[Public WebGL] determining depth of z-buffer

[email protected] [email protected]
Thu Feb 3 13:25:05 PST 2011

Yeah - I was wracking my brains trying to think about whether the 3000
series had a Z buffer - I kinda thought that it didn't...but I could
easily be wrong about that.

The CompuScene IV flight sim graphics system had a Z-buffer and it was
released in 1984...which pre-dates the IRIS machines...but at megabucks
per display, it stretches the definition of "...that you could actually

There is shockingly little information about these early realtime graphics
systems out there on the web.  Those early IRIS machines rate scarcely a
paragraph in Wikipedia.

  -- Steve

> On 2011/02/03 5:58, [email protected] wrote:
>> Remember, this stuff pre-dates OpenGL by quite a long way.  The original
>> Silicon Graphics "Geometry Engine" in the Personal-IRIS (probably the
>> first hardware accelerated 3D engine with a Z-buffer that you could
>> actually buy) did Z just like modern WebGL does.
> The Geometry Engine originally appeared in the IRIS 1000 series which
> progressed through the 2000 and 3000 series before giving way to the
> IRIS4D and IRIS4D/GT.  The Personal IRIS appeared after the GT. I began
> my time at SGI with an IRIS 3030 which, if memory serves, had a
> z-buffer. I still have my "Power of Ideas in Motion" mug from the
> Personal IRIS announcement, Oct. 1988.
> Regards
>     -Mark

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