of the demonstration programs supplied with this package have been assembled, compiled, and linked using the following tools:

        MASM v3.0
        LATTICE C Compiler v3.2
        LINK v3.05

      Also includes the GEM Resource Editor (RCS)

        Used to edit the (*.rsc) component of a GEM app. A great tool for modifying dialogs icons and other AES display objects.
        The 2.3 version was enhanced to support the setting of 'state bit' flags in GEM resources. The setting of such bits can be used to override the way the AES displays border styles.
        The Resource Construction Set (RCS.APP) includes a new icon editor that provides many convenient ways to create your icon or image. It can also scale your icon for different resolutions. Both high and low resolution resources are now provided.

      The utility LMAP2SYM is also included. It is used to convert a large model map file generated by LINK to a sym file needed by GEMSID for symbolic debugging. For those who use PLINK, PMAP2SYM is the corresponding utility.

      Authors: Tim Oren, Mei Chung, Christina Shaw, Tim Rolander, Chris Keith

GEM Applications

GEM Desktop Publisher R2.01

Copyright (C) 1987, 1988 - Digital Research, Inc.
    February 23, 1988

GEM Paint Version 2.01

Copyright (C) 1988 - Digital Research, Inc.
    January 07, 1988

GEM 1st Word Plus Release 2.00

Copyright (C) 1987 - GST Holdings Limited
    Licensed to Digital Research, Inc.

GEM Draw 1.0

Copyright (C) 1985 - Digital Research, Inc.
    April 9, 1985
      Easy to use drawing program Vector based objects, bitmapped fonts. Ability to open two drawing windows and drag objects between different drawings. Authors: Christopher Keith, Susan G. Bancroft, David Borders

GEM Graph 1.0

Copyright (C) 1985 - Digital Research, Inc.
    Dicember 16, 1985
      Presentation Graphs. Imports lotus (*.wks) spreadsheets and others.Authors: Dan Brown, Rick Fishwick, Marty Cielak, Andrew Muir, Meryle Sachs

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Last Updated: February 24, 1998