the 4B is what I had way back when. I then went to Anagraph and used the 4B as the plotter. the 4B is a little work horse and they are hard to kill. we sold ours and it's out there some where still working hard.
I started my sign career just as these came out in the UK they were marketed by Spandex.
We went right through all there machines IV, IVB, Sprint, Supersprint. We had all the digitising tablets and add ons. The 80s were some of the most innovative times.
I remember having all the latest machinery from Spandex.
We even did a bit of development work for them. We even had plastic knife blades to test!!!!
I remeber setting a job of on Friday night on the IVb and it only finished on Wednesday afternoon!!!! It was so slow compared with our machinery now...LOL
In 2022 I still use my 4b about every day. I also have all the new equipment, but nothing beats this work horse! My brother has one of the first ones, The serial number is only 3 digits.I started with one of those gizmos back before the pc was invented. You could never really set up a job easily as there was no screen with it, just a red led info area. Doing the easiest of jobs took time but still faster than hand painting in some cases. The cost of this baby was $17,000....each font was $300 - 400.00 each. I then remember saving up to buy a digitizing tablet. $13,000 and you could redraw logos by taking artwork and blowing it up and then taping it to the tablet and using a mouse to digitize the graphic. OMG the computer it came with was an Apple 2e and I had purchased an accelerator card to speed up the redraws on my monochrome screen. Doing the simplest of logos was time consuming and in most cases we had to redraw all the fonts as they were not available or just not worth buying. I then purchased the job save program and that made things a lot better as you could save projects and recall them when needed. After that I bought a scrappy which hooked onto the Gerber 4B and allowed you to put scrap material through to save a few bucks. We then moved up to a Gerber Sprint and loaded it with 26 fonts....$35,000. We were really moving now. Twice as fast as the 4b and it came with a monochrome screen for layouts. The pc's were just coming out and then Signlab appeared and we put a fast card into the Gerber Sprint and that allowed us to set projects up in Signlab and cut through the Sprint. That was a major development for us. The signlab back then was nothing like we have now but was eons ahead of the Gerber Sprint setup. Oh the old days lol.
The sprint was a huge improvement over the 4B. I wonder if signs would look better today if that is what everyone still used. My friend still runs his 4B, it is painful to watch.First machine we purchased was the Signmaker 3. Serial #1744. Really drank the cool-aid. Bought the 4b > Sprint > Super Sprint > Gerber Composer....