Rare Pixar Image Computer Surfaces On eBay With $25,000 Price Tag

Rare Pixar Image Computer Surfaces On eBay With $25,000 Price Tag

$25k is $105k less than its original sale price.

A rare Pixar Image Computer that was originally developed by the Computer Division of Lucasfilm has surfaced on eBay with a $25,000 price tag. The computer is accompanied by an original Pixar monitor and is said to be in good condition, though it’s unclear whether the system actually works.

When Steve Jobs spun off Pixar from Lucasfilm in 1986, the Pixar Image Computer became commercially available for the first time. It wasn’t aimed at consumers like you and me, however. Instead, it was aimed at high-end visualization markets — including medicine, geophysics, and meteorology — and was first priced at a whopping $135,000.

Rare Pixar Image Computer Surfaces On eBay With $25,000 Price Tag

Of course, that price tag meant that the system didn’t sell all that well, and it was later redesigned to create the P-II — which sold for $30,000. By 1988, Pixar had sold just 120 Pixar Image Computers, and it began work on a third-generation model called the PII-9.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell which of these models is up for sale here, but we’ve contacted the seller in an effort to find out.

Whichever model this is, it’s an incredible piece of history linked to Pixar, Lucasfilm, and Steve Jobs. It’s also likely to be the only Pixar Image Computer you see on eBay for some time.

Rare Pixar Image Computer Surfaces On eBay With $25,000 Price Tag

The auction ends on July 26 at 4:42 p.m. PDT. The starting price is $15,000 and it’s yet to get a bid, which means the ‘buy it now’ price of $25,000 still stands.

  • Kenton Presbrey

    How about some Specs? What OS does it use?

  • Aaron

    How about some Specs? What OS does it use?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pixar_Image_Computer
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NeWS

    Google is your friend.

  • radie842

    The P-II could have two Channel Processors, or Chaps. Each Chap is a 4-way parallel (RGBA) image computer.[6] The chassis could hold 4 cards. Another model, the PII-9, could hold 9 cards (4 Chaps, 2 video processors, 2 Off Screen Memory (OSM) cards, and an Overlay Board for NeWS, the PostScript-based windowing system. The extensions added were to control the image pipeline for roaming, image comparison, and stereo image viewing. The PII-9 was the imaging engine for a UNIX host. This was a SIMD architecture, which was good for imagery and video applications. It processed four image channels in parallel, one for red, one for green, one for blue, and one for the alpha channel (whose inventors have connections to Pixar[7]). It processed imagery in 12 bits per color channel (or 48 bits per pixel) and could output with 10 bit accuracy. The system could communicate image data externally over an 80M per second “Yapbus” or a 2M per second multibus to other hosts, data sources or disks and had a performance measured equivalent to 200 VUPS, or 200 times the speed of a VAX 11/780. [8]

  • radie842

    The P-II could have two Channel Processors, or Chaps. Each Chap is a 4-way parallel (RGBA) image computer.[6] The chassis could hold 4 cards. Another model, the PII-9, could hold 9 cards (4 Chaps, 2 video processors, 2 Off Screen Memory (OSM) cards, and an Overlay Board for NeWS, the PostScript-based windowing system. The extensions added were to control the image pipeline for roaming, image comparison, and stereo image viewing. The PII-9 was the imaging engine for a UNIX host. This was a SIMD architecture, which was good for imagery and video applications. It processed four image channels in parallel, one for red, one for green, one for blue, and one for the alpha channel (whose inventors have connections to Pixar[7]). It processed imagery in 12 bits per color channel (or 48 bits per pixel) and could output with 10 bit accuracy. The system could communicate image data externally over an 80M per second “Yapbus” or a 2M per second multibus to other hosts, data sources or disks and had a performance measured equivalent to 200 VUPS, or 200 times the speed of a VAX 11/780. [8]

About the author

Killian BellKillian Bell is a staff writer based in the U.K. He has an interest in all things tech and also covers Android over at CultofAndroid.com. You can follow him on Twitter via @killianbell.

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