Altsys Virtuoso

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Virtuoso developed by Altsys Corporation was rebranded as FreeHand licensed to Aldus Corporation, it was software for two-dimensional vector graphics for professional use in  desktop publishing illustration and Web content. 

Altsys, a Texas-based software company founded by James R. Von Ehr II,  was an early Apple Macintosh developer and publisher. Virtuoso was developed for NeXTSTEP/OPENSTEP and Solaris.

Altsys also published Metamorphosis for Macintosh, a font utility.

When Aldus was acquired by Adobe, the licensing agreement that Altsys had with Aldus precluded FreeHand from being part of the deal, so the publishing rights reverted to Altsys.  Altsys was acquired by Macromedia in January, 1995. Von Ehr became a major Macromedia shareholder and joined the Macromedia board of directors. Adobe Systems acquired Macromedia on December 3, 2005.

Altsys ported FreeHand 3.0 to the NeXT system creating a new program named Virtuoso. Altsys continued development and version 2.0 of Virtuoso was feature-equivalent to FreeHand 4 (with the addition of NeXT-specific features such as Services and Display PostScript) and file compatible. Virtuoso 2.0 was able to open FreeHand 4 files and vice versa. A prominent feature of this version was the ability to type directly into the page and wrap inside or outside any shape. It also included drag-and-drop color imaging, a larger pasteboard, and a user interface that featured floating, rollup panels. The colors palette included a color mixer for adding new colors to the swatch list. Speed increases were made.

Virtuoso as supplied for NeXT computers was subtitled "The advanced design & production program".

Platform: NeXTcube or NeXTstation

               NeXTSTEP 2.0

Application Software (AS:) Graphics

Version: 1992

Platform : NeXT
Format : Disk 3.5
Publisher : Altsys
Authors :
Date : 1992
Product Code :

Other Software by Altsys:

Item Manufacturer Platform Format Date
Altsys Virtuoso Altsys NeXT Disk 3.5 1992

Information About Altsys:

Item Manufacturer Date
Altsys Corporation 1 Jan 1984




This exhibit has a reference ID of CH49256. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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