Way back in the beginning nineties the math department had a graphics supercomputer: a stellar (the company built only two systems 2000 and GS 1000 and I think it was a 2000). This was a monster of a computer: In fact it had a complete 386 with DOS as a starting aid — like those huge diesels that need a benzine engine to start. It needed an air conditioned room and was the size of a cupboard.
It was the time when even hardware designs could experiment and the graphics hardware of that monstrosity had as a speciality spheres as a primitive. So it was able to render smooth spheres at any scale while modern graphics hardware needs to triangulate spheres to render them and usually one does this depending on the size like in the image above.
There was a space ball (sometimes called space mouse) attached to it (however I never got used to this 3d input device).
The visualization software was AVS (at that time application visualization system, now advanced visualization system). A very early representative of visual graphcis and dataprocessing programming environment that partially triggered the development of systems like grape and oorange/javaoorange.

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