Graphics Tablet Anonymous

KoalaPad: the mother of them all

KoalaPad: the first graphics tablet

KoalaPad: the first graphics tablet

Looking back in graphics tablet history brings us to the KoalaPad, the first ever digital drawing tablet for home computers. This device was first produced in 1984 by US company Koala Technologies and designed by Dr. David Thornburg.

The KoalaPad could be operated with the pressure of a pen stylus, or a finger for less precise work.  It included two buttons along the top for operating additional software features.

KoalaPad window

A digital still life created with the KoalaPad by Robert Robinson.

Versions of this tablet were compatible with a number of 8-bit PCs, including the Apple II, the TRS-80, the Atari, the Commodore 64, and the IBM PC. It was packaged with a simple drawing application called KoalaPaint or Koalapainter, depending on the platform.

Koalapad+ packaging for Apple II

Koalapad+ packaging for Apple II.

KoalaPad packaging for Commodore64

KoalaPad packaging for Commodore64

KoalaPainter toolbox for Commodore64

KoalaPainter toolbox for Commodore64

For more information about the KoalaPad, check out this illustrated review of the Apple II version, this review of the Commodore64 version with more illustrations, or the Wikipedia article.

1 comment
  1. [...] Tablets… Then: Artwork made using Koala Graphics Pad circa 1984 Link to more info: http://www.graphicstablet.org/2011/03/koalapad-the-mother-of-them-all/#more And Now: [...]

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