Macintosh Centris (68040), Symbolics Ivory Model-3 Nubus card,
Symbolics keyboard and mouse, Sony LCD screen (picture courtesy of R. Joswig)

Symbolics Inc. was a producer of general-purpose computer systems used for developing and running applications for solving complex problems.

The company designed and built workstations with a fully object-oriented operating system called Genera, written in Lisp,
in combination with a so-called presentation-based window system named Dynamic Windows
on which a powerful program development environment was provided at a time where others provided command line interfaces only.

Lisp (ZetaLisp or Common Lisp) was the main programming language also for application building,
and the hardware of Lisp Machines provided features, e.g., type tagging bits for data classification at runtime,
to support the efficient execution of code produced by Lisp compilers at that time.

General Information

Hardware Exhibition

System Software Exhibition

Application Software Exhibition

  • Macsyma: Symbolic Mathematics
  • Scope: Symbolic and Numeric Image Processing
  • ImagCalc: Computer Vision System
  • Leonardo: Computer Graphics
  • Concordia: An Environment for Creating, Maintaining and Distributing Very Large Documentation Sets with Very Long Life Cycles
  • KEE: Knowledge Engineering Environment
  • NAOS: Trajectory Editor and Event Recognition System
  • WIP: Knowledge-based Information Presentation
  • S-Products: Computer Graphics and Animation Development Environment
  • Plexi: Neural Network Simulation System
  • SiteController

Other Collections

Some Code

Precursors and Competitors


Thanks to Paolo Amoroso, James Crippen, Rainer Joswig, Hannu Koivisto, Jean Marangos, Peter Paine, Lasse Rasinen, Kalman Reti and Michael Wessel.

All trade names are the property of their respective owners.