The software tools in the Chipmunk system perform a wide variety of tasks: electronic circuit simulation and schematic capture, graphics editing, and curve plotting, to name a few. The core tools began their life as the applications software for three clusters of Hewlett-Packard 9836C computers (and other compatible models) that were donated to the California Institute of Technology in the early- and mid- 1980's. One cluster, of about 25 workstations, served as computing tools for undergraduate and graduate Computer Science courses. A second cluster, of about 10 workstations, served as data acquisition and analysis tools for laboratory courses in integrated circuits: each workstation was attached to donated HPIB test instruments. A third cluster served the laboratory of Carver Mead .
Throughout the decade of the 80's, Caltech undergraduate and graduate students wrote a variety of software tools to run on these three clusters of machines: software to teach classes, do research, and prepare documents. When the 80's ended, and Unix workstations began to dominate research computing, the best tools were ported to run under HPUX running on HP 68030-based workstations running the X window system, and later to a wide assortment of hardware and software environments.
Here is a brief description of each of the Chipmunk tools. For a more detailed description, click on the tool name.
In addition to these major tools, many supplementary tools are part of the Chipmunk system. In addition, the project of porting the Chipmunk tools spawned a Pascal-to-C converter, p2c. The GNU Foundation distributes p2c -- it is not part of the Chipmunk package.