From Digibarn site visitor James Henden (July 11, 2006)
I designed analog and power circuitry for AED, starting in about 1975. We originally built floppy disc systems, DEC-compatible. As that market dried up, we tried building custom, uninterruptible, DC power supplies, the video terminal (There was a Mitsubishi monitor packaged to sit on top of the pictured keyboard/chassis.), and finally, a multi-terminal small business system with multiple hard disc drives, etc. Tom Sacco was president, also a bass fisherman. Bill Kurdjewski was principal engineer. Jerry Kennedy VP Marketing. Tom Sacco appears to have retired to Florida and started a business building custom golf clubs along the way. AED was unable to tie into anything with acceptable profit margin, and max'ed out at about 200+ employees, I think. They were at 440 Potrero, and the small trees that grew on the street are now towering giants. Quite a few young assemblers, technicians, PCB layout guys, and engineers started out there. Another guy that worked on video stuff was Hildon Gold.
From Digibarn site visitor Al Kossow (March 28, 2009)
I worked for AED from 1984 to 1986. The unit he is holding is a second generation color graphics terminal. There is a companion 13" color monitor that goes on top. Several hundred AED 767 terminals were sold.
AED started out in the early 70's as a manufacturer of floppy and 14" disc storage systems. They expanded into the graphics terminal business in the late 70's by purchasing the design for a 512 x 512 x 8 6502 based color display developed by some people in Berkeley. This became the AED 512. The design was extended to expand the resolution and allow gen-locking, which is the 767 which he is holding. It was repackaged and extended again to create the AED 1024. At the same time, the original designers started their own company called Jupiter Systems and released a similar terminal product called the Jupiter 7. They released a 68000 based display called the Jupiter 12 before disappearing. Another AED engineering group spun off in the early 80's called Parallax Graphics which created board-level embedded graphics products.
Another design team was hired (which I was part of) and we brought a 1280 x 1024 display to market with an upwards compatible instruction set. I was responsible for the architecture of AED's follow-on board-level graphics products before leaving for Apple in 1986. The market for terminals and non-PC graphics systems dried up, and AED's assets were sold to a company in San Diego in the mid-80's (I kept my AED stock certificate since it was worth more as a momento than as cash).
AED displays were very popular for VLSI design, since they were inexpensive and were supported by several CAD vendors, including VTI and the UC Berkeley CAD tools suite. I have all of the manuals, schematics, and brochures for the 767 and will put them on bitsavers when I get a chance.
Thank you Al for clarifying this history! Folks, see Al's excellent Bitsavers site which is a superb repository of historic software and documents - Bruce.