What is / was Medusa

    Medusa, was used mainly as a 2D drafting software. It was similar to drawing on paper in that you started out with a pre-formatted sheet size, set your drawing scale and then made your drawing. There were 2 basic kinds of lines. Regular non-clump lines and clump lines. With clump lines, a part could be drawn in a 2D view as an individual part or (clump of lines). This 2D part (clump) could then be selected as a unit and moved around, saved, deleted or changed. Different parts (clumps) could be joined together into an assembly (a higher level clump) and that could then be moved around as a unit.
Any part of a drawing, even the whole drawing itself, could be saved into a file. This file could be for temporary use as a means of copying something or put into a library and used as a standard library symbol. These symbol files could be retrieved anytime and used as needed and had a standard name of Y. xxxx.
Until rev 12 , a 'typical' set-up was a 'mainframe' or minicomputer that tied into a Tektronik workstation with a 12" digitizing tablet and mouse for the menus. This varied from company to company because there could be bigger tablets, 2 mouses, pens, even an occasional spaceball. With rev 12 the menus were placed on the screens of the new UNIX workstation causing the Tektronik workstations and tablets to become obsolete.
    Because Medusa was used mainly for 2D drafting it was rarely recognized as actually being 'ahead of its time'. It was one of the first CAD packages to have 3D solid and sheetmetal cababilities along with parametrics and some other functions I never even used. Though some companies did use these other capabilities, few were able to make use of them all.
Another great feature was the ability to be customized. The standard Medusa package was 'usable' by any company but when customized to a company's needs it was a lot more efficient.
    Menu picks werent the only way to use Medusa. Commands could be typed in using the keyboard and many commands could be strung together while working on a drawing. Commonly used strings of commands could be saved as macros and then run using only one command or a menu pick. Beyond the macros, programs could be written using Supersyntax (an abbreviated form of BASIC) that could accomplish just about any task. Supersyntax was renamed to BACIS-1 at rev 12.

A short history of Medusa

1980 - Medusa was developed by CIS (Cambridge Interactive Systems) in the UK getting the name CIS Medusa.
It ran mostly on Unix based computers namely the DEC (Digital Equipment Company) VAX minicomputers.

1981 - Prime Computer Co. acquired exclusive rights to market Medusa outside of Europe. Medusa was developed to run on Prime computers and became the start of Prime Medusa which eventually got up to revision 5

1983 - Computervision buys CIS Medusa and continued to develop the software, eventually taking CIS Medusa up to revision 7.

1984 - Prime gets joint ownership of Medusa which allows them to market Prime Medusa worldwide

1988 - Prime buys Computervision taking full control of Medusa.
Prime develops Medusa-12 by combining CIS Medusa-7 with Prime Medusa-5 to run on the UNIX based workstations which were taking a growing position in the computer market.
Medusa-13 was eventually developed with a very different user interface from rev-12
MEDEA electrical was also developed to offer an additional wiring capability

1998 - Parametric Technology Corporation (now just PTC) buys Computervision and Medusa.

2002 - CAD Schroer (a German company) buys Medusa from PTC


The information contained here is a combination of what I recall from the time I worked with Medusa and from other sources where I could find it. I have not worked with Medusa since 1997 and do not know how the software performs today.

If anyone finds an error or has more accurate information please feel free to let me know.