NORDCOM is a colour display system based on common commercial colour TV sets. This allows mixing of picture signals from another source (antenna, camera, video tape player) with the picture output from the computer. A NORD-20 with 4k memory is used as the controller for the system. NORDCOM is connected to a computer ("main machine") via a data channel that can write to, and read from, the memory of the NORD-20. The main tasks of the software in the NORD-20 is
- generate graphical and alpha numerical colour images based on data sent from the main machine. Images are stored in special refresh memories. The main machine can also order a copy of an image from a refresh memory to another refresh memory.
- handle NORD-20 peripheral equipment. This may consist of keyboards, trackerballs, operator console, line printer, etc.
The main machine gives a graphical image by providing endpoint coordinates for the lines that should be drawn. Text for the image is provided with a character string similar to a FORTRAN format-array. The same way can be used for strictly alpha numerical images.
The NORDCOM software system is module-based, with a maximum size of about 3K. It was created from September 1971 to January 1972.