Altsys Corporation

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Altsys Corporation was an early Apple Macintosh developer and publisher, founded in 1984 by James R. Von Ehr II and Kevin Crowder and based in Texas.

The name is a reference to the Alternative Systems Programming Group, a group of computer science students who had hacked the computer system at Michigan State University; Von Ehr was one of the members.

Their main products  were:

  • Fontographer, a font editor for  Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh
  • Font-O-Matic, a font transformer for Microsoft Windows
  • Virtuoso, a vector editor  for NeXTSTEP/OPENSTEP and Sun Solaris .
  • Metamorphosis, a font utility for Apple Macintosh,

Altsys provided Virtuoso to Aldus Corporation under the Aldus FreeHand name as a vector drawing program to compete with Adobe Illustrator.

Aldus Freehand was published for many years, originally only on the Apple Macintosh, then also for Microsoft Windows.

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 and Von Ehr became a major Macromedia shareholder and joined the Macromedia board of directors.

In 2003, the Texas staff were laid off or relocated to Macromedia's main office in San Francisco, California. Prior to that, the team added many new features to Macromedia FreeHand MX since they thought it might be the last version.

Adobe Systems finally acquired Macromedia on December 3, 2005. Maintenance work on the remaining Altsys product line was transitioned to Adobe India.

Alsys products were:

  • EPS Exchange
  • Fontographer
  • Font-o-matic
  • FreeHand
  • Macromedia Fireworks
  • Metamorphosis
  • Rollup
  • Virtuoso

Software Products

Altsys Virtuoso

Altsys Virtuoso
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.

Manufacturer : Altsys
Type : Software


Altsys Corporation

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