195 words

2K on disk

November 1984



Koala MacVision was a $400 combination hardware/software interface to digitize still frames from a video camera or VCR. The MacVision box plugged into either the Printer or Modem port. Data streamed in somewhat slowly: small frames took about six seconds to appear, whereas a full-screen image took 22 seconds. Obviously, one needed either a still subject or a device with good freeze-frame capabilities, such as a VideoDisc player.

Software authored by Bill Atkinson, and probably contained an early implementation of the “Atkinson Dithering” which would reappear in the software for Thunderscan. Curiously, the About Box for early versions credited Apple Computer — it’s possible that some of Atkinson’s work on dithering algorithms was done while he was still full-time at Apple:

Initially the software shipped as a Desk Accessory, so that it was available from other programs. Version 2.0 and above were standalone applications.

BMUG Fall 1985 Choice Product

“It’s fast and it can digitize 3D images from a video camera or videotape. Its resolution isn’t quite as good as the Thunderscan.”


Link to versions 1.4, 2.0 and 3.0 from the Mac Driver Museum.


Scan of the v3.0 manual, circa 1990.

Kind: Digitizer
Size: 1950 bytes, accounts for 2K on disk
Where:Hardware, internal drive
Created:Monday, November 26, 1984 at 9:24 PM
Modified:Wednesday, March 8, 2023 at 12:18 PM


SO cool. Thanks for the info


Douglas Adams (of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame) used this setup for a portrait on the back cover of the 1987 edition of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, and… well, I don’t think he sat very still for it.