Chapter 21Miscellaneous Companies
Space restrictions simply do not permit me to go into the depth of detail I wouldlike on every company that participated in the early days of the CAD industry nor covernumerous in-house systems developed at major automobile and aerospace companies.Readers will have to be satisfied with the brief descriptions included in this chapter andeven then, I have only been able to cover what I consider to be the companies that had thebiggest impact. There are hundreds if not thousands of companies that at one timemarketed engineering design software. Some of the companies described in this chapteroffered just software while other provided both hardware and software. While many havechanged names, I have decided to list them alphabetically based upon the name they arebest been known by along with earlier and subsequent name changes.
Adra Systems (Matrix One)
Adra Systems was founded in Lowell, Massachusetts in July 1983 by WilliamMason, who had been at Applicon from 1973 to 1983, most recently as vice president of operations, James Stenzel, who had been vice president of engineering at Hastech, Inc.,and Peter Stoupas, who had earlier been a regional sales manager at Adage and had alsoworked for Applicon. Mason became the president and CEO, Stenzel the vice presidentof product development and Stoupas the vice president of marketing. Between 1983 and1986, the company raised $11.6 million of venture funding from a number of firmsincluding American Research & Development, the company that also provided the initialfunding for Digital Equipment Corporation.Adra’s initial product, introduced in January 1985, was a CADAM-compatiblecombination of hardware and software that was marketed by Adage, Inc as theCADStation 2/50. At the time, Adage was one of the major non-IBM manufacturers of graphic terminals used to support the mainframe CADAM software sold by IBM. Thesoftware component, which was called Cadra-1, emulated the look and feel of CADAM.It could extract a drawing from a mainframe database, work on the drawing and then re-file it on the mainframe.CADAM, Inc. did not take kindly to this product introduction since it competeddirectly with the sale of CADAM. A lawsuit was filed against both Adage and Adrawhich settled out of court in 1987. CADAM, Inc. received a payment “in excess of onemillion dollars” and Adage agreed to no longer sell the CADStation 2/50 once its existinginventory was depleted.
The company introduced the Adra 1000 system in November 1985. Similar to theCADStation 2/50, it consisted of a 10-MHz Motorola 68010 microprocessor with 2.5MBof main memory, UNIX, a custom graphics processor and a 19-inch 1024x1024monochromatic or color monitor. No local hard disk was provided. Graphicsperformance, particularly pan and zoom operations, was very fast. The major differencefrom the earlier system was that the Adra 1000 with its Cadra-2 software was intended to
Computer Aided Design Report
, November 1987, Pg. 14
21-1 © 2008 David E. Weisberg